If a year is a long time in politics, two decades must be a few lifetimes in the world of cars. The automotive landscape has changed beyond recognition since the first issue of Top Gear magazine thudded onto shelves back in September 1993. Who’d have predicted Ferrari making a 4WD estate - or a hybrid hypercar? Or that 2013’s Merc S Class could, effectively, drive itself? Or that Jeremy would still be banging on about how much he hates the 911?
But through it all, Top Gear has been your faithful companion, diligently charting the evolution of cars through insightful writing, stunning photos and a lot of cocking about. OK, mostly the cocking about.
So how to celebrate our 20th anniversary? As no one knew how to bake a cake, we thought we’d keep it simple and crown the greatest car of the last 20 years instead. Unfortunately this simple idea caused a great deal of fighting in the Top Gear office. Tempers run high on these matters. At least two black eyes ensued. At one point, a chair was set on fire.
Thankfully you lot were on hand to help. Over 100,000 of you voted in our online poll, helping us to count down the 50 greatest cars of the past 20 years and crown the winner. And whoever attempted to cast four million votes for the Morris Marina, you’ve been reported to the authorities.
Enjoy the countdown, and do feel free to tell us just how wrong we are in the comments.
For the full rundown, plus many more highlights from the last 20 years of the world’s favourite car magazine, you need the massive collector’s edition of Top Gear mag, out now.