Fifth Gear Is Back

Illustration for article titled Fifth Gear Is Back
Photo: Fifth Gear

Fifth Gear, the other British car show—you know, the one that’s still mostly about the automobiles—has been off the air for years now. But today we have great news from host and race car driver Tiff Needell: Fifth Gear is back.


Back in May of 2016, we wrote the post “Is Fifth Gear Dead?” after Needell tweeted about the show’s struggles finding funding. The answer to the headline was “Yes.” The show was toast, and remained off-air for years.

But now Needell has tweeted, suggesting that he and his team—including co-host and racing driver Jason Plato—are currently rebuilding their show’s transmission, installing a new synchro, and bringing Fifth Gear back to life. The rebuild, he states, should be complete by September:


This is great news, because I always found Fifth Gear—which debuted on Britain’s Channel 5 back in 2002 after Top Gear got the axe prior to its rebirth—to fulfill my inner “car nerd” better than Top Gear ever did. It’s a show with real, talented drivers and lots of great tests that focus on the cars, just as the automotive gods intended.

This won’t be the first time Fifth Gear has come back from the dead, with the show—which couldn’t quite match the flair of the rebooted Clarkson-Hammond-May Top Gear— being canceled in 2009, and then brought back on air in 2010.

We don’t know if race car driver Vicki Butler Henderson or T.V. host Jonny Smith will be returning to the team, and frankly, there’s still lots to learn about this new series of Fifth Gear, but consider me excited.

Sr. Technical Editor, Jalopnik. Always interested in hearing from auto engineers—email me. Cars: Willys CJ-2A ('48), Jeep J10 ('85), Jeep Cherokee ('79, '91, '92, '00), Jeep Grand Cherokee 5spd ('94).

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Should have brought it back as 6th gear.