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Watching the scenes in Vicenza from July, one is reminded how much global appeal Clarkson, Hammond and May still have. Crowds of Italians gathered around Clarkson in the all-new Aston Martin DB11, with May in an electric blue Roller, seeking autographs and hand-shakes. The enthusiastic congregation was a microcosm of the former Top Gear trio's popularity.

There’s no doubting these guys can still get the attention of car lovers the world over. But will their new show, The Grand Tour, match up to expectations?

Due to air this autumn, the signs for the new Amazon-funded series do look good. The few short clips that have been released suggest that the three chums still have the chemistry and humour to be a hit.

While the later series of Top Gear were well-funded and filled with off-the-wall stunts and set-pieces, The Grand Tour looks like it will go up another gear. Set to be shown on Amazon Prime, the US tech giant knows the potential of their new show: it could attract hundreds of thousands – or even millions – of new subscribers to the service.

The Grand Tour will, unlike the majority of other new shows (which are usually aired on US networks first), be available to viewers across the world, at the same time.

No pressure, then.

The new show shares a lot with the old Top Gear format, but seems to be a little more liberal in some ways: the clips suggest more (un-bleeped) swearing and even a little nudity (topless Namibians dance around Hammond's ride in one scene). While the old Top Gear was no stranger to causing offence on occasion, the new offering could run even closer to the bone. Whether it survives the censors of places like Iran (where the old Top Gear was hugely popular) remains to be seen.

But as healthy as the life signs of the The Grand Tour are, it has its work cut out.

Series 22 of Top Gear was broadcast on the BBC, available to millions without cost (notwithstanding the licence fee). It was also shown in hundreds of other countries on free-to-air channels.

The Grand Tour by contrast requires a subscription to watch. Fans of the old Top Gear will have their loyalty tested through their wallets.

It will be interesting to see how many Amazon Prime subscriptions are cancelled after the first episode.

One thing is for certain – The Grand Tour looks more promising than the revamped Top Gear.