The Grand Tour Trailer is out!

The trailer for the second series of the Grand Tour has been released and of course it’s the usual spectacle of high-speed hijinks, explosions and fast cars. The trio of ex Top Gear presenters have had a much better run of luck than the new Top Gear presenters, but it is yet to be seen if The Grand Tour will be as bigger success as their run with the BBC. The first series of the Grand Tour had some chips in the paintwork but was overall an enjoyable entertaining show.

Top Gear 1

If The Grand Tour can change a few things (personally I hope Celebrity Brain Crash burns in hell for eternity) they can either recover this skid from the ditch it’s heading for or turn it into a magnificent drift in their case. The trailer sees a number of fantastic cars, such as the new McLaren 720S, the Bugatti Chiron, a Lancia 037 and even the worlds fastest tank called the Ripsaw, which even featured in the recent Fast and Furious movie.

Rimac Concept one

Then of course we saw a bit that we’ve all been waiting for, the Rimac. The 1000BHP electric super car that tried to kill our favourite Hamster. Whilst the crash was terrifying to hear about, I am hoping that the Grand Tour film crew managed to get good footage of it, as the shaky phone camera footage doesn’t really show what happen after he went off the road.

Overall I’m excited for the new series. What do you think of the new trailer? Sound off in the comments.

See my review of the first series of the Grand Tour here at Motor Verso.

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Richard Hammond is fine everyone.

Richard HammondSo as a lot of you have probably already heard Richard Hammond of The Grand Tour and Top Gear fame crashed another car quite badly in Switzerland during filming for the next series of The Grand Tour. Thankfully Richard is fine and only came out with a broken knee in what could have been a much more serious accident. Richard was driving the new Rimac Concept One electric super car at the time one of only eight (now seven) ever made.

Richard has since sat down with Rimac owner Mate Rimac and journalist Alistair Weaver to go over the incident and in some ways reassure his fans that he is in fact fine. In the video the trio discuss the crash itself obviously but also go into the Concept One itself along with what they were actually doing there in Switzerland in the first place, it’s a very interesting watch and I encourage you all to watch it here.

Rimac Concept one.pngRichard did say that despite the crash the next series of The Grand Tour is still on schedule for its October release. The show itself will likely still feature the crash due to the massive publicity from it, but also after Hammonds previous crash in a jet car the trio went over the crash in detail on Top Gear after Hammonds return.

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Top Gear: Series 23 Round up

 

Top Gear

Now I haven’t talked much about the new Top Gear here as I’ve done a round up of each episode on Motor Verso (see links below) but I’ve decided to leave a whole round up piece here for your reading pleasure. First of all id just like to say I think it’s a good thing Chris Evans has decided to step down from Top Gear, as I don’t think he was popular any where at any point during the series, whether it was pressure from the BBC big bosses or his own decision, I think it was the right one. Nothing against Chris himself, in the right setting I find him quite an entertaining guy, but he wasn’t the right man for the job, he had little to no chemistry with any of his co presenters, and it felt at time like the Chris Evans show, with other characters thrown in for good measure.

Mini Cooper Rallycross

Another bad point for this reinvention of the show is the Star in a reasonably priced ‘Rallycross’ car segment. Having the guests introduce each other was incredibly awkward, and if you read my wrap up was increasingly infuriating as the series went on. Old Top Gear would generally only have the one guest, this gave more time to actually interviewing them, the only time they had pairs of guests on was when they were both ‘plugging’ the same show/ film so they had experience around one another, which meant good chemistry between them and Jeremy. On new Top Gear having two guests on who have nothing to do with one another left Chris struggling to pull of two interviews at the same time, it really didn’t work.

Sabine Schmitz

Finally on to the good points of the new show. First of all I’d like to mention the new upgrades to the track, with the off road sections, jump and water splash. Whilst the interview segments were frankly horrible, the new upgrades to the track gave the star in a rallycross car segment a refreshing new twist. The old segment had gotten stale and with them changing the car what felt like every couple of series, I feel if the segment is continued in the next series it could be a great part of the show. Also I think 4 out of the 6 presenters are excellent, if a little under utilized this series. Sabine was barely in this series, appearing only when The Stig wasn’t available.

