The first segment is one that I’ve been looking forward to for quite a while: the Jaguar XJ220 vs. the Bugatti EB110. I say this because I quite like the Jaguar XJ220, while I absolutely loathe the Bugatti EB110. It’s reminiscent of the spectacular Audi vs. Lancia film from the other week, which is about as high a compliment as a Grand Tour segment can have. It’s loud, screamy, and full of good shots of the XJ220 going around corners, and bad shots of the EB110 doing literally anything else. Full marks.
Up next is the team’s attempt to set a water speed record. They start out at Huddersfield International Airport, on the hunt for a jet engine that could create enough thrust to break a record. Two aviational casualties later, the process begins of combining a Suzuki Jimny with a boat and a jet, culminating in a finished product which the presenters undoubtedly had nothing to do with at all. The first test run is mostly a success, mainly since neither James nor Jeremy were killed, but that’s because the top speed is revealed to be about three. The next attempt involves a Bond Bug and a jet ski, but we’ll get back to that in a moment.
During Celebrity Face-Off, three of the world’s best-known magicians (Dynamo and Penn & Teller) take the F-Type around the track. All three do some pretty sweet magic before the extremely slow and snowy laps, making for by far the most entertaining Face-Off segment of the season. Penn’s tail-happy 1:33.8 smokes Dynamo’s somewhat lethargic 1:39.3 in the end, though both laps are catastrophically slow by any other standard.
Back on the water, Clarkson is forced to test the newly-christened Pond Bug out for real. After numerous stationary circles, he manages to get the Bug pointing in the correct direction, and wouldn’t you know it, the record is broken. Meaning that The Grand Tour has, literally, made history. With a rebodied Reliant Robin and a jet ski.
Overall, this was a strong episode. None of the films were particularly weak, as was the case last week with the mobile-refueling-unit bit, and the Bugatti/Jag segment was extremely strong, if a bit short. The Pond Bug wasn’t overdone, and managed to stay reasonably grounded while still providing a great ending with the record being broken. So if you want to see three old men break a record of which most of the population is completely unaware, watch away.