AS THE NEW DECADE COMETH, HERE ARE THE 10 NEW PERFORMANCE CARS IíM MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO DRIVING IN 2020
WELCOME TO A BRAND new decade - if you believe, of course, the new decade starts now, and not next year! And as youíll read over page in our special Pace Notes crystal-ballgazing feature, itís looking like a fairly monumental one for the world of performance motoring.
Forgetting the decade for a moment, this year alone is looking insane for new performance models, the pipeline spewing factory hot rods at unabated pace. Sluggish global economy be damned! And rather than list them all out, I thought Iíd pick the 10 new performance models coming in 2020 that Iím personally most excited to drive.
10. MINI Cooper GP. I loved the old R56/R57 MINI, and the JCW GP was that generation MINI at its best and silliest. Sadly, MINI went backwards with the third generation but the new, 225kW Cooper GP promises a return to form. Hereís hoping.
9. Ford Fiesta ST. Itís been a long time coming but finally Fordís feisty bum-dragger has touched down in Australia. Iíve missed the previous STís cheekiness - and love the idea of it being combined with a thrummy three-cylinder.
8. Alpine A110S. The current Alpine is a breath of fresh air, going totally against the typical just-get-a-Cayman groupthink. The S sounds like the one MOTOR would make - more focused again, sharper, tauter, a bit quicker and louder.
7. Mk8 VW Golf GTI. Despite a brand new architecture the benchmark everyday hot hatch is expected to be evolutionary in the way it drives, with a bit more power, smarter handling and a cutting edge interior. Could be - probably will be - the best all-round performance vehicle under $100K.
6. Chevrolet C8 Corvette. I am a huge fan of GM small block V8s and mid-engine cars so the thought of the two combining - in what is our cover car this issue; read the verdict p42 - makes me slightly giddy. Although thereís a chance we might not drive it locally until next year.
5. Ford Mustang R-SPEC. Supercharged 5.0-litre V8, circa 500kW, manual-only, rear-drive, tight diff, tough looks... itís certainly a time-proven recipe. And with factory reliability.
4. Mercedes-AMG GT R Black Series. A car that might make a GT2 RS look a bit timid, if what weíre hearing is true. Huge wings and aero; wide, sticky rubber; an almost brand new 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 exceeding 515kW... AMG boss Tobias Moers says the very-serious-sounding Black Series shares little with the AMG GT R on which itís based. Yikes.
3. Porsche 992 911 Turbo. Letís get one thing straight - the 992 911 is annoyingly good. Like, beyond excellent, and thatís just the Carreras. Weíve not yet seen, let alone driven, a Turbo, GT3 or, god willing, a GT2 RS. That will change this year when we bolt ourselves into the 485kW Turbo. Expectations high.
2. Audi R8 RWD. Fitting only rear driveshafts is one of the best decisions Audi (and Lamborghini) ever made. The Huracan LP580-2 and R8 RWS both firmly received the MOTOR stamp of approval, and I donít care if the new rear-drive R8 RWD has the same power as the Ďoldí RWS, because 397kW is still plenty for one driven axle and frankly the 5.2-litre atmo V10 could make 300kW and Iíd still love it.
1. BMW M2 CS. The M2 Competition is a seriously good - and seriously underrated - car. A lighter, more powerful version (with the full 331kW from the M3 Competition) mated to the same beautiful, taut chassis, could make for one of the performance cars of the year, if not the decade.
1. We did ice driving for WhichCar TV. In Australia, that means a skidpan and four spacesavers
2. Do Ďrally drivingí on 45-profile tyres, they said. It will be fun, they said...
3. Driving a bright blue, Chevrolet C8 Corvette in the USA is to have a bad influence on productivity
4. Three people in a McLaren F1 is probably best left a warm, fuzzy-feeling theory
5. Lambo Huracan Evo, meet Australia. It gets to 46 degrees in Italy, right? How about Germany?