The monkey business is back! After a stellar first season aired between 18 November 2016 and 3 February 2017, the motoring series presented by Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May is gearing up for a second spell. The Amazon show will go on air from 8 December 2017 (Friday) and petrolheads cannot afford to miss the show this time.
The show produced by Andy Wilman has made some changes to the format of the show. This has been initiated after criticism from viewers over some segments in season 1. Does that mean the show will be aired with fewer quarrels between the trio? Fewer car actions? Not at all. The trailer suggests the show will be bigger and more fun filled in its second season.
Auto enthusiasts, recharge your internet and Amazon subscriptions. You cannot miss the new season. We will tell you why in the seven points below.
1. The holy trinity aka three middle-aged monkeys
Besides the obvious central theme of cars, the highlight of The Grand Tour is the presenters. Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May; the former BBC Top Gear trio is known for teasing each other and their varying opinions on each car. James May aka as Captain Slow is known for his logical explanations that irritate Clarkson who stands for sheer speed and power and car. The muscle car and SUV lover Hammond always has completely different opinions. In the end, three presenters will never come to one conclusion. And that makes the show dramatic. The season 2 will ensure more of this 'monkey business', as they would love to call it.
2. Cars and more cars
The trailer of season 2 released in July indicates a lot of fast machines are part of the new show. These include Mercedes-AMG GT-R, McLaren 720S, Audi TT RS, Ariel Nomad, Lancia 037 rally car, Jaguar XJ6, Rimac Concept One and Bugatti Chiron. Not enough? This time around, there is a luxury tank named Ripsaw EV2 and it seems to be shot in Dubai.
3. More exotic locations
The season 1 saw the trio travelling to USA, South Africa, UK, Netherlands, Finland, Namibia, Germany and others. The season 2 will be equally interesting as the show will be heading back to Africa and that they will also be going to Georgia. Croatia, Mozambique, Dubai, Spain, Switzerland, Colorado and New York are the other notable destinations.
4. No American, no Celebrity Brain Crash and no travelling tent
Instead of a travelling tent, the season 2 will see the studio tent has a permanent home in the Cotswolds. Reason? The show official explains, "Given the show's presenter's sore joints, struggling lungs and a combined age of 158, the studio tent has been given a new home in a charming location in the Cotswolds, UK.
The Stig's counterpart in The Grand Tour was NASCAR driver Mike Skinner, known as The American. He was responsible to thrash around the cars at test track Eboladrome to find the fastest circuit timing. However, the segment didn't go down well with the viewers. Season 2 will see a new driver on duty and the team is currently scouting for a suitable candidate.
Celebrity Brain Crash was another boring segment in season 1. Instead, the season 2 has been updated with Celebrity Face Off which will see guests will be pitted against each other to see who is fastest around the new track.
5. Celebrities galore
The Grand Tour Season 2 will see celebrities Luke Evans (Beauty and the Beast), Kiefer Sutherland (24), Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey), Kevin Pietersen (former England cricketer) and Dominic Cooper (Captain America: The First Avenger) participating the show. Besides them, Dynamo (magician), Rory Mcllroy (golfer), Michael Ball (singer) and Alfie Boe (musical theatre artist) will also appear in Season 2.
6. Eventful filming
The filming of Season 2 was a roller coaster ride for the crew. In March, Richard Hammond was badly hurt in a motorcycle accident while filming in Mozambique. Then, on June 10, Hammond again involved in a car crash in Switzerland. The presenter was airlifted to hospital from Swiss mountains. He had lost control of a Rimac Concept One electric car while taking part in the famous Hemburg time-trial.
In August, his co-presenter Jeremy Clarkson also fell sick. He had been hospitalised pneumonia while on a holiday in Mallorca. Sources close to the star described the health scare as "serious."
All this forced Amazon to postpone the air date of Season 2. The good news is that the boys are out of bad days.
7. Whopping budget
The team were given a whopping budget of £160 million for the 36 episodes from Amazon. That means on an average, they have around £4.5m to spend per episode. It is Amazon's biggest investment in original content to date and one of the most expensive UK shows ever made. Will it live up to the hype? Let's wait for the show.