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Archive for the ‘Car TV Shows’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Do We Really Need Another Incarnation Of Top Gear USA?

In a move that comes as a surprise to a lot of people, BBC America has announced the return of Top Gear USA. I have an idea what the reaction is to this news. “Top Gear USA is gone?” To that I say “yes,” Top Gear USA – the same one that was hosted by Tanner Foust, Andrew Ferrara, and Rutledge Wood – ended its run on the History Channel in 2016 after finishing its contract with the network. The fact that the show wasn’t renewed speaks to how unfavorably it was received so it is a little surprising even to those who followed the show that BBC America is bringing the show back, rechristening it as Top Gear America.

But it’s true. Top Gear America is coming and it’s bringing with it a fresh cast of hosts headlined by William Finchter, the same guy who has starred in movies like Black Hawk Down, The Dark Knight, and Armaggedon and the TV show Prison Break. Joining Finchter will be three-time NHRA Top Fuel Division world champion and Tom “Wookie” Ford, the current Associate Editor of Top Gear Magazine and the former Road Test Editor of CAR Magazine. And, before his Chinese cousin starts beating us up, it’s best to mention that The Stig will also be part of the revamped show.

As far as the format goes, the show is expected to follow the traditional template of Top Gear, right down to the cars, the celebrities, and the all-too predictable mishaps that have become a staple of the show’s ethos. No timetable has been set for when the Top Gear America will make its debut, but we do know that it will now be shown on BBC America and not The History Channel.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Top Gear's Official Trailer For Season 24 Already Looks Better Than Most of Season 23

The 24th season of Top Gear is scheduled to premiere on March 5 in the U.K. and March 12 here in the U.S. We already know the details to that. What we still don’t know, or have little knowledge about at this point, is whether or not this new iteration of the show is going to better than the disaster that was last season. It is pretty funny that our expectations have dramatically dropped in a season’s time, but that just points to how bad season 23 was for the show and the BBC. But things are now looking up for Top Gear, and if this new trailer is any indication, the hit motoring show could be rounding into form at just the right time.

It’s safe to say that Matt LeBlanc, Chris Harris, and Rory Reid will never have the same kind of chemistry that Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May had. Last year’s host, Chris Evans, tried to dip his hands into that barrel, only for the barrel to blow up in his face. But after watching this new trailer, it appears that the BBC should have gone with the trio of LeBlanc, Harris, and Reid to replace their iconic predecessors in the first place.

Sure, the dialogue may have been kept at a minimum in the 60-second ad, but all three appear to finally be in their element. That’s especially true for LeBlanc, who’s Hollywood background made him an odd choice for some people last year. But give credit to Joey Tribbiani for coming into his own. He seems more relaxed now and his commentaries, limited as they were in the trailer, now come from a place of confidence. The same can be said for Harris and Reid, who themselves look to have come into their own given how happy they seem to be in the trailers.

We’re not going to pass judgment of Top Gear ahead of season 24. That’ll happen at some point in the next few months. But as far as promising trailers are concerned, this new one hits a lot of our sweet spots.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Top Gear Is Finally Getting A Proper Reasonably-Priced Car

It seems that the BBC is serious about wiping the slate clean with Top Gear, isn’t it? It feels that way after last year’s tumultuous season, and now, a new report indicates that even the car used in the “Star in a Reasonably-Priced Car” segment will also be new to the show. Yep, say goodbye to that ill-fated Mini rallycross car used in last year’s segment.

For the 24th season of the motoring show, British tabloid The Sun is reporting that the show will revert to the reasonably-priced car segment, doing away with the rally format that was reportedly the brainchild of departed host Chris Evans. Just as important, the segment will also have a new reasonably-priced car in the form of the Toyota GT86.

To be fair, Evans’ “Star in a Rallycross Car” segment had its share of laughs, but it steered so far from the spirit of the original segment that it felt a little too gimmicky, a word that could also be used to describe the whole Evans era of the show, short-lived as it was.

So now, we have the Toyota GT86 that’s reportedly going to be the new reasonably-priced car that the show’s guests will take turns driving. It’s a good choice on paper and an even better one when you consider that its predecessors included the likes of the Kia Cee’d, Vauxhall Astra, and the immortal Suzuki Liana, which to this day is still being used when the guests are Formula One race car drivers.

