2015 has led to a number of great things for Go Flat Out. The diversity of the cars that we have driven this year has increased so much, and the number of car launches we were able to attend to has also increased dramatically. This makes the year 2015 a big leap forward for the future of Go Flat Out. 2016 will surely be the year of the midsize PPV (pick-up based passenger vehicles) such as the much awaited Mitsubishi Montero Sport, and Toyota Fortuner, and these cars will surely be battling for COTY for next year, but for this year, here’s our top 3 vehicles that were launched in 2015.
Before mentioning Go Flat Out’s Car Of The Year, there were rules that were imposed. There is a P10 million price cap in order to keep things accessible, and that cars above that price would almost always be the choice for COTY. There are 4 of us who are voting for the COTY, and each of us is assigned to pick our top 3 new cars for 2015. Each first place pick will incur a score of 3 points, 2 points for the second place, and 1 point for the third place. Only all-new cars for 2015 are eligible, so this means facelifted cars or cars that received minor changes for 2015 are not part of the COTY.
3rd Place: Lotus Exige S (5 pts)
The Lotus Exige S has been the antithesis of the current trend in sportscars and supercars. Whereas everyone was making things more complicated by introducing features such as yaw control, torque vectoring, intelligent AWD, and such, the Lotus Exige S keeps things simple, and we love it like this. Where analog meets digital, the Lotus Exige S is a mixture of modern technology and old-school driving involvement. For instance, the Lotus Exige S does not have any sort of power steering, therefore you completely have an authentic feel of the road at your fingertips, and yet it has a drive mode selector in which you can control how much the traction control intervenes the driver’s inputs, and how responsive the throttle input is by changing algorithms in the engine’s mapping. In an age where the Porsche 911 and BMW M4 now has an electric power steering system, and the Porsche 911 line-up now all has turbos except for the GT3 line, the Lotus Exige S is a breath of old-school fresh air in a polluted modern digital world.
2nd Place: Volkswagen Golf GTI (6 pts)
The Volkswagen Golf GTI has been the benchmark of hot hatches for decades, and despite being challenged by numerous other hot hatches from all over the world, the Golf GTI still manages to hold on and continue to trounce past others when it comes to its unmatched blend of performance, refinement, and practicality. The Volkswagen Golf GTI manages to be a legitimate track-day car, whilst being a quiet companion when you want it to. You can practically wake-up in the morning, drop off your kids at school, and then go straight to Clark International Speedway to have fun and ditch work, but the boss won’t be happy for you doing just that, because he is practically envious of how much fun you’re having in the Volkswagen Golf GTI.
1st Place: Mazda MX-5 (10 pts)
The Mazda MX-5, like the Toyota 86, is proof that having fun doesn’t need a lot of horespower, and we love that idea. In an age where lap times, 0-100 km/h acceleration times, what G forces can a car handle, being to matter more than how it actually feels to feel connected together with the car, the Mazda MX-5 gives us hope that fun actually means driving the car, throwing away any expectations about numbers and other whatnot that spoil the sensation of driving. The Mazda MX-5 is the prime example of what a sportscar should be, because after all, we buy a sportscar because we want to have fun, don’t we? Therefore, this fun-loving Mazda MX-5, with a score of 10 points, is Go Flat Out’s Car Of The Year. We’re beginning to sound like loyalists to the Mazda brand, because for the past 3 years, it has been a Mazda dominating the COTY ranks, but we promise, we are totally unbiased. It just so happens that almost every car Mazda develops is so good.
Best Car Launch: Aston Martin Manila
We at Go Flat Out love the Aston Martin brand, and we’re glad to be part of the brand’s launch in the Philippines. Prizes were given away to lucky guests, and poker tables were made available, showing what is the lifestyle of an Aston Martin owner. James Bond would be proud if he became part of this local launch of Aston Martin Manila.
Best Car Drives: Lotus Exige S Track Review
Autohub’s Track Day event was an opportunity to test out the Lotus Exige S at Clark International Speedway, giving us a taste of what’s it like to drive a car that focuses on lightweight performance the Lotus brand is known for, while delivering a driving sensation undiluted by any of the modern day nannies that somehow make a few sportscars feel more like a video game rather than an actual sportscar.
Best Car Drives: A Trip To Batangas With The Volvo V40 Cross Country
The Volvo V40 Cross Country impressed us with its ride comfort, speedy acceleration from its diesel engine, and fuel efficiency that further made us love diesel engines. We explored the beautiful sceneries around the province of Batangas, and we were glad to have done this trip with the Volvo V40 Cross Country. We’re still confused though if the V40 Cross Country is a hatchback or a crossover.