In 2002, the Murciélago was the first all-new Lamborghini in a decade, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VII got the Evo’s first automatic transmission, and the automotive TV program Fifth Gear aired its first season, which is now free to watch online.
The “classic” format of Fifth Gear was intended to be a continuation of the canceled Top Gear prior to that show’s Clarkson, Hammond and May relaunch. Fifth Gear had its own cast of memorable characters in former Top Gear hosts Tiff Needell and Vicki Butler-Henderson. Tom Ford makes an appearance as well and he would later host a season of Top Gear America in 2017. And of course, we can’t forget Quentin Willson. We will never be able to forget Quentin Willson, ever.
The season’s episodes are all bunched together in one, four-hour-long YouTube video uploaded to the official Fifth Gear YouTube channel earlier today, but the loading bar breaks each episode up by its starting timestamp if you’d like to skip around:
This is prime quality automotive television, with a much healthier dose of realistic and practical (European) automotive consumer advice and car reviews, nicely balanced with the occasional film of driver Tiff Needell unleashing a Lamborghini in the first episode, or Pagani Zonda — a car he still doesn’t shut up about — for the first time in episode five.
We also see a classic matchup between the Mitsubishi Evo VII and Subaru WRX STI, episode four talks about driving while stoned, and Vicki drag races a Dodge Viper against a Group A homologation Nissan Sonny GTi-R hatchback, a car I never knew about until now.
I feel like this show never gets enough attention and I love the hosts. Let me know what your favorite episodes of Fifth Gear, of any season, are in the comments.