With two episodes of The Grand Tour now streaming on Amazon Prime, it’s safe to say that most of the questions shifting gears in the minds of viewers have been decisively answered on the small screen. How does the new gig compare to the trio’s Top Gear days? (The reviews are ace.) Does the traveling tent setup work well? (It does indeed!) Has Captain Slow gotten slower in the interim? (Thankfully not.) But perhaps the most intriguing question we still haven’t gotten an official answer to — and probably never will — is the rumored cost of production, which has been estimated by most publications to be in the low hundred millions. Jeff Bezos himself has said that Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May are “very, very, very expensive … they’re worth a lot and they know it,” and the hosts struck a cushy three-season deal for 36 total episodes. So by that logic, the series has to be worth Veyrons on Veyrons on Veyrons, right? Not so, according to Clarkson.
“Amazon spent far less than Netflix would have you believe,” Clarkson said in a interview with CNN last week. “It’s nowhere near as expensive as people have been saying.” Jezza was specifically responding to a recent Telegraph interview with Netflix’s chief content officer , who claimed the actual price Amazon paid “was about a quarter of a billion dollars.” (Interestingly, Sarandos also confirmed that Netflix “definitely” made a play for the show during its shopping period.) Though Clarkson said he “of course” knew what Amazon was spending on the show, he declined to give specifics. “It’s just not a British thing,” he explained. “I mean, look at me. Do I look like I’m making $300 million a year?” Always the modest one, that guy.