The automotive industry is advancing towards EVs and autonomous technology and we saw some important steps taken in that direction this year.
All major carmakers, from Ford to Volkswagen, took the initiative to increase their green-car portfolio and the likes of Tesla and BMW made some impressive strides in terms of the automated aids available to the drivers. Meanwhile, thanks to Porsche, Lotus and Aston Martin, the old-school purists weren’t left empty-handed either.
Thus, we at BMWBLOG have decided to go through the 10 cars that got us auto enthusiasts really excited in 2016.
Porsche 911 R
What is it? A special-edition 911 built from the parts bin of the 991.1 GT3 models.
Why is it in this list? It’s one of the last 911s to get a naturally aspirated engine with a stick-shift. And, the production is limited to just 991 units.
Spec Sheet- The 911 R gets the same 4.0-litre flat-six engine of the GT3 RS, producing 500 HP at 8250 RPM. However, as previously mentioned, there’s a 6-speed manual gearbox instead of the PDK. Additionally, the 911 R makes do without the trademark GT3 rear wing and weighs 50 kg less than the GT3 RS.
Anything else? As expected, the 911 R is appreciating at a high rate. An early model was auctioned for over $530,000 in October and currently, there are two for sale in California, one priced at $700,000 and the other at $1 million.
What is it? Christian von Koenigesegg’s latest hypercar, more of a GT rather than an outright track car like the Agera and One:1.
Why is it in this list? It’s an engineering marvel by a company that is neither bankrolled by a $200 billion firm (see: Bugatti and Porsche), nor has an F1 program to borrow tech from (Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes).
Spec Sheet- The Regera gets a hybrid powertrain that plies a 5.0-litre twin-turbo V8 and three electric motors to produce 1500 HP and 2000 Nm of torque. The 100 km/h mark can be reached from a standstill in 2.8 seconds, 300 km/h in 12.3 seconds and 400 km/h in “under 20 seconds”.
Anything Else? The battery pack for the Regera has been supplied by Croatian automaker Rimac, which was recently in the news after its Concept_One EV beat the Porsche 918 Spyder in a drag-race.
What is it? Bugatti’s replacement for the Veyron, the fastest street-legal car on the planet since 2005.
Why is it in this list? Come 2018 and Bugatti will attempt to beat Veyron’s speed record with its successor.
Spec Sheet- An 8.0-litre W16 quad-turbo mill in the Chiron produces 1500 HP and 1600 Nm of torque. Acceleration figures- 0 to 100 km/h in 2.5 seconds, 0 to 200 km/h in 6.5 seconds and 300 km/h in 13.6 seconds. The “Top Speed” mode, which is activated with a special key, takes the car to 420 km/h.
Anything Else? The Chiron’s price starts at $2.5 million and 220 examples have been booked till now. The first car, along with the one-off Vision Gran Turismo concept car, has been bought by Saudi Prince, Badr bin Saud.
What is it? The first production car by NextEV, a Chinese automotive start-up that also runs a Formula E team. It’s a halo car, meant to garner some publicity for the company before it launches its mass-volume, China-only EV next year.
Why is it in this list? It’s the fastest EV around the Nurburgring with a lap-time of 7m 5s, 17 seconds less than the previous record by Toyota’s TMG P002 racer.
Spec Sheet- The EP9’s powertrain consists of two electric batteries and four electric motors, each with its own gearbox. A power output of 1341 HP helps it go from 0 to 200 km/h in 7.1 seconds (the McLaren P1 takes 6.8 seconds) before topping out at 313 km/h. The batteries take 45 minutes to charge and have a range of 427 km.
Anything else? NIO claims the EP9 didn’t utilize more than 90 percent of its peak power at any point during the Nurburgring lap because of overheating battery cells, indicating the EV is capable of challenging the Porsche 918’s road-car record of 6m 57s.
Mercedes-AMG GT R
What is it? The range-topping variant of the AMG GT, with styling similar to the AMG GT3 racecar and performance, Mercedes claims, good enough to match the 911 GT3 RS.
Why is it in the list? It became the fastest RWD car around the Nurburgring after German magazine, Sport Auto, lapped the 20.8-km race-track in 7m 10s. When the same publication took the 918 Spyder to the Nordschliefe, it managed a time of 7m 13s.
