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Top Gear 2022: air date, presenters, cars and everything we know

Top Gear's Paddy McGuinness, Freddie Flintoff and Chris Harris.
Top Gear's Paddy McGuinness, Freddie Flintoff and Chris Harris. (Image credit: BBC)

Top Gear is back! Yes, Freddie Flintoff, Paddy McGuinness and Chris Harris are reuniting for another season of the must-see motoring show. 

The boys will be kicking the new series off in style in episode one with a huge overseas adventure to Florida. Big trips abroad are part of Top Gear's DNA, so Paddy, Freddie and Chris were delighted to be heading to the US for a proper post-lockdown getaway in the first episode of their latest series of motorized mayhem.

There's plenty more to look forward to beyond their Stateside stint. This series also includes a tribute to TV cop cars, a new use for the Sinclair C5, and an episode dedicated to the exciting future of electric vehicles. We'll also be looking forward to seeing the boys hitting the road in their big rigs as they pick up their HGV licenses.

Here's everything you need to know about Top Gear series 32...

Top Gear 2022: release date

The next series of Top Gear gets underway at 8 pm on BBC One on Sunday, June 5. Episodes will also be available to stream on BBC iPlayer.

What will the boys get up to in the new season?

Bound for the sunshine state of Florida, the trio are on a mission to actually win some races for a change, but the contests they found themselves taking part in were a little unusual to, say the least.

We caught up with Chris and Freddie to find out how they got on, and get a sneak peek of what else is coming up in the very first episode…

Top Gear

Top Gear goes to the sunshine state of Florida. (Image credit: BBC)

Familiar with RVs (recreational vehicles) from his days starring with Peter Kay in Max and Paddy’s Road to Nowhere, McGuinness sourced a 1980s Holiday Rambler Alumalite for his companions to travel around in. 

"There’s something about the way that an old RV fits into American culture that translates into Top Gear," says Harris. "The iconography of that vehicle is very much Breaking Bad. And when they get beyond a certain age, they are only associated with bad activities. So when you see our RV, it suggests we’re running away from the police! But it was a joyous vehicle to be in."

Donk Racing

Top Gear

Donk Racing on Top Gear. (Image credit: BBC)

At the Palm Beach Raceway, Harris, McGuinness and Flintoff tried their hand at an event with its roots in illegal Fast and Furious-style street racing.

"Donk racing is one of the most dangerous forms of drag racing ever conceived," explains Harris. "It’s a renegade, lawless street racing activity that is now being allowed onto a racetrack. They use a particular era of car, like the 1970s Chevy Nova, and you’ve got to have a certain size of wheel and tire. These things are absolute monsters, with up to 1500 horsepower, and we all struggled with them. And the people who drive them are deeply scary!"

Swamp Buggies 

Top Gear

Swamp buggies on Top Gear. (Image credit: BBC)

After crossing the Everglades in their trusty RV, the trio dipped their toes into the rather soggy world of Swamp Buggy racing. 

"Swamp Buggy racing is one of these curious things they do down in Florida," says Flintoff. "There are all different types of vehicles with big wheels, driving through a swamp. I don’t know if they were saying it to wind me up, but they claimed there was an alligator in there, so when my car broke down I was a bit worried. My swamp racing career consisted of driving about 50 yards. And then I just sat in a swamp, getting wet."Donk Racing on Top Gear.

Dirty 30

Top Gear

Dirty 30 racing on Top Gear. (Image credit: BBC)

At a banked oval race track called the Freedom Factory, the boys were introduced to a no-holds-barred form of racing in old police cars. 

"There’s a bloke down there called Cleetus, who’s a YouTube star, and hosts these events racing a load of old Lincoln Town cars, which are old police cars," says Harris. "The race is over 30 laps – hence the Dirty 30. It’s a great format, although I did have a slight mechanical issue with my own body, which you’ll see on the programme. You’d think being a bunch of limeys like us, you’d need to watch out for the American drivers – but actually it was the English ones in the race who were the biggest problem."

Is there a trailer for Top Gear?

Yes! The BBC released a trailer for the new series in May. This teaser sees the boys starring in a skit where their luggage is searched by airport security intercut with all the action you can expect to see when the new series arrives.

Ian writes about TV and film for TV Times, What’s on TV and TV & Satellite Week magazines. He co-hosts the weekly TV streaming podcast, Bingewatch.