Autocar writers' 2021 motoring highlights

Autocar writers’ 2021 motoring highlights

Rachel Burgess: There are few ways to feel more inadequate than speaking to Britain’s most successful Paralympian, Sarah Storey, who I was lucky enough to meet as part of Autocar’s Great Women in the British Car Industry event.

She enthusiastically regaled us with tales of her rise to the top, starting in 1992 at the age of 14, when she won two gold medals at the Barcelona Games. Since we interviewed her, Storey has claimed a few more from Tokyo, meaning she now has 17 Paralympic golds from swimming and cycling events. Sickeningly inspirational.

James Disdale: With the UK’s 2030 cut-off for new ICE car sales looming and manufacturers scrambling to get EVs into showrooms, we’ve had ample opportunity to sample lithium ion rather than unleaded in 2021. Yet no other practitioner of the zero-emissions art came as close to capturing my attention as Stard’s ERX.

I got only a handful of laps around the Lydden Hill rallycross circuit in the bewinged 600bhp racer, but those few minutes were my best of the year. Yes, the performance was staggering, but it was the sheer brilliance of the handling that had me laughing out loud into my helmet.

Beautifully balanced, endlessly expressive and dripping with feedback, it was a stark reminder of how, when it comes to total sensory immersion and dynamic ability, a well-set-up competition machine makes a mockery of even the most serious driver’s cars for the road. All I need now is £300,000 to buy my own. Although, as it’s Christmas: Dear Santa…