The Grand Tour’s Happy Finnish Christmas keeps the momentum going [Op/Ed]


Earlier this week, I said that episode five of The Grand Tour was the best yet. While I still stand behind that sentiment, a seriously car-centric episode six kept the momentum going.

The episode, entitled “Happy Finnish Christmas,” took place in Finland (obviously) near the Arctic Circle. Despite this, there were no snow- or winter-related segments in the show. Instead, the main focus – no pun intended – was Richard Hammond’s test of the first right-hand-drive Mustang GT, where he was joined by Jeremy Clarkson in a Focus RS.

The segment started with Hammond taking the Mustang on a tour of England, in the same way he would take a first-time American tourist through the country. Along the way, he was interrupted by Clarkson, who showed up with the Focus RS and said how much better it was than the Mustang.

Hijinks thus ensued, with Hammond trying to lose Clarkson around the twisty English back roads. He didn’t, so they decided to have a drag race. Watch the episode to see who wins, and also to see which car is faster around the test track at the hands of Mike “The American” Skinner.

In between were the usual in-tent segments, along with a special Christmas gift segment which was entertaining much like the old Top Gear gift segments, even if it did have one too many penis jokes.

The episode wrapped up with a James May documentary about the rivalry between Ford and Ferrari back in the 60s and how Ford was determined to beat Ferrari at Le Mans. It was an engaging segment, with the cerebral May the perfect narrator and host. In fact, it was a lot like his non-Top Gear BBC shows like James May’s Cars of the People.

There are still some issues with the new show. Celebrity Brain Crash really needs to go away, but at least this time it was very, very short. The American is also very annoying when he opens up his mouth. We get it, he’s the anti-Stig, and instead of not talking at all he can’t keep his mouth shut. But we still don’t like it.

In all, though, this car-centric episode of The Grand Tour will appeal to all of the hardcore gearheads who complained that some of the early episodes didn’t have enough cars in them, but it still had enough of what makes these three click to keep all fans interested. It’s not the best of the season, at least for me, although it’s close. Hopefully the good things continue for the rest of the season.

Check out this TFLcar video of the 2017 Chevy Corvette Grand Sport versus the Dodge Challenger Hellcat: