This is it. The biggest and best line-up of
GQ Car Award winners… ever. For this year’s awards, in association with Michelin, we turned Rupert Murdoch’s old printworks in Wapping into the world’s most spectacular garage to bring you a mega gallery of killer concepts, hardcore hypercars, all-EV dream machines and futuristic supertrucks . Impressed? You will be…
Bentley Continental GT
Best Interior (And Possibly Exterior)
The original and slightly mischievous plan was to give the new Continental GT a
GQ Award purely for its interior. Bentley’s challenge was to locate the sweet spot where hi-tech intersects with fabulous luxury. Challenge met: the leather that swathes so much of the GT’s cabin has 310,675 stitches, there’s ten square metres of veneer and the new central infotainment display sits in a binnacle that deploys 40 motors to rotate it out of view. Bentley has created a stunning environment. And then you drive it – rarely has such epic performance been so gracefully orchestrated. Best interior? Yes, and the rest.
From £154,400. bentleymotors.com
Best Supernatural Driving Experience
Rolls-Royce’s millennial reboot, the company airily declared back in 2003, was “the last great automotive adventure”. The all-new Phantom doubles down on that and then some – simply put, this beautiful machine does nothing less than reinvent the concept of car travel. Beyond its four enormous wheels and 6.6-litre, 563bhp twin-turbo V12 engine, the Phantom keeps the outside world firmly at bay (especially if you sink into the embrace of the most sumptuous rear compartment ever created). When driving, it feels like Rolls-Royce has found a new and improved version of silence, as well as space – it has an art gallery where others have a humdrum dashboard. A dazzling experience.
From £360,000. rolls-royce.com
Marchi Mobile Elemment
Best Flightless Private Jet
What do you get if you cross the design features and aerodynamics of a racing car, the opulence and comfort of a superyacht and the aeronautical beauty of a luxury aircraft? The answer will probably be the Marchi Mobile’s stunning Elemment range. The company was founded by former trucking magnate Mario Marchi and these fantastical and futuristic vehicles are considered to be the world’s most prestigious motor-mansions. They can be tricked out as extravagantly as your heart desires, with prices ranging from £650,000 for the base model, right up to £2 million for the top-of-the-range Palazzo Superior (that even comes with a retractable roof deck dubbed the “sky lounge”). Quite simply, this is one of the most extraordinary means of transportation we have ever seen, on land or in the air.
From £650,000. marchi-mobile.com
The Taking The Limo To The Next Level Award
The only surprise about the Audi A8 winning a
GQ Award was that it didn’t turn up driving
itself to collect the prize. Not only is the A8 a luxury technological marvel, it’s also the
first production car to feature “Level 3” autonomy, which means it can take over the driving duties up to 37mph. That alone is utterly incredible, but even more amazing is that Audi has produced a luxury automobile so refined and such a pleasure to drive that you won’t even
want to engage its AI smarts. Now that’s really clever…
From £68,215. audi.co.uk
Range Rover Velar
The Climb Every Mountain In Luxury Award
On the outside, this mid-sized SUV is a sleek and stylised take on the modern Range Rover: flush door handles, rakish roofline and Land Rover designer Gerry McGovern’s effortless reductionism. On the inside, it’s a futuristic reinterpretation of a cockpit governed by minimalism (three touchscreens control everything), sustainability (Kvadrat textiles are a seductive option) and elegance (it’s clean, clutter-free and cool). That it can cruise effortlessly through any urban landscape is a given, but when called upon, it can also conquer where mountain goats fear to tread. We love the new Velar. There, we said it.
From £44,830. landrover.co.uk
Best Way To Make The Jump To Light Speed (And Stop Just As Quickly)
If the Rolls-Royce Phantom is luxury and beyond, the Bugatti threatens to tear clean through that into some unknown outer edge. The Chiron’s essence is hard to compute: a £2.5 million price tag; an 8.0-litre, quad-turbo, 16-cylinder engine that produces 1,479bhp and a top speed of 261mph; then 0-62mph in 2.5 seconds, 124mph in 6.5 or 186mph in 13.6… It would go faster if only the Bugatti’s (already spectacular) Michelin tyres could cope. When Andy Wallace, Bugatti’s chief test driver, told
GQ that, “It really comes alive above 150mph,” we wondered how many clients had their own private runway to test that. Paradoxically, the Chiron is so magnificently designed, engineered and made that it’s just as impressive at 0mph.
