Is it late, or is the timing correct? Can you have a kind of Car of the Year film for 2014 broadcast in 2015? Of course you can!
This wasn’t an attempt to gather all the very latest, most newsworthy machines in one place – too many years working on the big magazines has taught me that the logistical nightmare of setting yourself the target of getting everything together is too much hard work. And it always ends in failure. Especially in the year of the hypercar: the test everyone wants to see is P1 v 918 v LaFerrari. That was never going to be possible, so I thought we’d just chill-out and take a small group of very, very special driving machines that made us tingle last year.
And we’d take them to the brilliant sunshine of Portimao in the Algarve – the best circuit most people have never heard of. Perfect blue skies in the middle of December and the promise of the undulating, blind, cresting turns that make this place a shrine to not having Mr Tilke anywhere near its DNA.
So this was not a scientific exercise. Nor was it supposed to create any winners or losers. It was just a chance to get some cars together, have some fun with some friends and create a beautiful film.
It was pretty sporting of Porsche to deliver a 918 and a spare set of rubber to the circuit, and it says much of the company’s confidence in it that the chap who was supposed to be tending to its every need basically just left us alone to fang it around like some £15k hot hatch.
Of course it was a shame not to have a P1 and a LaF there as well, but I actually found it very interesting to have one of the hypercars to drive next to the very best of the conventional supercars, the F12. The results were stunning, and not always what I’d expected. Does the F12 feel a little humble next to the 918? A little – and no, I can’t believe I’m writing that. Is there something about the F12’s non-hybrid simplicity that allows it shine brighter? Almost certainly.
These cross-category exercises are always a touch random, but therein lies the appeal in stepping from some six-figure supercar into a Renault hatchback and finding that you’re having as much fun. Possibly more fun.
Yes, it’s long and it’s pretty indulgent, but it’s also intended to be nothing but a fun celebration of some great cars.
Enjoy the vid.