If you are a car enthusiast, you know about Chris Harris. If not, I’ll give you a brief biography. Harris is a race driver, automotive writer, and reviewer of cars. He has written for sites including Autocar, evo, and Jalopnik. He’s better known for his video reviews from THE DRIVE and then his own channel Chris Harris on Cars. He’s currently a presenter on the UK Top Gear, but still produces extra videos in his Chris Harris Drives series.
First, Harris is a great driver. He’s known for his drifting ability—which the kids love but I find a bit ridiculous—seen in all of his videos. But he can apex, as well. He’s a Porsche enthusiast and the car of his he talks about most is his 911 GT3.
He’s also a good writer. He’s knowledgeable and witty, using his cracking good British vocabulary and sense of humor. Once you’ve watched a few of his videos, you’ll begin to read his articles in his distinctive style. Am I enjoying it? Yes, I am.
But where Harris excels is his video car reviews. Here he gets to combine his driving skills, his car knowledge, his humor, and of course his drifting. Except for the latter, his reviews check all the right boxes for me.
So here are some of my favorite—or maybe I should say favourite—Chris Harris videos. Naturally they focus on Porsche and Mini/MINI.
The Porsche 911 GT2 RS MR
Here is perhaps the best (modified) street Porsche at the moment. Harris drives it on the track and gives his raving review. This is the car that once held the record for the fastest modified street car around the Nürburgring Nordschleife.
Best line: “And of course your brain would say, ‘Shut up, mate, that’s ridiculous. I’m still clearing up the mess from my under-crackers after what that car just did to me’.”
The New Porsche 911 (992)
This video was from January 16, 2019 just after the introduction of the eighth-generation 2020 Porsche 911. Harris is a Porsche owner, so this review is great.
Best line: “But ultimately this is a 991 plus. Which means…a 992, I suppose.”
The Porsche 918 Spyder Tested
This video goes back to December 18, 2013, before Harris’s Top Gear days. Here’s a car that scares even Harris. He doesn’t really answer the question of why this car needed to be a plug-in hybrid.
Best line: “That’s right, the 918 is so clean even its petrol farts are pre-cleansed.”
The 2012 Porsche Boxster S
This video from March 14, 2012 is the closest review to the car I own. It was one that I reviewed when I was researching the purchase of a Cayman/Boxster. Harris likes several things about the Boxster over the 911. It sold me on the 981 Boxster.
Best line: “You drive the Boxster S with a six-speed manual gearbox like this, and you do think to yourself, what more car do I need? Do I need a faster car? Do I need a more agile car? Do I need a grippier car? You just don’t. This thing is brilliant.”
Mini Cooper S at Goodwood
Enough Porsche, let’s look at Chris Harris racing a classic Mini Cooper S at Goodwood on April 6-7, 2019. Harris, like many British car enthusiasts, says that his first car was a Mini. He can be just as enthusiastic driving smaller, slower cars. Probably my favorite Harris video.
Best line: “For me, when I was eighteen, that was the equivalent of a night with Heidi Klum, that was. Michelle Pfeiffer for the night or a pair of twin one-and-a-half SUs.”
Britain’s Best Handling Car 2006
This last video is a very early one, not posted by Harris or Top Gear. Is is a portion of the Autocar program Britain’s Best Handling Car 2006. In it he test-drives several cars including an R53 MINI Cooper S JCW GP and a 987 Porsche Cayman. I won’t spoil the result.
Best line: “And you do find yourself asking why anyone would want to bother with a 220-horsepower MINI with no backseats and still with a Toytown interior, but apart that we’re hacking along here not really being dropped by a 295-horsepower Porsche probably goes some way to explaining that.”