The 2011 awards edition

Like any good motoring related journal, Engage Sport Mode endeavours to have some end of year awards type ceremony.

Due to its infancy, ESM doesn’t have a glitzy hotel ceremony with burlesque dancers and champagne. Instead, it’s the equivalent of some pork-scratchings and half a plastic cup of warm cava. And only two awards. And no actual trophies.

But still, who wouldn’t want to win the Best Car I’ve Driven All Year award or the One Car I’d Really Want To Try In 2012 prize?

Here we go then. Drum roll on top of those small round tables you only get in old pubs please

Best Car I’ve Driven All Year Award

I’ll be honest, there hasn’t been a huge deal to pick from this year. There was a number of small warm hatches, but I don’t think a second hand Suzuki Swift can win. Instead I present this:

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I got myself on the Range Rover Evoque Unleashed Event. We had to go to Nottingham, but it was completely worth it. Driving in convoy with a load of other Evoques managed to make the girlfriend and I become minor twitter celebs (really!)

We drove the turbo petrol Si4 coupe, which felt like a giant hot-hatch. Getting into a new car and driving it, at rush-hour, in a strange city is never great. But the Evoque made it so easy and enjoyable you wouldn’t believe.

Chunky turbo performance, a superb auto-box and a Dynamic mode with fancy red dash lights made for great fun. Combine this with good looks outside and a superbly appointed interior, it’s the complete package. Not cheap, but it’s all the car you’d ever need.

One Car I’d Really Want To Try In 2012 Prize

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the BMW 1 Series M Coupe.

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Many years ago I fell in love with the BMW E39 M5. To the point where, embarrassingly, it even featured in an email address I had. I saw it at the NEC motorshow and the sound of it stuck with me to this day.

This continued to the point where my dad test-drove one, and very nearly got one as a company car. But, instead, picked a Subaru Impreza to save on tax. I haven’t forgotten.

BMW has, in my eyes, lost the plot a little bit of late. The X6M is testimony to a race to the bottom for Cheshire bling monies. Plus the new M5 with its synthesised engine sound leaves me cold.

But the 1M with its manual box, 6-cylinder turbo motor and steroidal bodywork is pure drifting joy potential.

Yes there’s new hypercars out there, but I think the 1M would give the most lolz-per-gallon in the real world. BMW, if you’re listening, how about a test drive? I’ll make a real trophy if you agree! Note, trophy may involve macaroni and glitter

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