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    • EVO Car of the Year 2018 - Alpine A110, BMW M2 Competition, Ferrari 488 Pista, Ford Fiesta ST, McLaren 600LT, Porsche 911 GT2 RS, Renault Mégane RS, VW Up GTI

      You could say this is an interesting field but truly there are only a few standouts. Of the eight cars, does anyone really feel the Ford Fiesta ST or Volkswagen Up GTI really have a chance? Especially when cars like the 488 Pista, 991.2 GT2 RS, and McLaren 600 LT are included?


      Including some mortal cars that are actually reachable for most folks supposedly makes sense but this isn't budget car of the year. It's car of the year, period.

      Here are the results in order from last place to first. You will notice a couple surprises but the winner is exactly who it should be.


      8th – Renault Mégane RS
      Let’s be clear: to make the cut for our Car of the Year test should be seen as an achievement in itself, but as in every test, something has to come last, and here it’s the Renault. On these roads, and in this company, the synthetic feedback from its controls and the artificial feel to its agility were its downfall. As we’ve found with Renault Sport Méganes before, this first version of the new-generation car feels as if it has huge potential; there’s a talented chassis waiting to emerge here, but one in need of added focus and calibration to bring its many elements together in a more cohesive fashion.


      7th – Volkswagen Up GTI (Supermini of the Year)
      The same can’t be said of our next finisher, as the Up GTI shows its cards as quickly as it draws them. Its limits are quickly discovered, and frustratingly its stability program can’t be disabled, but its higher placing than the vastly more capable Renault is a mark of just how much sheer fun it is to drive. It is a wonderful supermini, combining a charismatic engine and an enthusiastic chassis in a truly desirable little package. Definitely a car to be celebrated.


      6th – Ferrari 488 Pista
      This one may come as a surprise. The 488 Pista is faster, more capable and more technically impressive than any mid-engined V8 Ferrari that has gone before, but it struggles to transform this capability into fun. Its polished overtones and frankly inaccessible outright performance on the public road led to its downfall. What might be seen as a classic case of progress for progress’s sake, the 488 Pista lacks the sparkle that made its direct predecessor, the 458 Speciale, such a high point in Ferrari’s modern back catalogue. The Pista is pure focus, but without a sense of real engagement – something that can’t be overlooked.


      5th – BMW M2 Competition
      A BMW placed higher than a Ferrari? Surely not. But the M2 Competition is the exception here, as it seems to walk the line closest to the very mantra that underpins the BMW brand. It’s flawed, but raw, and aggressive without being terminally intimidating or unpredictable. The manual transmission of our test example, combined with BMW’s stirring S55 engine (borrowed from the larger M3 and M4) and some much needed chassis fettling cemented the Competition’s place. It’s a very impressive sports car, and exactly the kind of modern M-car we’ve been waiting for.


      4th – Ford Fiesta ST (Hot Hatch of the Year)
      So from 3 litres over six cylinders to 1.5 litres in three, it’s the new Fiesta ST – the car that proved to be this year’s real giant killer. Capable beyond both its rivals and predecessors, the latest ST’s fine touch to all of its elements is what stands out, rather than a collection of highs and lows. It’s a stunning car, one that realigned our expectations of what a simple supermini-sized hatchback is capable of. That the Fiesta ST shone so brightly against the others in this test is a testament to Ford’s skill in creating real-world performance car heroes.


      3rd – Porsche 911 GT2 RS
      Porsche’s 991-generation 911 has had a long ride. Being bigger, heavier and in some ways unresolved on its introduction, it has blossomed into the exceptional GT2 RS. Its performance is other-worldly, an incredible expression of how far the (relatively) basic 911 package can go. The GT2 RS is interactive too, exploitable even, something unimaginable even just ten years ago with a power figure approaching 700bhp.

      That the GT2 RS is probably the quickest car here over the ground, and remains a true giant killer of the higher performance kind is just the icing on the cake. Its ‘ultimate-is-best’ mentality perhaps restricts the outright driver engagement it can offer, but we adore the 911 GT2 RS, which says a lot about the cars we placed above it.


      2nd – Alpine A110 (Coupe of the Year)
      What a comeback for the French marque! The Alpine A110 has been one of the year’s most hyped cars, and for good reason it. It’s not perfect, there are refinements that could be made, but at its core the lightweight, accessible, mid-engined A110’s execution wowed us as much as its mantra. There is a crystalline feel to its responses, one created through sound foundations and well-judged execution. It’s just the kind of car that we’ve been asking for, and one we’re happy to champion at every opportunity.

      In fact, the Alpine came close to overall victory – a truly remarkable feat from the brand’s first product in decades. As our winner proves, though, new players seem able to catch up pretty darned quickly, as for the second year in a row, it’s the supercar disrupter that has once again walked away with a victory.


      1st – McLaren 600LT (Supercar of the Year and evo Car of the Year 2018)
      The McLaren 600LT is our 2018 Car of the Year. It’s the second eCoty victory in a row for the British manufacturer from Woking, and provides yet more evidence that the firm has rightfully earned its place among the true supercar-making greats. The ingredients it uses often look familiar, but with every iteration the execution improves yet further.

      As one of the three powerhouses in our test group, the 600LT differed from the Ferrari and Porsche by recognising the value of true engagement, even with close to 600bhp on tap. In fact, that power output was strangely immaterial, having little to do with the car’s final placing. Instead it was the McLaren’s deep-seated connection to the person behind the wheel that proved to be the ultimate clincher. Agile, connected, dramatic, but exploitable and always on-side, the 600LT is McLaren coming of age – and this is only just the beginning. The establishment are no longer on notice. They’re being left behind.


      This article was originally published in forum thread: EVO Car of the Year 2018 - Alpine A110, BMW M2 Competition, Ferrari 488 Pista, Ford Fiesta ST, McLaren 600LT, Porsche 911 GT2 RS, Renault Mégane RS, VW Up GTI started by Sticky View original post