It’s time to get voting, as we unveil the first category in the 2012 Speedhunters Awards: we want to know which new car that’s hit the forecourts this year resonates the most with all of you out there. There has been an incredible number of important cars launched this year from across the automotive spectrum: for every cutting edge supercar there’s been an evolution of an iconic hatchback or saloon, plus we’ve also seen the release of some utterly ground-breaking new cars. So, which car has got you excited during 2012? Here are the nominations.
Of course there’s one brand new car that has everyone excited: the ZN6/ZC6. In whichever guise – Subaru BRZ, Toyota 86 or Scion FR-S – this car is a phenomenally important release. A proper, affordable, rear-wheel drive sportscar for the masses. Three cars in one, and one car for everyone?
Supercars may be out of the reach of most of us, but McLaren’s premise for the MP4-12C was to bring supercar performance into a (relatively) more earth-based price range. The 12C is a technological marvel, has drop-dead gorgeous looks and turns heads on both the track and the road. The 2012 Spyder and upcoming Can-Am edition further increase its cachet.
Lamborghini continue down the extreme styling route, releasing ever more aggressive, out-there cars. The Roadster drops the permanent hard-top and sports an even more sci-fi look whilst letting that 6.5-litre V12 sing even sweeter just behind the driver’s ears.
The latest iteration of the 911 continues to evolve the iconic shape:. After the 997 seemed to hark back to a more classic era, the seventh-gen 911 is a far bigger, more imposing beast. It’s only the third complete platform change since the original 911 of 1963, and although it looks larger with its longer wheelbase and fatter rear end, power is up and weight is down. A new 911 is always an important event.
However, even Porsche insiders whisper that the Cayman is the future of Porsche: a mid-engined, pure two-seater; sleek and lightweight. Porsche have effectively hobbled previous versions the dynamically more efficient Caymans so they don’t outperform the more expensive, rear-heavy 911 platform, but the 2013 Cayman has been let off the lease in S guise. Is this the future of Porsche?
The addition of a BMW M Power badge always promises an extreme driving experience, and the M5 is perhaps the ultimate example of a performance saloon. Supercar levels of power – over 550bhp from its twin-turbo V8 in fact – packaged under a disarmingly modest body mean that even the most ardent driver has to double-take before thinking of taking on Bavaria’s finest off the traffic lights…
I still find it difficult to put together the sounds of high-end Mercedes cars with their looks: the V8s they mount are like the noise of a thousand bombers coming straight at you, but when matched with AMG bodykits the Mercs look as mean as they sound. The C63 AMG Coupé Black takes the internals from the SLS, cranking up power to well over 500bhp, and adds in a hardcore racing bodykit that transforms the C Class in a slavering monster. Louder, harder, sharper.
The GT-R has had frequent updates released since its launch, but the Egoist model is the pinnacle of the range: in both performance and price. More subtle and luxurious on the inside but even more extreme under the hood, the Egoist packs 541hp, delivered via a variable AWD system. It requires a recalibration of just what you expect from a car.
Now a couple of iconic hot hatches fresh off the production lines. The Golf is now on its seventh version, and gone are a lot of the rounded, jelly-mould corners of previous models: the Mk7 is a fresh take on the old classic. Once again the Golf has grown in size, but that’s a common trend. It looks great and of course drives fantastically – have VW raised the bar yet again?
Ford are riding high at the moment, with a range of breathed-on cars that hark back to the glory days of the XR and RS models of the ’80s and ’90s. The Focus looks amazing in aggressive RS mode, and the Fiesta ST similarly bumps up both looks and performance – and is due for a US release to boot.
BMW F30 3 Series
The sixth generation of the legendary 3 Series debuted this year, and has been receiving stunning reviews around the world. Sportier, wider and more powerful, the 2012 3 Series takes all that is good about the saloon and further improves on it. The Ultimate Driving Machine?
Aston Martin’s howling coupé is the company’s most potent production model yet. Styling cues come from the One-77 supercar, and the sound of the 565hp V12 will be soon be shattering shop windows in the smartest areas of town…
Ferrari’s second V12 offering is, like the Vanquish, Ferrari’s fastest car yet, as the supercar marques try to outgun each other with statistics. The F12 adds a huge 119bhp over the 599GTB; the lines are long, the speed is high and the design oozes classic Ferrari with a modern twist.
Vaughn Gittin Jr is ready to rock with the new version of the RTR Mustang: its facelift is complemented by the addition of a new adjustable suspension setup, meaning that that the handling is even more taut, and an optional Ford Racing supercharger in the Spec 2 package boosts power to well over the 600bhp mark.
You won’t be using the Mono for the supermarket run – passengers are not invited and luggage space is non-existent. But find an open road in the countryside and you will find driving nirvana. The car is an example of precision engineering, but at the same time is no exercise in ticking technological boxes: it’s a pure driver’s car. It weighs nothing, is awash with the finest racing-originated components you can find, and has levels of performance and grip that makes grown men cry. It’s not about horsepower figures or chest-beating statistics, but it still delivers single-seater racecar performance made specifically to be enjoyed on the road.
So there we have our first 15 contenders in the 2012 Speedhunters Awards. Tell us which car you think deserves the title of New Car Of The Year. Get voting – the polls will close on December 27, after which you’ll be able to vote on the Car Of The Year, taken from the winners of all the categories.
