Top Gear (series 20)

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Top Gear (series 20)
Top Gear Series 20 Promo 2013.jpg
Promotional poster
Country of originUnited Kingdom
No. of episodes6
Original networkBBC Two
Original release30 June (2013-06-30) –
4 August 2013 (2013-08-04)
Series chronology
← Previous
Series 19
Next →
Series 21
List of Top Gear episodes

The twentieth series of Top Gear aired during 2013 on BBC Two and consisted of six episodes, beginning on 30 June and concluding on 4 August.[1][2] This series saw the Vauxhall Astra Tech Line replace the Kia Cee'd as the show's reasonably priced car.


No. in
ReviewsFeatures/challengesGuest(s)Original air dateUK viewers
(millions) [3]
1541Hot hatchbacks: (Renaultsport Clio 200Peugeot 208 GTiFord Fiesta ST)AC45 Racing Yacht vs Toyota Corolla • Introduction of the new Reasonably Priced Car: Vauxhall AstraBrian JohnsonCharles DanceWarwick DavisJoss StoneJimmy CarrDavid HayeRachel RileyMike RutherfordSir Ben Ainslie30 June 2013 (2013-06-30)5.55
Clarkson travels to New Zealand to see if a Toyota Auris can get from the northern tip of the Coromandel Peninsula to the northern tip of the North Island faster than the America's Cup-winning AC45 sailing boat, crewed by May, Olympic gold medallist Sir Ben Ainslie and a number of members from Oracle Team USA. Meanwhile, Hammond reviews three hot hatchbacks on the track - the Peugeot 208 GTi, the Renaultsport Clio 200, and the Ford Fiesta ST - to see which is the best to drive. Finally, the Kia Cee'd has been retired, and in its place is a Vauxhall Astra Tech Line, leading Hammond and Clarkson to hosting a party and inviting celebrities to join it and see if they can get a fast time in the Astra.
1552Ferrari F12 BerlinettaBAC MonoBest taxi • Tribute to BBC Television CentreRon Howard7 July 2013 (2013-07-07)5.31
Hammond once again sees if motorsport and a handful of touring car drivers can help solve the problem of which taxi in the world is the best. The contenders for this "test" are: the Hackney carriage from Britain, a Volkswagen Beetle taxi from Mexico, the Ford Crown Victoria yellow cab from America, a Hindustan Ambassador taxi from India, a Mercedes-Benz E-Class taxi from Germany, a Toyota Hiace taxi from South Africa, and a Lincoln Town Car stretch limo-taxi from Russia. Meanwhile, Clarkson sees how good the BAC Mono is at the track and assesses the usage of the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta in Hertfordshire, May pays tribute to the closed down BBC Television Centre by staging a race within the building between a duo of parkour runners and motorcycle champion Dougie Lampkin, and the director of Rush, Ron Howard, talks about the background of his film before he finds out how fast he was in the reasonably priced car.
1563NoneSpanish road trip in "budget" convertibles: (McLaren MP4-12C SpiderFerrari 458 SpiderAudi R8 V10 Spyder)Benedict Cumberbatch14 July 2013 (2013-07-14)4.83

The trio head for Spain for a road trip, to see which of the new "budget convertibles" is the best - Hammond believes it's the Ferrari 458 Spider, Clarkson reckons it's the McLaren MP4-12C Spider, and May attempts to show it's the Audi R8 V10 Spyder. On their road trip across the country, the trio see how inconspicuous their cars can be when driving through the marina area of Puerto Banús, conduct a noise test near some abandoned, newly built flats, drive up a curving road in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, use the runway of the disused Ciudad Real Central Airport for a top speed test and a "start with the top down and finish with the top up" drag race, before squatting in an unoccupied house to discuss their cars. To end the trip, the trio convert the streets of a huge abandoned housing project in Madrid into a street circuit of their own design, and see if they can beat a benchmark time set by The Stig in a Jaguar XKR-S convertible. Elsewhere, Benedict Cumberbatch talks about his performance in the BBC's Sherlock before seeing how he fared in the new reasonably priced car.

