These are Matt, Chris and Rory's ultimate three-car garages
TG TV returns on Sunday, so we quizzed the presenters on their dream garages
Rules, so often the perfect way to spoil all the fun, but in this case absolutely necessary. If we gave each of our presenters, and you at home, three choices with an uncapped budget on each, the tendency would be to veer towards astronomically expensive hypercars or ultra-rare classics. So in the name of variety, we devised a plan: three cars, three categories, each designed to focus the mind in a different way. The first an unlimited budget, the second could cost no more than £250,000, and the third had to sneak under the £50,000 mark. Admittedly, one of Matt’s picks breaches those parameters slightly, but the choices were made before the pound took a 14 per cent nosedive...
Used cars were allowed, but not depreciated examples of current models, and in the case of Matt, Chris and Rory, their selection would need to be justified in front of their co-presenters and a dictaphone...
Images: Alex Howe
All new Top Gear TV airs in the UK on Sunday 5 March, 8pm on BBC Two and BBC Two HD, followed by Extra Gear on BBC Three at 9pmAdvertisement - Page continues below
Chris Harris: Rory Reid, why on Earth have you chosen the Rolls-Royce… whatever that is?
Matt LeBlanc: Have you got a rap album coming out soon?
Rory Reid: It’s called the Wraith Black Badge. Listen, let me tell you about the philosophy behind my garage, because it covers all bases.
CH: So you actually thought about this?
RR: I know you haven’t, but yes, I have. The reason I chose these three cars is because they cover any eventuality. If you’re going to a function where you want to impress people, you need a car that gets you there with style and pace. The Rolls-Royce Wraith Black Badge is definitely that car.
MLB: So what does it say about you?
CH: It says you’re an utter berk.
RR: OK, Mr Ferrari. People look at you getting out of a Rolls-Royce and that’s instant respect.
MLB: Is it?
RR: Of course! You rock up and the doors open the wrong way, the hinges behind you. Your lady friend hops out, her knickers aren’t on show because she can swing her legs out nice and easy, and on top of that it looks completely pimp. There’s no other car that wherever you turn up says: “this person belongs here”. Don’t check the list, let him in.
CH: Erm, well there’s a McLaren F1, a Tesla, a GT2 RS, an F12, an M5…
MLB: I have to say I agree with Chris on this one. Plus, don’t you have like 45 kids? You can’t fit 45 kids in that.
CH: OK, so you’ve attempted to explain the... thing. What about the Tesla. Talk me through the Tesla.
RR: As Matt said, I’ve got 45 kids…
MLB: Probably 46 by now, it’s been another 10 minutes.
RR: …and no other car lets you carry up to seven people as rapidly as the Tesla Model X P90D.
CH: I can’t argue with that, and from your video when we saw the drag race I do think it’s stunningly fast, and it does everything, and it’s super-modern. However, with a clean sheet why did they make it look so bad?
RR: What are you talking about? I think that’s actually the prettiest car in this whole room.
MLB: It is pretty good-looking, I have to agree with him there. As far as SUVs go it’s cool – I love that it’s got no grille. The doors are a little over the top, but the rest of it’s kind of cool. Why do the back doors open like that? Those are the doors the driver never gets to use.
RR: To impress people, and you can throw kids in there easy.
MLB: Yeah, but they’ll probably go clean out the other side.
CH: Hang on, can we rewind. Rory – you said that’s the prettiest car in this room?
RR: I did, it’s the one that makes the biggest statement. When I was driving that thing in New York and I pulled up next to Lamborghinis, Aston Martins, Ferraris, most of which I could’ve beaten in a drag race, they’d never seen anything like it – it was like a spaceship cruising through Manhattan. Trust me on this one, the instant acceleration is one thing, but the attention it receives is something else.
CH: It’s an interesting choice, I’ll give you that. Talk me through Somerset’s answer to a question nobody ever asked.
RR: This is the third pillar. I’ve got luxury covered, I’ve got practicality covered and I’ve got absolute insanity covered with the Ariel Atom. When you drive a car you want to feel alive, you want to feel a sense of fun, slightly out of control, of adrenaline building inside you. That car gives you that feeling like no other vehicle in this room, as far as I’m concerned. Especially as you’ve got no windscreen and no roof…
MLB: You need to be an Eskimo to drive that car in this country.
RR: True, but when you put your foot down there’s no other car on the planet, for that money, that can keep up with it.
CH: Well, there are several cars for the money that can keep up with it, but let’s not let facts get in the way of a nice statement. I do love Atoms though, so I can support it, the Tesla is very clever but I think the Rolls-Royce is a massive let-down and gives us a window into your character that I think is worrying.
