Jeremy Clarkson has always had an excellent taste in cars – and it isn’t just a simple matter of them being pretty, or fast. “My colleague James May calls it “the fizz’. He says that when he is driving a really good car, its excellence manifests itself with a fizzing sensation in the root of his manhood. I have not experienced this myself, and it’s likely you haven’t either. But I sort of know what he means,” Clarkson says.
“A car must have something to elevate it from the norm. It may be speed, or cleverness, or the fizz, or styling to die for. But there must be something. Something that makes you excited every time you climb inside. Because if it doesn’t, then it’s just a tool. And if it’s just a tool, you may as well use the bus.”
So what are Jeremy Clarkson’s Top 10 cars for 2015 / 2016? Read on…
Mazda MX-5 2.0 Sport Recaro: “It’s a cure for depression, this car, it really is. You just can’t be in a bad mood when you’re driving it.”
Alfa Romeo 4C: “It’s a terrible car. And yet I adored it. Every other vehicle, with its perfect refinement and its perfect electrics, cannot help but feel like a machine. Whereas the Alfa, with its flaws and its tendency to go where it wants, feels human.”
Mercedes-AMG GT S: “Of all the vehicles in this bit of the market, it’d almost certainly be my choice.”
Ford Focus RS: “Even at James May speeds, on a roundabout in Hounslow, this car feels cleverer than is normal. It feels like a Nissan GT-R.”
Ford Mustang GT: “What it is, is a muscle car. And you sense that in the second yard. This is a machine that wants to turn its tyres into smoke and go round every corner sideways.”
Volvo XC90 D5 AWD: “This car is so good in fact that it’d be ideal for those who find the offerings from Land Rover a bit — how can I put this? — pratty.”
Vauxhall Zafira Tourer 1.6 CDTi Tech Line: “Never have I encountered any car, including the Rolls-Royce Phantom, that’s so good at refusing to transmit road irregularities into the cabin. Which makes it the most comfortable car in the world.”
BMW M2: “I like the M3 before the present model — the one with the V8 — and I adore the current M6 Gran Coupé. And then there was the original, 286bhp M5: the ultimate Q-car. It looked like the sort of box that your chest freezer was delivered in but it went like a spaceship. That’s always been my favourite M car. Until now.”
Ferrari 488 GTB: “The old 458 was not as good as a McLaren 12C. But this new car puts the prancing horse back on top. As a driving machine, it’s — there’s no other word — perfect.”
Lamborghini Aventador: “Given the choice of any supercar, this is the one I’d buy. I admire the McLaren P1. But which would you rather have as a pet: a clever and sophisticated electronic robot? Or a bloody great brontosaurus?”
You can read all of Jeremy’s impressions in his column here.