My favourite car there is the F12 Berlinetta... But the most significant vehicle to the most people is the 86/BRZ... So I voted for that. Ultimately you achieve driving pleasure from what you can drive, not what you dream about.
86.. Because it is a car most people can buy! Really love the MP-12C and the Aventador but they just don't matter as much as the 86!
ZN6 because its the closest one I can afford. And its a great start to revive the cheap(er) RWD cars
Why is the BAC even a contender? It was released in 2011. Finally getting some recognition is nice but too late.
Think of it a different way, on Christmas morning you wake up and have one of each in your huge garage.... which one do you drive first?
It's not even that big of a deal for ME, but the BR-Z is certainly the most Speedhunter-ish Car of the Year.
Easy for me, the Vanquish. Look at it! I want one. Was very nearly tempted to go for the people's choice, the GT86, because it is brilliant. But I can't resist an Aston
The BAC is getting no love? While $125,138 is hardly 'cheap', I'd argue its quite a bargain considering the limited production numbers and the beautiful merger of form AND function.
"There has been an incredible number of important cars launched this year from across the automotive spectrum..." What are you, Du Pont Registry?
This poll highlights the recent trend on Speedhunters of featuring(advertising) cars that are completely unaffordable for 98% of it's readership.
Look at you guys, trying to tempt me with the Aston Martin Vanquish... Sorry but in the realm of cars that mere mortals can afford, the 86/BRZ is THE car of the year!
Truth is that the ZN6 is the car that was missing from everybody's lineup. It filled the void of the defunct S2000 and the MX-5 of previous generations. (NA & NB) Like others have stated time & time again; the success of this car will revitalize the enthusiast oriented car for many manufacturers. It's not about being a "fan boy" as some of you have stated below, it's about bringing back an opportunity to tell cool tuner car stories when you're an old fart. Sure there's the Mustang and Camaro, but it's just not the same thing. A few may make a case for the Focus and Gti, but again, it's just not the same thing. The ZN6 is flat out fun in every sense of the word, and it's only the tip of the iceberg. :-)
"A proper, affordable, rear-wheel drive sportscar for the masses. Three cars in one, and one car for everyone?"
I cried a little inside :(( the 86 is priced over $200000 over here in singapore
The ZN6 is clearly going to win this. So I'll pick my second choice to even out the poll a little. For me it has to be the Mclaren (despite it being launched in 2011??). I think Mclaren have done an amazing job to go from producing 0 road cars per year to building a fully functional and incredibly impressive road car division and manufacture plant. Not to mention developing and actually then producing and even more importantly these days selling a car that can rival one of the best Ferraris ever produced (458).
Obviously, the ZN6 is the most significant new automobile in the past handful of years, and is an well-earned 1st place. I also appreciate Ford finally bringing balance between the USA & Euro versions of the Focus. Europe has always had more exciting, and much better looking, Foci than we have had here in the States, and I laud their efforts at finally giving us what we've always wanted in a hot hatch. Ford Focus: A solid 2nd place!And, yes, the Cayman is Porsche's future.
haha sorta obvious what the result was going to be!!!
its been a long long time since a car has created this much hype before....!
This poll didn't need to happen. Of course the BRZ wins. This site and everyone on it has been slobbering all over it since before it came out.
I don't get why we would need this thread. We all predicted the ZN6 would win and, looking at the results, I'm sure it will.
if the "ZN6 Toyota-Scion/ZC6 Subaru" is a success, that means more manufactures will jump in and offer a true sports car for everyone, which is obviously something very special, so beyond it being a great car it carries a far more important meaning and purpose which definitely makes it the car of the year, it couldnt be any other way.. (I love the BacMono)
My vote went of course to the FRS, seeing as how its the most accessible car on this list, although I would've voted for the Cadillac ATS if it were on the list...
The McLaren was 2011, was it not? If we're including cars from the 2012 model year, why not the Beetle?
I went with the F30, the hype is divided between the McLaren, the Subaru and the RTR, but they were my 2nd, 3rd and 4th place, so I had to go with my numer 1, sad to see it's not getting the votes it deserves.
Trick question; I devide myself into 15ths and rally them all at once. Because it's Christmas and I said so.
@Jmayhem here, take my like
@Filip What about the new Civic Si? I mean it's nothing to write home about, but same goes for Golf and other European hot hatches.
@grb I sure hope so...maybe Honda will wake up and tries to go back to its redline-screaming double-wishbone equipped lightweight FF sports car roots.
@SMRacing Same here. I knew the fanboys would be all over it
@Fkitbtn @Carmouflagger First, it's spelled poll, not pole, that's what strippers use. Second, FR-S is not a RWD tC, it would have to have a similar engine for that to even make sense. Third, you're forgetting this is not the '90s anymore, real driver's cars for the masses are almost nonexistant so of course there will be hype around it, whether you like it or not. Fourth, it may seem overpriced, but you gotta remember that somebody has to pay for all the government-mandated safety features and electronic aids. When was the last time you saw a "base" model of anything?
@AlexSashaZenin The poll is open to cars from 2011 as well.
@BenS867 @SMRacing Sure the new 86 seems fanboy-ish compared to the S2000 or an RX-7, but a Fiesta?! It's just another tall European hatchback...a soccer mom's minivan without the extra doors.