2016 was the year where things really took off, two successful events in the books and a lot of car reviews. With 2017 knocking at the door we’d like to take the time for a glimpse in the rearview mirror.
It’s a memorable day when you get to drive an icon like the Aston Martin DBS, surreal even to drive a car that had been on the wallpaper of my laptop for many years. By far the most beautiful car we got to drive in 2016. Looking back at the experience it did not entirely live up to my ridiculously high expectations. They say that it’s not a good idea to meet your idols, as it turns out its like that with dreamcars as well.
I got to drive the BMW M3 E90 and the Audi RS4 B8 with just weeks in between. The difference between the two could not be clearer, the aggressive unforgiving temperament of the M3 is the complete opposite of the playful yet powerful eagerness of the RS4. Both have their pros and cons, so which one is the best? Depends on what you are looking for and what you want to do with it. In a perfect world you buy both of them.
I have owned quite a lot of roadsters, so the Mazda MX-5 ND was my number one priority to test. Throughout the year I have driven the 1.5 & 2.0 liter models on sunny & rainy days. I enjoyed the 1.5 liter the most. The MX-5 ND is a very well balanced driver’s car with the best manual gearbox I’ve come across in 2016. The driving pleasure versus cost ratio is unmatched by any other car this year. I can’t wait to test the hardtop version (MX-5 RF) next year.
The Lexus GS-F was a revelation! A non-hybrid lexus, quite the opposite even. It is blessed with a 5 liter V8. All the newest high-tech gadgets meet an old-school powerhouse engine. A very addictive driving experience and a lot more nimble than the looks would suggest. I was reluctant to return the car to Lexus headquarters, but it was for the best since my petrol budget was swinging out of control. Not even mentioning the speeding ticket.
We tested the BMW M2 very briefly on track but the youngest of the M –family impressed us so much that we HAD to mention it on this list. The car is surprisingly cheerful and playful. Definitely not as unforgiving as the last gen M3 we tested. We look forward to meeting this fella again next year.
One diesel car made it on the list! The Alpina D3, what a machine! This is the definition of a sleepercar. Quite inconspicuous but if you floor it, the 700 newton meters of torque make this thing take off like a rocket. At least that’s what it looks like from the outside. On the inside it’s the perfect balance between powerful and comfortable. If I had to pick a car for a roadtrip, it would be this one. We want more Alpina!
The most memorable experience in a car and I wasn’t even driving (luckily)! Laurent from Glorious Cars took me around the track a few times in his ridiculously fast Porsche 991 GT3 RS. Adrenaline and powerslides all the way. Insane!
Apart from reviews we also visited a lot of events and held our own events: Cars & Coffee Kortrijk was a huge success, the weather was horrible and still almost all of the registered cars showed up. The public loved every minute of it. Videos from the rev-battle & event went viral.
Our Roadbook based tour was sold out in the blink of an eye. The participants had a great day without incidents driving an entire afternoon without coming across a single traffic light.
We are looking forward to 2017 and are curious what automotive experiences it will bring for us. Meanwhile we are busy working on the next Cars & Coffee event in Kortrijk in collaboration with the international Cars & Coffee organization.
We wish you all a happy new year and hopefully we will see you all next year! Jonas & Steven