Can you believe 2019 is just round the corner? We have no idea why the year has passed by so quickly, it only seemed like yesterday since we watched last year's The Grand Tour Christmas Special and it's already the end of 2018!
Therefore, to celebrate the end of 2018, we've devised a list of top 5 most surprising cars of 2018. Not the best, not the most special, but the most surprising. It can be surprisingly bad or surprisingly good, but it has to be surprising enough to make it to this list.
1. McLaren Speedtail - for the amazingly American 60s-style wheel covers in 2018
The Speedtail is one of the fastest McLarens there is, the car is shaped like a teardrop to make sure air is flows through without holding the car back when it's doing it's speed runs. The three-seat layout makes you feel special, and pays tribute to the record-breaking McLaren F1, of which this car is the spiritual successor of the icon. They also went to the extreme of putting wheel covers to make sure air doesn't get trapped inside the front wheels and slowing the car down. It somehow looks odd in 2018 and we're not sure what to say. In fact, we'll let you tell us how you think about the wheel caps...
2. Ford Fiesta ST - for it's characterful three-cylinder engine
The Fiesta ST has been a young petrolhead's dream first car, it's peppy, it's eager to corner and it just glides through the bends. The front end would dive into the apex and the rear would kick it's wheel up like a puppy, it's joyous on the twisties. It might not be a fast car, but it's a damn fun car for sure. However, with the new one, people got worried, because Ford has decided to stick a three-pot in it, and petrolheads know that three-pots are one of the worst engine configurations you can make, it's jiggly, it's imbalanced if not done right, it'll not be the ideal engine for a Fiesta ST for sure. Thankfully they have pulled it off beautifully, it pulls harder than before, and arguably sounds even better than before...undoubtedly a surprise!
3. Suzuki Jimny - for the unexpected charm
Nobody expected the Jimny to come out. Nobody. We've not seen spyshots of it, hell we haven't seen a new Jimny in 20 years, and yet when it came out, everybody fell for it because of it's unashamedly functionality and charm. No the engine doesn't pull at all, the boot is ludicrously small, the driving position is agricultural, and the inside looks like a mine at dark. But, what it does have, is what the other city SUVs lack - proper offroadability. It's got all the gadgets you'd ever need in an offroader. No doubt, this is one of the biggest motoring surprises in 2018
4. Aston Martin DBS Superleggera - for it's un-Aston Aston look
When you see the modern lineup of Aston Martins, you'd see the small but fat Vantage, the elegant DB11, the insane Valkyrie, and this, the DBS Superleggera, the replacement for the Vanquish. It doesn't look at all like any other cars in Aston's range, yet, somehow, it works wonders. The giant grille in front, the aero trickery down the side and in the back which cools the car down and creates downforce when needed. Unlike Astons of old, the designers didn't just pop the DB car into the copier and make it bigger/smaller, they actually designed this from scratch to make it a rival to the 812 Superfast. And did it win? Well, on looks alone, definitely.
5. Toyota Century GRMN - we aren't even sure why this thing is made...but it is!
When Captain Slow was filming for the third series of The Grand Tour, he wanted to test out the Toyota Century, which was the company's first Century in the 21st Century (pun intended). However, they never got one because Toyota, erm, they couldn't send one over. Read the article James wrote on the new Century here.
Since then, the new Century has been spied in a meticulous white with black accents around the car. It's very very racy and very un-Century. It's like finding Santa with a black suit, it just doesn't makes sense. Yet, turns out the president of Toyota wanted a fasted and cooler version of the Century, so bad that the boffins at GRMN actually built a Century GRMN just for the president himself. We've got to applaud Toyota for making this thing happen. Wow.