So here’s what I’m looking forward to in 2013
1 Watching how Lewis Hamilton progresses at the Mercedes F1 GP team. Will he take care of Nico Rosberg for instance? Probably. Will he help lift the team from the relative doldrums of the mid-field to the higher echelons of the F1 grid? Maybe. Will he get so fed up of watching his old cars disappear into the distance that, come mid-season, he’ll start sniffing around at Red Bull, trying to find out if Mark Webber might fancy retiring, thereby proving him with A Quick Car again? Who knows, just have to wait and see.
2 Talking of McLaren, I’m quite excited about the P1. And when I say “quite” I mean shaky hands, exploding pupils excited. The McLaren P1 will define whether McLaren Automotive is here to stay or not ultimately. Trouble is, it’ll need to take care of the rather tasty looking new Ferrari Enzo in the process, which will of course be no easy feat. If we do actually manage to put them together on the same piece of road in 2013, I think I’ll retire gracefully soon afterwards, comfortable in the knowledge that the perfect comparison taken place.
3 The BMW i8 fascinates me, not merely because it looks quite mad but also because, in a way, it really does represent the future for the motoring enthusiast. If it’s as good as certain BMW insiders say it is, it could prove one of the most influential cars of the current era – the sort of car that, in 25 years time, we look back at and say “that car changed things forever.” Or it could just be an expensive folly. In 2013 we will find out which it is.
4 Can’t wait to pitch the Audi RS6 against the Nissan GT-R in 2013. We will put all sorts of test equipment on them to find out which is fastest, which one generates the most grip and which of them accelerates quickest. But what I really want to know is which one makes takes your breath away the most when it is driven hard over a deserted Welsh mountain road. The obvious money would go for the GT-R every time, but given the progress made by Audi’s RS division of late, it won’t necessarily be a forgone conclusion. That’s what I’ll try to convince myself is the case before setting off, at any rate.
5 Similarly, comparing the Tesla Models S with a conventionally iconic fast saloon such as the BMW M5 is something that I’m very much looking forward to doing – so long as Tesla can be persuaded to provide us with a test car in the UK...
6 The Maserati Ghibli. Sources at Maserati say this car is “much more aggressive” than any saloon they’ve ever produced, and that it will be seriously entertaining to drive as a result. I’ll be at the front of the queue of people waiting to verify the claims.
7 Watching what happens to electric car sales in 2013. It feels a bit like a now or never moment for EVs, does 2013, and if the take up by the general public continues to be glacial, you do wonder how much more time and money companies such as Renault will continue to aim at the cause.
8 Road testing the Ferrari F12 and, if the Scuderia’s PR machine will allow us to do so, comparing it with some rivals on epic roads. The numbers it will generate will be spectacular, no question, but I want to know how the F12 makes you feel when you let rip in it on a quiet, winding, hopefully empty UK road. Will it make the hairs on your neck go stiff? Will it scare you? Will it make you think that enough is already too much, and that cars like this have simply become too quick for the public road? It will be exciting in the extreme finding out.
9 Seeing what new cars Aston Martin comes up with the celebrate its 100th anniversary. Dr Bez has promised to deliver two, if not three “new” Astons in 2013. If one of them is a Cygnet with a V12 engine in it, we will road test it. And there will be tears, mostly of joy it must be said.
10 Looking back at this time next year and seeing how many of these wishes, predictions, wild guesses – call them what you will – have come true.
Happy New year folks, I think it’s (mostly) going to be a good one, isn’t it...?