BBC releases Top Gear trailer – can it compete with The Grand Tour? [Op/Ed]

Top Gear trailer

The BBC released a trailer for the new season of Top Gear to give fans a glimpse of what they will see in the newest revamped version of their longtime motoring program.

For this iteration, Chris Evans will be absent. Chris resigned from the show after the first season with the new hosts failed to sustain high ratings. BBC retooled Top Gear about a year ago, after it fired longtime host Jeremy Clarkson, and other longtime hosts Richard Hammond and James May didn’t renew their contracts.

Matt LeBlanc it seems will be more front and center in the latest installment that the BBC is hoping will capture a new audience and keep the Top Gear machine moving forward instead of stalling out.

But will it?

The trailer boasts a whopping 21 seconds of footage as a sneak peek. It shows Matt and his two other co-hosts, Chris Harris and Rory Reid, in a no-hands drag race. Clever and funny? We’ll see.

It seems to harken back to the days of Clarkson, Hammond and May, with the more humorous side of motoring news. They and their team took that winning formula to their new program, The Grand Tour on Amazon, which has had high ratings and popularity.

The Grand Tour’s popularity proves that people love the Clarkson, Hammond and May team and want that.

It seems from the snippet of footage that the latest iteration of Top Gear will try to emulate that winning formula, but it may come across as a cheap, second-class imitation. If it models what Clarkson, Hammond and May did during Top Gear or are doing on The Grand Tour, then why even watch Top Gear? Why not just watch what made Top Gear what is, which is Clarkson, Hammond and May?

I’m not saying there won’t be any funny, memorable moments with the new Top Gear season. There likely will be. But, when the BBC had a winning formula with the previous version, to me it seems like the new Top Gear falls flat, even if Joey will be there for you.

Check out the full trailer below:

And check out this TFLcar video of our top fun-to-drive vehicles for 2016: