The long wait by motoring fans for the new Amazon Prime show featuring the former Top Gear trio is finally at an end. But the burning question remains - was The Grand Tour worth the wait?

Based on the initial reviews it seems that old magic formula of blokey banter from three grumpy middle-aged men, with a side of bombast, non-pc humour along with plenty of expensive cars and high-octane sequences has been delivered in spades.

Then again, it's what you would hope from a show that reportedly costs over €5m per episode!

The opening episode debuted overnight in a number of territories such as the United States, Germany and the UK where Amazon's video service is available. From next month it will launch in Ireland and some two-hundred other countries on the back of what has been a huge investment by the company.

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The first episode sees Clarkson "leaving" the BBC in a London black cab before the action moves to the sun-drenched Mojave Desert in California, where he is joined by May and Hammond. 

The three "gypsies" then join a massive convoy and head along to what's described as the 'Burning Van' festival to none other than the strains of the Hothouse Flowers singing, I Can See Clearly Now live (hint hint).

The opening sequence reportedly cost almost €3m Pic: Amazon Prime

After that there's some on-stage banter in the tent about the various jobs they've all been fired from. Clarkson, who was sacked by the BBC for assaulting the show's Irish producer Oisín Tymon while on location in March 2015, tells the audience that:

The good thing is it's very unlikely I'm going to be fired now because we're on the internet, which means I could pleasure a horse...".

Well that's set the tone for sure. The action-packed opening episode then saw the trio test the McLaren P1, Porsche 918 Spyder and Ferrari LaFerrari sports cars - holy trinity of supercars - on their new track in Portugal.

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So what do the initial reviews make of it all? The Guardian praised the opening sequence which it said was "undeniably, a brilliant beautiful spectacle" but said that for all the money spent the entire episode felt "utterly familiar". However for fans of the old Top Gear that necessarily isn't a bad thing.

Yes the blokey humour is back Pic: Amazon Prime

Here The Irish Times agrees and says that "we’ve learned that Clarkson, Hammond and May can still present a reasonably entertaining television show, but perhaps that was not a major surprise".

Meanwhile The Telegraph gave the opening episode the thumbs up saying "Petrolheads can rejoice" and said that "five minutes in and already Top Gear had been thoroughly trumped" by its upstart rival.

Fans who've seen the episode also were full of praise.