It’s been quite a year for new car launches. From city run arounds to hot hatches, SUV crossovers to pant wetting super cars; quality hasn’t levelled up this much since restaurants started pulling pork and Drake began hotline blinging (You used to call me on my cell phone….).
One thing the class of 2015 doesn’t have in common with Drake though is his moves, with many a 5 star review highlighting superior handling and all round performance. These cars are exactly the reason why we like our jobs so much here in the marketing team. That and the amount of cake and doughnuts that come through the door.
In fact I tasked some of our team to come up with their favourite cars of 2015. The results were epic.
Chris Knox : Mazda MX-5
I got a lot of stick from my colleague Malcom who commented that this is a hairdresser’s car in a manner befitting Jezza Clarkson. For me though this car is the essence of pure driving. Stylistically it’s classic, with a drive that is as simple as it is refined. It’s an affordable sports car and one that you feel rather than drive, with even the 1.5 litre version giving you the kind of sensual body roll and powerful propulsion that stirs the soul, as well as supple suspension that’s hard not to get all Nigella about.
Adam Castling and Kristina Ferguson: Audi RS3 Sportback
It’s been a big year for Audi and while it might have been tempting for Adam to go for the all-new Audi R8, it’s the small but perfectly formed RS3 that gets his vote. Much like 2015 Ballon d’Or favourite Lionel Messi, the size of this car belies its performance levels, with its 2.5-litre five cylinder turbocharged engine helping it set off down the wing at an unrestricted top speed of 174mph, nut-megging the rest the hot hatch competition and side footing straight into the top corner.
Graeme Littlewood: McLaren 570S
It’s not surprising that petrol head Graeme went for something with a little bit of fire in its belly, the kind you feel when you’ve had a vindaloo. Likewise, the McLaren has the potential to get very messy, with V8, 3799cc, twin-turbocharged petrol engine capable of producing 562bhp and a top speed of 204mph. If boys still have posters of cars and scantily clad girls on their bedroom walls they would have the 570S right next to that dragon chick from Game of Thrones. I had a poster of a Ferrari Testarossa and a picture of Kelly Kapowski from Saved by the Bell if you’re wondering. Glory Days.
Malcolm Hire: Ferrari 488 GTB
Staying on the Ferrari theme, Malcolm has gone for the quite magnificent 488 GTB. It’s a lot cleverer than its predecessor ( the 458 Italia), and by some margin, with a host of friction reducing elements to the 3.9 litre duel turboed engine creating a mighty 661bhp, a top speed of 205mph and a 0-62mph acceleration of 3.0 seconds. This car has more tricks up its sleeve than a big sleeved wizard, with things like active aerodynamics, a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, and LaFerrari brakes combining to give you supreme control over this absolute beast of a car.
Natalina Sutherland: Hyundai Tucson
Ok, so this is back to earth with a bump. But that’s not to say that the Tucson isn’t up there with the best in its category. Reacquainting itself with the Tucson name after previously replacing it with the ix35, Hyundai’s brand new SUV sports a new chassis, gearbox and an engine upgrade. While the landscape may have changed since the Tucson was last launched , with rivals such as the Nissan Qashqai, Skoda Yeti, Mazda CX-5 and the new Renault Kadjar given a head start, the Hyundai more than holds its own and represents a huge statement of intent by the Korean car maker.
Jane Cowan: Ford Mustang
You must have heard about this one right? The arrival of the Mustang to these shores was definitely one for the diary, as well as our sizeable wall mounted marketing planner. Along with the American pale ale, Kanye West and the NFL, it was an American invasion that I for one certainly didn’t have any problems with. Black Friday, Justin Bieber and The Real Housewives of WhoGivesA**** though, that’s a different matter altogether. The rather more palatable but slightly less powerful European V8 Mustang meant that we got a car that has the muscle of Ford’s iconic silver screen siren, without being too hot to handle.
Heike O’Leary: Audi Q7
A few months back I likened it to being bigger than Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead. Well now I’m calling it bigger than Star Wars and Taylor Swift. It’s a beauty of an SUV with a lighter and more nimble platform, ultra high spec interior and a mighty 3.0 litre V6 engine. A lightweight drive and impeccable creates the illusion that you’re in control of a much smaller car, while Audi’s virtual cockpit takes the Q7’s dashboard to new heights. I’ve driven it a few times since I previewed it back in August and every time it’s been an experience as awesome and as a bare chested Chuck Norris surfing on a shark and smoking a cigar.