In Depth

Jeremy Clarkson to become a character in Amazon Prime’s The Grand Tour Game

Get behind the wheel of the show’s most luxurious - and bizarre - vehicles later this year

The Grand Tour finale: Hammond pitches Porsche 918 against Bugatti Veyron in Dubai

3 February

Amazon Prime's new motoring show The Grand Tour finished in style today, with former Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond competing in a drag race on the streets of Dubai.

His aim is to see if the Porsche 918 can outperform the record-breaking Bugatti Veyron in a head-to-head battle after the car was found to be faster on track than its rivals, the LaFerrari and McLaren P1, in an earlier episode.

With its 8.0-litre W16 engine producing 987bhp and 922lb-ft torque, the Bugatti Veyron can achieve a zero to 62mph time of 2.5secs and boasts a record-breaking top speed of 253mph. 

The odds were stacked against the Porsche, as its 6.4-litre V8 hybrid engine has a total power output of 874bhp and a zero to 62mph time that is 0.1secs slower than the Veyron. 

But in the race, the 918's hybrid powertrain has the jump on the decade-old Veyron and narrowly beats it over the line. 

Hammond then pits Porsche's hypercar against a highly modified Nissan Patrol SUV, saying he will easily out-drag the tuned 4x4.

However, he's left eating his words after the Japanese car pulls away for a convincing win. 

Meanwhile, co-hosts Jeremy Clarkson and James May are also in racing mode, battling in a petrol-powered Golf GTI and BMW i3 hybrid to see who will be first to Cornwall in a test of whether battery-electric cars are practical for everyday drivers. 

And Hammond's international jaunts continue as, claiming he doesn't know how to drift a car, he heads over to France to learn on Michelin's test track. 

The episode failed to pass the Daily Telegraph's test, however.

"The Grand Tour has been many things across its previous dozen episodes", it says. "It had never, until now, opted for mature understatement." 

Perhaps, added the paper, the presenters "felt they had already proved their point" and shown there was life "after Top Gear and the BBC.

"Or maybe, following all the globe-hopping, the gallant threesome itched for home, a warm fire and fresh updates regarding their former employer's flailing attempts to bring Top Gear back from Chris Evans purgatory."

All 13 episodes of The Grand Tour are available to stream now on Amazon Prime for a £79 yearly subscription fee.

The Grand Tour: Clarkson blows up animals in Lexus review

27 January

In its penultimate episode, Amazon Prime's motoring show The Grand Tour appeared to see former Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson blow up an array of animals while testing the new Lexus GS F. 

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Bidding to discover whether the car is a suitable alternative to German saloons, Clarkson tells viewers the naturally aspirated V8 engine is not particularly good for the environment - or animals. 

He then powers the Japanese saloon around the show's Eboladrome while birds fall from the sky, foxes explode and a polar bear keels over - all dummies, of course. 

This isn't the first time Clarkson has poked fun at environmentalists: he used animal skin and bones to build a car in the fourth episode, which the Daily Telegraph said was "genuinely disgusting" and could anger animal rights activists.

The Grand Tour's latest episode also sees the presenter and co-stars Richard Hammond and James May take three luxury SUVs on an innuendo-filled road trip across central Europe, a section that felt like a Carry On film, says the Telegraph, as the trio passed through towns with "rude titles". 

And the mystery surrounding the large stone busts of the presenters that cropped up around the world is close to being resolved - Amazon Prime has announced that viewers can enter a competition to keep one of the heads for a fortnight.

To enter, fans need to photograph their garden or plot of land and share it on Twitter. Winners will also receive an Amazon Fire TV stick and Echo sound system. 

All 12 episodes of the Grand Tour are available to watch through Amazon Prime, which requires a one-off fee of £79. 

The Grand Tour: Clarkson takes an Italian job round northern France

20 January

Jeremy Clarkson's Amazon Prime motoring show The Grand Tour continues its debut season today with the former Top Gear host driving an old Maserati across northern France.

His aim, he says, is to prove that buying a second-hand Italian car is a more exciting than getting a new "boring" hatchback. 

For the challenge, he and co-presenters Richard Hammond and James May each have to buy a Maserati Biturbo, a model often criticised for its poor build quality, for less than £10,000. 

In a stunt similar to those seen during their time on the BBC's motoring show, the three Maseratis are then pitted against a new Suzuki Celerio hatchback in a drag race that sees the presenters collide and force each other off the circuit. 

"It was all a bit ho-hum," says the Daily Telegraph. The segment was "beautifully filmed",  but "your patience was tested by 20 minutes of peeling clunkers tootling around overcast Northern Europe (the cars were pretty clapped out also)". 

Episode 11 also sees Clarkson create a new in-car voice control system using hired foreign workers, asking a Bulgarian sitting in the front seat to active car's the windscreen wipers, rather than using an onboard computer system. 

Meanwhile, Hammond trial the Mazda MX5-based Abarth 124 Spider around the show's Eboladrome test track and while he praises the sports car's handling and character, he finds its £30,000 price tag to be too expensive. 

You can watch all 11 episodes of The Grand Tour on Amazon Prime for a £79 yearly subscription fee

The Grand Tour: Clarkson creates a coral reef from cars 

13 January

Jeremy Clarkson was in a green mood for episode ten of his new Amazon Prime motoring show, The Grand Tour.

