Welcome to Autocar’s annual look at our favourite cars. Most years we examine all cars on sale, but in these somewhat trying times we thought we’d limit the trawl to those we like not for their looks, comfort, refinement, practicality or innovation, but simply for the way they drive.
Which is not to say they must all be supercars or even sports cars, just cars we find inherently interesting to drive. They needn’t even be the most technically accomplished in this regard, as the presence of the Ford Ranger Raptor makes very clear. They must just be fun.
This is also why you’ll notice a conspicuous absence of lifestyle SUVs on the list. These cars are high and heavy – some might say gratuitously – yet no one’s going to routinely enjoy driving them off road. On road, there is none that’s as good to drive as the best equivalent saloon or estate so we make no apology for their omission.
Otherwise, the rules are the same, insofar as there are no rules. If a car is on the list, it’s because those of us on the magazine who spend our lives driving cars want it to be there. And that’s it.
Yes, we know: viewed objectively it shouldn’t get anywhere near this list. Yet despite being slow and heavy, the iconoclastic entertainment on offer, both on and off the road, is indisputable.
Land Rover’s best, deftly judged in its positioning, fluently executed in its engineering and, for the money, better by far than anything else on offer. Great fun and extraordinary off road.
48. Audi RS6
There have been so many false dawns, but is the new, more agile RS6 a sign that Audi has finally woken up to the fact that a high-performance car needs to impress in more than just a straight line? It seems so to us.