The Toyota GT86 is clearly a better representation of Top Gear and it can also be described as a reasonably-priced car. Even better, upcoming guests will not only have the Stig as their instructor, but also Chris Harris, who himself is considered a pretty good driver, even by motor racing standards.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

PostHeaderIcon BBC Announces Top Gear's Season Premier On March 5

There’s no denying that Top Gear and the BBC are under a lot of pressure to make sure that the long-standing motoring show gets back on the right foot after the disastrous and short-lived Chris Evans era. Everything that could’ve gone wrong went wrong with Evans behind the wheel and the man that was tapped to succeed Jeremy Clarkson as the face of the show soon found himself on the outs after just one season.

But now that the show is on the precipice of premiering its latest season, there’s no reason to believe that the ills of last season will rear its ugly head once again. Or will it?

Well, we won’t have to wait too long to find out after the BBC announced the premier of Top Gear’s 24th season on March 5 in the U.K. and March 13 in the U.S.

For the third season in a row, Top Gear is going to have a different starting lineup of hosts with Matt LeBlanc taking the reins from Evans as the show’s main host. LeBlanc will then be joined by Chris Harris and Rory Reid, both of whom mostly spent the last season on the spin-off show Extra Gear. Harris and Reid have since been promoted to serve as co-hosts next to LeBlanc and altogether, the trio is under the toughest of pressures to jolt some life back into the beleaguered show.

It’s too early to tell if LeBlanc, Harris, and Reid can carve their own identity as a three-man hosting unit, but based on early returns – one of which was the trailer that was released last week – the trio have the potential to make it work. At the very least, they’ve already exhibited more chemistry in that 22-second clip compared to what Evans and LeBlanc had in all of last season.

That’s a promising start for the show and the BBC, although only time will tell if the show can recapture the magic it once had when Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May were at the helm.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Jay Leno Gets Under The Hood Of A 1,000-Horsepower '65 Mustang: Video

You gotta love old Mustangs. The look, the smell, the tire-squealing torque – it’s all classic muscle car stimuli that’s sure to evoke something if you’re even the least bit interested in cars. As such, it’s a platform that’s seen a ton of reimagining over the years, from light modification to complete overhauls. This particular restomod falls towards the more extreme side of that spectrum, boasting an incredible 1,000 horsepower at the rear wheels. Responsible for the build is Timeless Kustoms, a speed shop based out of southern California, which took its outrageous pony car down the road a little ways to Jay Leno’s Garage in order to give the former Tonight Show host and lifelong car guy a looksee.

“Today’s featured vehicle,” Jay begins, “1965 Ford Mustang Fastback, so far from stock that it’s hilarious. This is exactly the kind of car that just gets the comments section going.”

What started as an unblemished six-cylinder coupe was transformed into what it is now through 10,000 hours of exhaustive tweaks, tuning, and modifications. Timeless Kustoms did a complete teardown before hitting it full force with the upgrades, and clearly, pulled no punches in executing the build.

But let’s get to the party piece under the hood. Providing motivation is a 5.1-liter Coyote V-8, which gets a supercharger and two turbos to stuff an insane amount of air into the cylinders.

At over 23 minutes, the video is a bit on the long side, but there’s plenty of footage of the build and a healthy amount of tech specs to get you excited for your own wrenching adventures.

PostHeaderIcon Top Gear Drops First Teaser Of Next Season: Video

With all the attention being thrown in the direction of The Grand Tour, it would be easy – even understandable – for a lot of us to forget about Top Gear. That’s especially true with The Grand Tour being everything it’s hyped up to, stumbles and all. But the BBC isn’t going down without a fight. The long-running show is coming back for another season and it even has a new teaser to get us all excited for what’s to come.

The teaser itself isn’t that long – it runs for just 21 seconds – but it does reveal something crucially important. We see the three people that are expected to be the show’s three main hosts. There’s Matt LeBlanc, who officially takes the reigns from the departed Chris Evans as the show’s main presenter. Then there’s Chris Harris and Rory Reid, two auto journalists who, together with LeBlanc, were considered as the best presenters from the last season.

