Advertisement

GQ presents 2014 Car Awards

From sheer luxury driving pleasure to the most accomplished 4x4s of them all - via a detour of some beautifully bonkers beasts - GQ Cars brings you the finest of the refined in its annual Oscars on four wheels.

By: Paul Sephton, Dieter Losskarn and Craig Tyson.

Best electric/hybrid supercar: Porsche 918 SpyderThe Car Awards appeared in the July 2014 edition of GQ magazine.Most beautifully bonkers hypercar: Ferrari LaFerrariTop topless drive: BMW 428iTop topless drive: BMW 428iBest self�drive luxury limousine: Audi S8Best 4x4 for driving pleasure: Range Rover SportBest 4x4 for a long trip: Toyota Prado DieselBest luxury 4x4: Mercedes GL 350Best compact luxury SUV: Range Rover EvoqueBest interior: Aston Martin Rapide SBest interior: Aston Martin Rapide SHottest hatchback: Mercedes�Benz A45 AMGTop turbo diesel: BMW X5 M50dBest Rear View: Lamborghini VenenoSmartest key: BMW i8Smartest key: BMW i8The meanest grille: Lexus RC 350 F SportBest button: Porsche Cayman S Sport ButtonBest button: Porsche Cayman S Sport ButtonBest 50th birthday present: Ford MustangMost glorious sound: Jaguar F�typeCoffee maker with extra vroom: Espresso Veloce V12 machineWinning watch: Omega Speedmaster

What is it that drives our infatuation with four­wheeled machines? Women may like cars, even love them, but it's in a completely different way. They have a monogamous

relationship with a car, which they name and appreciate for its cooperation in getting them from A to B.

But men are different: research has shown that men have had hormonal spikes when they drive a car that they're fond of, which is interesting considering that driving isn't a part of our evolutionary history. Perhaps it's because of a subliminal desire to assert some sense of masculinity and a form of control, the power we get from commanding a machine and the freedom it affords us.

Maybe it's the speed, danger and engagement of so many senses. Cars also act as statements, extensions of ourselves where a mechanical instruction can trigger an emotional response. Every year, we're breaking new barriers in performance, design and technology within the automobile industry. With the slew of new rides rolling off the production lines, we hunt for that which astounds.

We've driven the fastest, tested the most tricked­out and fallen for more than one in each category. Here, then, is this year's edition of the GQ Car Awards...

Best electric/hybrid supercar

1. Porsche 918 Spyder

Price, performance and sheer technical splendour catapult the all­wheel drive and four-wheel steering Porsche 918 far into hyper­car territory. With less CO2 emissions than a Prius, it impressively shows that insane supercars can have a future. The 4.6­litre V8 is supplemented by two electric motors that push its output up to 661kW. Fitted with the optional Weissach Package, the 918 clocked a lap time of 6:57, making it the fastest ever production car around the Nürburgring. R17 000 000, porsche.com

2. LaFerrrari - movie star

3. Mercedes­Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive - silent star

Most beautifully bonkers hypercar

1. Ferrari LaFerrari

So you've already owned five Ferraris and you know the company chairman on a first-name basis? Then you might be in line to own one of the 708kW beasts.

The hybrid son of Enzo supplements a 6.3­litre V12 with a neatly packed Hy­Kers (kinetic energy recovery system) unit to punch you beyond 300km/h in 15 seconds - you know, for when you're really in a hurry. But don't get too excited, all 499 of the 9 250rpm redliners have already been sold. R18 068 635, ferrari.com

2. Pagani Huayra

3. Sesto Elemento

Top topless drive

1. BMW 428i

The sleek new 4­Series BMW convertible is an exceptional beauty, once again

exemplifying the concept of sheer driving pleasure. R674 500, bmw.co.za

2. Porsche Boxster S - most affordable super sports car

3. Jaguar F­Type - British power beats the bends

Best self­drive luxury limousine

1. Audi S8

While the standard 2014 A8 looks slightly less brutal than its predecessor, its S8 version makes up for this slight lack of presence. The strictly self­drive limousine is turned once again into a worthy candidate for Jason Statham's next Transporter flick.

