Car of the year 2017

So 2017 is over and done with which means it’s time for me to name my car of the year. The overall theme of last year seems to have been one of surprises, many car companies changed their ways last year and brought out cars that were surprisingly good as is evidenced by this list. The competition has been one of the fiercest ever and it was a struggle to come up with just 5 cars to make the list but I persevered and here we go.

McLaren 720S

  1. McLaren 720S

The McLaren 720S is an amazing car that beats the world in its segment and even challenges cars in much higher areas. Better than the Ferrari 488 and the Lamborghini Huracan, the 720S manages to continue McLarens dominance of the super car market. But the 720S doesn’t reach higher on the list because it does exactly what McLaren has done since their return to the road car game. All previous McLaren road cars have been world-beaters, the MP4-12C beat the Ferrari 458, the 650S beat the 488 the McLaren 720S should beat the world because that’s exactly what it was built to do, but nowadays beating the world seems just to easy for McLaren.

Kia Stinger

  1. Kia Stinger

In my introduction I talked about surprises, one of the biggest surprises of the year was the rise of Kia, a company more commonly known by their reliable yet boring hatchbacks. The Kia Stinger is an off shoot for the Korean company and one many may have missed purely because of the relatively humdrum badge on the front. Whilst the Stinger may not be a match for the big boys of the super saloon world like the Audi RS4 and BMW M3 the little Stinger is easily a match for the lesser S4 and 330i. The little Stinger is a step in the right direction for Kia and has brought them to the forefront of the motoring world, 2018 will certainly be a year of growth for the company and its exciting to see what they’ll come up with next.

Bugatti Chiron

  1. Bugatti Chiron

When we talk about world-beaters there’s only really one name in the conversation. The Veyron was one of the greatest cars ever made and its sequel is certainly something to worry about. The Chiron is an incredible machine, faster than the Veyron and possibly even prettier. Other companies from around the world have beaten its top speed but many of those are just stripped out racers, the Chiron is one of the fastest cars in the world but also one of the most luxurious, leather and carbon fibre team to create on of the nicest interior I have ever seen. The Bugatti Chiron is special because it dominates in both luxury and speed, whilst the handling may be compromised by its incredible power, its presence cannot be understated

Hyundai i30 N

  1. Hyundai i30 N

Who would have ever thought a Hyundai would be higher on this list than a Bugatti? Well this Hyundai isn’t just any old Hyundai, it’s the greatest car the company has ever made. Hyundai’s first foray into the fiercely competitive hot hatch market is a successful one, whilst the little i30 N is unlikely to keep up with the likes of the Golf R and Civic Type R the i30 N is much more of a match for the lower grade Golf GTI, its power and handling are much better than expected from the budget brand. The i30 N is yet another example of Hyundai’s desperation to be accepted as a serious contender in the hot hatch market, it’s a step in the right direction certainly but the lacklustre interior falls far behind that of the Germans meaning it only reaches second on my list.

Alpine Vision

  1. Alpine A110

When I first heard of the return of the long since forgotten Alpine brand I thought, “oh great another attempt to rekindle a brand nobody cares about that will eventually fail.” And when I heard about the new A110 sports car coming from the company I thought, “it’ll just be a badly built kit car with second hand Renault parts” but I’m glad to say I was wrong both times. The Alpine A110 is another of the retro remakes that we’ve seen in the likes of the VW Beetle and Fiat 500 but this is the first time we’ve seen a reimagined sports car. The A110 is going up against stiff competition in the form of the new 718 Cayman, and whilst being less powerful with only 249BHP compared to the 718’s 361BHP the Alpine weighs less meaning 0-60 times are similar of around 4.5 seconds. I didn’t want to like the Alpine I thought is was going to be a cheap money grab by Renault but the little A110 is a fantastically handling sports car that can take on the world which is why it has won my car of the year for 2017.

Congratulations Alpine

What were your highlights of 2017 let me know in the comments.

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The Geneva Motorshow 2017

So the Geneva Motor show is in full swing and the great and the good of the motor industry are out in force at the Swiss event. If I were to go through everything at the show I would be here for three days straight so I thought I would just bring you the highlights of the greatest show on the motoring calendar.

McLaren 720S

McLaren 720S

McLaren are releasing cars thick and fast right now and they have been working hard on the new replacement for the 650S. So here we have the long rumoured 720S. Boasting a new 4.0 litre twin turbocharged V8 engine (upped from the 3.8 in the 650S) the 720S has 710BHP and 770Nm of torque. McLaren tasked themselves with doubling the aerodynamic efficiency of the 650S for the new 720S. Which has led to the distinctive look of the new car with its hidden headlights and aerodynamic streaks down the side, certainly an impressive machine to behold. Prices start from £208,000 and its on sale now.

Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo

Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo

Finally they did it, the Panamera estate has been in development for what seems like years now. There were spy shots and camo cars but finally Porsche revealed the Sport Turismo. The extra boot accessory gives the Sport Turismo 20 litres more boot space over the original and also means the Panamera has room for an extra seat in the back, now making it a five seater, prices start at £84,000 and go all the way up to £138,000 through all models from the S to the big bad Turbo model.

Honda Civic Type R

Honda Civic Type R

Its seems like just last week the new Type R was rolling into showrooms but Honda already have a new version ready for the new shape Civic, and while I’m not a Civic fan I can still safely say that the new Type R Civic is hideous. Looks aside though the new Type R has 316BHP, ten more than the previous model but still 30 less than the out going Ford Focus RS. Honda still plan on going back to the Nurburgring to try and break records again.

Bentley EXP12 Speed 6

Bentley EXP12 Speed 6

One of the more beautiful cars on the show floor is the new Bentley EXP12 Speed 6. Whilst only being a concept of things to come from the company, the EXP12 is still paving the way forward in being a fully electric Roadster, an area even Tesla seem to have left well alone. The EXP12 isn’t expected to make production any time soon but after a good response from press and the public Bentley may be forced to change their mind on the subject.

Aston Martin Valkyrie

Aston Martin Valkyrie

We at long last have a new name for the AM RB001 hyper car from Aston Martin and Red Bull, the new car called the Valkyrie will have over 900BHP from a naturally aspirated 6.5 litre V12. The Valkyrie uses an F1 style ERS system to harvest Kinetic Energy from braking. Only 150 road models will ever be made, along with 25 track only versions costing in the region of £2-3 million with deliveries expected to take place in early 2019.

What are your favourites from Geneva 2017, Sound off in the comments.

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The Return of TVR

TVR

I spoke last week about the return of the sport car, and this week I’m talking about the return of one of the greats TVR.

I never really cared about TVR during their final years, I always recognised that they were cheap loud and fast, and nothing more. But after they died I did start to care about them again, I would look up old Sagaris and Tuscans on ebay wondering if I could afford one. It was sort of a, you don’t know what you’ve got until its gone situation. Finally there does appear to be hope for the old girl though from none other than Gordon Murray, yes of McLaren F1 fame. The new rumours going round are that the TVR name will return to our roads, with a Murray designed body and a Cosworth V8 engine.

So it sounds as if it will be more of the same good looking and fast, the rumoured price tag for the 2017 car is between £55,000 and £85,000. Hopefully this will mean good things for not only the company but also the employees up in Blackpool. I really hope TVR returns there as they were born there and they died there its only right to re-invigour the old girl back in her hometown. The involvement of both Gordon Murray and Cosworth also brings an air of prestige to the brand, and if Murray sees a future for the brand it’s a good sign for everybody.

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