The Former Top Gear Trio's New Amazon Show Title Explained

Illustration for article titled The Former Top Gear Trio's New Amazon Show Title Explained

The old BBC’s Top Gear hosting trio of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May finally announced the title of their new Amazon motoring show, The Grand Tour. We initially thought it was a pretty ‘meh’ title, but perhaps there’s more to it.


There’s actually three pretty good reasons for the trio to name their new show ‘The Grand Tour’.

The first is the extreme success of the old Top Gear Live Worldwide world tours the guys did between filming seasons of the BBC program. The touring show would usually feature some combination of Q&As with the hosts, stunt performances, and other gags the hosts made famous on the show to massive audiences of people in arenas around the world. By old Top Gear’s end, Top Gear Live tours had become as big as the show itself.

A second reasoning for naming the new Amazon show ‘The Grand Tour’ stems from the fact that the episodes are now actually a sort-of a tour. It was confirmed earlier this year that the new show was ditching the old studio format, and that each episode would air as an individual film similar to the old BBC Specials for Top Gear.

With the new episodes being filmed in various locations, presumably with each show having an individual theme, the season may play out more as a “grand tour” and less like a studio broadcast with mini-films like the old format.

It was also confirmed with the announcement of the new show title that Clarkson, Hammond, and May would actually be touring, hosting 11 shows in viewer-requested locations to replace the studio element of the old format. Hammond referred to the new setup as a traveling tent.


Finally, as pointed out in the comments on our original post on the naming of the new show by reader BelegUS, “The Grand Tour” happens to have historical meaning, too.


If you follow the link to the Wikipedia page, a “Grand Tour” is described as a traditional trip of Europe taken by upper-class Europeans from the 17th Century up until the growth of the railway network in the mid-1800s.


A “Grand Tour” was believed to be taken as a celebration of European culture, with travelers exploring Renaissance era art and music with journeys lasting months or years at a time.

Perhaps Clarkson, Hammond and May see themselves embarking on one of these “Grand Tours” to celebrate the automotive and enthusiast cultures, test driving rare cars and visiting special locations.


Also, as helpfully pointed out by my roommate, The Grand Tour sounds a bit like a old man’s show. He thought it might be about golf until I told him what it was actually for. It fits the trio well in that sense, too.

What do you think of the title? After thinking about it for a bit, it fits the men and what looks to be the new format of the show perfectly. Plus, as many of you pointed out, shorten the initials down to ‘GT’ and it all comes into frame.


The Grand Tour premieres on Amazon Video sometime in “Autumn.”

Reviews Editor, Jalopnik


Eddie Brannan


Grand Tour as in Grand Tourer as in GT, as in what the show is primarily about combined with an historic automotive reference.

Plus the subtle reverse of TG.

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