Top Gear

Top Gear – Season 15 preview

Top Gear - 15x01

As most of you will know, the wraps are about to come off a new season of Top Gear (and a new Reasonably Priced Car). The first episode goes to air on UK screens in a few hours and over at the offical site Andy Wilman, Executive Producer, gives us a preview what to expect.

Wilman also holds high hopes for Series 15, “We’ve shot some really good stuff for this run. Those of you who read these blogs regularly know I’m the first to ’fess up if we’ve done a stinker, and that I love a nice dose of pessimism – and you know I thought the last series was up and down. But I’m looking at the contents on my little wall chart thing now, and there’s some quality work here.

“And if you like your TopGear served up with a dash more petrolheadery, then just wait for the Senna tribute we’ve shot, where we’ve got an exclusive with Lewis Hamilton driving Senna’s 1988 F1 car. We all love Lewis for the way he wears his heart on his sleeve when he races, and it’s the same when he shows his emotions for his hero.”

The Senna piece sounds like it has the makings to be an all time classic Top Gear segment. Let’s hope Lewis doesn’t stuff it.

[Source: TopGear | Pic: TopGear]

UPDATE: Speculation via the Car Lounge at suggests the new Reasonably Priced Car is the Kia Cee’d.

UPDATE 28 June: An informative video, of sorts, featuring Jeremy Clarkson has been posted to the TopGear website. You can see the clip below in which Jeremy confirms the Cee-apostrphe-d’s new status as the Reasonably Priced Car.

Top Gear

Top Gear – Season 15 trailer

Top Gear - Series 15 preview

Great news for Oscar’s mum and dad; they’ve been featured in a new preview for Series 15 of Top Gear. The new season kicks off this weekend and you can see the latest BBC2 promo right here on AUSmotive. There it is, just after the jump.

If you’d rather not listen to a couple of screaming loons, then take a peak at the Top Gear blog where you can discover the Chevrolet Lacetti has been axed and that the crew had a big meeting and decided to try a bit harder this time around.

Top Gear

Top Gear enters Season 15 with “decade’s greatest” title

Top Gear - Bolivia special

UPDATE 7 June: The boys will be back on UK screens from 27 June.

Top Gear, fresh off the back of its fourteenth season, has just been named the “Greatest TV Show of the Noughties”. This news is the culmination of a poll run by Channel 4 in the UK, the results of which will air on British television screens next week.

Richard Hammond, one of Top Gear‘s star trio, said, “I could never say what the reason is for Top Gear doing so well since we started it, but I think there’s always a sense that we’d still be doing it even if the cameras weren’t here and that makes it real.”

Of course, BBC2 first broadcast the original format of Top Gear back in the late 1970s. However, while it enjoyed a stellar run of some 24 years, at the start of the 2000s the show was cancelled. This paved the way for the emergence of Fifth Gear on Channel Five. But it wasn’t long until the BBC relaunched Top Gear with the current format running since 2002.

Series 14 has attracted some criticism and the program’s long time Executive Producer, Andy Wilman, felt the need defend the show’s direction posting comments on the Top Gear website.

Going into Series 15, then, Top Gear faces its toughest test in some time. Will the baggage of the decade’s greatest title add to the burden of recent criticism, or will it spur the production team on to bigger and better things? While I do think Top Gear will finish before it makes a twentieth season, I do expect that Season 15 will rectify some of the wrongs committed in recent series. Wilman and his trusty trio of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May are no mugs, they will put things right.

We shall find out later this year when Season 15 goes to air. If it wasn’t for the 2010 FIFA World Cup I would nominate 19 June as the premiere date, however, the football may mean an early start in May with a hiatus before recommencing in July. This is what BBC did with Season 8 so as to avoid clashing with Germany 2006.

[Source: The Press Association]

Top Gear

I don’t know much about art, but I know what I like

Top Gear 14x05

Internet criticism has led to Top Gear‘s Executive Producer, Andy Wilman, to write an article defending the show. In line with the old adage about criticising art it would seem many an internet fan doesn’t know much about producing a television show, but they know what they like. And, according the the masses, they don’t like Season 14 of Top Gear which is more than half way through its current run.