All together, the three are apparently involved in a race of some sort with three beat-up vehicles with LeBlanc instructing Harris and Reid to keep their hands off of the steering wheel of their cars. Hilarity then ensues as all three drivers participate in hands-free racing on a snow-covered desert. Could they have been at the Sahara when snow fell on the desert for the first time in 37 years back in the days before Christmas?

That’s a question that only Top Gear can answer, but for now, let’s keep that on the back-burner. What’s important is that the new season is crashing into our TVs soon and basing it from the disaster that was last season, our expectations for the new season are set lower than it should. That should give LeBlanc, Harris, and Reid a chance to show that they’re the hosts Top Gear should’ve had in the first place.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

PostHeaderIcon It Took Only Four Episodes For The Grand Tour To Come Under Fire

Fast cars, witty banter, and a never-ending barrage of controversy. If there are three things that came to define the Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond era of Top Gear, it’s those three things. But now that the trio have moved on from the BBC to Amazon and The Grand Tour, that three-pronged formula is still apparently in full effect. We’ve already seen the fast cars and the witty banter among the three hosts. All we were waiting for was the first slice of controversy to strike the record-breaking show, and as if on cue, it has arrived. The Grand Tour has officially come under fire, taking only four episodes to do it.

To no one’s surprise, Clarkson finds himself at the heart of the controversy for showing how to smuggle migrants into the United Kingdom. The whole schtick revolved around successfully hiding Hammond behind the rear bumper of an Audi TT, an audacious, yet surprisingly possible revelation that caught the crowd in Whitby, England in a state of genuine surprise and confusion.

Clarkson navigated around the segment by adding some colorful commentary. “When immigrants try to get into the country they always come in the back of a container lorry and that is the world’s worst game of hide and seek,” he said. “If you work for Border Force you open the doors and go, ’well there you are.’ Surely, there must be a better way of getting into Britain. And I think I’ve worked it out.”

Needless to say, Clarkson’s comments were picked up various media outlets and it didn’t take long for people to call out Jezza for the supposedly insensitive comments. Speaking to the Daily Star, Barbara Drozdowicz from the East European Resource Center to blast the entire segment, saying that the organization was “appalled by the portrayal of migrants as an illegal cargo.”It didn’t take long before others joined in on the chorus of criticism, including a spokeswoman for the U.K.’s Road Haulage Association, who said that “how-to” segment of smuggling immigrants into the country was “irresponsible.”

For their part, neither Amazon nor the producers of The Grand Tour have yet to comment on controversy. If anything, it wouldn’t be surprising if they brush off the incident, knowing full well that controversies like this one, whether they’re legitimate or not, is part of the reason why the old era of Top Gear was so successful.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Did The Grand Tour Really Beat Game Of Thrones As the Most Illegally Downloaded TV Show In History?

Four episodes into its first season on Amazon, The Grand Tour is already breaking records and making history. That’s what you come to expect from a show that has a budget north of $160 million, but at least one of these records is something the show wants no part of.

Move over, Game of Thrones, because The Grand Tour has just become the most illegally downloaded TV program in history. Or has it?

The auspicious figures were brought to light by MUSO, a leading data analyst of the piracy market, which disclosed that the show’s first episode was downloaded illegally an incredible 7.9 million times. Episode’s 2 and 3 didn’t approach those numbers, but they were still ripped off 6.4 million and 4.6 million times, respectively. Not surprisingly, the British market made up the largest percentage of culprits, accounting for 13.7 percent of the overall total.

It’s a staggering total that a lot of media outlets are running with, and it certainly speaks to the kind of cult-like following that Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May have fostered over their years on Top Gear.

But did it really beat out Game of Thrones as the most illegally downloaded TV program ever? The short and somewhat vague answer is, “it depends on your criteria.”

On a per-episode total, it appears that Jon Snow and company still have the edge over Clarkson and the boys. According to Independent, the first four episodes of GOT’s fifth season were illegally downloaded 32 million times, with the first episode alone contributing 13 million illegal downloads of that total. That number was soon upended by the season finale of the same season – the one where Jon Snow “dies” – with an insane 14.4 million illegal downloads, as per TorrentFreak.

It’s worth noting that none of the analysts that have made these estimates about the illegal downloads of Game of Thrones episodes cited the methodologies they used to track and arrive at those numbers. By contrast, MUSO says that it uses a software that trawls the internet for keywords to identify piracy sites and then analyzes what certain people have watched using those sites.