MLB: The Atom, like the Nomad, is a lot of fun to drive, absolutely, but I think after a month you’d park it behind the barn and that would be the end of it…
CH: So you’re saying it’s a good seventh car?
MLB: It’s a good fifteenth car.Advertisement - Page continues below
CH: OK, let’s move on to Matt’s and start with the widow-maker, the GT2 RS. The reasons for having that?
MLB: Well, as a 911 fan, I think that’s the ultimate 911, isn’t it? The thing that’s great about a 911 is it’s a supercar you can use every day – they just work so well. And this particular one is absolutely frightening when you put your foot to the floor in it, so it’s a must-have. It’s a race car with a licence plate on it.
RR: It’s such a massive cliche though, isn’t it? A fast Porsche. Basic-looking. People see it drive by and they don’t feel anything at all.
CH: So is it all about the image for you then, Rory?
MLB: I think that’s what it is. How many mirrors do you have in your house?
CH: I like the fact that you know the people that made that car, developed it to a degree that almost no one who ever owns it will ever reach the limits. It’s just been pounded around racetracks to destruction. I’m going to struggle to disagree with Matt on the 911. The one behind it however, the Focus RS – and this is where I’m going to get punched by the both of you – is the most over-hyped car of the last year.
MLB: It does have a lot of hype, but I’ve got to say for the money, for the bang-for-buck factor, it’s a fantastic car. And it’s cheap enough that if you were to get a little too excited and bin it, you’d go get another one. You’ve got to have a disposable one in the bunch, right?
CH: It’s supposed to have 50bhp more than a Golf R, and yet when I was driving one, the person in a Golf R next to me didn’t appear to have any less horsepower. I think the whole trick rear axle with Drift mode really confuses it on a track – it’s a car that seems to fight your instinctive inputs as a driver.
MLB: But down a winding country road, not on a track, it changes direction really well. And I like the colour – Viagra blue.
CH: Sorry I’m a bit distracted by your third choice, the value proposition of the group, weighing in at a mere £13m.
MLB: There’s nothing you really have to say, it’s a McLaren F1. We can move onto your group now if you want. That’s all you need to say about that. It’s the best car that’s ever been built ever.
CH: I agree, it’s my generation’s 250 GTO, but I’ve heard on a really standard one the brakes can be interesting and the handling a bit lively, but the engine is unlike anything else. And the noise, because the intakes run over your head, just gets inside your skull.
MLB: Remember on Park Lane when they had the McLaren showroom? I was here working and I went in there, and there was this little old lady behind the desk. I said I wanted to talk to someone about the car and she said, “Well, what would you like to know?” That lady knew more about this car than anyone – she knew compression, she knew bore and stroke…
CH: Have you actually driven one?
MLB: No. No I haven’t.
RR: OK, moving on to your group, Chris. Let’s start with the 288 GTO.
CH: Unquestionably the most beautiful car made in the last 35 years, also it’s 7/8 of an F40 underneath. I know they’re a bit lairy to drive, but the moment I drove one I just thought I had to have one of these.
RR: Aren’t you a bit Ferrari-heavy in your selection?
CH: I am a bit, aren’t I? I suppose it’s because I get accused on a daily basis of being bought and paid for by Porsche, so I can’t choose one of those, and I’m going through a Ferrari phase at the moment. I’m like a kid, I can’t help it.
RR: But don’t the two Ferraris just serve the exact same purpose? My choices offer a variety – yours are just different colours and years.
CH: The 288 GTO is something that I would drive, but I wouldn’t do super-long journeys in it because I can’t afford the bills. The F12 I would use as my daily car – you could use that every single day, no trouble. It’s got a dual-clutch gearbox and over 700bhp and you can use it like a 3 Series. That for me is a statement of what’s happened in our industry, that you can rationalise that sort of performance into a daily package.
RR: Fair enough, and I’m a fan of the M5. Solid choice.
CH: Imagine what that was like in 1986 when a really fast saloon car in Europe had 170bhp, but BMW came out with something that had 282bhp, Michelin TRX tyres, and everyone that tested it in the wet just ended up in ditches and fields. Even now they feel fast.
MLB: And that boxy shape, it’s just so iconic…
CH: Right, Rory, time for you to take us for a look around this Rolls-Royce and explain what on Earth you were thinking.
RR: I don’t expect you two guys to understand, it’s a new type of Rolls aimed at a younger, cooler man. Like me.
[Rory’s mobile rings]
RR: I’m going to have to take this.
CH: Hang on a minute – your screen says “Mum”.Advertisement - Page continues below