The first episode of The Grand Tour Season 3, aptly named Motown Funk, starts off with the same theme song as the Second Season. The opening graphics are also very similar, but this time showing off what’s to come later this season. We can see muscle cars, camper-vans, and off-roaders pushing their way through muddy terrain. Want to discuss it with fans? Check out our new forum!
The episode starts the same way as all the others. Clarkson, Hammond and May emerge at the side of the tent to the crowd screaming and clapping. “We’re back!” Jeremy screams before they sit at the table in front of the landscape of Great Tew.
A montage plays of what is to be expected over the next thirteen weeks: Classic F1 cars, high powered supercars, epic journeys across desserts, the snow, and jungle. And of course, plenty of explosions.
The trio have decided that Detroit isn’t what it used to be. The Motor City is now too interested in kale than V8s, so Clarkson, Hammond and May set out to change this.
Clarkson tears through a vegetable patch with a Ford Mustang RTR Spec 3, kicking off this segment. Hammond and May join him in the Dodge Challenger Demon and the Hennessey Exorcist Camaro respectively.
The Drag Race
After they talk about their cars while driving (and drifting) around the streets of Detroit, they pull over to decide which of their muscle cars is the fastest. They decide the only way to find this out is with a street drag race. Hammond however, has been told by Dodge that he’s not allowed to race it on the street (maybe they’ve heard of Rimac?) so Clarkson pushes him off the road and ready a race with James.
They decide to not use launch control because it’s very complicated in the Hennessey and James can’t remember how to use it. Using a barber’s door as the finishing line, they set off. James wins by about a car-length, but Clarkson knew he wouldn’t win because James has plenty more power. The ape simply wanted to annoy Hammond.
However, Clarkson wants a redo, and because of James’ lack of grip, Clarkson takes the win. A third race is certainly needed to settle the score. But after 17 races, they decide the Hennessey is definitely the faster car. Hammond wants to prove himself though, so goes about finding a race track to prove the Demon’s worth.
The Noise Test
Before this though, they choose an old theatre, built on the site of Henry Ford’s first ever workshop, to perform a noise test. It was eventually turned into a multi-storey carpark after it was a rock venue hosting the likes of T-Rex, ZZTop and David Bowie.
Clarkson goes first and makes a lot of noise with a lot of wheel-spin. They record 125.2dB. Hammond is up next with the Demon (forgets his key initially), but only gets 118.8dB from the car. James takes his place, but can’t seem to do it without stalling the car. Finally, after getting the hang of it, he gets 128dB, winning the challenge.
The House Purchase…
Because they can’t seem to find a restaurant or a hotel, they buy a house… for $2,200. James May has already started gardening in a vegetable plot. Clarkson, on his way to buy burgers, drives through it.
Yes, this segment returns! They start by discussing Detroit and how it was the richest city in America, but quickly became the poorest. Hammond blames it on how cheap American cars are compared to their Italian counterparts.
Clarkson Reviews The McLaren Senna
Clarkson takes the McLaren Senna to the fastest racetrack in the South of England (not Europe), Thruxton Circuit.
After explaining the reasoning behind the car, he performs a brake test alongside a Jaguar F-type, just to prove how good its stopping power is. After a good test on the track, Clarkson loves it. In fact, he says he loves it so much, “it’s rewriting the supercar rulebook” in his mind.
Senna VS Eboladrome
It finishes the lap under the racing driver, Abbie Eaton with a time of 1:12.9, beating everything on the lap board. Good news for Clarkson, as if it hadn’t beaten the Huracam Performante, Hammond and May were going to blow up his house.
Back to Detroit
They head to the city centre to find their own racetrack. They discuss their (low) mpgs and how Detroit has become ‘hipster’ with dogs and bicycles. They establish the centre of Detroit isn’t the best place for a racetrack, so instead look to Cadillac’s old factory.
They name all the corners and straights of their make-shift track by using names of musicians who were from Detroit, which includes Madonna (who knew)!
May goes first, only to find that the track is narrow, slippery, and full of asbestos.
May tips palm oil over the track on Clarkson’s lap, ruining what would have been the fastest lap.
The Demon VS The Exorcist – Good VS Evil
The audience votes on either the drag race segment or the celebrity segment, and obviously choose the drag race. “Does that mean they’re not coming on then?” asks James. Hilarious.
Before the race, Hammond says he has a few things to do before they start. He fits the Demon Crate contents to the car which includes thin front wheels, a new ECU, new fuel and a… new interior? After a burnout, Hammond declares he now has to set the car up for the race. Clarkson bows out while this happens.
The Demon wins. Although they think the Ford is the best of the bunch.