You could say it’s been a year of doom and gloom for those of us who care about the thrill of driving. According to the mainstream media the internal combustion engine is dead and soon we’ll all be transported around the planet in autonomously driven, electrically powered boxes that will be ‘connected’ like never before. Oh, and that diesel you were encouraged to buy because you were going to save the planet with its low CO2 output… its emissions are now killing us all.
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In amongst it all though there have been some glimmers of hope. TVR is back. Alfa Romeo was reborn (again). Nürburgring lap records tumbled and supercar makers revealed more delectable metal than ever before. Here evo’s staff choose their news stories of the year.
The rebirth of performance car icons
James Disdale, Road test editor
It’s not exactly been a slow news year, with manufacturers falling over themselves to launch any number of high performance models. Then there are good news stories, such as the latest rebirth of TVR (this time it looks as if the brand is here to stay). But perhaps the most far-reaching was the government's announcement that sales of all pure internal combustion engined cars would cease in 2040. Yes, it’s a long way off, but it was the first concrete sign that the object of our affection is facing its biggest change in a century. Let’s hope that firms don’t forget fun in the pursuit of efficiency.
The rise of heritage factory restorations
Antony Ingram, Staff writer
Perhaps the most significant news this year from an evo perspective is the move towards in-house factory restorations. From humble metal like the Mazda MX-5, through new parts for the R32 Skyline GT-R, to Pagani treating early Zondas to a full restoration, this year’s new money seems to be in old metal. That’s before you even consider the rising prices of the old metal itself. At the other end of the scale, it’s hard to ignore the tide of manufacturer-backed entries making their way into Formula E. The next few years will be very interesting indeed for the electric racing series.
Adam Towler, Deputy editor
All things Hyundai N. Instead of simply making a lot of noise about creating a performance brand, the Korean firm has just got on with the job – and done it superbly well. With a range of competition machines and now also a brilliant road car, it’s already competitive: just imagine where it could be in a few years time.
The PAAA's fight for the right to modify
Will Beaumont, Staff writer
I like tuned cars and I like modifying cars, so when I spoke to the Performance Automotive Aftermarket Association (PAAA) and learnt about the difficulties UK tuning firms face when it comes to new legislation, I was stunned; one ill-informed line in a new law has the potential to wipe out the entire industry. Thankfully, the PAAA is keeping an eye on the laws that are being made, looking after the aftermarket industry’s best interests and representing it to the correct officials and politicians so that we have the freedom to modify our own cars.
Tesla and its (un)dignified supreme leader
Stuart Gallagher, Editor
Anything from Tesla, or specifically Elon Musk. I’ve no gripe with what Tesla is doing. The car industry needs a disruptive force to awaken it from its slumber and drag it into the 21st Century. But seriously, for all the good work Musk’s engineers do their employer undoes it with another attack on his rivals or a product announcement that demonstrates his lack of understanding of how consumers use and need their cars.
Tesla has a great opportunity, a product line that both appeals and could solve many a problem, but until it fires Musk so he can go away and grow up (it worked for both Steve Jobs and Apple) the goodwill Tesla has garnered will evaporate as quickly as its Roadster is claimed to accelerate. Less hyperbole and more substance please, Tesla.
Review of the Year 2017
> Our favourite cars of 2017 - the new cars we loved most> Drive of the year - our highlights behind the wheel in 2017> Car news stories of the year - our pick of 2017's automotive news> Driver of the year - the drivers that did it best in 2017> Motorsport moment of the year - 2017's best track and rally stage action> evo advent calendar - best car pictures of the year 2017> evo car quiz 2017 - our mega car quiz of the year
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