Best moments of 2023: the Autocar team’s motoring highlights

We’re all looking for a bit of reassurance that there will be fun to be had in the electric era, and this was as good as anything. Now I’ve just got to wait another few months to drive a finished one. Hurry up already…

Richard Lane: During a visit to Pininfarina HQ, I was given the keys to a Cisitalia 202 – a machine of such cultural significance that it was the first car inducted into the Museum of Modern Art’s collection, in 1972.

What a privilege to slide behind that filigree and ivory Bakelite wheel. Only 170 or so of these wonderful little GT-style coupés were made, starting in 1947, but the visionary coachwork means they could just as easily hark from 1960.

The fact is that current super-GT heroes such as the Ferrari 812 Superfast and Aston Martin DBS are singing from a hymn sheet first written by the 76-year-old, 1089cc, 55bhp, 780kg Cisitalia, and of course Battista Farina, who styled the car. A drawback of the design being so ahead of its time is that the driving experience feels anachronistically old.

Even by historic standards the 202 isn’t the most cohesive, but it isn’t bad, and with weapons-grade charm, it hardly matters.

Kris Culmer: After years of distant admiration, I finally got the chance this year to drive an Alpine A110, on the SMMT’s annual media day. I didn’t stop giggling or saying things like “mad” the whole way around Millbrook’s Alpine handling course, and neither did deputy news ed Will Rimell beside me – and nothing changed when we swapped seats. 

The Alpine was everything I had hoped for and expected. I was almost as excited about doing the same in the Toyota GR86, having had the time of my life in our Subaru BRZ long-termer some years ago.

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