DriveTribe's Official Big Fat Review of 2019: Part 2
Continuing our retrospective of the year
Welcome back to our look back at 2019, courtesy of some of DriveTribe contributors. If you haven’t checked out part one yet, then you can do so right here.
Most memorable press launch moment of 2019?
Jon Quirk: motoring journalist and former editor of Auto Trader and Motor1.
“Driving a MINI JCW Hatch around the hallowed rooftop of Fiat’s Lingotto Factory, where the banked curves give you a 35-degree view of the rooftops of Turin. We were celebrating the 50th anniversary of comedy caper The Italian Job and decided to recreate some of the film’s chase scenes. It’s amazing what you can achieve with a few bungs and a press officer who speaks fluent Italian.“
Leon Poultney: writer, driver, rider and lover of all things automotive. Writes for the likes of Wired, T3, Stuff, The Sun and DriveTribe.
“It’s not often I get stuck in a car with dusty octogenarian hack who hasn’t actually written a motoring article for over 30 years, but such a moment unfortunately occurred on a press launch this year in France. I should have realised the Route Napoleon was going to prove too much for Mr Magoo after he totalled an alloy wheel not long after leaving the airport. Things got worse when he trashed the right side of a car on a low wall during the twisty section, but he cemented his reputation by giving the alloys one final death knell about 10 minutes from our final destination. It was harrowing and the worst thing about it was the fact he wanted to scarper into the hotel on arrival and not own up to the damage. If Specsavers need a new ambassador, I know just the man.”
Adam Child (far left) chatting with ARCH motorcycle's founder Keanu Reeves. Baseball caps were clearly part of the dress code
Adam “Chad” Child: Yorkshire-born motorcycle journalist. Multiple UK record holder. Professional bike tester for 20 years and international road racer.
“Riding the Arch in LA with co-founders Gard Hollinger and Keanu Reeves. That was special.”
What was the most significant car/bike news in 2019?
The Gordon Murray Design T.50 is sure to have its fans
Colin Goodwin: motoring journalist for over 30 years, starting out at Car Magazine with a bloke called James May. Has written for most of the UK’s magazines and newspapers.
“That Gordon Murray is going to built a supercar that features a fan in the back to provide downforce, and that there will not be a turbocharger in sight. The price is a bit of an issue but I will be starting my campaign for a ride in one in 2020.”
Alex Robbins: road tester and motoring writer, has written about new, used and classic cars for What Car?, Autocar, The Daily Telegraph, PistonHeads and many others.
“It has to be PSA's (Peugeot-Citroen) quest for world domination. First it bought Opel and Vauxhall, and now it's poised to buy Fiat Chrysler too. What once was a beleaguered conglomerate, making anonymous cars of very little interest, is now one set to be one of the world's largest car makers, and will have the industrial might to go toe-to-toe with Toyota and Volkswagen. Don't bet against them, either; PSA's electric vehicle tech shows enormous promise, and with stylish, desirable cars being churned out, its rivals might have an awful lot to think about before too long.”
Kurt Bradley: freelance automotive and motorsports photographer and test-driver, based in the USA.
“Porsche brings the Taycan to the streets in production form, blows a few minds, and notifies Tesla that you can make a performance sedan out of an EV, charge a tonne of money for it, and still please dealers with many customer deposits. Does it have a few flaws? Of course, but the driver that wants a Porsche and an EV will be satisfied.”
Adam Child on BMW's prototype E Power Roadster, destroying an S1000R in a drag race
“The advancement in electric bikes can’t be ignored. I’ve ridden a wide variety of bikes in 2019, including Harley Davidson’s Live Wire, BMW’s concept E Power Roadster and the new Epure electric trials bike. They’re hugely impressive. Times are changing.”
What are you most excited about driving/riding in 2020?
Alex Goy: freelance motoring journalist who writes for the likes of Carfection, CNET and DriveTribe.
“The inevitable Porsche 992 911 GT3. It’ll (hopefully) come with a naturally aspirated motor, a billion horsepower, and a wing so big and silly that you can see it from space. Failing that, my own cars more because I’m in dire need of an adventure.”
Has Volkswagen made a Golf killer in the form of the ID.3? We'll find out in 2020
“The Volkswagen ID.3. Reaction to the Mk8 Golf so far has been somewhat muted, and understandably so. It certainly feels like Volkswagen has poured far more love and attention into its new electric hatchback, which may one day usurp the Golf as the model of choice in the family car sector. That's a long way off, of course, but it'll be interesting to see how much of a step forward the ID.3 feels like, and how well it can take the fight to its electric car rivals.”
Shahzad Sheikh: Also known as Brown Car Guy, an automotive journalist with three decades of experience on titles including the Middle East edition of CAR Magazine and Used Car Buyer.
“The Honda E, the first electric car that made me go: ‘hmm... maybe…’. The Land Rover Defender so I can pose as a pretend adventurer. The Lotus Evija - OMIGOD, 2000hp! The Audi RS 6 because it's the Dwayne Johnson of family cars. The Chevrolet Corvette C8, as long as it's a little red one.”
What sh*t driving habit do you want to see die in 2020?
Alex Kalogiannis: New York-based automotive writer and content producer.
“If folks woke up in 2020 and suddenly began to treat poor passing lane discipline with the same derision as texting while driving, the world would be a happier place.”
Will Beaumont: Used to work for Evo magazine, so if it has four wheels and an engine then there's a chance he's drifted it in front of a camera and then written about it.
“Dash cams in stupid places. I mean, dash cams alone are objectionable - don’t let your insurance company turn you into a mobile CCTV for its Big Brother state - but so many seem to be positioned right in front of people’s faces, with bright lights blinding the driver at night. Utter madness.”
Motorway lane discipline is a common theme among our writers' pet peeves
“I am still blown away by the number of drivers that insist on sitting in the middle lane on a motorway. I spend a lot of my time hacking around the UK’s motorway network and the lane discipline is abysmal. It’s frustrating, dangerous and so easily avoided if drivers just paid more attention.”
“Drivers with their phones in their hands, doing sh*t that can wait. Seriously. That needs to stop ages ago.”
What's your motoring new year's resolution?
“I’m going to think more about using the right vehicle for the right journey. So if I want to go to the local shops, that may even mean employing some pedal power. When the world is building 80million-plus cars per year and SUV sales in the UK are outselling electric cars 37-to-1, you know things have to change. In order to protect the industry we love so dearly, that change probably needs to start with us.”
Alex Goy is planning more adventures – perhaps not in his Morgan (again), though
“To see more of the world in a car. Going out, getting in a motor, and going exploring should be one of life’s great joys, but I don’t do it enough. I need to get out and see some planet, meet some people, and disturb small villages with loud noises.”
“To buy a car: a Honda Civic Type-R or Ford Mustang Bullitt edition, depending on how much DriveTribe pays me this year. Oh, and drive more classics.”
Chris Moss: freelance journalist who has been riding bikes and writing about them for over 30 years.
“I’m not really one for resolutions, I just want to have another good year on two wheels. As long as I head off to interesting places, ride great bikes and meet intriguing people then I’ll be happy enough. I wouldn’t mind getting through it all without too many scrapes though.”