Being as outspoken as he is, we were all fairly surprised to see Clarkson behave himself in Germany in the previous episode. But thrust him into the proverbial powderkeg of America and he has some fairly sedate opinions about music. There is some inevitable poking at Drumpf – and his disgusting grope terms – before turning to the unbelievable fad of smoking. Some Americans remove all the filters from cars to pump out the maximum amount of pollution. You know, because they can.
The Alfa Romeo Giulia
James and Richard have been arguing over if the BMW M3 is better than the cheaper Jaguar XS. Neither is willing to let Jeremy voice an opinion with the new Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio. Determined to get down and sort out their argument, Hammond and May set route to Scotland. Childish as he is old – and Clarkson is getting on a bit – Jeremy goes to Wales with all the film crews.
According to Clarkson Logic, all Alfa Romeo’s must have problems. For the Giulia, it appears that the front doors are set too far forward and not being as pleasing to look at as some other cars. But with carbon fibre throughout, a 2.9-litre V6 engine and 500 horsepower, looks don’t really matter. The Giulia is a veritable masterpiece with a top speed of 191 MPH. It also is very comfortable to run at most speeds in most modes. Before he can try out the ‘race’ mode, two very irate presenters call up asking after their missing film crew.
Feigning poor signal, the call is buttoned as Clarkson engages ‘race’ mode around the Grand Tour track. According to the mad driver, it is somewhat like taking a watch to space – knowing you probably won’t need it, but love that it would work. Giving it to The American for a drive around their Eboladrome – being called so for the first time since The Grand Tour began – it comes in at 1.27.1 on a wet lap. This either proves wet laps slow down cars or the Giulia is rubbish. Maybe both.
With this week’s title card showing a distinctly smaller Hammond for their little joke, Jeremy immediately jumps back to Alfa’s only to be quickly shot down in favour of pickup trucks. Hammond is fully onboard – being a spiritual hill-billy. But the UK hasn’t embraced pickups, with the dramatically unsecured boots. It occurs to the presenters that the US simply shots anyone robbing them.
There is also the much-understated problem of modern cars. Over the past six decades, cars have gone from being glorious and beautiful to functional and ugly. Aerodynamics and efficiency have their parts but why was beauty kicked to the kerb?
With pollution slowly choking the planet and endangering coral reefs the world over, The Grand Tour has decided to see how they can undo the damage. Thirty-eight years ago, the government of Barbados sank a ship in order to regrow coral and it is working. But what if they used old cars? Buying five old cars, The Grand Tour stripped out anything not recyclable metal to dump into the sea to do the same trick. Getting them out to sea will be Jeremy’s job. But instead of overcompensating – which he usually does – the five thousand dollars could only net him a tiny skiff.
The first car falls into the sea after Hammond accidentally pulls the release rope, believing it to be a guide rope. In their new take – with four cars – the car is attached to their boat. Unfortunately, the weight of their coral base forces the boat to sink.
For your entertainment, The Grand Tour will now use three stripped down cars to form the base for coral reefs. Hiring a barge with attached crane, the cars will be towed on a specially-built raft. They will then be secured by the Grand Tour‘s lead diver. Dressed in antique equipment, James is abandoned to secure the cars as the other two enjoy a sunny afternoon. After James returns with complaints that the drifting boat dragged him away, Jeremy is forced to secure the cars himself. Despite some bad signs, he apparently does well.
Celebrity Brain Crash
Continuing with their train of high-profile celebrities, The Grand Tour has somehow roped in led singer of ACDC, Brian Johnson. But after being thrown a ball, Johnson is trampled by a bunch of wussy little men who think they are playing ‘football’. Too upset to process the death, the Grand Tour presenters can only argue the names of ‘football’ and ‘soccer’ with the audience. It somehow ends with the audience taking over the tent and three men surrendering their pride to survive.
The next morning, circumstances have failed to improve. Instead of securing the cars properly, Clarkson has somehow left them adrift and they made shore. Attempts to relocate them back to the designated site only end with them being thrown from the hotel and then having the boat un-loaned from them. Reduced to one shell, drastic measures are taken.
Adapting the Land Rover to float, it is attached to a jet ski driven by Clarkson and slowly towed towards the dumping spot. That is until a hydrosail forces his pride to a race and he abandons his comrades for several hours. Eventually returning, they finally manage to get their last hope to the site and sink it properly – with harpoons and knives. The Grand Tour crew took such delight in filming in the Caribbean that they decided to go out and film another episode there next week. But their producer had already arranged for them to go to France and drive about in the rain.
- Considering the long and bickering history of the three, a surprise race between the M3, XS and Giulia was more expected than simply cutting out the other two cars.
- There has been a long tradition of Clarkson, Hammond and May’s more ambitious ideas failing. Bur this one might actually work – eventually.
- Sorry America, you are wrong. Nobody plays your wussy rugby rip-off except your pathetic little whiners who have to wear armour to avoid hurting their feelings. Let them play rugby, a real sport. [Editor’s Note: Be nice, Graham]
- In just a few decades, the Land Rover will be the centre of a mass of coral and marine life. Nice one, Grand Tour.