Wilman admits that the crew has been up against it this series, “Personally I’ll be glad to see the back of it. We’ve done some good stuff this series, but we were too rushed and too knackered to get everything right.”

He also understands that they may have pigeon-holed the three presenters too tightly, “I do believe we’ve now got the presenters playing to their TV cartoon characters a bit too much – Jezza the walking nuclear bomb, Richard the daft Norman Wisdom, and James the bumbling professor.”

But Wilman also explains that the show’s philosophy is to never die wondering if a new idea will work, “it is just us pushing in a different direction, because we’re still very much obsessed, as a team, about attempting new things with cars on TV.”

At the end of Season 13 there was much talk that it marked the end of the road for Top Gear. While that turned out to be more internet scuttlebutt, Wilman does reveal the end of the show will happen sooner, rather than later, “It’s fair to say this incarnation of Top Gear is nearer the end than the beginning, and our job is to land this plane with its dignity still intact.”

If you’re a fan of the show and haven’t already seen Wilman’s blog, take the time to follow the link below, it’s a very worthwhile read.

[Source: TopGear]

Top Gear

Even more on Top Gear in Vietnam

Top Gear 12x08 - Vietnam Special

The Top Gear Vietnam Special was eagerly awaited by AUSmotive HQ, especially after our world exclusive announcing the recording of the episode, in October 2008. Now, Australian viewers can see the 75 minute episode, in full, on SBS tomorrow night from 7:30pm.

In addition to our earlier “More on Top Gear in Vietnam” post are these six wallpaper sized images from the filming. Simply click on each pic to load the 2000x1320px super image. There’s some good images, including a few from the stunning Ha Long Bay.

The good lads at Explore Indochina also have some behind the scenes images on their website. These guys were used as consultants during the episode with some of the bike modifications carried out under their supervision. If you’re ever considering a road trip, with a difference, then this is the company for you.

For a brief overview of the episode click HERE *spoilers* or simply book a spot on your couch for 7:30 tomorrow night.

(Thanks to Andrew for the all the tips.)

Top Gear

Top Gear – Series 12, Episode 8 (Vietnam Special)

Top Gear - Series 12, Episode 8 (Vietnam Special)

The last episode of Series 12 was the highly anticipated Vietnam Special. News of Top Gear filming in Vietnam was revealed exclusively right here on AUSmotive back in early October. At 75 minutes, this episode is the longest Top Gear special to date.

The challenge set to the Top Gear trio was to get from the south of Vietnam to the north in just eight days. They had 15 million Vietnamese dong each to fund their purchase of suitable transport. Turns out all those millions don’t go very far, and the lads were left with no choice but to go for motorcycle power, despite Jeremy’s protestations. The usual hijinx followed, with the added comedy value of seeing Clarkson struggle on two wheels.

As an overall episode, though, it didn’t reach the highs of the USA or African specials, for example. That said, the Vietnam Special was a thoroughly enjoyable journey to watch, with the usual standards of Top Gear cinematography doing a great job of capturing Vietnam’s inspiring scenery.

A few captures from the episode are shown below. Australian readers beware—the pics below may be considered spoilers if you want to wait until this episode airs on SBS in a couple of months time. I just want to know what happened to the Red Stig?

Bugatti Pagani Top Gear

Top Gear – Series 12, Episode 4

Top Gear - Series 12, Episode 4

I love Top Gear, even if that pink and purple striped top of James May’s needs to be retired. This week was another very fine episode.

James May tested the Pagani Zonda F Roadster on the Top Gear test track. His premiere appearance in such a test, and it was grand television indeed. The big news, though, was seeing the Bugatti Veyron setting  a time for the Power Lap board. Despite annihilating the Zonda in a straight out drag, and despite lighting up the inside front wheel on the last corner (see below)…

Avid viewers will remember Harry Enfield‘s debut guest appearance (Series 1, Episode 1) where he set a 2 minute plus lap time. He returned this week to put that right.

