It appears that Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, James May and the entire Grand Tour team are going to great lengths to ensure their new motoring show will be a hit – and to help kick things off with a bang it’ll open with one of the most expensive opening shot ever seen on the small screen – a spectacular ‘Mad Max-style’ sequence that cost £2.5 million to make.

Filmed in the Californian desert last weekend, it involved 150 cars, a cast of 2,000 ‘petrolheads’, acrobats, stilt-walkers and even a flypast by six supersonic jets.

‘It was the most amazing opening ever for a TV show,’ a source said last night. ‘Nothing remotely like it has been seen before.’

Clarkson, with his former Top Gear colleagues Richard Hammond and James May, roared across the Lucerne Valley dry lake bed in customised red, white and blue Ford Mustangs.

Behind them, £20 million worth of cars, including a Bugatti Veyron and a Rolls-Royce, followed in a V formation.

‘It looked like a Mad Max movie,’ said one of the extras, while another likened the atmosphere to a carnival.

The Grand Tour launches on Amazon Prime on November 18, and will mark Clarkson’s comeback after losing his Top Gear job for punching a producer in March last year.

He will become Britain’s highest-paid TV star, thanks to a reported £10 million-a-year deal.