We were all in shock after hearing the BBC had signed Matt LeBlanc as a host for the Top Gear relaunch later this year. Casting an American host for what has always been a very British television programme is a bold move, but his inclusion slowly started to make sense. The BBC were keen to point out that he’s a serious car guy and reminded us that he holds the fastest celebrity lap on Top Gear. Now, LeBlanc is also working to erase any doubt of his car guy credentials in a new BBC Radio interview with fellow Top Gear host Chris Evans.
In the interview, LeBlanc revealed that his favourite car is his 2011 Porsche 911 GT2 RS, an enthusiast’s car if there ever was one. He says it’s a car that “scares” him, which considering its 620 turbocharged horsepower, rear-wheel-drive and six-speed manual, is fair.
“I had a Ferrari and it was a great car, and I’ve had some other cars too, but the thing about a Porsche is that it just feels like the most practical, real-world supercar,” said LeBlanc when Evans asked why he loved Porsche so much.
“It does everything, you can go to the store in it, it’s not too ostentatious and nothing comes off the apex like a rear-engined car. You can go to power quicker, I think, in a rear-engined car, so you have to go in easy on the brakes; you can’t really trail brake too hard, or it’ll swing around on you, but you can go pick up the throttle quicker.”
A GT2 RS isn’t the sort of car that’s bought by accident: People who buy these know exactly what they are. This contrasts with something like a Ferrari 458 Italia, which is a spectacular sports car, but a sports car owned by virtually every celebrity you see in the tabloids. Put another way, you won’t see Floyd Mayweather or Kim Kardashian drive a 911 GT2 RS.
With Evans and LeBlanc confirmed, Chris Harris and Eddie Jordan practically in the bag, and with Sabine Schmitz somehow involved but perhaps not as a host, we’re interested to see how they all work together when Series 23 goes to air on May 8.