It’s Car Of The Year (COTY) time.
COTY is like Sydney’s Mardi Gras (good to see Dannii back on the official playlist this year with All I Wanna Do — Trouser Enthusiast Mix) without the floats, the diversity and the Doof Doof Beach Brunch (more’s the pity).
Basically, motoring journalists from publications around the world get into cars ranging from $20k to $300k, drive them as fast as they can for days on end while pretending to be doing a scientific test and pick out the one car whose manufacturer has spent the most on advertising and exclaim COTY!!!! COTY gets a 20 per cent lift in sales, wood ducks don’t have to think for themselves, journalists recover from their hangovers and everyone is happy.
I think our team here has nominated a COTY from time to time but what goes against taking any notice of our COTY are a few small issues. One: we don’t have any advertisers because two: we only have 18 paid readers, one friend who gets a free copy but no family, and three: no one takes our research seriously even though it is done in the fabulous art deco corner bar of the Kensi with the Sultan, the brown cardigan-wearing state championship winner bean counter, the race coach to the (fallen) stars and yours truly under the steely eye of our COTY sponsor Tim Cooper.
But just before we review the reviews of some of the COTYs we take seriously, a huge shout out to reader No 7 who takes delivery of his brand spanking new Porker Taycan this morning. Look, as you know, we believe electric cars are a passing fad like pet rocks, mood rings, the limbo, alfas and democracy. And forget all this stuff you’re reading about the future of cars. The future of cars or getting around is the existing tech companies. All the big car companies will go the way of WeWork, Lehman Brothers and Colon Cleansing. Amazon, Apple, Alphabet and the other “A” companies will run mobility with a few boutique traditional makes like Feezer selling you cars that make a noise on the occasional track day.
The Taycan only hit the Australian Porker showrooms this week. It is super quick, has a 10km range and, unusually for a Porker, comes complete with most things (like wheels and tyres) the Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen maker (‘‘our brand values are exclusivity and social acceptance, innovation and tradition, performance and everyday usability, design and functionality and charging a fortune for accessories most companies include as standard’’) usually adds on the to the drive-away-no-more-to-pay price.
Anyway Road & Track got it right when they said: “The 2022 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo is an Ultra-Quick EV Family Wagon — If you ever wanted an electric Subaru Outback, as interpreted by Porsche, this is your car.” And because you read the world’s greatest newspaper in print format as well as online, you know we reported exclusively last week that Plug-in hybrid cars consume up to four times more fuel than advertised.
Wheels magazine is the Aussie COTY leader.
For 58 years (can you believe the first COTY was a Renault 8 that was put together locally much in the way the French submarines — $70bn to pay, a lot more to sail away — will be put together in Dubbo by the sea, Adelaide and the Port Kembla of Gaul, Cherbourg. I owned one. That tells you all you need to know.
This year saw Wheels’ scientists in 10 cars including an Audi E-Tron (a what???), a beemer 4, the same Genesis Tiger Wood drove downhill, upside down and sideways a few weeks back, a Defender, a Yaris and a Merc GLB. The winner was the Mazda CX-30. You need to pay around $40k for the specced-up one.
Betty Winsor’s favourite read is the very conservative Telegraph. Its Car of the Year 2021, as voted by a panel of European judges, is the Toyota Yaris. Can I just say their cars of the year have included the Austin 1800, the Simca, the Rover SDI and the Shortfin Barracuda submarine.
And can I just read you what Wheels says about the Yaris? Basically, that Toyota jumped the price up by $7k and half the buyers jumped away. “Despite us seeing its intrinsic value, many buyers can’t or won’t and — feeling betrayed — will instead ignore Toyota’s best ever light car because of inaccessible pricing.”
The Kia Sorento (around $50K) has taken out the Carsales’ Car of the Year award. Look this is a great SUV but seriously? I get it beating the Land Rover Defender but comparing it to the Porker Taycan?
Back to Stirling Moss. His will revealed a few surprises as our London multimedia including radio (hint to motorcycling boss here — a sure winner: live from the Kensi: Mick, John and the WART team, helped along by a few jugs of Dr Cooper’s finest, talking cars, life and the existential threat posed by nano technology and bio-engineered beer) cousin, The Times, tells us. While the bulk of Stirl’s $36m estate was left to his wife Susie and ankle biters Allison and Elliot, his cheeky sense of humour saw his sterling silver rabbit’s foot go to his shrink for “giving me more than luck”, $2k to friends for ‘‘one of our usual nights out’’ and another $2k to his agent for she and her husband to have a seafood meal at the 108 year old Joe’s Stone Crab Restaurant and Takeaway in Miami Beach, Florida.
Talking of nights out, lots of queries about our postponed Adelaide Rally readers get together at the Kenzie in a few weeks. Calm down if, unlike some, you’re not coming all the way from outback NT. It will definitely be on but we do have to complete all the necessary approvals with the COVID police, licencing squad, fixated person squad and the Stepney Home of Peace (where Michael resides).