From £2,518,000. bugatti.com
McLaren 570S Spider
The Technological Hedonism Award
McLaren Automotive isn’t yet a decade old, but the cars keep on coming and – off the back of a serious £1 billion investment plan – getting better. The 570S Spider nails one simple but surprisingly elusive thing: that the nanosecond you climb out of the car, you want to get straight back in and do whatever you were doing all over again. Cars such as this are all about sensation and the 570S drips with the stuff, especially with its roof down. It’s all there in how you steer it, how you sit in it, how precisely you can place it on the road and how perfectly poised its handling and ride are. The year’s purest driving machine.
From £164,750. mclaren.com
Ferrari 812 Superfast
The Most Super Superfast Supercar Award
In Ferrari’s 70th year, it’s fitting that the company redefined the car that epitomises its allure: the front-engined V12 GT. In the Fifties and Sixties, it was this template that forged the Ferrari brand and the 812 Superfast (yes, it’s a silly name but there’s an antecedent in the shape of the 1964 500 Superfast Ferrari) is a timely reminder that there truly is no substitute for cubic inches (and 12 cylinders). There are no turbos here to interrupt the combustion process and the 812’s 6.5-litre engine, even from these Italian legends, really is a masterpiece. The rest of it is not bad, either.
From £253,000. ferrari.com
Jaguar E-Type Zero
Best Use Of Electricity Since The Lightbulb
Nearly 60 years after the world’s most beautiful car hit the road, the E-Type still turns heads and reduces grown men to slack-jawed schoolboys. But now, thanks to Jaguar’s growing classic division, the E-Type is not only gorgeous to look at, but also good for the planet, after being retro-fitted with a zero-emissions, all-electric powertrain. There is only one right now, of course, but Jaguar says that it can convert any classic Jaguar – and change it back again too (if so desired). If that doesn’t deserve a
GQ Award, then nothing does.
Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 Cabriolet
The Vision Of The Future Award
The Mercedes-Maybach 6 looks like it has time-travelled from the
Back To The Future: Part II set. Or, as GQdecided at the photo shoot, the Cabriolet’s design is a cross between the Batmobile and FAB 1 from Thunderbirds. This all-electric, hyper-modern and stunning concept car not only shows design at its most ambitious, but also that it can be purposefully playful, with the interior featuring a pulsating, fibre-cabled “flux capacitor”. All we know is that wherever the Vision is going, hopefully we will need roads…
Volkswagen Up! GTI
The Scream If You Want To Go Faster Award
Lest you think we live in a world utterly detached from reality, we give you the Up! GTI. VW’s tiny city car was designed by the man now in charge of colouring-in at Ferrari and its transition from spirited to sportiness is deftly managed. The Up! is almost Apple-like in its minimalist surfacing and detail. Its engine – one-eighth the size of the Chiron (VW owns Bugatti) – is a 1.0-litre turbo three-cylinder that produces 113bhp. But its size and lack of mass (hitting the scales at less than a tonne) make for a diverting physics lesson, because maintaining momentum in the VW is the main source of entertainment here. And even when you are pushing on, you won’t be going all
that fast. You’ll be going fast enough, though.
From £14,000. volkswagen.co.uk
Life And Seoul Of The Party Award
How do you turn up the heat on a hot hatch from scalding to practically geothermal? The answer, in Hyundai’s case, was to hire a German engineer. Albert Biermann, the head of high-performance development in South Korea, made his name as the man who pushed the BMW M Series to its absolute limit – and now he is taking the i30 to infinity… and beyond. This ferociously fun five-door rocket ship has been developed on the Namyang proving ground and the Nürburgring Nordschleife (which might explain why Hyundai calls its sporting R&D team the N division) and, as a result, is giving the Focus RS, the Golf GTI and
the Honda Civic Type-R a serious run for your money.
From £24,995. hyundai.co.uk