[[caption-width-right:350:The main presenters starting with Series 24: Rory Reid, Chris Harris, Matt [=LeBlanc=]]]

->''"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 the executive producer.[[/note]] Alongside fellow presenters Richard Hammond and James May [[note]]Who also presented the old Top Gear series in 1999[[/note]], 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 [[Recap/TopGear Recap]] 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 a new version with [[Series/{{Friends}} Matt LeBlanc]] later added as a second featured co-presenter. Sabine Schmitz, Chris Harris, Eddie Jordan, and Rory Reid also joined on various segments and also in the show's new 'post-game' show, ''Extra Gear'', which 'airs' on the online-only [=BBC3=]. And, like all the previous versions of ''Top Gear'', the show retained 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]]

Version 3.0 debuted on 29 May 2016 for a run of six episodes. The re-tooled show seemed to focus more on car reviews and its celebrity interview segments (removing the news segment completely and moving it over to ''Extra Gear'') though they did go on some trips and put on some wacky stunts reminiscent of the previous incarnation. Also, the 'Star In A Reasonably Priced Car' segment was retooled to use a BMW Mini Cooper rally car, and the test track was expanded, putting the celebs through a water splash and a small jump. (Test laps with The Stig still used the same track as before.) After fan criticism and declining ratings, in July 2016, Evans announced he was departing the show after only one season. [=LeBlanc=], on the other hand, was warmly welcomed by viewers and so the BBC locked him into a deal through Series 25.

Series 24 debuted on 5 March 2017, slimming the amount of presenters back down to three, [=LeBlanc=], Reid, and Harris. (Comedian George Lewis was made the new host of ''Extra Gear''). Featuring a new two-tiered set, the celebrity segment has been retooled (they stick around longer, they drive a "Reasonably Fast" car, a Toyota [=GT86=]), the test track has been put back to its original configuration, and in a surprise, the Stig doesn't appear - instead, Harris takes the guest around the track, alternately advising them and berating them (The Stig does appear in the 2nd episode, but to make a test lap only.) Initial reviews, in comparison to the Evans-led previous season, have been generally [[http://jalopnik.com/hell-yes-top-gear-is-finally-back-1793003149 positive]].[[note]]In the States, the show airs a week later on BBC America.[[/note]]

Meanwhile, Clarkson, Hammond, and May were hired by Amazon Prime to host ''Series/TheGrandTour'', a SpiritualSuccessor to their tenure on ''Top Gear'' [[note]]The show is also produced by Andy Wilman, as he left when the presenters did as well[[/note]], which debuted on the streaming service on 18 November 2016. After a strong premiere, and receiving some mediocre reviews for the show's second episode (and occasionally panned for its overly-staged dialogue), overall, the show's first 13-episode run was enthusiastically well-received.


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 in 2010 during the show's 3rd season (an abridged version of the episode was shown in the UK during Series 16).
* An [[Series/TopGearUS American version]], airing on Creator/TheHistoryChannel, it now has its own page. One of the hosts, rally car driver Tanner Faust, appeared in Series 22 of the British version. It ended in June 2016 after six seasons, but in March 2017, the BBC announced that [[https://www.topgear.com/car-news/top-gear-tv/top-gear-america-new-us-based-tg-series it would resume production]] under the name ''Top Gear America'', presented by actor William Fitchner, drag racer Antron Brown, and motoring journalist Tom Ford. (And The Stig.)
* 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 Sabine Schmitz among its hosts. They appeared in an episode of Series 11 in 2008, in a series of challenges against the UK crew. Schmitz later appeared as a presenter during Series 23.

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 the 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.
!!This show is {{Troperiffic}} and currently nearing being TropeOverdosed. Therefore, examples have been split into multiple pages:

* TopGear/TropesAToC
* TopGear/TropesDToG
* TopGear/TropesHToQ
* TopGear/TropesRToZ

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