New Top gear Chris Harris

The two presenters I wouldn’t bring back are the already gone Chris Evans of course, but also Eddie Jordan. Whilst he didn’t appear much in the series, when he did he was awkward and not really very funny, playing the spoons on a luxury train to Venice, damaging a Mercedes whilst driving off road, both these occasions weren’t funny or exciting, and he really didn’t bring anything to the show. The stars of the show however have been Chris Harris and Rory Reid. Of course if you’ve ever searched for cars on the internet, you’ll be aware of Chris Harris, he is arguably one of the best motoring journalists on the planet right now, and its great he’s finally getting the wider audience he deserves. Rory Reid, I wasn’t aware of prior to the show, and hadn’t had much experience with him but he’s a really great addition to the show, and one that could out shine the others given the chance. All of this despite the fact he’s been held back with ‘real world’ car reviews, cars that the common man might actually get a chance to buy.

Matt LeBlanc

Finally I want to talk about Matt LeBlanc, who is likely to be replacing Chris Evans as the lead presenter, whilst I was nervous about him coming in, being an actor rather than a journalist, I think he has shown that he has the ability to become quite enjoyable to watch, and he showed this in the first episode whilst driving the Arial Nomad. I do hope he stops playing the confused American which will almost certainly grow tiresome in a very short time, an I also hope he doesn’t revert back to his Joey character from friends which it felt he was starting to in his 911R feature in the last episode. Overall I think the first series of the new team was very hit and miss, some things were great, others not so much. Its difficult to say if the next series will be better, because the lead presenter has just left the show, meaning the whole thing could go into disarray, but I think there is a future for the new Top Gear and I think that futures bright.

 

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Links to articles:

New Cast, New Rules, New Top Gear

Top Gear – Making Progress

Top Gear – Third Times the Charm

Top Gear – Things can only get better

Top Gear – The Good, The Bad and the Rolls Royce Dawn

Top Gear – The Finale

Matt LeBlanc signs on to the Sinking Ship

New Top Gear

So Friends star Matt LeBlanc has joined the new version of Top Gear. Now on the face of it he seems quite a good choice, he has a passion for cars, he’s a well-known name, and he has the fastest time around the old Top Gear Test track in the Kia Cee’d. But I guarantee it will not be easy for him, first of all we have no proof that he can talk intelligently while driving, a similar problem suffered by Chris Evans. Whilst he likes cars, we have no proof that he actually knows anything about them. And thirdly being a huge American star he may take power from Chris Evans, who whilst well known in the UK, is pretty much unheard of around the rest of the world, a problem for such an international show.

New Top gear Chris Harris

The new version of Top Gear looks to be struggling quite a bit, as Evans has been seen throwing up out of a car on the track, he crashed a new Jaguar on his first time on the track, and lastly he can’t talk whilst driving, surely an essential skill for a Top Gear presenter. The problem with new Top Gear is I feel the BBC didn’t realise what talents they had in Clarkson, Hammond and May, all three had a background in motoring journalism, prior to Top Gear, so far the only one with experience is motoring journalist Chris Harris, who is still yet to be confirmed as a presenter (also another unknown presenter in the wider world)

Amazon Top Gear

Whilst I agree the BBC had no other choice but to not renew Clarkson’s contract, I feel they should have let the show die there rather than drag the shows name through the mud with three years of crap. But the BBC need the money, I guarantee the show will never get the record breaking viewing figures of the Clarkson Hammond and May era, which isn’t what I think the BBC is expecting. They seem to be expecting everything to be the same just with fewer complaints and more control over the product, its not gonna happen BBC just let it go.

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The forgotten Stig

The Stig

One of Top Gears main features was of course The Stig, an anonymous racing driver unparalleled in the racing world. However with the recent ‘fracas’ around Top Gear The Stig has been left jobless and homeless, will he appear on Clarkson and co’s new show on Amazon as they will clearly need a precision driver at some point. We still have no idea if Chris Evan’s new Top Gear will need a Stig. There have been rumours that Ben Collins the ex Stig has been in talks with Clarkson, Hammond and May over joining them on the new show. As for the current Stig there is no word on whether he will be needed or if he will just fade off into the sunset never to be revealed.