That’s how they arrived at The Grand Tour’s illegal download figures, something that MUSO chief commercial officer Chris Elkins described as “absolutely incredible,” before adding that it has “overtaken every big show, including Game of Thrones, for the totals across different platforms.”

Regardless of the total and who holds the record over the other, there’s a good chance that neither HBO nor Amazon are inclined to take ownership of it, preferring instead for the other to hold the title.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Jay Leno Takes A Spin In A Ferrari F40: Video

Jay Leno is certainly no stranger to supercars. Diagnosed as an incurable car fanatic, the former Tonight Show host has taken the wheel of some of the fastest machinery on the planet. But few cars in the world can match the pure, unbridled electricity of this – the Ferrari F40.

Constructed from carbon fiber and aluminum, the F40 is powered by a rear/mid-engine V-8 boosted by two turbos. Output is rated at 470 horsepower, all of which is sent to the rear wheels by way of a five-speed manual transmission and topped by a classic gated shifter.

Top speed is capped at 200 mph, making the F40 the first road-legal production car capable of breaking that magic supercar benchmark.

Jay starts this 27-minute video with an appropriate introduction.

“This was the last car blessed by Enzo Ferrari,” he says. “Enzo got a little, uh, testy during the ‘80s. Customers complained that Ferrari’s are getting kinda soft and too comfortable, and he wanted to build a machine that was just an out-and-out racing car for the street.”

After the usual examination in the garage, Leno and the car’s owner hit the road to feel the boost firsthand, even taking the F40 out on some twisty two-lanes.

Seeing this legendary car making the rounds is a real delight, and the video is jam-packed with interesting info for the uninitiated. It’s a bit on the long side, but if you bleed Ferrari red, it’s worth a watch.

PostHeaderIcon The Grand Tour Generates "Millions" Of Subscriber Views, Earns Glowing Reviews

So remember that show that premiered on Amazon Prime last week? It was called The Grand Tour and apparently, a lot of people watched it. And by a lot, Amazon says that it generated “millions” of subscribers who watched the episode all over the world, including the U.S., U.K., Germany, Austria, and Japan. The web streaming service didn’t say the exact figures, but a nine-figure viewership in the pilot episode is as good a start as the new motoring show could have. Not that we embrace the practice, but you can bet that more people also tuned in to watch the return of Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond in some form or fashion, legally or illegally.

More importantly than the viewership, the episode hummed along smoothly save for a few bumps here and there. The trio proved that they were already in mid-season form with their banter and wise cracks. They also also spent a good time setting the table for future episodes, all while having enough time to highlight today’s holy trinity of hypercars, the Porsche 918 Spyder, Ferrari LaFerrari, and McLaren P1.

All told, it was a good episode in my book. Turns out though, I’m being conservative with praise compared to other media outlets who also tuned in to catch the show. The Guardian, for one, described the show as a “brilliant, beautiful spectacle.” The London Evening Standard didn’t hold back on its praise too, calling the show “stunningly beautiful” and episode one as a “confident opener that leaves the BBC’s attempted Top Gear revival in the dust.” Likewise, online reviews for the The Grand Tour have been effusive with praise, getting a 9.6 rating from over 10,000 votes on IMDb to go with a 97 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Even Amazon’s own vote rankings system gave the show a 4.9 out of 5 rating.

To be fair, not everyone was on board the The Grand Tour’s praise train with The Spectator remarking that the three hosts are “a bit on edge and over-eager to impress.” And somewhat predictably, the BBC wasn’t throwing flowers at the show either, even calling the lack of a comedic payoff from the massive opening sequence as “uncomfortably hubristic.”

Then again, this is the BBC we’re talking about so it’s not surprising that it would throw as much shade on The Grand Tour as it possibly can. It still has to protect Top Gear, which, by the way, is now under more pressure to put its lost season behind it.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

PostHeaderIcon The Grand Tour: What We Found Out From The Pilot Episode

Finally, the day arrived. The Grand Tour finally aired its pilot episode and it was definitely good to get Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond back into our lives. That’s the short version of it. The longer version is a little bit more complex since we’re not just going to talk about the return of the trio, but how they returned and most importantly, how they fared in their comeback.

