The episode has been dedicated to V8 sportscars almost in its entirety, as it's been wrapped around a Western roadtrip with a motorsport bias. The three hosts get to choose three V8 sports cars, with the basic idea of finding the best all-rounder. Matt LeBlanc goes for a Hennessey-tuned GT350R, Rory Reid chooses a Jaguar F-Type SVR, and Chris Harris shakes up the pack by selecting a McLaren 570GT. It's a nicely varied trio, with V8 power still showing what it's good for.
There are various challenges along the way, just like there should be on a Top Gear roadtrip episode – even if the road surface itself isn't always ideal. But things smoothen out, all the way to a NASCAR oval and an airport runway; the flooded Bonneville salt flats aren't suitable for shenanigans, so substitutes have to be found. The trio also hit dirt roads, and have to evade a buggy-driving Ken Block during a "moonshine run to the border." Fans of Sabine Schmitz will be pleased to find her piloting a chain car racer, which consists of two American junk cars with a Honda CRX chained in the middle. It must make sense to someone.
The Star In A Reasonably Priced Car segment has been retained for this season. This time it's the British actor Rob Brydon driving the Toyota GT86, on a very wet lap around the show's Dunsfold Aerodrome track that must be a cult classic by now.
All in all, the season 25 opener is exactly what it says on the tin. There's nothing out of the ordinary, but it still has excellent cinematography, V8 roar and some nice landscapes. Classic Top Gear.
Cowboy duels, Sabine Schmitz chain car racing, @RobBrydon, a @kblock43 car chase and #TheStig— Top Gear (@BBC_TopGear) February 26, 2018
The latest episode of #TopGear is available on @BBCiPlayer now. Outside the UK? See local listings here: https://t.co/HPPhbUErDu pic.twitter.com/87F53C8oYb