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Splendid Auto Monthly - A Motoring Man's Meanderings (Gavin Anderson's Blog)

Thank you for taking the time to make this awesome comparo become true. Simply great, a list with all the options and their pros and cons, just like it should be. Looking forward to the next one :grin:


I’d like to join Alberto in extending my genuine gratitude for these reviews. And of course, a huge shoutout to all the others who participating who I can only say made some properly image cars to say the least. I know for sure if I were reviewing it would be a really tricky time choosing a winner :sweat_smile:. Of course I’m happy to “win” but looking at the level of styling and engineering and lore and variety and reviewing we’ve come to… the winner is really all of us. The review style translated rather well into a forum-friendly format so it was a great read. I’m really glad to know all of you and in all honesty, my car wouldn’t have been half as good if it weren’t for the challenge of making something cool. So huge thanks to everyone involved and thanks again! :grin:


Ahh, I guess the Apophis is beginning to show it’s age… Good thing we have an announcement for later this year.

Anyways, great job @DeusExMackia and all the participants; we had some really, really strong entries, and the reviews were very in-depth and succinct and didn’t allow the reader to bore themselves. Brilliant pieces of writing, if I say so myself.


What a test. I have no choice but to agree with all of your verdicts. You just made me wish I had an Aliga C in my garage - it was just too good!

I didn’t have the time to send you my CSR60 entry, though, if only out of curiosity - being a large, powerful rear-drive coupe, it would have fit right in. Maybe if I submit one of its trims later, it could get a standalone review.

As a side note, I reckon the Dragon could be improved by reverting to the pre-facelift exterior, and swapping the air suspension for a set of well-tuned steel springs, among other things.

I need to properly start any of my companies in UE4, or I’ll miss more things like this :frowning:

@ramthecowy Congrats on the win (and the best looking car overall IMO) :slight_smile: And to everyone else too, as all the cars are interesting in their own way, even if some less than the others. I’d like to add some personal picks, if I may:
@Rk38 for the most modern-techy-awesome looking car of the lot,
@DeusExMackia for the pure and light approach to a sport/GT car (and, being at you, for really professionally feeling reviews),
@EnryGT5 for a fine cruiser with the soul of a true GT and the best looking rear end.


Wow, this was great! Really felt like reading or watching one of those big EVO style car comparisons. The reviews and writing were top notch.

The competition was immense but I’m glad the Sagitta didn’t seem to put a foot wrong…but perhaps some new higher grade trims coming will help add some heart :wink:

Congrats to @ramthecowy for the overall win, that is one sexy design!


Gavin’s first roadtests from Geneva 2018 are up, driving the updated Zenshi Grandea GTS and the new AL Semita. Scroll to the bottom to read.


Another round of test drives from Geneva 2018; this time, the much talked about Montes Roadster gets a test drive, as well as the Cornaldier Sprinter and the Caliban Thunder.


Four more fresh test drives of the latest cars concludes coverage of this year’s Geneva International Motor Show.


Gavin goes for a drive in the newest creation from Korean make Kishiwo.


Review: Erin Tauga Enso Edition

“The motoring version of the gym freak”

Cheers to @ramthecowy for tuning this beast!


Insane, and I like it.

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Excellent review, and car.

I know this is probably a dumb question, but how do i get my car reviewed here?

Send it via PM to me :smiley:

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thanks for the answer, whenever i finish a good model i’ll do

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Ooh is it that simple?

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Yes. And then it gets added to a big list of “things Gavin will eventually get round to”


I have something interesting that would be a cool used car review :smirk:

The S.A.M. office was sombre and quiet this morning as everyone had gradually heard the sad news last night that we had lost one of the most important people in modern motorsport. Don Panoz’s contributions to endurance and sportscar racing have to be measured on a scale that is almost incomprehensible in size; he lived and breathed motor racing.

Panoz’s most significant contribution was undoubtedly the founding of the American Le Mans Series in 1999, coming at just the right time to keep prototype racing alive. After the folding of the BPR Global GT series and the start of the FIA GT Championship, there was a huge black hole to fill for LMP machines. Panoz swept in in 1998 hosting the first Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, where it formed part of the last original-format IMSA GT season. One year later, he would help found the ALMS, and within a few years it would propel itself to becoming the definitive endurance racing championship anywhere in the world at the time.

On the topic of Road Atlanta, Panoz bought the track in 1996 after it went through yet another bankruptcy. The iconic circuit, a fan favourite for US motorsport enthusiasts, had struggled for decades, but remains open and in fantastic condition thanks to Panoz, who also made it the base of operations for his own team Panoz Motorsports.

As well as ALMS, Panoz also helped start the Women’s Global GT Series. Whilst only running for two seasons in 1999 and 2000, it helped create opportunity where there had been none for female racing drivers. Sadly, the lack of sponsorship attention killed the series financially, with such an idea yet to replicated on the scale Panoz envisioned.

It was not just the racing series, however, where Panoz had an impact. The Esperante GTR-1 remains to this day one of the most iconic race cars of all time, being aptly nicknamed the Batmobile. The combination of that classic long nose 2 door coupe design couple with suitably 90s flourishes and massive fenders made it an instant classic, yet it was also a technical marvel. Outstandingly reliable and incredibly capable, it remained highly competitive throughout its 6 year run time, happily matching mid engine competitors despite being a front engined machine.

It would also become the test bed for one of the first ever racing-focused hybrid systems; the 1998 Q9 Hybrid version of the car was far too heavy to be competitive, but utilised regenerative braking and an electric motor to assist the rear wheels, promising better fuel efficiency and serious torque off the line. Perhaps it was a little too ahead of its time, but keep in mind that Panoz were far, far less well funded than rival teams, and yet still pushed for innovations like this.

Most fascinating about this fascinating car, however, is the fact it holds a unique record. Only two single car marques have ever each competed in the FIA GT Champsionship, 24 Hours of Le Mans, IMSA GT series, United States Road Racing Championship and the American Le Mans Series. One, perhaps unsurprisingly, is the Porsche 911. The other is the Panoz Esperante GTR-1.

Panoz’s contributions to motorsport go far beyond what has been included in this obiturary, which include further racing with Panoz Motorsports, ventures into Indycar and the formation of the WeatherTech Sportscar Championship. More than anything else, however, it was his dedication and passion for motorsport that had the greatest impact of all. Don Panoz, was, at the end of the day, an entrepreneur, and one who was willing to push boundaries and do things others could not see worth in. To take him out of motorsport would be like taking The Rolling Stones out of rock music, taking Da Vinci out of the Renassiance, taking the Roman Empire out of history; we simply would not be where we are today without him.

A man who truly lived and breathed motorsport, and one whose contributions to racing will continue to be felt for decades to come.

Don Panoz, 1935-2018