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RE: PH 2017: Surprise of the year

RE: PH 2017: Surprise of the year

Thursday 28th December 2017

PH 2017: Surprise of the year

Yep, 2017 was a shocker in many ways - thankfully we're limited to talking about cars



There really shouldn't be any surprises in an industry that works on six-year life cycles - but as with everything else in life involving other people, 2017 threw up shocks and peccadillos aplenty.



The £100K Escort
Perhaps I should have seen it coming. Perhaps I shouldn't be bothered, given it's not really anything to do with me. Perhaps I shouldn't even be surprised, given what some cars have sold for recently. But that Escort RS2000 selling for £97,875 remains astonishing to the point of total consternation - I mean, how?!

I get that the Escort has competition history, that many grew up lusting after one, and that this particular RS2000 was immaculate. I understand. And I'll accept that my judgement might be skewed because the fast Ford I wanted at 17 was a green Focus with 300hp. But this makes no sense, even in a world of unprecedented classic car values - it's an Escort, for crying out loud!

Perhaps most depressingly of all for classic cars generally, but old Fords specifically, is that these ludicrous prices mean that the cars just won't be used. Given a fast Ford represented - and continues, in fact, to represent through cars like the Fiesta ST - affordable and democratised performance to many, that's sad. I'll have to console myself by watching another vid of that nutter Frank Kelly in his Escort; actually, with my blood pressure how now it is, perhaps I won't!
(Matt Bird)



McLaren Senna
My surprise of the year was set to be Honda's Urban EV Concept, for its refreshingly characterful approach to commuter transport in the face of a souless automated future. But then McLaren unveiled the Senna. I don't think the change of heart requires much explanation; the stats, the name, the looks... It doesn't get much more surprising than that!
(Dafydd Wood)



Porsche 911 GT3 Touring Package
When the 911 R went on sale in 2016, fans were up in arms that lucky owners were soon flipping it for extortionate amounts of money. It seemed to be the way of the world, despite many manufacturers trying to combat it with the threat of blacklisting or even litigation. Porsche took a different path, though, instead aiming to burst the bubble by building the 911 GT3 Touring Package. A 4.0-litre GT3 with a manual box, a mechanical limited-slip differential, and no rear wing. It's the perfect answer to those 911 R owners who aimed to further inflate prices, put stripes on it and you could even fool people into believing you owned a £400,000 car. You wouldn't though and, now, neither do they.
(Nikolai Attard)



Porsche Panamera 4S Diesel
Because who cares, right? An oil-burning, two-tonne, six-figure-with-options saloon? This sort of stuff typically leaves me as cold as two-day old turkey. But not this year; not with a 422hp 4.0-litre diesel V8 plundered from elsewhere in the VW Group (most notably the Bentley Bentayga) and stripped of its elaborate electric turbochargers. Equipped with conventional blowers, the engine still develops 627lb ft of torque - although even that unlikely figure doesn't describe the magnificent and unencumbered way the Panamera goes up the road. Yes, it's still quintessentially diesel-powered, but its glowering, fast-spinning thrum could only originate from a V8 - and only Porsche could have contrived to have it meet the road so engagingly. Also, someone we know very well strapped a V-Box to one and sent it to 60mph in 3.9 seconds. Staggering - and a fitting tribute to the once all-conquering derv.
(Nic Cackett)



Kia Stinger and Hyundai i30 N
Sometimes a carmaker will announce it's going to do something off-the-wall, something outside its usual remit, and you know what's going to happen: it'll be a half-arsed job at something its established rivals already do much better. No such qualms with the Kia Stinger or Hyundai i30N, though. Both have arrived bang on the money and both are viable alternatives to the establishment. I'd have an i30 N over a Volkswagen Golf GTI and, while a Stinger might not be quite so high up my wishlist against the best 4dr executive coupes, it's terrific to drive. Not just for a Kia, for any big sedan.
(Matt Prior)



Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
I like to make jokes about Americans as much as the next lazy journalist, but I wasn't expecting the Camaro ZL1 to be a bad car before I drove it. The surprise was that it was so much better than I was anticipating, even without taking account of a pricetag that makes it a bargain for those lucky enough to be able to buy one.