The first episode of The Grand Tour had it all, and by all, I mean it had all of the elements from their old show Top Gear, right down to set pieces, the irreverent humor, the test driver, and the celebrity guests. Most of all, there were the cars and the first show devoted a significant part of its time showcasing the most exotic of exotics, specifically the Porsche 918 Spyder, McLaren P1, and Ferrari LaFerrari.

For a car that’s billed as a motoring show – even though it’s a variety show more than anything else – The Grand Tour got off on the right foot by shining the spotlight on what they called “the holy trinity.” The three hypercars dominated the show, but they were also far from the only highlights, or in some cases, lowlights of The Grand Tour’s S01E01.

We’ll dive through most of them after the jump, but let’s get started with how Clarkson, May, and Hammond navigated around the new show, alternating between introducing new segments, taking shots at one other like they always do, and even getting into a faux riot, all for the love of the British Royal Air Force.

The first episode of The Grand Tour lived up to its billing in some respects, but it also felt like we were still watching Top Gear, minus that tame racing driver.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

PostHeaderIcon The Grand Tour Isn't Too Fond Of The Toyota Prius

Yes, those are three Toyota Priuses, or at least they were Priuses before they became the unwitting victims of The Grand Tour’s latest promotional stunt. It’s widely known that Jeremy Clarkson isn’t a big fan of the Toyota hybrid and, apparently, his disdain for the car has been turned into a marketing and branding ploy to raise even more awareness of The Grand Tour’s impending debut, as if it needed any more hype to begin it.

One of the three Prius models can be found in London while the other one, or what’s left of it, is in Berlin, Germany. A third one popped up much later and guess where it’s located? America! The one in London just in front of King’s Cross station looks to have survived its crash far better than its counterpart, but the front section of the second-guess Prius is in pretty bad shape as the hood has been crumpled up and the bumper and fenders have been completely dislodged. Still, it fared much better than the third-generation Prius found in Berlin’s Hackescher market and Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles, just beside some of stars in the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The one in Berlin, for one reason or another, appears to have burst from the floor before getting stuck halfway through its apparent escape. Then there’s the one in LA, which looks to have made a beeline straight through the floor, before getting stuck in its own right as well.

Obviously, these three setups are nothing more than gratuitous branding for The Grand Tour. It’s the kind of thing we’ve come to expect from Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May. If for nothing else, these setups were excellently executed because we’re talking about them today, just as we’ll do when the show premieres on November 18.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

PostHeaderIcon BBC Giving Jeremy Clarkson and His New Show "The Grand Tour" a Hard Time

Let’s look at the reality of things for a minute. Top Gear hasn’t been the same since Clarkson’s altercation with that producer and his subsequent firing. While the show has tried to make a comeback, it’s been plagued with one problem after another. Ratings are horrible in comparison to the old show, it just doesn’t have the same flare that it used to have, and let’s not forget about Chris Evans acting like a whiny diva. Clarkson’s new show, The Grand Tour, is pretty good, but it’s apparently subject to a lot of legal scrutiny from BBC.

In an interview with The Telegraph, Top Gears old executive producer, Andy Wilman – now a producer for The Grand Tour – broke silence around some of the ridiculous legal threats BBC has been issuing against Clarkson, Hammond, and May. Naturally, BBC doesn’t want its intellectual property used in The Grand Tour, but this is a little ridiculous. For instance, BBC says that the show can’t have “handwritten lap times,” a news segment can’t be called “The News,” and the guys aren’t even allowed to call Namibia beautiful because it was said during an episode of Top Gear. The worst complaint from BBC really takes the cake, however, as apparently, James May can’t say the word “cock” because, well, he said it during an episode of Top Gear.

If BBC is complaining about these kinds of things, you can only imagine how long the list really is with complaints that haven’t be announced to the public. At the end of the day, Top Gear is pretty much falling apart now that the trio has taken off and started their new show with Amazon, and it’s likely that Top Gear will never get the same kind of following that it had. Despite the fact that Clarkson was in the wrong when he got into that physical altercation, he was the bread winner of the entire show, and the show is suffering because of this. BBC is clearly butthurt that the guys are doing their own thing now and is trying to do everything it can to make their life harder.

Keep reading for the rest of the story.

