We’re a month and a half out from the launch of The Grand Tour, and it doesn’t just look to be filled with incredible supercars, but also traditional hijinks, shenanigans, and Rumspringa. Here are all the neat little things you might not have picked up in your first watch.
And for the love of god, if any of you complain about SPOILERS I am coming to your house and stealing your keyboard so you can never use the internet ever again for the rest of your worthless lives. I can do that. You’ve been warned.
First up is a rainy, dreary track in France. You can tell it is France because there are French words in the background, and also because they were spotted filming in France. Those cars can be a little hard to make out from this angle, but those appear to be three old Maserati Biturbos, which are perfect examples of glorious decrepitude:
James May has his arm in a sling, presumably because the other two beat him with hammers after an instance of pedantry.
Hammond also has a new goatee. Presumably he died of something ridiculous like “dehydration” and they had to get a new Hammond from the mirror universe.
Here we’ve got Morocco again. We know from the last trailer that they shot a film featuring the Alfa 4C, the Mazda Miata, and a Zenos E10 at Atlas Studios in Ourzazate, Morocco. We don’t know exactly what they’ve got planned, but since it’s mostly everyone from the old Top Gear show, you can expect it to be some sort of comparison test. Since it’s very much dry, mountainous desert, we’re thinking it might be similar to the old Middle East special, in which the gang compared a Miata, a BMW Z3, and a Fiat Barchetta.
We know from facts and being there that The Grand Tour is very much a traveling circus, complete with a tent. This is that tent.
This is one weird comparison we’re trying to wrap our heads around, but Clarkson, Hammond, and May took a Dodge Challenger Hellcat, a Rolls-Royce Dawn, and an Aston Martin DB11 to Florence, Italy. At which point Clarkson seemed to invite every single person in Italy to join them, which is how you got this scene.
You might also remember this because the Daily Mail accused Clarkson & Co. of doing a “victory lap” after former replacement Top Gear host Chris Evans resigned, which Clarkson called “utter utter horseshit.”
“Looking good is more important than looking where you’re going,” Clarkson says, and he’s right. James Hunt looked his best around the 1978 Formula One season, and everyone remembers him. Nobody remembers the guy who actually won the World Driver’s Championship. It was some jamoke named “Mario Andretti.” No idea who he is.
Here are some cars:
Pretty, gorgeous, wonderful, incredible cars. They tested the McLaren P1, LaFerrari, and Porsche 918 at the Algarve circuit in Portugal. “This could be so expensive,” Hammond says. Presumably he’s talking about the inevitable crash.
This dead ship hints at one of the less-talked-about-but-still-very-awesome trips on The Grand Tour. A few months ago Clarkson posted on Instagram that he was in Namibia, and that shot sure as hell looks like Namibia’s infamous Skeleton Coast. Dense fog and heavy surf has wrecked multitudes of ships, and where the sea meets the land is miles and miles of inhospitable desert followed by impassable marshland. It should be a good episode.
This looks like more of the amphibious Land Rover we’ve spotted previously.
Again, the Hellcat, Rolls, and Aston driving through Italy. I don’t understand just yet, but I am definitely not complaining:
Meyers Manxes! We think (think) they were filming with these in Jordan, which is as good a place as any to go be idiots in a desert buggies.
A Land Rover Defender made out of trees and plants sure sounds like an environmentally friendly car to us, we see nothing wrong here:
More of the Atlas Mountains of Morocco with the Zenos, Mazda, and Alfa:
A hideous stubborn beast, joined by Hammond, May, and a camel:
Earlier this year the crew was spotted attempting to make a car-based reef off the coast of Barbados. A giant crane and some old car shells is one way to do that.
Okay this is me being nerdy (and I freely admit that I don’t really know what I’m talking about here), but that second shot, and a number of others, feel more cinematic than Top Gear ever did.
The colors are richer, the contrast is higher. The Grand Tour is likely going for a more film-like feel, and this team has always been known to pay attention to the smallest details. It’s probably on the technical side where a lot of the difference will be felt.
A Challenger tank blowing shit up in the English countryside? A Challenger tank blowing shit up in the English countryside. Oh, an enormous explosion too, presumably from said tank?
Yeah, we can do that. We’ll hang with that.
“It’s like that Tom Cruise movie,” Clarkson says.
This looks like it jibes with the footage we saw in the earlier teaser of the gang hanging around a British army base, and Clarkson packing a light lunch in two enormous wicker baskets. Maybe they’re trying to prove that living in the army doesn’t have to be terrible.
Aston Martin Vulcan speeding like hell? Aston Martin Vulcan speeding like hell. And also a BMW M4 GTS, which looks to actually be the same shot from the earlier teaser:
Is that... a late model MGB? Paired with a match cut of a Rolls-Royce Dawn. I guess those are definitely two extremes of British roadster-dom, and definitely fitting for a comparo.
Boats! Hammond! Hammond in a boat!
Okay this is a point I’ve been harping on for a while to everyone within earshot, but a Challenger Hellcat’s 707 horsepower are definitely best captured from a helicopter chopping at the air from way too close:
How else is the viewer supposed to truly understand the madness of such a stupidly glorious thing?
This is the only photo we will ever show of Jeremy Clarkson in a wet white t-shirt, and we will never show another:
That looks a lot like mucking about in Barbados, so let’s assume it’s that.
There’s nothing better in this world than an Alfa 4C, unpowered steering and all, powersliding on gravel. This car was meant to rally. You know, I know it, everyone knows it. If you don’t know it, get learning, son. You got work to do.
The show is called The Grand Tour. It’s on Amazon.
Hyunngggg that Aston. Which Clarkson promptly stalls.
“It’s quite normal,” he says. Which is actually probably true! Race cars are hard as hell to drive, especially when it comes to their transmissions. Also, if you can drive you generally suck at talking about cars. That’s why the Stig was always silent. PROTIP: Suck at driving cars. You’ll be much better at parties.
The big tour starts November 18, with a new episode each week. Get hype.
Correction: This post originally ID’d a Challenger Hellcat as a Charger Hellcat. It has been corrected and the post’s writer has been berated by his editor.