After much speculation, the full line-up was revealed – introducing into the fold Friends star Matt LeBlanc, German racer Sabine Schmitz, YouTube star Chris Harris, BBC F1 pundit Eddie Jordan, motoring journalist Rory Reid and man of few words, The Stig.
The grand reveal didn’t stop the gossip-mongering however, with rumours of an (unsubstantiated) acrimonious relationship between Evans and LeBlanc and that infamous Cenotaph stunt.
Now the series is ready to return and Evans is determined to prove those who said the show couldn’t survive without Clarkson wrong.
“The production team sorted out some brilliant locations, amazing vehicles, and to be honest we wouldn’t be putting one second of it out if we didn’t think it was worth watching,” he says.
Key to the rebooted series will be the on-screen chemistry between Evans and Le Blanc. “Neither one of us takes ourselves too seriously, we both like to have a laugh,” says Le Blanc. “Top Gear has such a giant following, and people are so excited and love it.”
Top Gear, BBC2, Sunday, 8pm