Past, Present or Future is the fourteenth episode of The Grand Tour, and the first episode of Series 2. It was released on Amazon Prime on 8th December, 2017.
In the first episode of The Grand Tour's second season, Clarkson, Hammond, and May head to Switzerland for a three-way shootout between a trio of supercars, each representing a different time period.
Clarkson selects a bright yellow Lamborghini Aventador S, representing the past. May picks up the mantle of the present, choosing a Honda NSX. Finally, Hammond picks a futuristic Croatian electric supercar called the Rimac Concept One.
Over the course of three days, Hammond singlehandedly ruins May and Clarkson's time with their cars by forcing them to drive through the tight streets and unpaved back roads of Lucerne, spending time in various Swiss museums, and staying at a wellness retreat with no meat or alcohol. Additionally, May and Clarkson initially forget that motorsport is banned in Switzerland on account of the Le Mans disaster in France, so they cannot race on a track. They eventually realise that Hammond has picked the hotel and the museums on purpose, as Lucerne has one of Switzerland's only fast-charging power points for his car.
In between May and Clarkson's personal misery, the trio do manage to find a runway to race their cars on. In a surprising result, Hammond's Rimac demolishes the Lamborghini and Honda in the drag race, with Clarkson narrowly avoided last place to May. After this, a frustrated Clarkson drifts his Lamborghini around the airfield until one of his rear tyres becomes separated from the rim. Stopping to repair the damage, May and Clarkson finally remember that Swiss motorsport is banned. Tired of Hammond's antics, the duo decide to head to a hill-climb event in St Gallen, which is too far away for the Rimac to drive.
After a final night in the wellness retreat, Clarkson and May head off to St Gallen, leaving Hammond to commandeer a flatbed truck to transport his Rimac. Arriving at the hill-climb early, May and Clarkson use the opportunity to finally load up on meat. After Hammond arrives, the trio complete a number of practice runs, eventually lining up for their official timed runs. On their attempts, May and Clarkson complete the track without incident, although Clarkson secretly uses a Lamborghini test driver after he realises that he cannot fit into his Aventador while wearing a helmet. Hammond, however, veers off the track after crossing the finish line, crashing through a barrier, careening down a hill, and rolling his Rimac multiple times. After coming to a rest, the Rimac bursts into flames and is completely destroyed. Hammond breaks his knee in the accident.
Back at the studio, May reveals the times of the hill-climb, completely ignoring Hammond’s fiery crash. The times are revealed as:
|Place||Vehicle + Driver||Time|
|First||Lamborghini Aventador S (Jeremy*)||1:10.4|
|Second||Rimac Concept One (Richard)||1:14.7|
|Third||Honda NSX (James)||1:20.4|
Clarkson concludes that although the future is very fast it is “quite burny”, making light of Hammond's accident.
Conversation Street Edit
In the second series’ first conversation street, the presenters mock each other for their trips to hospital while filming for the show. Clarkson, in particular, receives much of the mockery, having been diagnosed with pneumonia while vacationing in Majorca. Later, May reveals that he had his identity stolen over the last year, with Clarkson suggesting he could prevent this from happening again by changing his name to Dingleberry Handpump. The trio also discuss the new Ford Mustang’s ‘good neighbour’ quiet exhaust system and Nissan’s concept for dehydration-sensing seat covers, to which Clarkson recounts a story of borrowing a man’s pickup truck while filming in Texas only to discover afterwards that he didn’t wear underwear while driving.
Celebrity Face Off Edit
The trio introduce their new segment, Celebrity Face Off, to replace Celebrity Brain Crash. After introducing the track and the car, a Jaguar F-Type, Clarkson welcomes David Hasselhoff and Ricky Wilson. Hasselhoff, an ex-host of America’s Got Talent, and Wilson, a former judge on The Voice UK, go head-to-head to determine “the world’s fastest ex-talent show host”.
In their timed laps, Wilson manages to outpace Hasselhoff, bagging a time of 1:20.1 versus Hasselhoff’s 1:24.1.
- The photo of Hasselhoff with a white Lamborghini Countach LP500S is from his "True Survivor" music video from the 2015 film Kung Fury.