PostHeaderIcon Want to see The Grand Tour Live? You Better Hurry…

It’s finally been confirmed that The Grand Tour is coming to the States and, as expected, it will be filmed in front of a live audience. Previously, the show ran a contest to pick who would be invited to the audience, but this time, things are a little different (aren’t they always here in the U.S.?) Anyway, Clarkson, Hammond, and May trio will be filming their show in Southern California on September 25th, 2016. This time, those picked won’t get free travel or lodging, but you can get two tickets and, of course, the thrill of being at the show.

You can apply to be in the audience here, but you have to answer a couple of questions as part of the application process. We’re not sure what the criteria is, but I’m betting that you’ll need to have some pretty interesting answers to get picked.

Question 1: “Tell us why you would like to go to the recording?”

Question 2: “Which of the hosts do you like the most and why?”

In addition, you also have to select which state you currently reside in, and the fine print says the Applause Store (the company that handles ticket fulfillment) may contact applicants with follow-up questions about you and your thoughts on the show. If you want to be in the audience, however, you better hurry. The application process opened earlier today and will shut down on August 8th at 11:59 p.m. PST.

PostHeaderIcon Everything You Need To Know About The Grand Tour

While Matt LeBlanc and the remaining hosts of new Top Gear take a little breather post Episode 6, we thought it would be a good idea to turn our attention to that other motoring show everyone seems to be talking about – The Grand Tour, a.k.a., TGT. Ever since Clarkson and company split with the BBC and announced they’d be making their own program, fans have been clamoring for details, and in response, the Three Amigos have dropped a few tidbits here and there to keep us engaged. We collected the pieces, put them in a row, and prepped them for consumption right here.

All in all, it looks quite promising. Amazon is plunking down a lot of money to secure all those wandering devotees of old Top Gear, and if everything goes according to plan, TGT should draw in even more converts from the general gearhead population. So what can you expect? Read on for everything you need to know about The Grand Tour.

Continue reading to learn more about The Grand Tour.

PostHeaderIcon Tuesday's Airing Of Top Gear USA May Be The Last Episode We'll Ever See

Let’s be real for a minute; American-made car shows are pretty much crap compared to some of the shows from abroad. Not all of them are complete flops, however, and that was proven by Top Gear USA. It didn’t exactly compete with its BBC counterpart with Clarkson, Hammond, and May, but as far as American shows go, it was one of the better ones out there. That said, it appears that we’re about to lose the best of the bunch.

We didn’t hear about this in a press release from the History Channel or from some large entertainment news outlet. We got the word directly from Rutledge Wood, via a Twitter post that – in part – said. “I’m very sad to say, but Tuesday night’s #TopGear on @History is the last TG US that we have shot for you. I’m not saying Top Gear USA is done, but it’s done for the immediate future on @History”

While Wood made it a point to say it may not be the last one, and even said that he and the two hosts will “stick together” and are hoping to bring us “much more Top Gear USA. That does sound a little promising, but it looks like the History Channel and the rest of the A&E Networks family doesn’t want TG USA any longer. So, while Wood hinted toward the show having a future on another network, it doesn’t appear that it will happen any time soon unless another network picks up the show in a hurry.

Continue reading for more information.

PostHeaderIcon The First Episode Of The Grand Tour Will Be Filmed in Johannesburg, South Africa

The first episode of the new Top Gear aired recently, and needless to say it has received a lot of criticism from loyal fans of Clarkson, Hammond, and May. So, it should come as no surprise that the internet is going crazy of the announcement that the first location for The Grand Tour has been selected. It was announced just earlier today on The Grand Tour’s Facebook page with a map indicating that the first episode will be shot in Johannesburg, South Africa.

While it might seem weird that the first show would be shot in South Africa, it should be noted that Johannesburg is home to some four million people. On top of that, the old Top Gear Live used to tour there frequently back in the day, so maybe it’s another way of sticking it to the suits over at the BBC. Even better than that, the trio wants to offer up a total of six tickets, in pairs, to three people who are willing to take part in the “The Grand Tour goes to Johannesburg” competition.

The competition just kicked off today and requires those interested in entering to photograph or video the most unusual place they have ever put up a tent – clearly a concept derived from the traveling “Studio” tent that accompanies the set as it tours the globe. The picture or video must then be shared via Twitter with the hashtag “#TheGrandTourJoburg.” Entries close at 11:59 p.m. BST on June 8th, at which point the top 10 entries will be shortlisted by an Amazon Prime Video panel. The final three winners will be selected by Clarkson, Hammond, and May shortly thereafter. The three winners will get two tickets, travel, and accommodation to be a part of the recording in Johannesburg. For details and to enter, you can check out the competition page on Amazon here.

PostHeaderIcon Clarkson, Hammond and May's New Show Will Be Called "The Grand Tour"

Once BBC refused to renew Jeremy Clarkson’s contract and his two co-hosts, Richard Hammond and James May, walked off the Top Gear set, it didn’t take long for Streaming services like Netflix and Amazon to start considering a new show with the trio that would rival Top Gear. In the end, the three hosts managed to secure a $250 million, three-year deal with Amazon. Since then filming has already begun, and we’ve been patiently waiting for the first episode to be released on Amazon later this fall. There has been one big monkey wrench in the program, though. Up until now, the three were struggling to come up with a name for their new show.

Amazon execs were beating down the door on a daily asking about progress for a new name, and at the same time, lawyers were shooting down everything the trio could come up with. For a while “Gear Knobs” was looking promising, but legalities made that name a no-go as well. Fans of the show were constantly suggesting new names, and we even suggested the show use our name, TopSpeed. As it turns out, the show is going to have a name that nobody expected.

An announcement on Clarkson’s Twitter page just after 8 am this morning said “start the smoke. We have a name.” Just 16 minutes later, Clarkson tweeted again, announcing that the show would be called The Grand Tour or GT for short. That same Twitter post also mentioned that the show will come from a tent that will be put up in a different local every week. So, it looks like the debut of the show won’t be delayed due to the lack of a name, but it remains to be seen whether or not all the fans will approve of the new name.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Jeremy Clarkson Opens Up A Little In A Q&A On Facebook

Any car guy that watched the old TopGear has dreamed, at one point or another, of taking on the role of Jeremy Clarkson, James May, or Richard Hammond. And really, who wouldn’t love to play with cars, perform stunts, and get paid big money doing it. Well, just earlier this week, Jeremy Clarkson started a Q&A session on Facebook where he answered a number of random questions asked by a some of the 274,993 of his followers on Facebook.

As you can imagine, the questions piled up fast. With Clarkson being a self-proclaimed “new boy to Facebook,” you better believe he didn’t have the time to answer very many of the questions that flowed in like a water rushing after the floodgates are dropped. He did manage to answer some, however, and he certainly had some interesting things to say. Of course, he was also asked some pretty interesting questions.

With that said, I’ve gone through the entire list and pulled out a few of the best questions and answers to talk about. We learn a little bit about Clarkson, how he really feels about his two partners, and his opinion on how turbochargers work. As you would expect from an entertainer like Clarkson, most of his answers are pretty funny, so let’s take a look at what we learned from his Q&A on the book of face.

Keep reading for the rest of the story.

PostHeaderIcon Is Chris Evans Spinning Out Of Control?

For those of you who don’t know, Chris Evans – one of the new hosts for BBC’s TopGear – also works a morning radio broadcast show on BBC Radio 2. We’ve already heard the reports that Evans was struggling to work more than four hours on the TopGear set, but now, it looks like things are getting even worse.

A source that is reportedly from BBC told The Sun that Evans is taking out his frustrations on the BBC staff. At one point, Evans apparently yelled “so viciously that [a] producer was reduced to tears, and an engineer had to tell him to stop.” A source also told The Sun that “The Radio 2 show is the country’s most popular. But Chris is turning up exhausted and miserable, and his staff has noticed a huge difference. Top Gear’s a full-time job, but Radio 2 involves waking at dawn every day. It’s probably no surprise he seems close to breaking point.”

As you would expect, BBC has denied the claims and said Evans has “displayed even greater commitment and professionalism.” The reason behind his problems in the past has been that he’s waking up “at the crack of dawn” five days a week to host the three-hour radio show, then departing to work on TopGear. As a star in both enterprises, Evan’s claims it is difficult to keep up. The Sun’s BBC source had even more to say about the situation, however, saying “Chris’s ego is out of control, and he’s behaving far worse than Clarkson ever did – which is the opposite of what the Top Gear change was meant to create.”

Keep reading for the full story.

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