Spec Sheet- Under the hood of the GT R is the same 4.0-liter bi-turbo V8 of the lesser GT models. Power is rated at 585 HP at 6250 RPM and 700 Nm of torque is available from 1900-5500 RPM.
Anything Else? The “Green Magno Hell” paint finish seen on the car above is a $9,200 (£7,500) option in the UK.
Lamborghini Aventador S
What is it? The new Aventador with an improved aero package, more potent engine, revised electronics and mechanical enhancements.
Why is it in this list? It gets the magnetic dampers that saved the Aventador SV 20 seconds en-route to its 6m 59s ‘Ring time and Centenario’s four-wheel steering.
Spec Sheet- At the heart is the same 6.5-litre V12 but with peak power increased from 700 HP to 740 HP at 8400 RPM, albeit the torque remains same at 690 Nm at 5500 RPM. Furthermore, apart from the steering and suspension updates, there’s a new “EGO” drive mode, which lets the drivers individually set up behavior for the suspension, steering and traction.
Anything Else? An updated infotainment system with Apple CarPlay compatibility means that the Aventador drivers will be finally able to stream music via Bluetooth.
Aston Martin Vantage GT8
What is it? A limited-edition V8 Vantage inspired by the GTE competition car.
Why is it in this list? It’s an uncompromising road car. Focus is on weight saving, aerodynamics and the overall driving experience rather than winning accolades on the drag-strip or the track.
Spec Sheet- Powering the Vantage GT8 is a development of the standard car’s 4.7-litre V8 engine making 440 HP at 7300 RPM and 490 Nm of torque at 5000 RPM. Power is directed to the rear wheels via a 6-speed manual or 7-speed automated-manual ‘box.
Anything Else? Only 150 units will be produced, each starting at $202,000 (£165,000), and none is going to the United States.
BMW M4 GTS
What is it? A hardcore, track-focused version of the M4, built to mark the 30 years of production of the M3.
Why is it in this list? It’s one of the most divisive cars launched by BMW recently. Owners love it, Jeremy Clarkson hates it and the jurors at EVO’s COTY awards were so torn about it that some named it the best car of 2016, while a couple echoed Clarkson’s claims.
Spec Sheet- It gets the same 3.0-litre twin-turbo engine of the standard M4 but use of the archaic water-injection system helps push the power and torque to 493 HP and 600 Nm from 425 HP and 550 Nm respectively. Zero to 100 km/h takes 3.8 seconds and the top-speed is 305 km/h.
Anything Else- BMW built 803 customer cars of the M4 GTS, 103 more than it had initially planned.
Volkswagen GTI Clubsport S
What is it? 2016 marks 40 years since the Golf GTI was launched and the Clubsport S is one of the two models by VW to celebrate that milestone. It gets a lot of go-faster equipment and a 400-unit production line.
Why is it in the list? The Clubsport S is the slowest car on the list with a 0-100 km/h time of 5.8 seconds, but it’s a menace on the track.
Spec Sheet- It gets the EA888 2.0-litre turbo lump pushing at 306 HP and 380 Nm of torque. A 6-speed manual transmission sends power to the front wheels. The aero kit reduces lift and adds a bit of downforce and a lot of other tweaks have been made to improve handling.
Anything Else? It’s the fastest FWD car on the Nurburgring.
McLaren MSO HS
What is it? A 675LT with more power, less weight and sharpened aerodynamics.
Why is it in the list? It’s one of the most gorgeous supercars you will come across and with an assembly line of 25 units, it’s rarer than a P1 GTR.
Spec Sheet- McLaren’s 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 now produces 679 HP (13 HP more than 675LT) and 700 Nm of torque, accessible from 3000-7000 RPM. The bodykit generates more downforce and heave use of carbon-fiber reduces weight. .
Anything Else? One of the MSO HS has been bought by Hussein Musallam, who also owns a Koenigsegg Agera RS, Porsche 918, the Veyron SuperSport, a LaFerrari and a Carrera GT.[NOTE: Only those cars have been included that made their official debut this year, even if their deliveries commence next year]