Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, James May
James May (left), Jeremy Clarkson (centre) and Ricchard Hammond have reunited for a new show REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett

The Top Gear trio of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May are to reunite for a brand new car show. Clarkson and his old co-hosts have teamed up with Amazon Prime in one of the biggest TV coups of recent years.

The show will be helmed by executive producer Andy Wilman, who is credited with revamping the Top Gear format and turning it into one of the world's most successful TV programmes.

"I feel like I've climbed out of a bi-plane and into a spaceship," Clarkson said of the new project.

Hammond added: "Amazon? Oh yes. I have already been there. I got bitten by a bullet ant." May said: "We have become part of the new age of smart TV. Ironic, isn't it?"

While the details of the deal are yet to be confirmed, the streaming service is believed to have made a "significant" investment in the trio after rivals Netflix showed an interest.

Jay Marine, Vice president of Amazon Prime Video EU, confirmed the show will go into production shortly before airing exclusively on Amazon Prime in 2016. He added that the deal showed the changing face of television in the modern era.

"This is a golden age of television, a great time for TV makers and storytellers," he said. "Our approach is to give programme makers creative freedom to be innovative and make the shows they want to make."

The deal comes just months after BBC axed 55-year-old Clarkson following a fracas at a Yorkshire hotel, during which he hit producer Oisin Tymon in a row over catering arrangements. In 2014 the star was given a "final warning" by the Beeb for using racist language.

Radio 2 host Chris Evans has been hired as Clarkson's replacement for the continuation of Top Gear on the BBC. Open auditions are being carried out to fill the remaining two host slots.

Earlier in July, Clarkson took his last lap of Dunsfold Aerodrome in Surrey, better known as the Top Gear test track. Taking to Twitter later that day, he admitted that it was a "bit sad" to be closing the chapter on such a big part of his life.

"My last ever lap of the Top Gear track is done. Bit sad leaving the place for the final time," he told his 5.4m followers. The controversial presenter went on to reveal that he made sure to go out with a bang. "2 good things about the last lap," he wrote. "It raised a load of cash for a good cause. And I did the motherf***** of all tail slides through Chicago [the legendary turn before the main runway]."