R1 417 500, audi.co.za

2. Mercedes­Benz S-­Class - the closest German competitor

3. Jaguar XJ - British rapid luxury

Best 4x4 for driving pleasure

1. Range Rover Sport

The more muscular and stocky all­new Range Rover Sport is elegant, Evoque­inspired and simply the most attractive SUV currently available in South Africa. And it's still a Land Rover at heart.

It's doubtful its owners would ever take it seriously off­roading, but the RR Sport could do so with ease. And it did - on drives to Afrika Burn and beyond. On the road, even in tight turns, it is a pleasure to drive. R850 200, landrover.com/za

2. Porsche Cayenne - 911 in heels

3. BMW X6 - the manliest crossover

Best 4x4 for a long trip

1. Toyota Prado Diesel

The 2014 Prado gains a more muscular front end than its predecessor, centerpieced by a massive vertically­stacked grille, with higher mounted headlights which flow right into it, creating a slightly aggressive grin. Technical improvements include an all­new

suspension, resulting in better on­road behaviour and handling, and a new trailer sway

control. The Prado will be a favourite as a strong towing vehicle, so it helps to have an electronic system in place that reduces the danger of jack­knifing. For off­roading, VX models get a Multi­Terrain Monitor which relays video feeds four front, rear and side cameras. R632 200, toyota.co.za

2. Toyota FJ Cruiser - competent and uniquely styled off­roader

3. Mercedes GL 350 - S­class comfort off­road

Best luxury 4x4

1. Mercedes-Benz GL 350

There are very few SUVs better suited for a comfortable armchair off-road trip into the remoter parts of Southern Africa than the Mercedes GL 350. The mighty 4x4 has got all the necessary genes from the legendary Geländewagen (hence the 'G' in 'GL') ­ and inside it is pure S­class luxury. R1 077 100, mercedes­benz.co.za

2. Range Rover Sport - comfortable and attractive

3. Porsche Cayenne - fast and furious

Best compact luxury SUV

1. Range Rover Evoque

In its two­door version, one of the world's bestselling SUVs is perfect on and off the beaten track. On tar it drives like a sporty sedan, with firm but never hard suspension, and off­road it's as legendary as each and every other Land Rover ever made. A perfect, trend­setting all­rounder - and visually stunning. R597 900, landrover.com/za

2. Mercedes­Benz GLA - the newest addition to the compact SUV community

3. Volvo XC60 - solid Swede surprise

Best interior

1. Aston Martin Rapide S

The doors open slightly upwards, adding a dash of gullwing to the mix. Inside, the expected sultry Aston Martin environment doesn't disappoint. Real luxury, according to its British makers, is when you don't want to have too much of everything, but just a bit more than essentially necessary. R3 100 000, astonmartin.co.za

2. Bentley Mulsanne

3. Range Rover Sport

Hottest hatchback

1. Mercedes­Benz A45 AMG

The SLS­inspired design of the A45 AMG was Mark Fetherston's response to the Mercedes­Benz board of director's demand to 'make it more radical'. The flagship of the range performs at a ridiculous level after AMG got their hands on it, with the turbocharged four cylinder knocking out 265kW with 450Nm in what can only be called a perfect marriage with AMG's Speedshift seven­speed transmission.

R617 500, mercedes­benz.co.za

2. VW Golf VII R - a souped­up GTI

3. Renault Megane RS Red Bull - Vettel's on­road choice

Top turbo diesel

1. BMW X5 M50d

We were once again utterly impressed by the torque and sound of BMW's first ever M-badged monster diesel. This time around we experienced it in the new­for­2014 X5. Still awesome, albeit with less ostentatious looks. R1 097 00, bmw.co.za

2. BMW X6 M50d - SAV with a monster diesel

3. Audi A8 - torque star

Best Rear View

1. Lamborghini Veneno

We know what you're thinking, and we agree: there's a strong possibility that Stephan

