In this month’s huge issue of Top Gear magazine, it’s time once again to hand over our yearly awards to the most worthy metal of 2011. And if that’s not enough, you’ll also find a free 2012 supercar calendar handily attached. Want a hint of who won? Over to Editor-in-Chief Charlie Turner for a few words:
Welcome to the 2011 Top Gear Awards. It’s a bit like sports day. Only for cars, and with no over-zealous parents or compensatory prizes for the underachievers.
And what a year it’s been. For a start, has any car ever arrived under greater weight of expectation than the new McLaren? Taking on the might of Ferrari and its stunning 458 Italia from a standing start was never going to be easy. But if you’re British, a petrolhead and have a pulse, you can’t help but admire what McLaren and the MP4-12C have delivered. In the magazine, Lewis Hamilton takes us on a typically gentle cruise around Abu Dhabi in the car he helped define.
But Italy hasn’t spent this year kicking back over a long, boozy lunch. Not content with lopping the roof off the 458 Italia to create a convertible of sublime proportions, the men from Maranello even found time to reintroduce the phrase ‘shooting brake’ into polite conversation. If you had any lingering doubts whether a four-wheel-drive, four-seat, Ferrari estate-hatch really works, prepare to be converted.
On the other side of that peculiarly speedy Italian valley, Lamborghini has redefined supercar styling with its mighty Aventador. The Murciélago’s successor always felt a bit hemmed in on UK roads, so we sent Paul Horrell to a country big and empty enough to unleash that V12’s full potential. Inside the issue you’ll find out what happened when Australia met the Aventador.
But the Top Gear Awards aren’t just about performance. They (occasionally) reward cleverness, and acknowledge cars that redefine their markets. Cars like the Kia Picanto – our bargain Car of the Year – and the Fisker Karma, our luxury winner: a pair that, from opposite ends of the spectrum, have surgically altered the face of motoring. The Picanto proves South Korea is now an automotive power to be reckoned with; the Fisker, that the future is nothing to be afraid of. Both share a single message: the automotive world order is changing, and fast.
Judging our cars of the year takes a lot of time, coffee and shouting. But, strangely, when it came to the overall winner, the volume softened to agreement. Universal approval from the most opinionated minds in the industry is unheard of. That should give you some idea of just how good the 2011 TopGear Car of the Year really is…
Enjoy the issue, and to get a real taste of the action, enjoy the video below...