Another year has gone by and we’re flipping through our calendar with wistful, nostalgic memories of the cars gone by. We drove some real winners this year! Here are some of the coolest cars we drove this year:
We start this list off with a gorgeous SUV, and while some people write Lincoln off, Craig Cole reminds us that its newest, most expensive truck really seems worth the money.
“Comfortable, luxurious and even spacious in every row of seats, it offers luxury SUV buyers a lot. The muscular powertrain, abundance of features and near-silent running should make it a strong contender in its rarefied class,” he wrote.
He loved the comfy seats, the high-tech cabin, and the quiet, smooth ride.
“Even at basically six figures, the Navigator actually feels worth it, which is perhaps its most surprising attribute. When’s the last time you could say that about a Lincoln?” We’d have to flip back the calendar more than a few times to remember that.
Even though this Aston Martin is powered by an AMG V8 engine, Craig Cole made sure to point out (more than a few times) just how good the powerplant is and how wonderful it sounds. That’s just one aspect of the wild new “entry-level” Aston sports car. “With a special blend of style, sound, and strength, the new Vantage is a stand out option in its exotic segment,” he said.
And while the dashboard design takes some getting used to, it’s clear that the vehicle is sporty and capable in all the right ways.
What happens when you separate Audi’s halo V10 supercar from the brand’s all-wheel-drive system? You get a whole new kind of fun. The speedy coupe hits highway speeds in under 4 seconds but is also lighter and more fun to drive.
“Considering it is cheaper, more exclusive, and just as much fun to drive, it’s probably the R8 you want — assuming you can get your hands on one before they’re all gone,” is what I said about the limited edition model back in March, and my sentiments still stand.
When an electric car does everything right, it’ll leave you pretty much speechless, which is why Craig had to resort to some colorful language when describing the Jaguar I-Pace: “Indeed, the I-Pace is many things, not the least of which is f***ing awesome,” is what he said back in June.
It’s practically a rolling concept car, featuring a 90 kWh battery that allows for an estimated 240 miles or 386 km of range. It also features an incredible pair of electric motors that make 394 horsepower and 512 lb-ft of torque, which allow this car to hit 60 MPH in just 4.5 seconds.
It costs $88,595 including $995 for delivery to get into one of these crazy EVs, leaving us to say, “With daring design and surprising dynamics, a roomy cabin, and livable range, the 2019 Jaguar I-Pace is the real deal.”
Porsche has always had a good sports car with the 911, but they managed to make something even more engaging and interesting to drive with the Carrera T. Bringing together the purists and the speed freaks, the 911 T is a blend of a few different offerings, but ends up being more enjoyable.
“On the pavement, the car feels nimble and fun and seems to break free of the buttoned-down, all-business persona that the flagship product often felt that it had. It feels more carefree,” is how we described it back in August. “It’s fast, but not the fastest 911, and it’s fun, but not the sharpest, stiffest and most uncomfortable 911. It’s this fantastic medium ground that brings joy to the driver in a way the purists will really appreciate.”
Simply put, this is the 911 car for true enthusiasts out there, and we couldn’t be happier that Porsche is offering it.
The Toyota Supra is set to make its production debut at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, but we got our hands on the vehicle for a day to see if the Japanese automaker is on the right track. Still, it’s hard to determine who or what this car is: Although it’ll be badged a Toyota, this car is built by BMW using hardware from the German automaker. As such, the new BMW Z4 will be very similar to this Supra.
Which means it should drive very well. We spent some time on the Jarama race track outside of Madrid to test the new Supra and spent a fun time caning it in the backcountry as well. The car was fast, responsive and featured loads of grip. While Toyota has been teasing this Supra for a while, our short time with it proved that the wait will be worth it.
For all the times that a regular Aston Martin DB11 won’t cut it, the AMR is here. It features an amazing 5.2-liter V12 engine that makes 630 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque and manages to feel extremely confident and smooth even at terrifying speeds.
Craig said that it’s “Perfectly at home on winding back-country roads or blasting down the Autobahn on a cross-country drive,” and “this latest DB11 truly puts the GRAND in grand tourer.”
It certainly gets the nod from us, but at a price tag of 244,000, we’re wondering who would buy one of these Astons over the other exotics on this list.
Did someone say V12? Here’s one of the last naturally aspirated V12 engines in existence right now, found right in the middle of the Lamborghini Aventador S Roadster. A truly exotic supercar featuring fancy doors, an insane engine, killer looks and tons of fancy materials, the Aventador S Roadster is hard to top on this list.
We summed it up: “It announces your arrival and departure with a 12-cylinder symphony, it turns ordinary people into raving car-paparazzi and it does this while going fast and keeping you involved in the process. This is a true supercar and a sign that they’ve never been better.”
Let’s squeeze one more Aston Martin into this list because, well, I’m a James Bond fan and have spent all week watching the super-spy doing super-fly stuff. He typically does it in an Aston, but maybe nothing as eye-catching and head turning as this DBS Superleggera, which is pretty incredible, featuring over 700 ponies from its 5.2-liter twin-turbo V12.
Listen to this: the DBS Superleggera reaches 62 miles an hour (100 km/h) in just 3.4 seconds. It finds 100 miles an hour (161 km/h) in merely 6.4. Maximum velocity measures 211 mph (340 km/h). It passes with ease: going from 50 to 100 miles an hour in just 4.2 seconds.
“The 2019 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera is truly a Super Grand Tourer, providing more of what you love without any real compromises aside, perhaps, from cost,” Craig Cole said back in July. “But rarified cars like these are never about necessity, and for those that want one of the hottest production Aston Martins ever built, the DBS Superleggera fits the bill perfectly.”
If it wasn’t for the new Aventador SVJ, the Lamborghini Huracan Performante would be the hottest thing with a bull logo on it. We’re talking about a car that can do sub-7-minute times on the Nurburgring, and gets non-stop attention from everyone on the street. Using a clever active aerodynamics system, the car manages to feel planted and safe too, even when you’re reaching high speeds.
There’s even a lot of funky carbon composite materials found throughout the cabin, making this car feel less like a Frankenstein of go-fast parts, and more like a true exotic. Setting buyers back over $300,000, this is a car that’s far too special to ignore.
ALSO SEE: Top 10 Cars We Said Goodbye to in 2018
OK one more review to bring up, and that’s one from our fearless leader: Jodi Lai, who drove this McLaren 720S around town, feeling like the boss that she is. Who can deny this car’s performance credentials, with over 700 horsepower on tap from a twin-turbo V8 that’s mounted behind the driver’s seat? It’s not just a powerful car, but a powerful feeling that allows you to be comfortable in your own skin.
Jodi says it perfectly: “This dramatic McLaren 720S isn’t the car I dreamt about as a kid but driving it made me realize that I shouldn’t have to apologize for who I am and what I do for a living.” Heck yes.