Note: An economy test for the 'Spain "Budget Convertible" Road Trip' film was mentioned in the show, but not shown in the episode.
1574Mercedes SLS AMG Black SeriesMercedes SLS AMG Electric DriveFord Transit hovervanHugh Jackman21 July 2013 (2013-07-21)5.36
The boys decide to create a makeshift hovercraft out of a Ford Transit van, to see if a vehicle could be made to adapt to flooding. After their initial design sinks, the presenters redesign it and put their finished creation, the "Hovervan MK II", through the challenge of travelling along the River Avon in Warwickshire, getting it from Stratford-upon-Avon to Tewkesbury, with their ambitious idea causing chaos along the way. Elsewhere, at the track, Clarkson compares the petrol-powered Mercedes SLS AMG Black Series against the electric-powered Mercedes SLS AMG Electric Drive, and actor Hugh Jackman talks about his film The Wolverine and an embarrassing experience in Japan, while seeing how he fared in the reasonably priced car.
1585Porsche 911 Carrera S • Singer 911 • Lamborghini Aventador RoadsterLamborghini Sesto ElementoBest crossovers for caravanners: (Mazda CX-5Volkswagen Tiguan)Steven Tyler28 July 2013 (2013-07-28)5.29
Clarkson and May find themselves forced by the producers to review different CUVs to find one that would be best for a caravanner - eventually settling on the Mazda CX-5 for Clarkson and the Volkswagen Tiguan for May. They put them through some "pointless" tests, before seeing who can reach a caravan site first while towing a caravan with their CUV, with the loser forced to spend the night at the site within their caravan. Meanwhile, Hammond tests out the new Lamborghini Aventador Roadster and the Lamborghini Sesto Elemento around the Imola racetrack in Italy, May takes a look at the new Porsche 911 Carrera S and looks at a 911 tribute car built by Californian tuner Singer at the Track, and Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler takes his turn to drive fast in the Astra.
1596Range Rover SportNew RoutemasterJaguar F-TypeTribute to British automobile manufacturingMark Webber4 August 2013 (2013-08-04)5.49

With the First Generation Range Rover Sport discontinued, Hammond tests out the Second Generation Range Rover Sport to see if it's worthy to bear the "Sport" name, while May sees if the New Routemaster bus can be as good to use as a car by driving one around Somerset to weigh the pros and cons of owning one, Clarkson takes a look at the Jaguar F-Type, and F1 Driver Mark Webber talks about England's win in the 2013 Ashes series, two moments in racing when he flipped his car, and his departure from F1 racing, before seeing how fast he is this time in the Liana. For a series finale, the boys end the show by finding out just how much of a contribution Britain has made to motoring, and discovering how many car plants operate in the country. They see the immense work done by Rolls-Royce, the many cars and parts that the country has made, how much it has contributed to motor research and motorsport, the number of F1 teams that reside in the country, and how many nations in the world use British-made heavy equipment it makes for military and commercial use, before inviting the many manufacturers of motorised vehicles in Britain to bring what they make to a special meet on The Mall in London.

Note: In a similar vein to the ending of the final episode of Series 13, the credits roll right after the end of the final film after Clarkson says "Goodnight", with the collection of motorised vehicles on the Mall being shown in the background and passed by a parade of Queen's Life Guard. The music that plays for the credits is a combination of Elgar's "Nimrod" and "Pomp and Circumstance" (aka "Land of Hope and Glory").


  1. ^ Eames, Tom (1 July 2013). "'Top Gear' returns for new series with over 4.7m on BBC Two". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2 July 2013.
  2. ^ Midgley, Neil (30 June 2013). "Top Gear, BBC Two, review". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 28 November 2013.
  3. ^ "Weekly Top 10 Programmes". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board.