Season 27 of Top Gear continues in an exclusive new clip that shows hosts Paddy McGuinness, Freddie Flintoff, and Chris Harris racing electric cars, with McGuinness’s gaudy Nissan Leaf taking a surprising lead. The new season of the long-running car series began last week in the US, introducing McGuinness and Flintoff as two new hosts in the show’s seemingly ever-changing roster of presenters since the departures of Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond. Though the hosts are new, it seems as though their camaraderie has been in place for years, something that’s clearly evident in the clip from the second episode in season 27.
The new episode goes deep into the world of electric vehicles, with the aforementioned Nissan Leaf and the EV car challenge that has the presenters building their own budget electric sports cars. In addition to watching the hosts compete against one another in what looks to be an decommissioned nuclear power plant, the episode will also feature Harris testing out the new Tesla Model 3, and the show welcomes guests Danny Boyle and Himesh Patel (Yesterday). With its lofty challenge, insight into one of the most recognizable and sought after electric cars in the world today, and celebrity guests, the episode feels more like an episode of classic Top Gear than ever before.
The exclusive clip is all about McGuinness’s seemingly tricked-out Nissan Leaf, and how surprising it is when the unassuming little EV beats Flintoff’s time on the makeshift track by an astonishing five seconds. That’s surprising because, as the clip notes, Flintoff’s car — a Subaru Brat sporting a 500-hp Tesla motor — would seemingly be the odds-on favorite to dominate the challenge. As it turns out, however, McGuinness sails through the course with ease (albeit with a potentially controversial false-start), commenting on how it feels like he’s racing through the set of Blade Runner, as the silent car is deceptively fast.
More than displaying how EVs are the future of the auto industry — even for horsepower-obsessed individuals — the challenge offers another look at just how quickly the new Top Gear hosts have taken to one another, and how that translates on screen. So much of the series has been about the fellowship of its stars, and the way in which they often needle one another in some spectacular challenges, but also are there to cheer one another on.
As the clip demonstrates, the show is closer than ever to finding a group of presenters that may well be around for the long haul. While there’s still several episodes left in season 27 to prove that to be true, things are looking pretty good for the new crew hosting Top Gear.
Top Gear continues this Sunday @8pm on BBC America.