As promised at the end of Episode 10, the hosts will not be allowed to continue on with a sunny holiday, but are instead heading to a rainy and dark northern France, which looks very dreary indeed.
Meanwhile, the tent has been pitched right alongside Loch Ness in Scotland.
— The Grand Tour (@thegrandtour) December 3, 2016
The premise of this week’s episode seems to harken back to the Top Gear road tests of old. In those episodes, as in this one, the trio were sent on a mission in three older cars of their choosing. More often than not, the whole purpose was to prove a producer wrong, or accomplish a challenge of some sort. If Jeremy is to be believed though, the point of this exercise was solely to make the trio miserable.
The only difference so far seems to be that rather than being provided a show-funded allowance to buy the cars, the boys had to pony up their own dough. Is this a clue to the actual point of the episode? Since it has been pointed out time and again that Amazon has an amazing budget, it would seem that this was deliberate. Ordinarily, we’d guess the challenge was to choose the most reliable old Italian luxury car (they did something similar back in Series 7, Episode 4), but that can’t be true, as they’ve all chosen Maserati. So instead, perhaps they were challenged to find the best used Maserati they could? Time will tell.
So, what could possibly go wrong? An awful lot, actually. Historically, on old Top Gear, and as we’ve seen from more recent calamities on The Grand Tour, something always goes wrong. Older Italian cars are not known for their reliability, and Maserati is possibly the least reliable of them all, so we should be ready for quite a few breakdowns. As we saw, there will be a speed test on a track, so cue Jeremy Clarkson driving much too fast, spinning off wildly, and causing serious damage to his car.
Sticking with the theme of Italian cars, it’s Hammond’s turn at the Eboladrome this week. He will be road testing the new Fiat Abarth 124 Spider. The new Fiat was designed in conjunction with Mazda, built on the same platform as the MX-5 Miata, and starts at just under $30,000 (in the same ballpark as the MX-5). It remains to be seen just how different Fiat has made its take on the classic roadster concept. As Richard had nothing but praise for the Mazda when he drove it earlier this season in Morocco, we can expect many comparisons, and perhaps some typical “valuable consumer advice”.
That just leaves poor Mr. May and his broken arm. There were no horses to be seen in the preview, so more than likely his nemesis from the Patagonia special isn’t the culprit. So what went wrong? Something very “James May.” When asked at the Edinburgh International TV Festival, the show’s producer Andy Wilman explained: “[James] fell over the night before filming, coming out of a pub.”
The Grand Tour rolls on…