The former Top Gear trio, apart from filming its new show for Amazon Prime, is working on a new online media platform for petrolheads.

Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May created a new company that will launch DriveTribe, a new digital platform that aims to become “the digital home for motoring fans worldwide”, according to Variety’s exclusive report.

Former Top Gear executive producer Andy Wilman is also participating in the new venture with tech entrepreneur Ernesto Schmitt being DriveTribe’s CEO.

The new website will be structured into different ‘tribes’, with each one having its own character and preferences. Clarkson, Hammond and May are going to generate their own content for the site via their own tribes. Users will be able to sign up on different tribes and even create their own. “What we are looking to do is build a next-generation vertical that is dedicated to motoring, and that really combines content, social and commerce,” Schmitt said.

Richard Hammond said: “We know we can do, and are doing, and always will do the high-production value long-form TV stuff. That’ll never change, that’s us at heart. But we are doing that, of course, in a world that has now allowed a whole raft of different ways for people to consume their media, not just sitting down and watching beautiful, delicious TV but also bite-sized chunks of media in whatever form many, many times a day, and obviously given our subject being motoring, which is incredibly broad and exciting, especially right now, we figured, well, it’s time to do this, it’s not been done, let’s do it, let’s do it first and let’s do it really, really well: pull the whole subject together for a whole bunch of people all over the world.”

“We are very excited just to get to grips with this thing. We can’t wait to see it,” he said. “It presents an opportunity to get to a whole lot of people about a subject about which we are incredibly passionate, occasionally knowledgeable, and often quite stupid. Everything we’ve learned about it means we have the opportunity to connect with people many times and in many different ways.”

Just as the old TG appealed to all types of people, the new platform would be for everybody, young and old, male and female. The launch of this ambitious project will take place around the same time with the debut of the new Amazon show in autumn.

“Gamers have got Twitch, travelers have got TripAdvisor and fashion fans have got, oh, something or other too”, said Hammond. “But people who are into cars have got nowhere. There’s no grand-scale online motoring community where people can meet and share video, comments, information and opinion. DriveTribe will change that. And then some.”

“This is pure digital exclusivity”, May added. “Some of the world’s most endangered tribes — Volvo enthusiasts, for example — will now have a voice as loud as everyone else’s.”

Clarkson’s comment was laconic: “I didn’t understand DriveTribe until Richard Hammond said it was like YouPorn, only with cars.” Throwing all pretension of civility out of the window once again that JC, isn’t he?



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