Much about it is muscle-car familiar: a big V8 at the front, ably assisted by a supercharger, and interesting-wheel drive. Yet although hugely fast, the more impressive thing about the ZL1 is how good it is away from straight lines. There's huge grip, the potential for predictable slip and steering that is genuinely better than any of the posh European alternatives. Given the chance I'd take one over a BMW M4 or Audi RS5, maybe even the AMG C63 Coupe if I could pocket the considerable amount of change. But that chance is sadly lacking; let's hope that GM starts to think outside the States in future.
(Mike Duff)

Author
Discussion

1781cc

Original Poster:

127 posts

19 months

Thursday 28th December 2017
quotequote all
Several weeks on and that Senna is still offensive to look at!

172

58 posts

63 months

Thursday 28th December 2017
quotequote all
Threw not through

Matt Bird

916 posts

130 months

PH Reportery Lad

Thursday 28th December 2017
quotequote all
172 said:
Threw not through
Good point, apologies! Would seem like someone was a bit too keen on the mulled wine the week before Christmas... Should be sorted now.


Matt

RamboLambo

4,076 posts

95 months

Thursday 28th December 2017
quotequote all
Loving the Kia Stinger. The brand has really come on leaps and bounds and offers an industry leading 7 year warranty to boot.
Forget your german carp, the South Koreans are now making the best cars.

dandarez

9,031 posts

208 months

Thursday 28th December 2017
quotequote all
Matt Bird said:
172 said:
Threw not through
Good point, apologies! Would seem like someone was a bit too keen on the mulled wine the week before Christmas... Should be sorted now.


Matt
How now, brown cow.

'...with my blood pressure how now it is, perhaps I won't!'


Proof reading services available at extremely high rates, contact dandarez. wink
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jason61c

2,756 posts

99 months

Thursday 28th December 2017
quotequote all
so with the maclaren is it because they pulled out the most revolting looking supercar this year? Or is the surprise that they're trying to use the senna name to sell it?

TaylotS2K

926 posts

132 months

Thursday 28th December 2017
quotequote all
RamboLambo said:
Loving the Kia Stinger. The brand has really come on leaps and bounds and offers an industry leading 7 year warranty to boot.
Forget your german carp, the South Koreans are now making the best cars.
I had a look around the black Stinger at Brayley Kia in Oxford. Have to say I was very impressed with the fit and finish. It's a lovely looking thing too. My mum has a 2016 Sportage gt-line and that's decent too. The quality seems really good.

theplayingmantis

487 posts

7 months

Thursday 28th December 2017
quotequote all
RamboLambo said:
Loving the Kia Stinger. The brand has really come on leaps and bounds and offers an industry leading 7 year warranty to boot.
Forget your german carp, the South Koreans are now making the best cars.
assume this is a joke.

theplayingmantis

487 posts

7 months

Thursday 28th December 2017
quotequote all
TaylotS2K said:
I had a look around the black Stinger at Brayley Kia in Oxford. Have to say I was very impressed with the fit and finish. It's a lovely looking thing too. My mum has a 2016 Sportage gt-line and that's decent too. The quality seems really good.
love or the KIA shills.

the interior quality of the top of the line stinger is on par with your common lesser spotted, ford, VW, renault, insert generic mainstream 'non luxury' brand. Its worse then in my alfa which is saying something and i accidentally pulled a panel off trying to release the bonnet!. it looks ok from front awful from the back and is lacking in power and any sense of finesse on the road. people comparing sh*t with sh*t will think its good. compare it against what its supposed to be aimed at - middling german models, not low end german models or top end, and it comes out 2nd best in everything including price. and its a kia. which people will never get over rightly or wrongly.

oh and good luck with that 7 year warranty. biggest meme there is KIA warranty. wear and tear....

the hyundai on the other hand, is a very good all round car. right on the money not trying to be something it never will be in a million years.


