The Jaguar F-Type is probably one of the prettiest cars of the 21st century, and definitely the prettiest high-performance roadster since the BMW Z8. It’s also a worthy spiritual successor to the E-Type thanks to its looks and great performance – performance that’s provided by a well-sorted chassis and powerful V6 and V8 engines.
The P1 is the most important car made by McLaren since the F1, and with a power-to-weight ratio of 647bhp/tonne, it’s set to give Bugatti Veyron owners a serious headache. It is also one of a small number of production cars that can go around the Nurburgring in less than seven minutes (no exact time was given by McLaren).
Ford Fiesta ST
We got to drive the Ford Fiesta ST not too long ago and were thoroughly impressed by it. It’s fun to drive, it provides great levels of performance, it’s decently-equipped, and it’s not too expensive. Definitely a 2013 standout car.
Check out the review here.
Mercedes Benz S-Class
The new Mercedes Benz S-Class continues to be a benchmark for luxury in the executive saloon segment. With features such as Magic Body Control – which scans the road ahead for bumps and imperfections, then pre-sets the suspension for the surface – it shows just how incredible the S-Class continues to be with each new generation.
Audi is probably the best maker of fast station wagons, and the introduction of the new RS6 continues to show that. It does have less power and fewer cylinders than its V10-engined predecessor, but a 560hp output is still a very respectable power figure. And its twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 sounds good too.
Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
The Stingray name made a return on the all-new Corvette. As usual it’s available as a convertible and coupe, while new features include: a direct-injected 6.2-litre V8 engine, a seven-speed manual gearbox with a rev-matching function, and a thoroughly improved interior. Its exterior design is great too, and it sounds amazing even with the factory exhaust.
Ferrari 458 Speciale
A track-focused version of any mid-engined V8 Ferrari will always get some attention, and the 458 Speciale is no different. Its naturally-aspirated 4.5-litre V8 engine will rev to 9000rpm, enabling it to produce 605hp. At 135hp/litre, it also produces more horsepower per litre than any other naturally-aspirated engine in the world. It’s not only the engine that’s great, its handling is so well-sorted that it can lap Ferrari’s Fiorano circuit 1.4 seconds faster than a more-powerful Ferrari Enzo.
Alfa Romeo 4C
If it wasn’t for its six-speed double-clutch gearbox, the Alfa Romeo 4C would have been the most back-to-basics lightweight sports car in a long time. It’s mid-engined, rear-wheel drive and doesn’t even have power-steering, and thanks to its carbon-fibre frame, has a rather low weight of 895kg. Combine the lightweight with a turbocharged 1.7-litre engine producing 240hp and you’ve got a fast sports car as well. It’s pretty good-looking too.
Although quite expensive at €110,000 and limited to only 200 examples, there’s no denying that its claimed fuel consumption figure of only 0.9l/100km is astonishing. This is made possible thanks to a plug-in hybrid system, that combines a 0.8-litre two-cylinder diesel engine (48hp) with an electric motor producing 20kw (27hp). And with a CO2 output of 21g/km, the XL1 is probably the most efficient road car ever.
Porsche 918 Spyder
As a successor to the Porsche Carrera GT, the 918 Spyder has a lot to live up to. But rather than create a direct replacement, Porsche decided to build an all-new technological phenomenon that will produce a total of 887hp, yet emit only 79g/km of CO2. They’ve done this by having two electric motors and a high-revving 4.6-litre V8 engine working together, and its 6:57min Nurbugring lap time shows just how capable the 918 Spyder really is.
Written and prepared by Alex Kisiri