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evo Car of the Year 2018

The best new cars of the last 12 months, together, for the most anticipated test of the motoring year. It’s evo Car of the Year 2018

Eight cars, six judges, five days and one epic test – eCoty is back to find out which of 2018’s most exciting new cars is the very best of the best. Like last year, we’ll be naming a winner for each class of performance car – ten in total, from supermini to supercar – but we’ve also returned to a multi-car test format to help us identify our overall winner.

Ranging from a 113bhp Volkswagen city car, right through to Maranello's fastest and most capable 710bhp mid-engined supercar, the selection we’ve brought together is evidence of the rich tapestry of today’s performance car scene.

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> Click here for our look at the most exciting new cars coming next year

Among our eight contenders there are two examples each of turbocharged three-, four-, six- and eight-cylinder engines. Meanwhile half of the cars have manual gearboxes and the other half dual-clutch transmissions. And the average horsepower figure is just over 400bhp, which is lower than in recent years, but as more huge-horsepower supercars breach 600bhp or even 700bhp, it’s good to see that cars with more exploitable levels of power are able to capture our interest.

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So with the cars gathered on location on the Scottish Borders, our route is set, tanks filled and awful service station sandwiches packed. It’s time for eCoty 2018...

evo Car of the Year 2018 - The Contenders

Alpine A110

It was the return of a great nameplate, which adorned a compact, mid-engined sports car that seemed to put outright speed and racetrack-pace to one side for the benefit of the on-road driving experience. The A110 blew us away on its launch, and this despite parent company Renault’s comparative lack of experience in building cars of this type in recent years. Put simply, it was impossible not to include the Alpine A110 in the running for 2018.

Engine

In-line 4-cyl, 1798cc, turbo

Power

249bhp @ 6000rpm

Torque

236lb ft @ 2000-5000rpm

Weight

1103kg

Power-to-weight

229bhp/ton

0-62mph

4.5sec

Top speed

155mph (limited)

Basic price

£51,805

> Click here for our review of the Alpine A110 review

BMW M2 Competition

You might remember the original M2’s poor showing at its eCoty outing – shining in isolation, but ultimately falling short when compared with the best performance cars of 2016. But the M2 Competition, rather than just being a subtle nip and tuck, seemed to address our criticisms by fitting a swathe of proper M division components, giving the car more intent and focus. Will this upgraded M2 disappoint, or is this redemption time for BMW?

Engine

In-line 6-cyl, 2979cc, twin-turbo

Power

404bhp @ 5250-7000rpm

Torque

406lb ft @ 2350-5200rpm

Weight

1550kg

Power-to-weight

265bhp/ton

0-62mph

4.4sec

Top speed

155mph (limited)

Basic price

£49.805

> Click here for our review of the BMW M2 Competition

Ferrari 488 Pista

We might just need to pause for a moment and remember the brilliance that was the 458 Speciale. A car that immediately reserved its place in the dream garage for many an eCoty judge, the Speciale was on another (flat) plane when it came to driver involvement and the buzz of its responses. Will Ferrari’s turbocharged successor, the 488 Pista, be able to live up to the Speciale – not to mention its increasingly threatening McLaren rivals?

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Engine

V8, 3902cc, twin-turbo

Power

710bhp @ 8000rpm

Torque

568lb ft @ 3100rpm

Weight

1385kg

Power-to-weight

521bhp/ton

0-62mph

2.9sec

Top speed

211mph+

Basic price

£253.715

> Click here for our review of the Ferrari 488 Pista

Ford Fiesta ST

From a bona fide supercar to a supermini with an asking price below the cost of optional paint on a Ferrari. The new Fiesta ST had just as much riding on its shoulders as the Pista when it replaced its sparkling predecessor, especially as it was doing so with a new three-cylinder (rather than four) engine up front. Thankfully it proved immediately impressive against its rivals, but will the Ford wilt in the shadows cast by the supercars on this test?

Engine

In-line 3-cyl, 1497cc, turbo

Power

197bhp @ 6000rpm

Torque

214lb ft @ 1600-4000rpm

Weight

1187kg

Power-to-weight

169bhp/ton

0-62mph

6.5sec

Top speed

144mph

Basic price

£18,995

> Click here for our review of the Ford Fiesta ST

McLaren 600LT

The McLaren 600LT comes into eCoty 2018 riding a wave of momentum after the marque’s first eCoty crown with the 720S last year. The 600LT is a different beast though: harder, smaller, and more focused. It has a real shot of making it a back-to-back victory for Woking, and based on initial impressions of the latest LT on road and track, the other contenders should definitely be looking over their shoulders.

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Engine

V8, 3799cc, twin-turbo

Power

592bhp @ 7500rpm

Torque

457lb ft @ 5500-6500rpm

Weight

1356kg

Power-to-weight

444bhp/ton

0-62mph

2.9sec

Top speed

204mph

Basic price

£185,500

> Click here for our review of the McLaren 600LT

Porsche 911 GT2 RS

The GT2 RS is the most aggressive, powerful and capable 911 of the 991.2 generation, the ultimate 911 until now, and the furthest Porsche has yet pushed its rear-engined layout. As it draws ever nearer to true hypercar performance, is this a 911 too far or an expression of how brilliant the basic 911 package really is? It sure has a lot to live up to.

Engine

Flat-six, 3800cc, twin-turbo

Power

690bhp @ 7000rpm

Torque

553lb ft @ 2500-4500rpm

Weight

1470kg

Power-to-weight

477bhp/ton

0-62mph

2.8sec

Top speed

211mph

Basic price

£207,506

> Click here for our review of the Porsche 911 GT2 RS

Renault Mégane RS

As one of the most eagerly anticipated new arrivals of 2018 year, the Mégane RS enters eCoty with Renault’s reputation as the hot hatch manufacturer to beat at stake. The Mégane RS showed promise upon its launch, and came within mere moments of usurping the Civic Type R earlier this year in an evo Supertest, but will it thrive amongst 2018’s best at eCoty?

Engine

In-line 4-cyl, 1798cc, turbo

Power

276bhp @ 6000rpm

Torque

288lb ft @ 2400-4800rpm

Weight

1407kg

Power-to-weight

199bhp/ton

0-62mph

5.7sec

Top speed

155mph (limited)

Basic price

£27,495

> Click here for our review of the Renault Megane RS

Volkswagen Up GTI

The Up GTI sets an eCoty record before it even turns a wheel in anger, sporting as it does the lowliest starting price of an eCoty contender ever. Don’t be fooled by the diminutive VW’s almost commonplace appearance, though. It may only have 113bhp from its turbocharged three-cylinder engine, but the Up GTI’s ability to thrill is not limited by its inherent power or dimensional limitations. Prepare to dust off the ‘giant killer’ rosette. 

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Engine

In-line 3-cyl, 999cc, turbo

Power

113bhp @ 5000rpm

Torque

147lb ft @ 2000-3500rpm

Weight

995kg

Power-to-weight

115bhp/ton

0-62mph

8.8sec

Top speed

122mph

Basic price

£14,055

> Click here for our review of the Volkswagen Up GTI

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