2017 has given us the first glimpse of some exciting new cars that have really stood out from the crowd. Let’s take a look at the ones we will long remember.
Aston Martin DB11
The DB11 is the culmination of more than £200 million investment in the tooling and production equipment and is seen as the car that Aston Martin needs to be able to not only stay in the game in an increasingly performance-driven motoring world. It’s nearly thirteen years since the DB9 wowed the world and the DB11 had plenty to live up to, particularly after such high investment, but does so in spades.
The upgraded 5.9 litre engine punches the Aston up to 60 mph in 4 seconds and 100 mph only another 4.2 seconds later, and with no discernible turbo lag. With the ZX gearbox transferring all of that power to the road, Aston Martin have raised the bar significantly in performance car stakes.
Speaking of McLaren, 2017 saw commercial release of the 570S, which had been originally unveiled at the 2015 New York International Motor show. The model continues with the company’s philosophy of making exceptional performance cars with sufficient niceties to enable their potential everyday use. Powered by an upgrade of the 3.8 litre engine used in the 650S and the P1, the 570S pumps out over 560 brake horsepower, delivered through a seven-speed duel-clutch gearbox. The 570 marque is actually available in two forms – the 570S and the 570GT – but it’s the ‘S’ version that makes it to this list, being the cheaper version and with increased performance across the board.
The highlights of the 570S are supercar thrills and impressive handling and braking in a package that looks the part. However, for a little under £200,000, you get a fairly basic car and if you want to start heaping on the optional carbon fibre trim, you’ll also be ramping up the purchase price.
Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio
One of the most unexpected new arrivals was the Giulia Quadrifoglio, the Italian company’s first foray into rear-wheel drive motoring. This is a car that is built from the ground up, not just a facelift of an older model, and that puts in a whole new class. The Giulia sites Alfa Romeo in the same class as the Mercedes C63, the M3 BMW, and the RS4 Audi, and those are some mighty names to deal with.
The turbocharged 2.9-litre V6 engine produces a staggering 503bhp, pushing the Quadrifoglio to a maximum of 191mph and from 0-62mph in as little as 3.9seconds. A well-designed chassis and suspension system keep the package on the road and ride stiffness can be changed at the touch of a button. Overall, the Giulia is a staggering car, and while not perfect, is a worthy addition to any list of best cars of 2017.
The Stuttgart motor show was the venue that saw the release of the 2017 version of the 911 GTS, and its blistering performance. Turbocharged and available as either two or four-wheel drive and with a Targa version in the brochure too, you can pick the GTS that suits you best.
The Turbo has added a whole handful of punch to the wheels with engine torque increased to around a peak of 406 lb-ft between 2,000 and 5,000 rpm, and a measured power of 444 bhp. With redesigned spoilers on the front and rear ends, all of that power can be delivered without too much risk of losing the whole car in a ditch at the first corner.
At nearly £100,000 less than the McLaren 570S, the GTS is a lot of car for lot less money then many similar cars. It is also cheaper than the monstrous GT3 model but almost as much fun to live with. You do the maths.
Tesla Model X
With an estimated 50,000 UK buyers switching to electric vehicles every year, inclusion of a vehicle like the Tesla Model X in a list of best cars is an absolute must. To call the X a seven-seater SUV is somewhat disingenuous; this is a luxury vehicle with a staggering amount of power available on tap and ready to power it with the acceleration of a supercar. While it weighs in at over two tonnes, the electric motor system delivers over 600 bhp and with the battery mass situated low on the chassis, aiding the car’s handling.
There are lots of reasons to buy a Model X, however aside from the performance, the handling, or the sheer fun of it, it’s worth owning one just for the uniquely folding ‘falcon wing’ rear doors, hinged in two places DeLorean style.