BOTB’s Review of 2015. A landmark year. {{favouriteCount}} Quantity of Likes

4 Dec 2015

It’s incredible to think that 2015 is almost over, but as I sit here typing and looking back over the year’s posts it’s evident that this has been a landmark year. Horsepower has continued to rise, 0-60 times have dropped and prices have gone up, but economy has gone up, emissions are down and downsizing is rife. The performance car has had to come into line with the rest of the motoring world, they no longer have carte blanche to do as they please – everyone must be seen to be doing their bit for the environment. But incredibly the cars are better than ever and long may it continue. Here are my personal choices for the best bits of 2015:

January – Ford reveals the new GT in Detroit

We loved the old Ford GT with its thumping great V8 and classic-yet-modernised looks. So we were a bit worried when we heard that the new GT would have a turbocharged V6 engine. We needn’t have though – just look at it – still unmistakeably a GT but so modern and cool. We can’t wait to get behind the wheel of this new supercar!

February – Ferrari 488 GTB revealed

Ahead of the Geneva Show, Ferrari decided to show off their 458 replacement and what a car it was. A smaller engine, but with two turbos, it now has an incredible 661bhp and the looks have evolved from the 458 into a stunning car. Massive side intakes dominate the side profile, but the 488 has in our opinion the best rear end of any modern Ferrari. What an incredible machine.

March – the Geneva Motor Show

This year’s Geneva motor show was possibly the biggest this century, with so many huge new cars released. We’ll start with the Porsche Cayman GT4, which has turned out to be the best new Porsche for a long time. There’s the Ford Focus RS which moves the hot hatch game on with 340bhp and 4WD for just £30,000. The expensive track toys were well represented – Aston Martin showed us their hardcore Vantage GT12, McLaren the already-sold-out 675LT and Porsche their 911 GT3 RS – so if you want the ultimate supercar track toys your choice has never been bigger. There was also a new Audi R8 and a Lotus Evora 400 to take care of the mid-level super-sports cars and at the very top of the tree the incredible Lamborghini LP750-4 SV. What an incredible show.

April – McLaren 570S revealed in New York

McLaren has gone from strength to strength in recent years, but with the 650S costing nearly £200,000 it was starting to get into serious supercar money. So in steps the new 570S – a direct rival to the Porsche 911 Turbo S and top spec Audi R8 V10 Plus, it has power, class, styling and above all handling to shame them all. In fact every road test later in the year has seen it place first. There’s also a cheaper 540C which is even better value but still packing an incredible 540hp.

May – Nissan GT-R road test

I’ve been very lucky to have some fantastic cars to road test this year, but one of the most iconic cars of the century was tested in May – the Nissan GT-R. Having not driven one for many years I was sceptical, but the latest version absolutely blew me away with its combination of power, mind-bending acceleration and handling that belies its size and weight. A true giant killer in every respect.

June – The Alfa Giulia is finally revealed

Petrolheads the world over have been waiting for Alfa Romeo’s 159 replacement ever since it was first announced back in 2009, but with one of the most tortured development paths of any car it was delayed time and time again. But 2015 finally saw it revealed and it was well worth the wait – Alfa wisely chose to reveal the top spec M4 rivalling Giulia QV, with stunning styling, RWD, a manual gearbox option and a Ferrari-developed 503bhp twin turbo V6 it promises big things for Alfa Romeo. It’s just a shame we won’t get to drive it until the end of 2016 at the earliest!

July – Ferrari California T road test

It’s summer. It’s a convertible Ferrari. What could be better? This was our first chance to sample Ferrari’s new twin turbo downsized 3.9 litre V8 and it really shone – 552bhp and tonnes of torque, combined with the revised styling that is leagues ahead of the old California meant that the new Cali T jumped from being the awkward little brother of the 458 to a credible rival to the very best supercars out there.

August – Mercedes reveals the new C63 AMG Coupe

We love an AMG here at BOTB, and so a new AMG coupe is a real treat – so when we saw the new C63 AMG we were delighted to see it has mini-S-Class Coupe styling combined with a 503bhp twin turbo 4.0 litre V8. It makes the awkward styling of the old model look even more awkward now and we really can’t wait to get behind the wheel at some point in 2016.

September – Lamborghini Huracan road test

I would’ve preferred it for a week, but I only had a few hours with the latest Lamborghini but it made quite the impression on me. It looks like nothing on earth, sounds like a thunderstorm turned up to 11 and has the most insanely cool interior. I concluded that even before I’ve driven the Ferrari 488GTB I’d still have the Huracan because nothing could sound better, look more ‘supercar’ or make you feel cooler.

October – BMW reveals the M2

A new M-car is always an exciting event, but as the M3 and M4 have got bigger and heavier enthusiasts have been yearning for a smaller, lighter M-car and it seems BMW was listening. Step forward the M2. It’s not exactly a featherweight, but it has lots of M4 parts and 365bhp isn’t to be sniffed at. The fact that it also looks absolutely incredible is an extra bonus.

November – Lamborghini shows off the RWD Huracan

We loved the 4WD Lamborghini Huracan when we drove it in September, so the excitement was off the scale when they announced a new lighter, RWD only model. The LP580-2 may have less power but it’s also lighter, with more aero over the nose and promises a purer driving experience. Some lucky journalists have already driven it and it shows itself to be a real rival for the McLaren 570S already.

December – McLaren 675LT Spider revealed and sold out

It’s always amusing when a new supercar is revealed and is already sold out. Generally this is because existing customers of the brand are made aware of the car earlier and as such all the slots for limited run cars are sold up front. When McLaren revealed the 675LT in Geneva all 500 were sold out and once again they revealed the 675LT Spider a couple of weeks ago and sure enough it’s sold out too. Not hard to see why though – a 666bhp track-focused supercar that you can drop the roof of without sacrificing any rigidity at all. What a car!