RamboLambo

4,076 posts

95 months

Thursday 28th December 2017
quotequote all
theplayingmantis said:
assume this is a joke.
Nope, the joke is on you if you don't get it. Much rather have a Kia than some of the carp the germans are producing right now. You just have to part with your badge snobbery and look at the products objectively

theplayingmantis

487 posts

7 months

Thursday 28th December 2017
quotequote all
RamboLambo said:
theplayingmantis said:
assume this is a joke.
Nope, the joke is on you if you don't get it. Much rather have a Kia than some of the carp the germans are producing right now. You just have to part with your badge snobbery and look at the products objectively
its not badge snobbery at all, kias do a job for what they are, this car is average at best and i've had an extended test drive (simply out of curiosity) when i eventually found a dealer authorized to sell the car, yet everyone is memeing that its the 2nd coming of JC, when it really isn't.

no one would choose this over its comparable german equiv. and yes the germans are churning out a lot of crap these days at the lower ends, but that's what happens when they choose volume over quality.

edit. do a job. not so a job

nickfrog

8,042 posts

142 months

Thursday 28th December 2017
quotequote all
RamboLambo said:
theplayingmantis said:
assume this is a joke.
Nope, the joke is on you if you don't get it. Much rather have a Kia than some of the carp the germans are producing right now. You just have to part with your badge snobbery and look at the products objectively
Every single Korean car is better than every German car ?

I find badge snobbery as bad as reverse badge snobbery biggrin

theplayingmantis

487 posts

7 months

Thursday 28th December 2017
quotequote all
nickfrog said:
RamboLambo said:
theplayingmantis said:
assume this is a joke.
Nope, the joke is on you if you don't get it. Much rather have a Kia than some of the carp the germans are producing right now. You just have to part with your badge snobbery and look at the products objectively
Every single Korean car is better than every German car ?

I find badge snobbery as bad as reverse badge snobbery biggrin
the proponents of both are those give the impression they cannot afford the ones they rage against and have a chip on their shoulder about it or are too snobbish (and thus too far up own backside) too see the good in those they snob against.

KIA and in particular Hyundai (strangely given they should be in line) are building more competent more interesting (in the hyuandai N' case) stuff of late, some of the germans are downmarketing too (BMW in particular), but such stupid sweeping statements and pretending the stinger is nothing more than ok are what get me.

Simonium

410 posts

77 months

Thursday 28th December 2017
quotequote all
theplayingmantis said:
but such stupid sweeping statements and pretending the stinger is nothing more than ok are what get me.
I agree - the stupid sweeping statements simply do not hold a candle to the preposterous, hyperbolic bullst you trowel out. An ok car? Really? I assume that you must have a F40 or 959 as a daily to arrive at this conclusion? OK to me is a Vauxhall or cooking Ford - the Stinger is miles ahead is every department. And no, I'm no Kia fanboy - I simply recognise that this is a great driver's car from a brand pushing their own boundaries. Anything that gives us more choice is to be lauded, rather that sneered at in a pretty silly fashion.

huckster6

229 posts

142 months

Thursday 28th December 2017
quotequote all
£100 grand for an RS 2000 is incomprehensible.
Back when they were introduced, they were seen as a sort of consolation prize for people who couldn't afford an Escort Twin Cam, and RS1600 or an RS1800. This thing had a bloomin' Ford Pinto engine. Ford did set up one- make.series, but it never lit me up!
If it had been owned by, say, Roger Clark, it would a teeny-weeny bit more understandable.
Many men are a wee bit obsessive and some can pay for nostalgia, "investment purposes" or a trophy illustrating how much excess money they have
In the days when they launched these not-very-special editions these seemed to loads of us as a meretricious ego-trip.
I think tuners like Dave Walker of Cars and Car Conversions & Emerald Engineering did some impressive power upgrades.

greenarrow

969 posts

42 months

Thursday 28th December 2017
quotequote all
Re the RS2000, I'm another one who really doesn't understand why these old Fords make such strong money. I remember the RS2000 being outclassed by the Golf GTI, amongst others in its day and nearly 100K is just crazy. I feel the same about the prices of newer fast fords, such as the XR2 and XR3, which were never more than class average but are making silly money now.

..best response is to go for something where the price is on the floor and unlikely to go lower. Clio 182 keeps jumping out at me right now, several for sale around the £1000 - £1500 mark and these were class leaders all the time they were in production.....

