In the latest video from The Grand Tour, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond take an SM for a sweeping drive through the open countryside of southern of England. While the essence of the SM is captured and the drone footage is spectacular, Clarkson and Hammond, as well as the producers of this video, need a SM orientation lesson.
Presumably for the sake of showbiz, they drummed up the means to show Clarkson’s indomitable wit, by having him slag the SM’s dashboard warning lights as part of he and Hammond’s verbal banter as they cruise along. He points out to Richard Hammond the giant stop warning light in the SM, which happens to be on, along with the alternator and oil pressure light, plus a flashing handbrake light, which begs the question, why would you drive the car with these lights on?
Is the next scene in the video supposed to be where they break-down? No — the video serenely continues.
In reality that warning light combination would indicate that shot was done when the engine was not running! Why would experienced automotive journalists, who have encountered the SM and DS on many occasions, show such a scenario? To achieve sensationalism do they need to incorrectly target the dashboard warning lights as a Citroën SM quirk?
Clarkson also takes his usual jabs, at french engineering, oddly criticizing the complexity of its gear linkage (considered by many who have reviewed the SM to be one of the best feeling gear shifts ever) and slags the electric harness for being all black sleeved wire.
He has a point about the wire, but showing the SM driving along with these warning lights on, makes for a rather amateurish presentation and Clarkson and Hammond to be fools.
Watch the video here:
Update — Dec. 27, 2021: In contrast, watch this perspective on the SM, presented by Iain Tyrrell of Tyrrell’s Classic Workshop where he discusses the SM’s development and takes a road test where he eloquently conveys the brilliant engineering, styling and remarkable ride: https://youtu.be/pKIsN3h3Rvk. [Note however that there is one error; Iain mentions that the Maserati V6 engine in the SM was ‘chopped down’ version of their V8 at the time. Actually, the SM V6 engine was designed from scratch by Maserati’s Giulio Alfieri but capable of being assembled on existing V8 tooling.]