Porsche Cayman GT4
Most of all, I love what the Cayman GT4 represents. It lets us enthusiasts know that Porsche hasn’t forgotten about us, and that they recognize the specific demand for GT cars with manual transmissions.
Sure it would be better with a shorter final drive ratio for shorter gearing and even quicker acceleration, but we’re splitting hairs. The car is phenomenal fun by all counts, and is in such hot demand that they immediately sold out. That says all that needs to be said. I’d take this over a paddle shift 911 GT3 / GT3 RS any day of the week.
Mazda ND Miata
Mazda released the 4th generation Miata to some high acclaim. It features a variety of improvements over previous models, and it returns to about the same size and weight of the original Miata. It’s nice to know that cars can still get smaller and lighter in our modern times, when everything in the auto industry seems to be enlarging.
This is the best Miata yet in my opinion, and I’ll share more about why in a review article very soon. Be sure to check back!
I drove this car a few months back and I was totally blown away. The new XC90 comes as a desperately needed makeover for the entire Volvo brand, and my oh my, have they done the job!
The XC90 is a striking car in every way. It exudes quality, luxury, and elegance in a way no Volvo ever has. It also features technology, like a twin-charged engine, that is a first for the industry.
Volvo has since released the S90, which shows that the XC90 was indeed to fore-bearer of great things to come.
BMW i3 / i8
BMW’s i-Series hit the industry with a bang, and both the i3 city car and i8 supercar are examples of brilliant execution between concept and production phases. Both cars literally look like concept cars, and they drop jaws everywhere they go.
I knew the i8 was going to be a huge hit at Pebble Beach last year. A white i8 was parked right in front of a bright green McLaren P1 in front of a fancy restaurant. And which car drew the biggest crowd?… the i8.
I even had to spend 10 minutes trying to convince someone that the i8 was indeed a production car, and not just a concept. He said, “They could never put anything like this into production.” To which I replied, “Well they just did, and it costs around $130,000” as I showed him BMW’s website on my phone.
The i3 and i8 are very different in purpose and in price, but they both have the same futuristic flavor.
I drove the Lexus RC-F and I loved it. I wasn’t sure about it beforehand, but after stepping behind the wheel there was no denying what a wonderful job Lexus can do when they make a high performance car their way.
It’s biggest strength is in that it is a Lexus, and that means its damn solid. A true grand touring car that you could put 200,000 hard miles on without worry.
I love the style of the Lexus RC coupe in general, and I love that the RC-F showed Lexus’ continued commitment to building ultra-solid high performance cars.
So those are my five favorite cars from 2015, overall. They may not all be the winners of awards in other publications, but I like them best for my own reasons. I also only counted cars you could actually purchase take delivery of in 2015, so newer models will count for next year.
2015 was a great year for cars, and 2016 is looking like it will be just as good. The biggest horsepower war in history continues strong, but we are also now beginning to see many cars starting to get lighter as well. Lighter weight makes everything about a car better, so I hope this trend continues.
Have a Happy New Year, everyone!