The Grand Tour: Series 1, Episode 9 – Berks To The Future

6
  • The Grand Tour tent pitches up in Stuttgart, Germany.
  • James May introduces a test of the highly advanced Honda NSX.
  • Jeremy Clarkson tries to invent a new sort of SUV.
  • Richard Hammond creates a machine to protect him from a future apocalypse.
  • The three hosts attempt to generate electricity from everyday activities.

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Episode Guide

The tent is within the courtyard of Ludwigsburg Palace, where Clarkson praises Germany as the “cradle of the automobile.” May reviews the new Honda NSX.

Clarkson fuses the body of a 1978 MGB Roadster with the chassis of a Land Rover Discovery to make a “proper” sport utility vehicle, but when the MG body falls off, he replaces it with a 1980s Mercedes-Benz SL. He then gives Hammond and May a ride in it to the Chelsea F.C. before having it displayed at the Coys of Kensington car auction, where it fetches £4,000.

A human figure introduced as German singer Nena, is carried away from the courtyard by 99 red balloons. The presenters develope alternative means to recharge mobile phone batteries.

May then demonstrates how much power a gym generates to recharge a G-Wiz. Hammond tries his hand on post-apocalyptic “Bug Out” vans, but it is not long before Clarkson and May destroy his creations using a shoulder-fired missile, Scimitar and Challenger 2 tanks, and a 4.5 inch Mark 8 naval gun on HMS Richmond.

Eboladrome Lap Times

Honda NSX
1:26.0 (wet)

Trivia

0:01:13 – What Jeremy said in German at the start of the show is actually, ‘Thank you and welcome in the big tour’. Jeremy does not speak German.

0:05:22 – The original Hondaa NSX (known in North America as the Acura NSX) was powered by a 3-litre V6 engine making 270 horsepower. It was, as any car bore will tell you, developed with the help of F1 legend Ayrton Senna. Also, in the movie Pulp Fiction, the immensely cool character Winston Woolfe had one.

0:05:51 – The Honda NSX has a 3.5-litre twin-turbo petrol engine plus three electric motors (one at the back, one powering each front wheel) making a total of 573 horsepower. It has four wheel drive and a 9-speed double clutch, paddle shift gearbox.

0:08:18 – Although the Honda NSX uses full brake-by-wire, the law demands that it can default to using a conventional hydraulic back-up system if the electronics go wrong. Which they probably won’t, because it’s a Honda.

0:08:39 – Well good – British street slang meaning very, very good indeed. Used in this programme by the urban gangsta, James May.

0:12:06 – Honda did indeed take 10 years to come up with a new NSX, but they wasted several of those years thinking it should be front-engined and V10-powered before having a hybrid change of heart.

0:15:43 – Gin clear – British expression to denote something very, very clear. Just like popular see-through drink and improver of tonic water, gin. This expression possibly originates amongst the pilots of the RAF.

0:20:02 – Jeremy’s ‘sport utility’ prototype is the second time in this series that old Land Rover Discovery’s have been pillaged for their versatile separate chassis’. They were also used as the basis for the presenter’s creations in the sustainable cars film from show 4.

0:22:49 – Jeremy has never explained what the D stands for in the name of his MGD ‘sports utility’ prototype. Possible answers include, ‘Discovery’, ‘Dismal’ and ‘Dear me, what’s he doing now?’.

0:23:29 – Jeremy’s drag race rival is a Dacia Duster 4×4 featuring a 1.5-litre, 108 horsepower diesel engine and boasting a 0-62 time of 12.4 seconds.

0:25:45 – Jeremy’s MGD prototype test was filmed at Hurn, in Hampshire, on the UK’s only purpose built military vehicle proving ground. Not that this was in any way relevant.

0:27:41 – The 1971-1989 Mercedes SL (known to Merc nerds as the R107) starred not only in Dallas but also in the other ’90s TV staple, Hart to Hart.

0:31:07 – Chelsea are a team in the English Premier League. Jeremy supports them.

0:34:02 – Jeremy’s full auction catalogue description for The Excellent reads as follows; Hand-crafted by a renowned British atelier, The Excellent sympathetically marries the chassis of the esteemed Land Rover Discovery in sought-after mark 1 specification to the body of a Mercedes SL of the so-called ‘Dallas’ shape, rightly regarded as an exemplar of understated style. Benefitting from the revered 3.9-litre V8 engine, originally by Buick of the United States and substantially improved by the Rover company of Solihull, The Excellent boasts effortless on-road performance whilst the subtle but ingenious application of a Birmingham-engineered separate chassis and four-wheel drive system promises enviable ability on more demanding terrain. Cosmetically, the exterior of The Excellent is in exceptional order and resplendent in a grey colour from the Mazda company of Japan. This car exudes good taste, as indeed does its creator. Conversely, the interior would benefit from some minor attention but its hard-working condition in no way compromises the great joy this very special machine brings to any right-thinking occupant. The Excellent represents a unique opportunity to acquire an exquisite piece of forward thinking design and engineering, and one that is sure to become a landmark in the evolution of the automobile.

0:37:45 – Nena was born in Hagen, Germany in 1960. She had a worldwide hit with 99 Red Balloons (originally, 99 Luftballons) in 1984.

0:40:37 – The Border Collie in the making electricity film is Richard’s actual dog.

0:44:40 – The production team had to find the location for the excercise-based electricity generation. James May is not actually a member of a gym. This may come as a shock to some viewers.

0:48:18 – Preppers are so-called because they’re ‘preparing’ for some sort of apocalypse.

0:49:16 – ‘Bug-out’ is a military term describing the tactic of soldiers rapidly dispersing in multiple directions like uncovered insects to ensure their own survival in the event of a sudden, close enemy attack.

0:54:19 – James’s FV107 Scimitar is powered by a 5.9-litre six cylinder diesel engine making 190 horsepower. It has a top speed of 50mph.

0:57:35 – The Alvis Stalwart is a multi-purpose amphibious truck used by the British military from the mid-1960s until the 1980s. It has a 6.5-litre straight eight petrol engine producing 220 horsepower. It can travel at 40mph on a road or at 7mph across water.

0:58:48 – The ship in the bug-out film is HMS Richmond, a Royal Navy Type 23 frigate.

Screenshots

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Rating: 8.5/10 (20 votes cast)
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6 COMMENTS

  1. After last weeks special, it felt a little anti-climatic to come back down to a ‘regular’ episode.

    I thought James’ car film was the best that he has done all series. It really felt like he was comfortable with his review and the cars features (and drawbacks) were well articulated. The people-electricity bit was kind of interesting car ‘science’… after having a bit of a laugh they actually gave it a serious attempt and gave I think a surprising result (I thought it would just roll forward and stop). Jeremy’s film was just boy-foolery… which was fine.

    They need to muzzle ‘the american’ and stick a full face helmet on him. It would improve the lap times greatly. I’ll admit the last film had me snoozing a little at the end of the day…

  2. They should include car reviews more and reduce the entertainment bits.

    Except the NSX review (which was bit short to be honest), MBD and Zoombie protection vehicle were waste of time. They are dragging too much into entertainment (which is not probably irritating) and not paying much attention to car reviews.

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