As for the Kia Stinger, all the motoring press comparison tests have been very complimentary of it, even against stuff like the BMW 440i, Audi S5 etc, so we're not talking about Korean vs low end german stuff. I understand some people still want to put Kia (and Hyundai) down, but credit where its due, they've made a RWD sports saloon that's class competitive against rivals which have been building this sort of stuff for years. Reminds me a bit of the McLaren MP4-12C when it came along in 2011. Yes that car had a few flaws but it was immediately competitive against my all time fave Ferrari, the 458 Italia, in all the road tests of the day.

theplayingmantis

487 posts

7 months

Thursday 28th December 2017
quotequote all
Simonium said:
theplayingmantis said:
but such stupid sweeping statements and pretending the stinger is nothing more than ok are what get me.
I agree - the stupid sweeping statements simply do not hold a candle to the preposterous, hyperbolic bullst you trowel out. An ok car? Really? I assume that you must have a F40 or 959 as a daily to arrive at this conclusion? OK to me is a Vauxhall or cooking Ford - the Stinger is miles ahead is every department. And no, I'm no Kia fanboy - I simply recognise that this is a great driver's car from a brand pushing their own boundaries. Anything that gives us more choice is to be lauded, rather that sneered at in a pretty silly fashion.
work for kia much, jeez straight out of central marketing, do try to be less transparent:

"the Stinger is miles ahead is every department"

" a great driver's car from a brand pushing their own boundaries"

its not a great drivers car. its ok. the fact thats its a kia people seem to think gets it extra credits as a 'driver's' car. and thats the top spec. the lesser specs are gash, but everyone conveniently ignores that. what cars i have is irrelevant, Ive driven good cars and bad cars. none you've mentioned though.

in what possible way is the stinger miles ahead of vauxhall or ford in similar priced vehicles? (appreciate there's no like for like but lets say insignia/mondeo for comparisons sake as they p all over the awful optima)

interior quality, fit and finish? nope, similar.
handling? nope
power? ok you have that
build quality? we dont know.
warranty? i wish you well in getting them to claim anything isnt just normal wear and tear and not covered.

theplayingmantis

487 posts

7 months

Thursday 28th December 2017
quotequote all
greenarrow said:
As for the Kia Stinger, all the motoring press comparison tests have been very complimentary of it, even against stuff like the BMW 440i, Audi S5 etc, so we're not talking about Korean vs low end german stuff. I understand some people still want to put Kia (and Hyundai) down, but credit where its due, they've made a RWD sports saloon that's class competitive against rivals which have been building this sort of stuff for years. Reminds me a bit of the McLaren MP4-12C when it came along in 2011. Yes that car had a few flaws but it was immediately competitive against my all time fave Ferrari, the 458 Italia, in all the road tests of the day.
no they've said its a good effort. its just another k900


RamboLambo

4,076 posts

95 months

Thursday 28th December 2017
quotequote all
theplayingmantis said:
love or the KIA shills.

the interior quality of the top of the line stinger is on par with your common lesser spotted, ford, VW, renault, insert generic mainstream 'non luxury' brand. Its worse then in my alfa which is saying something and i accidentally pulled a panel off trying to release the bonnet!. it looks ok from front awful from the back and is lacking in power and any sense of finesse on the road. people comparing sh*t with sh*t will think its good. compare it against what its supposed to be aimed at - middling german models, not low end german models or top end, and it comes out 2nd best in everything including price. and its a kia. which people will never get over rightly or wrongly.

oh and good luck with that 7 year warranty. biggest meme there is KIA warranty. wear and tear....

the hyundai on the other hand, is a very good all round car. right on the money not trying to be something it never will be in a million years.
Alfa and build quality just don't go together. Ticking time bomb hope you get out before it falls apart and the electrics go haywire. I'm sure Alfa's warranty is bombproof though ie they wont cover anything at all

kambites

53,113 posts

146 months

Thursday 28th December 2017
quotequote all
theplayingmantis said:
warranty? i wish you well in getting them to claim anything isnt just normal wear and tear and not covered.
My parents have got a Kia (albeit a lowly Picanto) and have had no problems on the odd occasion they've had to claim off the warranty. I'd be interested to know exactly what you tried to claim that they denied?

In terms of actual mechanical build quality I've been enormously impressed by what I've seen of the car. Everything feels very "Honda" under the bonnet.

Edited by kambites on Thursday 28th December 16:16