You can thank the BBC for that.
If there’s one thing we’d like to see more of in The Grand Tour Season Two that was sorely absent in the first season, it’s the cheap car challenges that were once a staple of the Clarkson, Hammond and May era of Top Gear. The closest we got to a cheap car challenge in The Grand Tour was the environmentally friendly cars challenge and the Maserati road trip in France, but these paled in comparison to classic Top Gear challenges like the cheap Porsches and the infamous $1,000 car challenge in Alabama.
These films may have featured used cars bought on a budget, but they lacked focus and often didn’t feature any challenges. Instead, they usually descended into aimless road trips as an excuse to show off the show’s massive budget. Some behind the scenes photos were recently released previewing some of the locations and cars we can expect to see in the new season. One photo showed what looked like a cheap Jaguar challenge, featuring vintage Jaguars taking on the snow-covered mountains of Colorado. Another showed a Mercedes sedan and a Nissan Frontier pickup truck stuck in the mud in Mozambique which looked like a classic Top Gear-style challenge where everything goes wrong.
However, The Drive reached out to Amazon to find out if The Grand Tour is reviving these fan favorite cheap car challenges. The simple answer is a resounding no. Apparently, the film featuring the muddy vehicles won’t even be shown in the second season. The problem is that having challenges that are too similar to the old Top Gear cheap car films would rile the BBC’s lawyers. It’s obvious to anyone who watches The Grand Tour that the show is essentially a reincarnation of the old Top Gear with a few tweaks, but several changes had to be made to stop the shows from being too similar.
The silent Stig was replaced with the very vocal ‘American,’ and James May isn’t even allowed to reuse his “oh cock” catchphrase. It’s disappointing that we won’t be seeing the return of cheap car challenges in The Grand Tour season two, but there’s still a lot to look forward to. Hammond's crash in the Rimac Concept One will feature, as will the McLaren 720S and Bugatti Chiron. Filming locations include Croatia, Mozambique, Dubai, Spain, Switzerland, Colorado and New York. There’s still no confirmed air date, but ticket listings for the studio recordings suggest that The Grand Tour could be back on our screens later this month.