We’re staring down the street at an electrical future, there’s little doubt: Governments and automakers have pivoted to long-term plans the place battery-electric powertrains are paramount. However that’s not the one story on autodom, as evinced by the perfect vehicles and vehicles we drove over the course of this very distinctive 12 months. On our “better of” listing, you’ll discover two norm-defying pickups, a game-changing Corvette, a Land Rover with sufficient off-road chops to remedy your cabin fever for good, and extra. Listed below are the drives we dug probably the most in 2020:

2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

Dodge Charger Hellcat Redeye
Within the outdated Tremendous Mario Kart, operating over a star makes you ultrafast and untouchable, briefly. Such is the sensation of piloting the 717-horsepower 2021 Dodge Charger Hellcat on an extended freeway uphill, previous scores of slower vehicles. Grip the meaty wheel, plunge the pedal, and also you hear a high-pitched, menacing supercharger whine because the 4,586-lb beast hurtles effortlessly towards triple digits. If you will get previous the large gasoline prices (and your massive environmental footprint), you’ll discover a surprisingly road-trippable household experience with a flipside that may make you are feeling invincible, for a second.

2021 Jeep Gladiator EcoDiesel

2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon
Every week within the new diesel-engined, overland-ready Gladiator proved to us that there isn’t a pickup in the marketplace that hits as many notes: enjoyable, livable, succesful. A 3.0-liter engine provides the Wrangler-based pickup loads of instant-on, low-end energy (442 lb-ft of torque) that’s best for technical off-roading, however simply as entertaining round city. After stoplights go inexperienced, you end up leaving site visitors within the rearview with out even making an attempt. Higher but, the Gladiator’s modest measurement permits you to throw it within the storage while you get house.

2021 Rolls Royce Ghost

Rolls-Royce Ghost II
James Lipman / jameslipman.com

When an officer from the Bee Cave, Texas police division pulled us over within the 2021 Rolls Royce Ghost, he had one query: How’s it experience? Simply splendidly, sir. Rolls retooled its components for the 2021 mannequin with some superior suspension trickery, which incorporates road-monitoring dampers to type out imperfections within the street earlier than you ever really feel them. 4-wheel steering permits the stately experience to deal with like a machine that’s a lot smaller, and the 6.8-liter, twin-turbocharged V12 ushers you with haste and refinement. Our reply, to the cop, was deemed enough: We have been despatched on our manner with a pleasant warning.

 

2021 Chevrolet Suburban

2021 Chevrolet Suburban Z71
The pandemic compelled us to test-drive automobiles principally in Texas this 12 months, and there’s maybe none extra suited to the Lone Star State than the new Chevy Suburban. For one it’s big. A brand new impartial rear suspension—the primary within the Suburban’s lengthy historical past—frees up room to make as much as practically 145 sq. toes of cargo house (or an truly livable third row of seating). Two, the factor is luxe, stocked with a luxurious inside and 12.6-inch touchscreens behind the entrance seats, related to the automobile’s on-board WiFi. At a time when more room and creature comforts are extra invaluable than ever, the brand new Suburban delivers.

 

2021 Ram 1500 TRX

2021 Ram 1500 TRX 2021 truck front 3/4
Surprisingly, no automobile we drove this 12 months drew extra thumbs-ups than this larger-than-life pickup. The supersized, supercharged, Hellcat-powered Ram certainly proved a mood-booster, even when we weren’t in a position to absolutely take a look at the otherworldly capabilities of its suspension, constructed for bounding over the excessive desert with 13 inches of journey. Its unparalleled energy was extra obvious throughout metropolis driving: Punch the fuel and house cushions dematerialize. And befitting this no-compromises machine, there’s tons of room within the cabin, and an infotainment system that’s probably the most seamless within the biz, too.

 

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Convertible
Throughout two separate drives—one in Nevada, one in Texas—the next-generation Vette proved that this reworked American traditional is healthier than ever, with clear and predictable dealing with, courtesy its mid-engined format. Some, after all, will complain that its small-block V8 engine isn’t loud sufficient and doesn’t crackle just like the fire-breathers of yore. However this Stingray is younger, and extra energy and tailpipe pyrotechnics are certain to observe. Within the meantime, new Vette drivers will dig particulars like Stealth Mode, the place the inside goes darkish—console, buttons, every little thing save your mph readout and different necessities. Simply you, machine, street. No distractions. How delicate. How un-Corvette. How cool.

2020 McLaren GT

mclaren gt
Someplace out on a rollicking experience by way of the dips and bobs of Texas Hill Nation, it hit us: The McLaren GT merely rocks, whether or not it’s a real grand tourer or not. The high-tech British producer intends the GT to be its most livable, each day drivable sportscar—there’s extra cargo house and extra powertrain refinement right here than in its different rides—but the GT proves no slouch when tasked within the twisties. Its 4-liter V8 and seven-speed twin clutch present unflagging energy, whereas its adaptive damping suspension and hydraulic steering present clear suggestions, lending you confidence to push more durable, as does its wonderful ahead visibility. The GT’s a winner. We haven’t had extra enjoyable behind the wheel all 12 months.

2021 Land Rover Defender

Land Rover Defender
In a 12 months the place getting away from civilization turned extra interesting than ever, the relaunched Defender provided a compelling and succesful automobile to do it in. We took a fast spin within the Defender, each on clean pavement and on grime, and our drive revealed that the automobile boasts tons of tech, consolation, and livability, particularly the well-designed, well packaged inside—whereas providing extra off-road functionality than you’re more likely to ever use. We flung it down a distant ranch street and have been impressed by its ease over the sketchy, rutted stretch, thanks partially to an air suspension that lends practically 12 inches of clearance, a peppy 3.0-liter inline-six, and a exact, direct steering that makes it deal with like a smaller automobile. It’s a best-of-both-worlds machine that doesn’t disappoint.


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