Winkelmann, CEO of Lamborghini, is actually Bruce Wayne. The Veneno's rear has been optimised for underbody aerodynamics and high­speed cornering, but more importantly, it shows that Lambo is still completely mad. lamborghini.com

2. McLaren P1

3. Koenigsegg Agera S

Smartest key

1. BMW i8

The i8's key fob probably has a higher IQ than most of its owners. The LCD screen relays the vehicle's range and remaining charge, as well as allowing you to set the car's temperature remotely. We're not even mad that it doesn't include Candy Crush. bmw.co.za

2. Aston Martin

The meanest grille

1. Lexus RC 350 F Sport

The Japanese have designed a car with a grille so great that it will literally eat other vehicles that get in its way. Add triangular headlights and you get one of the most

aggressive­looking cars on the road today. The performance is second only to the LFA supercar, making this the closest you'll get to one of the most evocative sports cars we've seen of the decade. lexus.co.za

2. Audi RS7

3. Rolls­Royce Wraith

Best button

1. Porsche Cayman S: Sport Button

During a bend­rich drive through the mountains, the Cayman S is pure pleasure.

Demanding, but not overwhelming. Precise, but not nervous. With the Sport button engaged, it has a strong rebellious streak, far from straight and narrow. It's living in the moment with reckless abandon.

R870 000, porsche.com

2. Exhaust button: Jaguar F-Type

3. Start button: Aston Martin Rapide

Best 50th birthday present

1. Ford Mustang

The 5.0­litre V8 marks its 50th year as the definitive all­American muscle machine, and to celebrate, 1964 (the year in which the beast was first introduced) limited edition Mustangs are making their way off the production line. Standard with the performance pack, and available in only two colour options, the 313kW piece of thunder will be a coveted collectors item. ford.co.za

Most glorious sound

1. Jaguar F­type

The sound development of the topless British cat is exhilarating. It acts like a mating call to the other sex, making female passers­by weak in their knees when the exhaust note hits their ear drums. R988 200, jaguar.co.za

2. Porsche Cayman S with sport exhaust - addictive in tunnels

3. Mercedes­Benz A45 AMG - incredible sound from a four­cylinder engine

Best recommendation for seeing a motor­racing movie

Watching a true motoring movie can leave you almost as excited as if you'd driven the beasts that drew you in on­screen. Here are some of the greatest engine­inspired pieces of film out there, giving you vicarious access to the driver you like to imagine you are.

1. Rush

2. Love the Beast

3. Need for Speed

Driving sunglasses

Santos de Cartier

Paying tribute to aviator Santos Dumont, the screws along the arms were adopted from the famous Dumont watch, with the leather nose and polarised lenses, making this pair great for top­down cruising. R10 900, cartier.com

Coffee maker with extra vroom

Espresso Veloce V12 machine

Tool­room forged from alloys such as magnesium and titanium, these half­scale three­litre Grand­Prix engines are limited to 500 units, for the petrolhead whose love of cars is only matched by that of coffee. You'll find one of these at Crossley & Webb. R161 750, espressoveloce.com

The driving jacket

Tiger of Sweden

The Rikki leather jacket by Tiger of Sweden is shaped in thick leather and crafted with zip cuffs, an upper­sleeve pocket and its signature asymmetrical look. Despite its comfort, we think it makes a statement on behalf of the owner; a reflection of the refinement that extends from cars to clothing. R8 000, tigerofsweden.com

The driving shoe

Porsche Design

The formulation of Porsche's Tokyo L16 shoe makes it very lightweight, with leather, nylon and carbon materials that give you grip and keep you very in tune with the car and your pedal work. R5 240, porschedesign.com

Winning watch

Omega Speedmaster

The Speedmaster has been a part of all six lunar missions, but before it made it to the moon, it was found on the wrists of auto enthusiasts. Its chronograph is ideally suited for calculating the track times of racing cars. R45 000, omegawatches.com

This article was supplied by GQ magazine and first appeared in the July 2014 issue. For more cool content, visit www.gq.co.za

SHOW ALL
Advertisement