December 24 2017

2017’s Major Motoring Moments

The Government announced MOT exemption for classic cars in September

While our desire for classic cars is consistent and strong, motoring on the whole is ever changing. Here are some momentous instances from the past years...

The Red Arrows drive the DB11

Richard Ingram, reviews editor at AutoExpress, met up with the Arrows in July at Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire, armed with a fleet of the latest Aston Martins. “The idea was to see if being among the UK’s most talented fighter pilots made you a world-class driver, too,” he said.

The Arrows took on the 600bhp supercar with the same level of gravitas as when they board their multi-million-pound jets. But while many parallels can be drawn between the Red Arrows and the Aston Martin name – both are British icons, leaders in performance and internationally recognised – the differences are also pronounced.

“Braking technique was one of the hardest things for us,” squadron leader David Montenegro told AutoExpress.

He added: “Acceleration is great and cornering is incredible, but the technique of being able to put your foot as hard as you can on the brake – and letting the technology stop that inertia – was very impressive indeed.”

Jaguar’s innovative E-Type Zero

In September, Jaguar launched “the most beautiful electric car in the world”, with its E-Type Zero.

Bringing back the famous outline of the E-Type from the 1960s and 70s, its electrification gives off zero emissions, and Jaguar claims it will "future-proof classic-car ownership"

MOT exemption for classic cars

Despite an official consultation showing more people are against the idea of scrapping MOT for vintage vehicles than those in favour of it, in September the Government announced that the roadworthy test will be scrapped for classics from 2018.

Diesel drivers are penalised

The Autumn Budget marked the end of a diesel-fuelled era for many drivers, as the Government imposed levies on drivers of older vehicles in a bid to reduce emissions

Changes to the driving test

The British driving test is something of an institution, but this year it saw big changes that propelled it into the 21st Century.

These include:

  • Drivers will be asked to follow directions from satnav
  • “Show me, tell me” questions
  • Independent driving element extended from 10 to 20 minutes

Most expensive British car ever sold, auctions for £16.9million

In August, a 1956 Aston Martin DBR1 sold for a cool $22,550,000. It is the first of five DBR1s, chassis no. DBR1/1, and was raced by Roy Salvadori and Stirling Moss, and even once took the win at the 1959 Nürburgring 1,000km.

Big Birthdays

This year has celebrated anniversary milestones for some of the most iconic makes and models on the planet. Including…

Ferrari’s 70th birthday

Renault blows out 40 candles to mark every year it has spent in Formula One

The Ford Sierra RS500 Cosworth celebrated its 30th

Ferrari celebrates the 30th anniversary of its F40

All-American classic, the Chevrolet Camaro turned 50

The world’s fastest SUV

In December, Lamborghini announced the launch of the Urus. Unveiled in Italy, this SUV will be the world's fastest SUV ever, the brand has said.

With 650 break horsepower, the Urus has a turbocharged V8 engine and an eight-speed transmission, and it will top speeds of 190 miles an hour.

On its own, this is very impressive, but its potential to change the Lamborghini landscape is even more remarkable. The brand’s name has always been synonymous with expensive, high performance sports cars. Yet, this shimmy into the SUV market could change the way people think of Lamborghini; similar to the way the Cayenne has changed the name of Porsche.

Cuba’s car revolution

Cuba’s classic cars continue to be among the most revered spectacles in the world; brilliant Buicks, classic Cadillacs, fantastic Fords and showpiece Chevrolets lines the streets, kept going by the same “make do and mend” mentality promoted in WWII Britain.

However, this year has seen the loosening of local laws really take effect, bringing new life to the Cubano roads. The Infiniti Q60 became the first American-built car to be registered in Cuba in more than 50 years, while both Citroen and Peugeot have set up shop there.