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.

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About the author

David Tracy

Writer, Jalopnik. 1979 Jeep Cherokee Golden Eagle, 1985 Jeep J10, 1948 Willys CJ-2A, 1995 Jeep Cherokee, 1992 Jeep Cherokee auto, 1991 Jeep Cherokee 5spd, 1976 Jeep DJ-5D, totaled 2003 Kia Rio