After almost 365 days of the year 2017, it's safe to say that it has been one hell of a roller coaster. The year has been littered with events that made gearheads react one way or another. Events like new cars and records made us rejoice, while the departure of cars and teams from motorsport have saddened us. Nevertheless, 2017 was great year for a car guy. Here are some of the most notable events of 2017.
NEW RECORDS SET AT THE NURBURGRING
Before the year started, we were awed as the Lamborghini Huracan Performante became the quickest production car around the famed Green Hell at 6:52.01, beating the Porsche 918 Spyder, the previous record holder, by 5 long seconds. This year however, Porsche steals the crown from Lamborghini with their 991 GT2 RS. Being the fastest iteration of the current 991 generation, it swept the floor with the raging bull with a time of 6:47.25.
Alongside the Porsche being the quickest production car around the 'Ring, some record setters also include the McLaren P1 XP1 LM Prototype, basically a P1 GTR converted to road use (although it wasn't classified as a production car due to the lack of a number plate), finishing in at 6:43.22. The NIO EP9 also made headlines as being the quickest electric car there, electrifying (no pun intended) the time sheet at 6:45.90. If you want to take 3 friends along around the track quickly, then the Subaru WRX STI Type RA NBR Special is for you. This Prodrive (You know, the guys that used to build Subaru rally cars) built special clocks in at 6:57.5. If you want to know just how quick a front wheel drive car is around the Nordschleife, the time is 7:43.8, set by the Honda Civic Type R.
SPEAKING OF RECORDS...
As we all know, Bugatti is the record holder for the world's fastest production car at 430 km/h with their Veyron Super Sport. Their Chiron also sets a record for accelerating from 0 to 400 km/h then back to 0 in 42 seconds.
On the weekends of November 4 and 5 on a closed section of road, Koenigsegg takes the crown from the Veyron with their Agera RS. After taking the average of two runs, the car hits an average top speed of 447 km/h. It also takes the record of the Chiron by doing the 0-400-0 run in 33 seconds. Not stopping there, it also takes the cake for the fastest a car has ever gone on a public road at 457 km/h, and highest average speed for a flying mile and kilometer.
A lot of new cars broke cover at multiple automotive events across the globe. To be honest, picking what to feature here is already a headache in itself. For starters, it already seems like the Holy Trinity of the McLaren P1, Ferrari LaFerrari, and Porsche 918 Spyder are about to be ousted from their pedestals. The legendary trio is now to be replaced with the Mercedes AMG Project One, the Aston Martin Valkyrie, and the McLaren Senna. Meanwhile in the USA, Ford releases a brand new GT, Chevrolet makes their Corvette more lethal with their ZR1, and Dodge discontinues the Viper. Here are some of the best metal of 2017.
For once, the Korean car manufacturer actually makes a fun car. With a 3.3 L Twin Turbo V6 producing 365 horsepower being sent to the rear or all wheels with an 8 speed automatic. It accounts for 0-60 in 4.7 seconds and countless hours of powersliding fun.
McLaren's latest addition to the Super Series includes a new 4.0 L Twin Turbo V8 that produces 710 horsepower heading to the rear wheels through a 7 speed dual clutch gearbox. It does the 0-60 sprint in 2.9 seconds, just a tenth off the P1's time. What's crazy about this car is that it's faster than a million dollar hypercar, for a fraction of the price. Who knows what their Senna could do?
Motivated by a 1.8 L turbocharged four, this nippy little car produces 249 horsepower sent to the rear wheels. It hits the 62 mph mark in 4.5 seconds and stands as a rival to the Porsche Cayman S. All that power mated to a light body and a short wheelbase ensures a nimble sportscar and a smile from ear to ear.
FERRARI 812 SUPERFAST
The newest car to come out of Maranello is not only super obvious, but super honest too. Packing a naturally aspirated 6.5 L V12, this car hits 62 mph in 2.9 seconds. Not to mention having the obviousness of that kid who keeps pointing everything out to you.
MERCEDES AMG PROJECT ONE
Carrying one of the 1.6 L turbocharged V6 hybrid engines from their World Championship winning F1 car, the AMG Project One aims to be an F1 car for the road. With the engine and the electric motors creating an insane power output of more than 1,000 horsepower and the pedigree of one of the most successful F1 teams of our time, this car will be setting records once it gets on the road.
Named after the legendary driver, the McLaren Senna aims to be the most potent track weapon you can have. Boasting 789 horsepower from its 4 L Twin Turbo V8, combined with carbon fiber bits and insane aero all round, you'll be damn sure this car will be going after that Nurburgring track record.
One of the most extreme vehicles to ever come out of Dodge's factory, the Demon is essentially a drag car first and a road car second. Using 6.2 liters of a good old supercharged All American V8, this car comes straight out of hell with 840 horsepower and hits 60 mph in 2.3 seconds, making it the fastest accelerating production car! It also conquers the quarter mile in 9.65 seconds, with the front wheels up on the first few. Yes, you heard that right, this is a car you can buy from the factory, that does wheelies. What's not to love?
SINGER 911 WILLIAMS
Developed with Williams, this restomodded Porsche 964 arms itself with a specially developed, AIR COOLED, 3.6 L flat six. This 911 only weighs in at 990kg, which, combined with the power of that 500 horsepower engine, the Singer 911 Williams gives a cause for celebration not only for restomod enthusiasts, but also for air-cooled fanatics all over.
As much as 2017 is filled with exciting new cars and records, it is also a year of loss. We were in sorrow to see the passing of John Surtees at the age of 83. Surtees was known for being the only driver to win World Championships for both 2 and 4 wheels. The motoring community also came together to support the recovery of Billy Monger, a young F4 driver who had both legs amputated after a terrible crash at Donington. Porsche leaves the WEC once more after 4 years of competition. The team went out in style, scoring both a Le Mans win and the championship, adding to their 2 wins and championships. Speaking of leaving, Mercedes is to leave DTM in 2018, joining Porsche in Formula E. It leaves behind a successful career, with several team and manufacturer titles and drivers' championships.
As I said in the beginning, 2017 was one hell of a rollercoaster ride. We gearheads as a community celebrated the arrival of new and exciting metal, records being made and broken, and the lives and careers of legendary cars and people of automotive history. With cars getting faster and faster, records being more and more challenged, and the competition being fiercer, 2018 shows a lot of promise of being an exciting year.