The former Top Gear presenter embraced his environmental side to create a coral reef under the waters of Barbados – using stripped-out cars. 

Joined by co-presenters Richard Hammond and James May, Clarkson was tasked with creating a new home for underwater wildlife using cars, as opposed to the more traditional old boats. 

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But the "big budget" excursion failed to impress the Daily Telegraph, which said it was it made "mediocre television".

The problem, says the paper, is The Grand Tour's "limitless resources" can make the show feel "too slick" and they could have "yielded twice the fun" on a much smaller budget.

Episode ten also saw Clarkson take the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio to Wales, before drifting it around the show's Eboladrome test track. 

Details surrounding the giant stone busts of the presenters' heads that were spotted around the world towards the end of last year remain scarce, as no word of their existence has yet been mentioned on the show. 

The sculptures, however, are expected to make an appearance closer to the end of the first series, which is only two weeks away. Fans will have to keep watching Amazon Prime.

The Grand Tour: Jeremy Clarkson prepares for human extinction

6 January

Jeremy Clarkson's Amazon Prime show The Grand Tour returns to the ridiculous this week, with the former Top Gear host preparing for a catastrophic event that could end humanity.

In the ninth episode, Clarkson and his co-presenters Richard Hammond and James May explore the best solutions to survive the likes of a nuclear war - or an alien invasion. 

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Hammond is convinced the best solution is a "bug-out vehicle" - an armour-plated van filled with food and a water purifier - and crafts his own version.

However, Clarkson and May believe military-grade vehicles are needed to pull-through such an event and use an array of tanks and weapons to blow up their co-star's creations.

It was "silly" and another way to "burn all the Amazon cash", the Daily Telegraph says, but adds that the presenters shouldn't be judged "too harshly" as with 13 episodes of the show, they have "so many hours to fill".  

The episode also sees May trial the new Honda NSX around the show's Eboladrome circuit and Clarkson turn an old Land Rover Discovery into a "luxury" SUV - which he then tries to sell to the Chelsea football team, with little success. 

It follows a return to form for the show after the Namibia two-part special, during which Hammond sparked controversy by declaring eating ice cream to be "gay" – comments that, according to the Daily Express, saw the presenter being "slammed" by viewers who have now "boycotted the series". 

Jeremy Clarkson's Grand Tour: First episode free over Christmas

23 December

The first episode of Jeremy Clarkson's new Amazon Prime motoring show, the Grand Tour, will be available for free over the Christmas period.

Those who have yet to watch the season premiere, which sees Clarkson and his co-stars, Richard Hammond and James May, pitch a group of hypercars against each other on circuit, can stream it free of charge until 26 December. 

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The sixth instalment of the series aired today, with Clarkson and Hammond testing Ford's latest performance cars - the Focus RS and Britain's first official Mustang.

Later on, James May hosts a documentary-style short film exploring the titanic battle between Henry Ford II and Enzo Ferrari, trialling the Ferrari 330 P3 and Ford GT40 Le Mans racers of the 1960s. 

The Daily Telegraph says the episode embodies the "the best and worst of the Amazon motoring blockbuster", praising the "shambolic Christmas gifts section" and Hammond's humour during the Ford film, but Clarkson's jokes are beginning to feel a little too "Seventies". 

Last week, Hammond and May returned to their Top Gear roots by playing a giant game of Battleships using a range of vehicles, from a stretched limousine to a Chrysler PT Cruiser, as the ships and dropping a fleet of missile-looking Reva G-Wiz electric cars on top of them.

Access to the free first episode of the Grand Tour can be had by signing up to the Amazon Prime's 30-day free offer. Paying £79 will grant access to the full Prime service, which allows users to watch all the episodes of the motoring show and faster delivery options on orders.

The Grand Tour: Hammond and May blow up cars in giant game of Battleships

16 December

Part five of Jeremy Clarkson's new Amazon Prime show The Grand Tour aired today - and sees the former Top Gear stars take part in a giant game of Battleships – with real explosions. 

Co-presenters Richard Hammond and James May are convinced traditional board games can be as exciting as modern computer games if they feature real cars.

To prove this, they decide to update Battleships, using a range of vehicles, from a stretched limousine to a Chrysler PT Cruiser, as the ships and dropping a fleet of missile-looking Reva G-Wiz electric cars on top of them - a running joke from their days on the BBC motoring show.

"The Battleships bit was Top Gear off the leash", says the Daily Telegraph, and demonstrated the creative ideas the production crew dreamt up for "blowing all that Amazon dosh" in an episode fans have been "wanting all along".

The new episode also sees Clarkson present an array of adult toys as vehicle safety equipment, including an inflatable doll which is blown up using a V8 engine. The stunt left audience members "giggling" and was generally well received by fans on social media, says the Daily Express

The show also continues its global road trip, with the three presenters taking small sports cars through Morocco -Hammond and May set out in a Mazda MX-5 and Zenos E10 S, before being joined by Clarkson in a white Alfa Romeo 4C Spider. 

Over the past week, fans of the show have spotted giant stone busts of the presents being transported on flatbed trucks around the world, including an appearance in Amsterdam yesterday.

It was believed they were related to this week's episode, but there was no word of them. Fans will have to keep watching.

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