Chris Harris chooses his Performance Car of 2016 in the November issue of Top Gear South Africa. If you don’t know who Chris Harris is, you may be a little lost and this is definitely not the website for you. He is really good at all the sideways stuff that mere mortals like ourselves wouldn’t be advised to attempt unless there is a reset button on your PS4. All we are saying is that you must check out his any of his YouTube videos and see what the visual representation of awesomeness really is.
Enough with the ‘fanboyhood’ rant, we’ll save that for another time. If you haven’t yet read the piece here’s a quick rundown, by quick rundown we mean extracts from the article and our two cents, because since when is anything on the internet fair and unbiased, go out a grab the magazine if you want actual motoring journalism haha.
Abarth 124 Spider
Chris Harris – “I don’t really get this car. It hasn’t the charm or delicacy to offset its lack of pace, nor the badge to play the showroom tart.”
Feathered Throttle- “Not sure they are coming to SA but if they sell two cars here we’d be surprised, the 500 sells badly, you won’t be able to give people this car. Also its ugly as shit.”
Ford Focus RS
Chris Harris- “Make no mistake, the RS is a stunning machine – a 257kW, 470Nm- on-overboost missile designed to bring further piquancy to internet discussions pertaining to real-world pace and point-to-point ability (whatever that may be). But, for me, it’s a surprisingly long way from perfection.”
Feathered Throttle – “The last three we saw on the road were all driven by women, which we wouldn’t have guessed, so big up ladies.”
Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio Verde
Chris Harris – “This completely munched the M4 GTS in a straight line.”
Feathered Throttle – “We are so excited about this car, Alfa epitomise Italian style and this thing basically has a Ferrari motor. The M3 and C63 are epic so it has its work cut out to compete in the segment.” (How’s that for a diplomatic and “adult” answer, who knew we had it in us?)
Chris Harris – “It really is mini Porsche 918, this car – it’s performance and charms creep up on you over time.”
Feathered Throttle – “The original NSX put a candle under the arses of the Ferraris of the world, shoes that may be too big for this new NSX to fill, we haven’t read much good about this car. Actually, that’s not right, we have read a lot of good and very little great.”
Chris Harris – “The softer chassis means comfort, the reduction in overall grip means some fun at lower speeds. In fact, had this test been conducted on the public highway, the 570 would have been in my top three. But it wasn’t, so it isn’t. We really are nasty people.”
Feathered Throttle – “Post the soulless 12C McLaren have really started to grow on us, this car is a monster, we are not too convinced on the styling, though? We’d probably save a bit longer and get the Ferrari 488 or get a Porsche Turbo S to drive every day.”
Ferrari 488 GTB
Chris Harris – “With all the systems switched off, it’s a properly wild ride too. I just love that breadth of character: it’s like discovering your earnest English teacher lurks in S&M dungeons on the weekend.”
Feathered Throttle – “Which kidney would you like, left, right, both? We love this car, like a lot!”
Ford Fiesta ST200
Chris Harris – “…it feels like a road car trying to do it’s best to work on a circuit, which kind of precludes it getting into the last few; but that doesn’t stop it being, within its peer group, a clear leader”.
Feathered Throttle – “SA won’t be getting any but the price would be comparable with the Polo GTI, we’d take the Ford, just on exclusivity alone.”
VW Golf GTI Clubsport S
Chris Harris – “I’d have one over the RS”.
Feathered Throttle – “Top Gear states a price tag of 700K, shit maybe this is a typo, but that ridiculous number clouds any real opinion we have.”
Audi TT RS
Chris Harris – “…I viewed drivers of the last TT RS with the suspicion I reserve for oversized wristwatches; this time, I would advise anyone looking for this type of car to go and try one immediately”.
Feathered Throttle – “Marko from our team is literally in the market for the last TT RS, he is old and does trail runs, do with that what you will.”
Chris Harris – “In some markets, people are paying a premium on the M2 that makes them even more expensive than the faster more capable M3; that’s just silly. But unlike the RS, the M2 does not quite live up to the hype.”
Feathered Throttle – “I’m loyal to Mercedes but I will say the M2 is a great looking car. Marko loves the new M3 so much I wouldn’t leave him in a room alone with yours, it would get weird.”
Jaguar F-Type SVR
Chris Harris – “Jaguar is charging more than R2.3M for it’s new F-Type SVR, which does seem an awful lot of money for something that looks so familiar, doesn’t offer that much more performance than the R, and is tainted by one of the more laughable aerofoils seen since The Fast & Furious.”
Feathered Throttle – “It’s 230 kg heavier than the 488”. Now that’s some powerful insight worth reading hahaha. I mean, Ryan can bench that much, with one arm, but never ask him to squat that, leg day is a biannual event.
Mercedes-AMG C63 ED1 Coupe
Chris Harris – “It’s that kind of car. Straightforward, charming, and very very fast. Daily life with one would be a pleasure.”
Feathered Throttle – “Not convinced about the Edition 1 paint job, the coupe looks great, this thing is an absolute brute, Marko needs to accept that an M4 doesn’t even compare.”
Aston Martin Vantage GT8
Chris Harris – “There’s nothing unpleasant about the GT8, it feels slow and a little undernourished.”
Feathered Throttle – “We prefer our Astons closer to Bond than to Boy Racer, but it is a mean looking version of this now dated package, just listen to one, you’ll crap yourself.”
BMW M4 GTS
Chris Harris – “As for comparisons with the 991 GT3 RS, don’t even go there – the Porsche would chew this thing up and spit it out.”
Feathered Throttle – “See our previous blog post on this, doesn’t really make much sense over a regular M4.”
McLaren 675LT Spider
Chris Harris – “I don’t think the LT gives much away to a Veyron in a straight line, and I love what’s now becoming a distinctive McLaren set of intake and exhaust notes…”
Feathered Throttle – “We’d consider this over a Ferrari F12 and an Aventador, shit it’s awesome, what can you really say, big loot though and we assume tough to actually get one.”
Porsche 911 R – THE WINNER
Chris Harris – “It’s the kind of special that makes you remember why you like fast cars. Not because of the numbers or papery statistics. Joy. It’s a joyous, engaging, utterly wonderful piece of machinery.”
Feathered Throttle – “Makes Marko nostalgic about the pure driving experience he had with his Model T, just taking the piss because he is old, but in all seriousness this is what performance cars should be about, engaging experiences not impressive numbers on paper. These have traded for crazy money due to their manual transmission and limited numbers, we talking a million dollars plus on top of retail!”
We suspect the new GT3 will come with a manual transmission, it could take top position for Top Gear’s 2017 performance car of the year, that or a 488 Speciale, lets see.