So here it is, what could be a eulogy to The Stig, a once great test driver left homeless through events not his fault, its rather sad really. But if you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find him….maybe you can hire The Stig

I’M Back, time for a catchup post

So regular readers of my work will notice that I’ve been away for a couple of weeks on holiday so here is my giant catch up post full of all the stuff I missed whilst I was away.

Alfa Giulia

First of all Alfa Romeo revealed their new 3 series rival the Giulia. Now the biggest problem with the Alfa saloons has always been that they just didn’t sell how often do you see 159 rolling around, never. And I don’t think it’s the age-old Alfa problem in that they’ve broken down. I just feel that compared to the rest of the Alfa range the saloons just seem boring. This is gonna happen with the Giulia as well, the business men of this world would rather buy a 3 Series or a C Class. Why have a 3 Series wannabe when you could just have a 3 Series. But there is one caveat to this Ferrari. The name amongst names and also the engine supplier for the Giulia how does a 503BHP V6 sound interesting I await more news on this hopefully great car.

Aston Vulcan

The Goodwood festival of Speed also happened whilst I was away and loads of stuff came from there, notably an all electric Morgan 3 wheeler showing they have finally joined the modern age, we also saw the Aston Martin Vulcan racing up the hill climb for the first time, the more race derived car looking fantastic in matt black and blue accents. We also saw the debut of the Lotus 3-eleven a tiny little pocket rocket with 450BHP and 900KG it truly is a fantastic little thing.

Veyron Successor

Photos courtesy of Autocar

Bugatti also let slip of some details about the Veyron’s successor and as expected it’s going to be a hybrid, similar to that of McLaren Ferrari and Porsche they also mentioned to Autocar that they hope to reach the dizzying heights of 286MPH smashing the previous record of the Veyron SS. Bugatti also say the new car will have an updated version of the Veyron’s 16.4 litre W16 engine with nearly 1500BHP and I cannot wait for that.

Lamborghini LP750-4

Lamborghini are to bring out a convertible version of the Aventador LP750-4 Superveloce (they really need to think up shorter names for these things this is getting ridiculous) the roadster will have everything the hardtop does (apart from a roof) and the usual slightly slower 0-62 time and again the usual increase in price. Only 500 Aventador LP750-4 Superveloce Roadsters (see what I mean) will be made so get your orders in fast people.

Alfa SUV

Photos courtesy of Autocar

In more Alfa Romeo news two new SUVs has been spotted being tested around the streets of Italy Fiat Chrysler boss Sergio Marchionne mentioned the cars at the launch of the Giulia and they are expected to be released in 2016 and 2018 respectively. I think we can clearly see a connection between the Fiat 500L and these cars. Little is know about the cars in question apart from the fact that Fiat Chrysler are clearly trying to find a way to make Alfa Romeos more appealing this includes a return to the USA in the next few years.

BMW M5 2017

Photos courtesy of Autocar

And finally the new M5 has been spotted testing at the Nurbergring. The new car is expected for 2017 and has a completely new front end along with a V8 under the hood although this is only going from reports from photographers and what they thought the car sounded like.

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Dacia Sandero RS coming to South America

Sandero RS

Photos courtesy of Autocar

Good News! Renault has unveiled a performance version of the Dacia Sandero. The bad news however is that it will only be available in Latin America. The car was revealed at the Buenos Aires motor show in Argentina, and has a 2.0 litre engine that puts out nearly 150BHP. I really hope they bring the Sandero RS to Europe like they did with the original. The Sandero whilst being extraordinarily cheap is also fun to drive, and a performance version makes it even better.

Sandero RS 2

As well as a bigger engine the new car also gets sportier suspension along with ESC and better brake and steering setups. Renaultsport boss Patrice Ratti said to Autocar last year that “A Sandero is lighter than a Clio, so you don’t need that much power,” if they were to being it to the UK I would like to see an increase in power to get it somewhere close to the 200BHP mark however. I think in the UK the Sandero RS would be going up against the likes of the Fiesta ST and the 208 GTI. Please Renault at least consider bringing it to the UK the Sandero is a great car and we deserve a fast version.

