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[[caption-width-right:350:[-The presenters of Top Gear, Mark III, that debuted in 2016. ''from left:'' Rory Reid, Sabine Schmitz, Matt [=LeBlanc=], Chris Evans, Chris Harris, Eddie Jordan, and The Stig.-] ]]

->''"This... is a car programme. There will be no cushions, there will be no rag-rolling, no-one will sing, and at the end of the series, no-one will have a recording contract. This is our new base, and this is our purpose-built test track. There are no traffic jams here, well... apart from this one, and no bus-lanes either. This... is ''Top Gear!"
-->-- '''Jeremy Clarkson''', [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X8NgA1Ogpd4 First Episode Intro]]

->''"Top Gear: Ambitious but Rubbish!"''
-->-- '''Also Jeremy Clarkson'''

'''''Top Gear''''' is an award-winning (BAFTA/Emmy) [[Creator/TheBBC BBC]] [[MagazineShow magazine series]] about automobiles and motoring. It started in 1977 as a fairly conventional auto show, but after being revamped in 2002 (following a one-year cancellation in 2001-2) it took a turn to become more overtly humorous. The show is very popular, with an audience estimated at about 8 million per week on the BBC and around 350 million worldwide.

In 2002, the show underwent a significant revamp thanks to one of its old presenters, Jeremy Clarkson [[note]] Another old presenter, Andy Wilman, also had a significant hand, but remained behind the scenes as producer.[[/note]] Alongside new presenters Richard Hammond and James May, the series became a global phenomenon, which extended far beyond driving enthusiasts or even car-owners, thanks to the interplay of the three VitriolicBestBuds and what May referred to in an interview as "self-indulgent cocking-about." In addition to doing more conventional car test drives and reviews, the series embarked on a number of segments which featured unique and humorous premises. For more detailed examples of what cocking-about one might actually see, please check the TopGear/{{Segments}} page. The show also has an official, legal and above-board Website/YouTube [[http://www.youtube.com/topgear channel]] with abridged versions of various segments.

After an incident in March 2015 where Clarkson assaulted a producer, his contract for the show was not renewed by the BBC; subsequently, May and Hammond decided [[TrueCompanions the three were a set]] and opted not to return to the show either. After much speculation, Radio/ChrisEvans was tapped to host the new version; [[Series/{{Friends}} Matt LeBlanc]] was later added as a second featured co-presenter. Sabine Schmitz, Chris Harris, Eddie Jordan, and Rory Reid also join in on occasional segments and in the show's 'post-game' show, ''Extra Gear'', which 'airs' on the online-only [=BBC3=]. Version 3.0 debuted on 29 May, 2016; The new show seems to focus more on car reviews and celebrity segments (moving the news segment over to ''Extra Gear'') though they have retained some of the wacky stunts from the previous incarnation.

And, like all versions of ''Top Gear'', the show would not be complete with out its [[HeWhoMustNotBeHeard voiceless]], [[TheFaceless faceless]] [[BadassDriver "tame racing driver"]], the Stig. [[note]] To which Evans exclaims in the first episode, "We got custody, we got custody!", the Stig originally being an invention of Wilman & Clarkson.[[/note]]

Meanwhile, Clarkson, Hammond, and May were hired by Amazon Prime to host ''Series/TheGrandTour'', a spiritual successor to their tenure on ''Top Gear'' [[note]]That will also be produced by Andy Wilman, as he left when the presenters did as well [[/note]], set to debut on the streaming service in Autumn 2016.

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Becoming quite an international favorite, ''Top Gear'' has spawned a number of localized spin-offs:

* The Australian version, obviously named ''Top Gear Australia''. Sadly canceled in September 2011, but not before crossing over with the UK crew for a pair of highly-entertaining episodes.
* An [[Series/TopGearUS American version]], which now has its own page. One of the hosts, rallycar driver Tanner Faust, appeared in Series 22.
* In Asia, there are Chinese, Russian, and Korean versions. The Chinese version has become hugely popular, with an audience of [[http://www.theguardian.com/media/2015/nov/20/top-gear-china-attracts-200-million-viewers 200]] million, with nearly 95% of that number watching online.
* ''Top Gear France'' debuted in 2015, complete with "Le Stig."
* An [[AlternateCompanyEquivalent unofficial German equivalent]] called ''D Motor'', which featured frequent ''Top Gear'' [[TheSixthRanger Sixth Ranger]] guest (and now a co-presenter of the new series under Evans) Sabine Schmitz among its hosts.

To add a frequently asked question, it has nothing to do with the driving game series on the [[SuperNintendoEntertainmentSystem SNES]], but ''does'' have a relationship with the ''VideoGame/{{Forza}}'' series for Xbox. There was enough confusion about this that the BBC sued Kemco, the publishers of that game (which is called ''Top Racer'' in Japan). The Beeb holds copyright to the title several times over; the original use of the show name was way back in 1967 with the birth of Radio One. Left-field DJ [[TheLastDJ John Peel]] presented ''Top Gear with John Peel'', which showcased the very best in avant-garde music, with comedy interludes from the sort of people who later became Creator/MontyPython and Music/TheBonzoDogBand.
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!!This show is {{Troperiffic}} and currently nearing being TropeOverdosed. Therefore, examples have been split into multiple pages:

[[index]]
* TopGear/TropesAToC
* TopGear/TropesDToG
* TopGear/TropesHToQ
* TopGear/TropesRToZ
* TopGear/{{Segments}}
[[/index]]

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->''"[[SigningOffCatchPhrase And on that bombshell, it's time to end. Goodnight!]]"''