What Kind of Car Does James May Drive?

Ever wondered what kind of car James May drives? Wonder no more: we’re taking a look at his 2021 Toyota Mirai, 2019 Tesla Model S, and 2010 Porsche 911.
Written by Maxine Boyko
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
As presenter of The Grand Tour and the former co-host of motoring television series Top Gear, the better question may be what car doesn’t James May drive? May, a.k.a. Captain Slow, doesn’t speak out all that much about his car collection—but from what we’ve gathered, the newest rides in his entourage include a 2021 Toyota Mirai, a 2019 Tesla Model S 100D Long Range, and a 2010 Porsche 911 Carrera S. 
May’s latest Toyota Mirai was purchased to replace his “old” model from 2019, describing its improved power, fuel cell, engine, and many new driver assistance features and gadgets as “epic.” But that’s not the only epic vehicle in May’s revolving “carsenel”, which has included a number of Ferraris and Porsches over the years and, more recently—green vehicles.
Stick around for a grand tour of James May’s epic fleet!
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2021 Toyota Mirai

Starting price: $50,525
Engine: Single electric motor, hydrogen-powered
May understands the world’s very real need for
green alternatives
to fuel-combustion vehicles and has supported the initiative by purchasing two separate model years of the
Toyota Mirai
The Mirai is one of two hydrogen fuel cell cars available in the UK—and is only available for purchase in the U.S. state of
. A fuel stack combines compressed hydrogen and oxygen pulled from the air to generate electricity, the only byproduct being water. While it sounds great, the Mirai has rather low practical value due to limited hydrogen fueling stations. 
May’s latest 2021 Mirai has an efficient fuel cell and motor which creates 182 horsepower and 247 lb. ft. of torque—but with a lagging 9.1-second zero-to-60-time, it’s certainly not as fast as a Tesla. It does, however, have a significant range of 400 miles, beating out many battery-electric vehicles currently on the market. 

2019 Tesla Model S 100D Long Range

Starting price: $76,200
Engine: Single electric motor, battery-powered
Another green machine in May’s lineup is the 2019 Tesla Model S 100D. While he may find the performance and range impressive, he’s not particularly chuffed about its undistinguished appearance and clumsy, distracting infotainment system. 
Nevertheless, the Tesla
Model S
is a big deal in the growing electric vehicle segment, earning a 9/10 and making Car and Driver’s Editors’ Choice list. The all-electric luxury sedan has an EPA-estimated 335-mile range and a 4.1-second zero-to-60-mph time
There has been nationwide controversy over semi-autonomous vehicle safety, but the Model S pushes on with a suite of features like auto lane change, auto park, and traffic light and stop sign control. As an added bonus, the trunk is a massive 26-cubic-feet with a power liftgate and keyless entry for convenience.
MORE: How to choose an eco-friendly car
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2010 Porsche 911 Carrera S (997.2)

Starting price: $90,500
Engine: 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged 6-cylinder
Out of all the Porsches that May has owned, the 2010
911 Carrera S
is unique in that it marked the last year for the analog 911 coupe—offering an equally humbling and exhilarating driving experience
While May could have easily jazzed up the features on his 911 Carrera S, internally known as the “facelifted” 997.2, he opted to keep things standard. This version has many improvements over previous models and revisions, including:
  • Moving to direct fuel injection (DFI) and air-cooled engine
  • Updating to a dual-clutch PDK transmission
  • Improved suspension
  • Front-bumper LED lighting
The Porsche 911 Carerra S coupe is a user-friendly, adaptable supercar that’s a joy to drive no matter where you’re headed—but best of luck if you’d like to try, as only 496 were ever made. 

2015 Ferrari 458 Speciale

Starting price: $291,744
Engine: 4.5-liter V8
James May may have secured the last ever 458 Speciale. Ferrari had just sold its final one by the time the journalist got around to ordering one—but almost unbelievably, the Italian automaker specially manufactured one more Speciale painted Rosso Dino red just for May.
The 458 Speciale was born out of Ferrari’s quest to make the perfect car and added new aerodynamic features to the already near-perfect 458 Italia, including: 
  • electronic traction control system
  • vented hood
  • redesigned aerodynamic bumpers
  • forged wheels
  • taller rear spoiler
Alongside design details and an improved engine, Ferrari's 458 Speciale was also 200 pounds lighter and had 35 extra horsepower than the 458 Italia—making for swift shifting, quicker turns, and faster stops…not to mention a breakneck zero-to-60-mph time of 2.8-seconds, a fast car indeed for Captain Slow. 

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