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The New Rumoured Top Gear line up

Top Gear Presenter rumours surrounding the reinvention of Top Gear have been going since Clarkson left, but we now appear to have three clear candidates for the show. Hidden Philip Glenister is rumoured for one of the roles, the Life On Mars star has been on old Top Gear before as the Star In a Reasonably Priced Car. But could now be set to present the show. His car knowledge might not be up to scratch though as the only similar thing he’s done is For the Love of Cars, kind of a Wheeler Dealers Clone, which worries me as they were even asking the question, “Could the Golf GTI be seen as a Classic.” on the previous episode. Jodie Kidd Jodie Kidd is also rumoured for a role in the show, she currently present The Classic Car show on Channel 5 with Top Gear alumni Quentin Wilson. I would think Jodie would be taking up the Richard Hammond role of the group. When she appeared on old Top Gear she almost went to the top of the leader board in the Suzuki Liana. She also helped Jeremy defeat the Australians in a double decker car race. Guy Martin

The third and final member of the new crew is Guy Martin, a man more famed for his work with motorbikes than cars. He has his own show on Channel 4 in which he tries to beat numerous world records in vehicles, such as fastest speed on a pushbike. His credentials behind a steering wheel though could be called into question whilst he’s good on a bike and is certainly daring is he any good as a driver. However whoever they choose it doesn’t matter. The reason Top gear worked before was because of the rapport the stars had with each other. They were willing to openly insult each other on the show and nobody cared it was just three old men having a laugh. I don’t see this as being the same. I just can’t see the three of them having a good relationship with each other. I can see Philip and Guy getting on well together but Jodie is the wild card. Not because she’s a woman, its because she is from a different world, Phil and Guy are from similar backgrounds, Jodie was a model. Whilst she was a racing driver he career was very short and very underwhelming old Top gear worked because two of the presenters could gang up on the other. With this configuration if Guy and Philip were to gang up on Jodie that would be deemed sexist and would put the show in jeopardy yet again. I just don’t know how this can work.

So Clarkson’s Gone… What happens now?

Top gear

So Jeremy Clarkson is officially done with Top Gear. It’s a sad fact but one we have to take and understand. Overall the BBC didn’t have any choice you clearly can’t punch a colleague and continue as normal, this makes me even more annoyed about the small number of Top Gear fans who have been sending hate mail and even death threats to the Director general of the BBC, Tony Hall. What the hell guys its just a show, Clarkson Hammond and May will almost certainly be back with something new soon enough so stop going crazy about it.

TG

Its also been confirmed that the TG boys will go on tour as planned for the remaining dates of Top Gear Live, only with all Top Gear and BBC branding gone. The shows are now just called Clarkson, Hammond and May Live. I would say that this gives even more credence to Hammond and May leaving the show with Clarkson to do something else together. Whilst over a million fans signed a petition started by Guido Fawkes to bring back Clarkson to the show it soon became clear that the BBC had no choice but to fire Clarkson.

Top Gear

So what does this mean for the show, the BBC say they will bring it back in 2016 with a replacement for Clarkson (I would hate to be the guy to follow that) but it looks like they’ll need a replacement for Hammond and May as well. Personally I think that 2016 is too soon to bring it back, I feel that the BBC needs to give it at least five years for everything to settle before they go about the relaunch of the most watched factual show on the planet. Frankly I don’t see it being nearly as successful and I honestly see Top Gear being cancelled for a second time within the next ten years. Fans will hate the new guy who ever it turns out to be because, its just not Clarkson. I feel the BBC needs to be incredibly careful about who they do choose to succeed Clarkson. Chris Evans, whilst popular has no experience reviewing cars and whilst he is a clear petrol head he has a strong bias for Ferrari, another name thrown around has been Piers Morgan, this will not happen, it would be like slapping Jeremy round the face seeing that Bellend in his place.