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Coronavirus (almost) killed a northern Russia episode of 'The Grand Tour'

A man on a snowy street in Yakutsk, Siberia, 450 km south of the Arctic Circle, in the former Soviet Union, December 11, 1965.

Photo by Pictorial Parade/Archive Photos/Getty Images

The team of Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond were set to head off on their next grand adventure in mid-March. A new interview between Clarkson and "The Grand Tour" executive editor Andy Wilman pulls back the curtain on that next act, which was cancelled because of COVID-19.

Ahead of any shoot for an episode of "The Grand Tour" the show's production company, Expectation Entertainment, expends hundreds of thousands of dollars preparing. That includes expenditures for finding the shooting, driving, and lodging locations; shipping cars to the location; and paying fixers among other things.

During the chat session, Wilman described how the team was in the thick of it with planning for the latest episode featuring a drive in northern Russia when the first reports of the coronavirus came out. "There's no word in Russian for 'I'll give you refund'," joked Wilman. "It just doesn't exist."

Jeremy Clarkson & Andy Wilman discuss why it takes so bloody long to put a Grand Tour film out www.youtube.com

Soon, the team began hearing about closing borders, not just Russia's, but England's.

They had to make a decision. "We had to call it. It was the right move," Wilman confirmed, jokingly adding later, "The people only want us to do globetrotting and boy have we picked the right moment to do that."

Clarkson says that they will still do the episode, but that there will be another one in-between.

An episode shot in northern Russia would be an extreme climatic change from the last episode the trio filmed in Madagascar. That episode has been held up in the editing process due to social distancing guidelines set forth in England over the last few months.

Most of northern Russia is above the Arctic Circle. It's bordered by the Arctic Ocean and Bearing Sea.

This wouldn't be the first time they've been to the Arctic Circle. In 2007, an episode of "Top Gear" starring Clarkson, May, and Hammond aired and featured the group's successful attempt to be the first people to reach the 1996 position of the North Magnetic Pole (in Canada) in a motor vehicle. It was the first "Top Gear" episode ever aired in high definition and featured Richard Hammond on a dog sled.

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New technology is embedded into the brake caliper.

Photo courtesy of Brembo

Brembo is celebrating 60 years of brand braking history with the debut of a bit of its future. The New G Sessanta Concept is a peek at what the company sees as the future of mobility. It was inspired by the first brake caliper for motorbikes produced by the company, an innovation in 1972.

The company says that the core of the concept is LED technology, which is applied directly to the body of the caliper, a feature that is adaptable to every type of caliper they craft. Brembo sees the tech as being able to enhance the caliper's form and function serving as both an interface and an aesthetic. It will be able to "communicate directly with the user" and "adapt to the user's tastes and preferences". A new video released by Brembo shows the LED color changing via a smartphone app.

 New G Sessanta Concept The New G Sessanta Concept features interactive tech.Photo courtesy of Brembo

Brembo is often known for using bright, flashy colors on its calipers and the new light plays on that. The New G Sessanta is designed to be customizable via wireless technology. When a vehicle equipped with the caliper is stopped, the user can control the desired shade of light to express mood, enhance the style of the bike, or adapt it to the surroundings.

Additionally, the LEDs could use color and light to relay data and information regarding the conditions of the vehicle and caliper itself, or even help localize a parked vehicle by emitting a courtesy light.

Watch the video below to see the vision of the New G Sessanta come to life.

BREMBO “NEW G SESSANTA”: THE NEW BRAKE CALIPER CONCEPT SET TO SHAPE THE FUTURE OF MOBILITY www.youtube.com

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An Infiniti Q60 drifts at Yokohama Harbor.

Photo courtesy of Infiniti

A new film showcases the drifting capabilities of a heavily modified Infiniti Q60. The coupe currently competes in the domestic top-tier drift championship in Japan even though the sports coupe is not sold there.

Before reaching the docks in Japan, the car was heavily modified having started its journey in America. The car was built to show off renowned restoration specialist Tatsuhiro Shibata's passion for the Infiniti brand.

The video features Shibata and his driver, Koudai Sobagiri putting the The hand-built model to the test and showing off near Infiniti's world headquarters in Yokohama, Japan. The closed course near Yokohama Harbor served as the set.

"In my eyes, the Q60 was the best looking of (the Infiniti lineup), but they didn't sell any in Japan. So we had to go to the U.S. to find one," Shibata says. "It's simple; I just wanted a good-looking racing car."

Tatsuhiro Shibata's Infiniti Q60

Photo courtesy of Infiniti

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This isn't the first time that Shibata has imported an Infiniti to Japan. His passion has led him to do so for the last decade. Shibata is not directly affiliated with Infiniti.

Following the film, Infiniti plans to release an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the film and the Shibata Infiniti Q60. An exclusive story about Shibata's workshop, Sobagiri's path to drifting, and more will be released along with the behind-the-scenes film.

1,000HP INFINITI Q60: Drifting at the Docks www.youtube.com

The release of the film comes as Infiniti is playing catch up with much of their business plans. Amid falling sales and the COVID-19 pandemic, plans for two new models to be introduced had to be push to 2021 including the 2022 Infiniti QX55 and the forthcoming redesigned QX60.

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