Last week, I took a day off work — a well deserved break from the Gizmodo office.
Instead, I spent my work day behind the steering wheel of a $400,000 Aston Martin DB11.
Built from recycled materials, powered by an efficient electric motor, and now with a larger battery that promises to handle almost any long-distance journey without breaking a sweat, the BMW i3 is one of the most environmentally friendly cars you can buy. It's efficient when you drive it, and at the end of its life cycle a full 95 per cent can be returned to the earth from whence it came.
Holden now has the 2016 European car of the year in its local stables. A starting price of just $21,990 gets you into one of the most technology-packed cars in its price bracket — turbo engines and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto across the entire range, and on the top RS-V you also get Holden's first forward-facing, traffic-sensing camera and some very very cool headlights.
There aren't that many cars that you can buy brand new that feel fun. There are even fewer that feel fun for every single second that you're driving them. Even fewer again aren't purpose-built sports cars and can be bought by normal people with normal car-buying budgets. The Ford Focus RS, based on that humble Focus hatch, is the hottest hot hatch that you can spend your money on, and it's a masterpiece.
Today, Tesla starts selling the Model X in Australia. It's a $130,000-plus all-electric SUV that seats up to seven adults in comfort, can travel nearly 550km on a single charge, and can accelerate up to 100km/h in just over 3 seconds. Like the Model S, you can charge it for free at Tesla's network of Superchargers.
Where the Model S was based around a relatively simple concept, though — a luxurious car built around a huge battery and electric motors — the Model X integrates that technology into every door and panel. It's one of the most complicated cars you can buy, and you'll start seeing it on Australian roads soon.
The new Honda NSX, when it hits our shores early next year, will be the first hybrid supercar released in Australia. And, yes, it makes sense to emphasise the hybrid part — while it can be an all-out supercar that cracks 0-100km/h in under three seconds and storms on to 300km/h with change to spare, it can also creep around town on electricity alone, eerily quiet. Oh, and you'll pay $420,000 for the privilege.
It’s a rare occasion when you’re invited to enter the cockpit of a McLaren — which we took with open arms — but imagine testing three of McLaren’s latest supercars in the one day? Yeah. We peed a little. Sadly, Sydney’s roads are notoriously bad for driving at speeds above 50km/h. With a little clever pre-planning from McLaren’s team driver Luke O’Neill though, we found some of the best secluded roads available to this man and his three machines.
I grew up out bush, where if you drove a four-wheel drive it was because you went four-wheel driving. You, know, where you actually need one. Given my background, I'll admit to having judged those drivers; extra large latte in hand, barely visible behind the bulk of their giant steering wheel squeezing through peak hour traffic, Timmy and five friends in the back beneath a mountain of sports equipment.