TG mag’s top ten adventures in 2014
Putting a car against the stopwatch at the Top Gear test track is fun, and quite informative. Equally, pitching two close rivals against each other on a drag strip reveals which is faster and easier to control. But to really learn about a car, to really pick apart a group of fierce foes, you need miles. Lots of ‘em.
The road trip is a staple of the car enthusiast's world, be it crossing entire countries in something with grand touring pretensions, slaloming a supercar up an Alpine pass, or simply journeying with a bunch of mates in low-budget hatchbacks.
Our top ten adventures of 2014 feature all of the above, and a whole lot more in between. From 75bhp Sandero to 950bhp LaFerrari, the hills of Scotland to Route 66, these are our greatest road trips of the last 12 months.Advertisement - Page continues below
Bugatti Veyron across America's Route 66
"After a decade of industrially shredding the record books, it's nearly time to say goodbye to the Veyron... We figured it'd be nice to do something to send the big lad off with a bang. We never thought Bugatti would let us drive one the length of the 66. Bugatti did."
Written by Sam Philip
Car Bugatti Veyron
The perfect relay from Italy to Germany
"The hours pass in a series of sawtooth undulations. Every few minutes we gain then lose then gain altitude; every few seconds we go left then right then left; and in even faster rhythms the V8 joyously cycles through its upper octaves. All this drama and force and control, played out amid a stageset to end them all."
Written by Paul Horrell
Cars Porsche 918 Spyder, Ferrari 458 Speciale, Porsche Cayman SAdvertisement - Page continues below
Storm chasing in America's southwest
"It's progressive, understeering initially, and then bringing the tail round if you keep on the throttle... Somewhat spectacular on dusty roads with yawning edges stiffened by 20-foot-high saguaro cactus."
Written by Tom Ford
Car Lamborghini Huracan
The group test of the decade in Italy
"To be honest, I'm still pinching myself that we've managed to make this happen. I've been working on this for months now, and to actually be here driving the three most bleeding edge, technologically advanced hypercars on the planet on a road that is just sublime, is out of this world."
Written by Charlie Turner
Cars LaFerrari, McLaren P1, Porsche 918 Spyder
Twelve-cylinder supercars in Scotland
"If that was it, the final, incandescent flash, the supernova before the glorious V12 supercar fades into oblivion... well, it was one hell of a privilege to be there."
Written by Sam Philip
Cars Lamborghini Aventador, Ferrari F12 Berlinetta, Aston Martin Vanquish
Battling the elements up Mount Washington
"Suddenly, this is less careful crawl, more Rally Sweden. I start to cut corners, let the turbo boost a little, feel the tyres hit the cusp of wheelspin. It goes well for a mile maybe, but then without warning the snow gives way under the nearside front tyre, and the STI nerfs straight into a snowbank."
Written by Ollie Marriage
Car Subaru WRX STIAdvertisement - Page continues below
A muscle car on Australia's speed limit-less Stuart Highway
"Wombats, foxes and rabbits sit half-buried in the red dirt like IEDs, ready to rush a passing tyre. None of which would pose too serious a problem, except that we've just clipped 125mph and we're still climbing: 130 arrives, then 135 and 140..."
Written by Andrew Chesterton
Car Vauxhall VXR8 by Walkinshaw
Every state of America in a Ford Mustang
"Our Stang is doing a fairly good job of shrinking this big old place. Just yesterday morning we were rolling out of Atlanta, now here we are driving north-east across Missouri, which is serving up the mother of all thunderstorms."
Written by Dan Read
Car Ford Mustang GTAdvertisement - Page continues below
TG TV crosses Ukraine to explore Chernobyl
"Why don't we make ourselves more rounded human beings? We shall use this time constructively. We will arrive in Belarus more intelligent and more rounded than we are now."
Written by Jeremy Clarkson
Cars Dacia Sandero, Ford Fiesta, VW Up
Across Iceland in a Citroen Cactus
"It looks like a Mars landing station. Silver and orange geodesic domes linked by swooping lines of pipes that race across the dusty, reddish-tinted earth like 22nd-century transit tubes."
Written by Tom Ford
Car Citroen C4 Cactus