At the tail end of 2017, many stories were popping up about banning of internal combustion cars in cities, the impending death of diesel engines, and SUVs further asserting their authority on the car market. And yet despite these seemingly dark headlines, 2018 has turned out to be one hell of a year for petrolheads the world over.

Whether you're a fan of performance cars, EVs or really anything with four wheels, the last twelve months have had you covered. So to see out 2018, here is a list of our highlights from what has been a top class year of motoring.

The MX-5 got the power it has always deserved

People say you can't go wrong with an MX-5 but if there was one thing that holds it back for some, it is its inherent lack of power. In a mid-life update this year however, the MkIV MX-5 had its 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine tuned up to 182bhp. That figure puts it up there with the kind of numbers that people would spend hundreds of pounds in modifications to reach on older models, now found solely through the good old ways of natural aspiration.

It may still not be quite as gnarly as a Toyota GT86 or be the fastest way down your local country lanes but as an all-round entry to sportscar ownership, the updated MX-5 is virtually untouchable.

Aston nailed all of its new car designs

You might see this one as a given but Aston has somehow managed to make its cars even prettier this year. The DBS Superleggera is a true masterclass in design, bringing almost Zagato-level proportions to the company's new ultimate GT car.

Further down the scale, the Vantage has also blown away everything else in its segment looks-wise thanks to its pert little ducktail spoiler, its aggressive front grille and a side profile that even the Jaguar F-Type has to admit makes the Vantage a standout stunner. I'd be massively proud to have that silhouette on my driveway.

It has been hypercar heaven

Aston Martin also touched the upper echelons of the industry by revealing the downforce-obsessed Valkyrie AMR Pro hypercar at Geneva, joining the likes of the Senna GTR and Vulcan as track-only cornering weapons.

Then of course came the Bugatti Divo and the all-electric Rimac C_Two, not to mention the introduction of Elon Musk's new Tesla Roadster to the world. We thought that this year might be the year that someone broke the 300mph barrier but considering the machinery that is now floating around (let's not forget about Hennessey and its F5 hypercar), maybe 2019 will be the time to jump that tantalising hurdle.

Perceptions of electric cars changed forever

Before 2018, the only people that really owned electric cars properly were those who were rich enough to own a Tesla Model S or X or had been an early adopter of more affordable cars like the BMW i3 and Nissan Leaf. This year however, the electric car market has blossomed to a point where virtually all the major manufacturers have joined or are in the process of joining the EV race.

Tesla rolled out the Model 3 in the States, with cities like San Francisco suddenly becoming awash with the cut-price minimalist EVs. It'll be 2019 before we see them in Europe but other cars have beaten them to it like Jaguar's I-Pace and the Audi e-tron.

Alongside the road cars, Formula E switched to its fantastic looking Season 5 car and with more OEMs grabbing at the chance to take part in the series, the world of electric cars really has things covered from all angles going forward. It won't be long until EVs are the norm and I reckon we'll look back at 2018 as the year when the public's pendulum swung in favour of the electric motor.

The DriveTribe community grew to all-new heights

There have been some massive changes to DriveTribe as a platform throughout this year and it's safe to say that the largest motoring community in the world is thriving like never before.

We introduced DriveTribe Moneybox earlier this year which monetised the platform for our users, much in the same way as YouTube. Moneyboxers were now able to earn money from their content, taking a slice of the company's revenue depending on their position within a leaderboard.

With engagement being the key, you guys have absolutely smashed it with amazing content this year, making DriveTribe a constantly moving and engaging platform for car lovers worldwide. We cannot thank everyone within the community enough!

We've had an amazing 2018 and we hope you have too. But out of our list, what would you pick as the greatest thing to happen this year? Cast your vote below!

Or if you have your own personal highlight, drop a comment below and share it with us!

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