There was a challenge, too, and the lads had to drive from Basel to Blackpool on one tank of fuel. Once at Blackpool the winner of the challenge would get to turn on the Blackpool Christmas lights. Jeremy Clarkson made it, amazingly, in a Jaguar V6 diesel.  James May was not so fortunate, with his Subaru Legacy diesel going the distance, but he was too slow and missed the illumination ceremony. That leaves Hammond, who won the race, behind the wheel of a 3-cylinder Volkswagen Polo BlueMotion.

News Top Gear

Clarkson and Hammond talk Top Gear LIVE!

Top Gear LIVE - Jeremy Clarkson

In case you’ve missed it Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond are bringing Top Gear LIVE to Australia as part of their world tour. The lads will be in Sydney in early 2009 performing several shows at Sydney’s Acer Arena over the dates 5-8 February.

New Zealand’s 3news has video of a press conference with Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond talking about their LIVE experience and the tour ahead, including a few tidbits about coming to Australia. Click HERE to watch the clip (thanks to Tim for the link).

Top Gear

Top Gear – Series 12, Episode 2

Top Gear- Series 12, Episode 2

This week the lads drove from San Francisco to the Bonneville Salt Flats so they could drive very,very fast. Jeremy Clarkson was in a Corvette ZR1 and topped 176mph (283km/h). James May, aka Captain Slow, in a Cadillac CTS-V was anything but, reaching 163mph (262km/h). Richard Hammond, behind the wheel of a Dodge Challenger, managed a respectable 150mph (241km/h). All the while managing to show that Americans have made three cracking cars. More amazingly, they actually go around corners very competently as well. Okay, maybe the Challenger doesn’t, but the ZR1 and the CTS-V most certainly do.

Also featured was the Fiat 500 Abarth SS. Looks like a funky little pocket rocket. Jeremy gave it a good thrashing around the track and reckons it comes up trumps.

Will Young was the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car. He won UK Pop Idol a while back and has managed to maintain his celebrity since. A rare feat indeed. Not knowing much about him before tonight’s show he’s a lieable enough chap and seems to be abel to steer a car quite well, so he’s alright by me.

News Top Gear

More on Top Gear in Vietnam

Top Gear in Vietnam - Series 12

Now that Series 12 has started, a few questions about the Top Gear Vietnam special have been answered. According to the theme of the challenge will be ‘Can you travel the length of Vietnam on 13 million Vietnamese Dong?’ By taking a closer look at the images in the opening teaser sequence shown at the start of Episode 1 we can deduce the following…

Firstly, we know the Vietnam episode will appear in the current series. Secondly, as revealed exclusively on AUSmotive, the challenge will involve motorbikes, including an all red ‘Communist Stig’! Also made known in AUSmotive’s exclusive report was one of the stops during the challenge would be at Halong Bay. Now I can show a new exclusive image of one of the motorbikes undergoing a water craft transformation, the results of which were shown in use with Jeremy in the preview footage (see extra images after the jump).

Top Gear in Vietnam - Series 12

The only thing not confirmed is the date this episode will go to air. While I don’t have any concrete information my educated guesses suggest a few possible dates. My hunch is the Vietnam special will air on 28 December—as a season finale—however, if it is to be shown earlier in the series, pencil in either 16 or 23 November as possible dates. With the great start to the series in the first episode, it looks like the lads are in great form and the Vietnam film is sure to be a high point in the series.

Top Gear

Top Gear – Series 12 reminder

Just a quickie to remind you all that Top Gear, Series 12 starts in the UK on Sunday 2 November! In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek of what to expect…

UPDATE: gives a preview of this Sunday’s first episode.

News Top Gear

Shift into Top Gear on YouTube

Top Gear now on YouTube!

Our favourite television show now has an official YouTube presence. Epic! Thing is though, this will be excellent when you need a helping hand to get your motoring related fix across the line. Watch the intro clip above explaining what to expect. And on that bombshell…

Source: CarAdvice