Since 1895, Autocar has operated with one main rule: if it’s new, we will drive it.
This year had no shortage of shiny metal, and we got behind the wheels of the vast majority of it. Here are some of our favourites.
What happens when a diehard Aston Martin fan with a few million pounds burning a hole in his pocket decides to commission his dream car? You get the one-off Victor. A 1980s V8 Vantage-inspired body was draped over a prototype One-77 tub that was lying around at Gaydon, with power coming from a naturally aspirated 7.3-litre V12 that Cosworth had fettled with to produce 750bhp. Oh, and it has a six-speed manual gearbox. Our tester simply called it “one of the most enjoyable cars I’ve ever driven”.
The Volkswagen Golf R was somewhat of a legend in our circles: it was more of a volcanic hatch than a hot one. So when the Mk8 car was released earlier this year, we wondered if it was possible to improve on greatness. That turned out to be an unsurprisingly tricky task. Although the Mk8 is blisteringly fast and outclasses many other four-wheel-drive rivals, it simply couldn’t match the easy-going nature of its predecessor. Yet it was still a brilliant thing.