BOTB Asks: Which cars should Leave/Remain? {{favouriteCount}} Quantity of Likes

21 Jun 2016

BMW M4 Convertible

The M4 is consistently one of the most popular cars in the BOTB competition, and it’s not hard to see why, especially in Convertible form. At its heart sits a twin turbo 3.0 litre straight-six engine producing a rather wonderful 425bhp, which means 0-62mph is dealt with in just 4.4 seconds, more than quick enough. There’s the legendary M/// handling, with precise steering and exceptional balance, whilst inside there are four usable seats (handy as I have a 3.5yr old). Add in the fact that the M4 Convertible has a folding hard top roof, meaning you get the security of a coupe and the fun of having the roof down and you have a sports car that works in every situation. Oh, and it looks fantastic too…

Tim’s Choice: Remain

Twisted Land Rover

Well this is an easy one. I absolutely love the Land Rover Defender in any incarnation, but one fettled by the maestros at Twisted is a fantastic thing. More power, better handling and an much-improved interior make the Twisted Defender a pleasure to drive on or off road, while the exterior modifications make it look absolutely awesome. One of the easiest choices here, I’d love one on my driveway!

Tim’s Choice: Remain

Maserati Ghibli S

The inclusion of the Ghibli prompted me to ask myself a slightly bigger question – is there a need for a large saloon car anymore? These were traditionally the executive car of choice and Maserati always presented as the slightly off-beat choice in this sector, but even Maserati have seen the huge growth in the SUV market and now offer the similarly priced Levante. A big SUV offers the same space, more practicality and versatility, invariably a better ride quality thanks to the longer travel suspension and with the modern advances in engines and lightweight construction, virtually no compromise in economy or performance. The only place the saloon wins against say, the Levante is in looks. But that’s only because the Levante is a little awkward looking. So sorry Ghibli, but you’re out.

Tim’s Choice: Leave

Jaguar F-Pace 3.0d S

And here is the reason the Maserati is out of this list – Jaguar’s first SUV. The styling of the F-Pace isn’t just ‘good for an SUV’ – it’s just plain stunning full stop, with an instantly recognisable Jaguar face, but also featuring a sleek body that is also tall. Designer Ian Callum absolutely excelled himself with this car. But the F-Pace has many more talents beneath that stunning exterior, like handling that belies its size and is as much fun to throw down a country road as an F-Type and a powerful 297bhp diesel V6 engine that provides performance and economy in equal measure. Add in the stylish and practical interior, along with the massive boot and you have the ultimate all-round family car.

Tim’s Choice: Remain

Porsche 718 Cayman S

Had this been the older Cayman S with the flat-six engine it would’ve been a shoe-in, but now that Porsche has replaced that wonderful powerplant with a turbocharged flat-four, sadly the Cayman has lost its appeal to me. One of the most important aspects of a sports car to me is the sound – it’s why the Jaguar F-Type rates so highly thanks to the aural talents of the V6 and V8 engines – and unfortunately the new ‘718’ engines in the Cayman (and Boxster) just don’t cut it. Dare I say it, they sound like an old VW Beetle at idle and sadly it doesn’t improve once you get moving. Sorry Porsche, but you’ve killed the Cayman.

Tim’s Choice: Leave

Mercedes A45 AMG

I’m unashamedly a fan of hot hatches, and the A45 is undoubtedly the hottest of the current crop. If you said to a petrolhead 10yrs ago that a small hatchback would have 377bhp they would laugh in your face, but here we have the technological masterpiece that is the A45. All that power is created by a 2.0 litre turbocharged four cylinder engine, then it’s sent to all four wheels via a lightning-quick dual clutch automatic paddle-shift gearbox, meaning you can put that power down in any weather. The speed at which the A45 rips through the gears to licence-losing speeds is staggering, but it also handles like a dream too, sticking to the corners like glue. The interior is also befitting of a Mercedes too, with a classy design and swathes of leather. Of course you pay a price for all this tech (£40,000) but you can’t get much more performance for the money in any sector, so the A45 is most definitely in.

Tim’s Choice: Remain

Range Rover Evoque Convertible

Hmmm, a tricky one again. I love the Evoque in general; it’s a stylish, high quality SUV that enables you to get that lovely Range Rover feeling at a much cheaper price than ever before. I also have huge respect for Land Rover for seeing an opening and creating a new niche with this convertible SUV, which will undoubtedly sell in huge numbers. You get four very usable seats, a high-up driving position, the same tight Evoque handling and the opportunity to drop the roof and experience the three or four days of nice weather we have here in the UK every summer. But it’s not for me, as a 6ft 3 nearly-40yr-old man with no hair I just don’t think I could pull it off. There are many people much more stylish than I that could though, thankfully.

Tim’s Choice: Leave

Audi SQ5

We’ve already had the A45 in this list so you’d be forgiven for assuming that given the similarities that the Focus RS would be out, but despite those on-paper similarities the A45 and Focus RS couldn’t be more different in the way they go about their duties. The RS uses a torquier 2.3 litre turbocharged four cylinder engine to produce 345bhp, so is down a bit on power, but the main difference is that it sends its power to all four wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox. This means that you get a level of driver interaction that is missing from the A45 and it changes the whole attitude of the car. Whereas the A45 is slick and polished the RS is an animal, growling and snarling as you accelerate, with playful handling that allows up to 70% of the power to go to the rear wheels meaning sideways fun is always available. Of course the interior isn’t anywhere near as nice as the A45, but then it costs a whole quarter less than the Merc. I don’t mind saying that the RS is one of the best cars I’ve driven this year so it simply has to be in.

Tim’s Choice: Remain