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New-look Top Gear attraction opens at Beaulieu

Top Gear's The Stig and Chris Harris

Top Gear presenter Chris Harris gave an exclusive precision driving demonstration for visitors to Beaulieu at the launch of the updated World of Top Gear.

The demo followed the official opening by Chris, The Stig and Lord Montagu, at the National Motor Museum in Hampshire.

Amazing new exhibits from top BBC motoring show included the impressive SsangYacht, the longest limousine selfie opportunity ever and a marine feature displaying boat challenge vehicles.

The new-look display still includes a homage to the past, with a heritage corridor timeline which pays tribute to the show’s 40-year history which began with Angela Rippon as the first presenter and has continued through four decades including more recently Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May.

At the entrance to the World of Top Gear experience, the stretch Panda limousine used to carry a celebrity to the glittering Brit Awards has been made into the longest car seat ever for group selfies.

Top Gear's indestructible Toyota Hilux

Head inside to see the indestructible Toyota Hilux rising from the ashes in a haze of smoke, alongside the roofless Reliant Rialtos driven by Chris Evans and Matt LeBlanc in their first road trip challenge.

For a photo opportunity, sit in the trailer hooked behind the Jaguar XJS Sport Train or dress up as a granny and step inside the unforgettable Fiat Multipla grannymobile.

An open side gives a better view inside the Caravan Airship, while you can get up close to the red Lotus Excel Motorhome complete with its rocket-shaped roof-mounted sleeping compartment, Porsche 944 Turbo ambulance and double-decker racing cars.

Then follow Top Gear’s adventures across the globe with the scooters from Vietnam, the rocket-powered Ski Jumping Mini and the 500,000-plus mileage cars from the recent Kazakhstan road trip by Matt, Chris and Rory.

Top Gear boat

Old favourites will remain on show outside the display, including the rocket-shaped Reliant Robin space shuttle and Snowbine which cleared an entire Norwegian road of snow. They are joined by the Hovervan, which was created from a Ford transit van.

“It’s very exciting, seeing all these incredible cars in one place,” said Chris Harris. “It’s a privilege to have a home for all of the weird Frankenstein creations that we have on the show.”

Lord Montagu added: “The World of Top Gear continues to be a popular feature at Beaulieu and I was delighted that Chris Harris was able to take part in the launch with a display of his skills behind the wheel.”

About Gareth Herincx

Gareth is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who's worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. After long stints at the BBC, GMTV and ITV, he now specialises in motoring.

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