A year in photos: CAR magazine's best 2016 pictures

Published: 27 December 2016

 It's our best photos of the year
 We pick the stand-out pics of 2016
 Which is your favourite photograph? 

It's our annual compendium of the best photography published in CAR magazine over the past 12 months. Here's a selection picked by our staff and aesthetes. Be sure to tell us which your favourite photos are in the comments section below.

Each month, CAR is granted amazing access - to the world's best cars and to the people and companies making them. Like the personal tour of Scandi-supercar maker Koenigsegg, below.

Inside Koenigsegg: CAR magazine goes deep inside the Scandic-supercar maker

If you like what you see here, be sure to subscribe to CAR for more stunning photography, month in, month out.

Reds 2: Ferrari 488 GTB vs Lamborghini Huracan, December 2016

Reds 2

John Wycherley captured perfectly the moment we recreated one of CAR magazine's most memorable stories from the 1980s. On a beach in Wales, we brought the latter-day rivals together for a meeting on the sands. No cars were lost or sunk in the making of this photograph.

Mercedes' Holy Halls, inside Merc's museum vaults, January 2016

Inside Mercedes' secret museum vaults

Steffen Jahn snuck inside the Daimler secret vaults in Stuttgart - the overflow to its main museum. Here we pored over more than 1000 amazing heritage Mercedes-Benz cars, cataloguing 129 years of car making. The results were eye-popping.

The F1 champ, April 2016

Andrew Shaylor photographs Nico Rosberg for CAR

For once, the curse of the CAR interview did not strike. We've tipped F1 winners in the past and they've ended up crashing out disastrously. But in our April 2016 season preview, F1 correspondent Tom Clarkson met Nico Rosberg and predicted greatness. Andrew Shaylor's photo for CAR magazine sums up the steely determination of the man who won the championship and then sensationally quit the sport days later.

BMW 1800ti in Berlin, July 2016

BMW's first ever compact exec

To mark BMW's centenary we took the precursor to the pioneering 3-series on a drive across Berlin. Barry Hayden's photos highlight the simple modernity of the three-box saloon - a template copied by many, arguably bettered by few.

Supercar kings, May 2016

Audi R8 vs McLaren 570S vs Ferrari 488 GTB

A real wish-you-were-here moment, as photographer John Wycherley records the Ferrari 488 GTB chasing a McLaren 570S and Audi R8 across Snowdonia. Who needs to go to the Alps when Wales looks so stunning?

Rolls-Royce Dawn across Africa, June 2016

Rolls-Royce Dawn across South Africa

Jamie Lipman and Ben Oliver took the smallest Rolls cabriolet on a dusty trip around South Africa. Across the desert hinterland, on its mountain passes and ocean roads, we stepped out in Rolls' soft-top masterpiece, Glock-toting bodyguard at our side...

Cuba's motoring time warp, August 2016

Cuba: a motoring time warp

Charlie Magee accompanied CJ Hubbard on a tour around Cuba - the automotive Lost World, where Communist revolution freeze-framed an entire nation in 1959, creating a magnificent underground car culture. But is that all about to change with Castro's death?

Porsche 911 GT3 RS: back to the Monte, February 2016

Porsche 911 GT3 RS on the Monte rally trail

Photographer Steffen Jahn accompanied Ben Barry as we took the 911 back to the rally stages where it made its motorsport debut on the Monte Carlo rally. His photos captured perfectly the sinuous elevation that starts immediately as you leave the glittering streets of Monaco and climb into the French hillsides above.

Tesla vs Texas, September 2016

Tesla vs Texas. Electricity vs oil

A poignant shot of the Tesla Model X in Texas, the home of oil. Our American photo ace Robert Kerian hitched along for the ride, as features editor Ben Miller toured the oil state in a silent, revolutionary electric crossover.

BMW M2 meltdown, March 2016

Slip-sliding in the BMW M2

Who better to capture the tyre-shredding antics of our European editor Georg Kacher than Greg Pajo, Antipodean snapper extraordinaire? Plumes of tyre smoke were spent catching the moment our man tested the M2's chassis poise in extremis.

The world's fastest car - introducing the Bugatti Chiron, October 2016

Bugatti Chiron: we hitched along for a ride

Another CAR magazine exclusive, as our European editor Georg Kacher - who else - hitches a ride in the new Bugatti Chiron, alongside company boss Wolfgang Durheimer. '217. Miles. Per. Hour. And counting. And breathing. Hard. 224. Down the descent, and up again. So effortless, so fast, it's surreal. 230...' Greg Pajo photographs one of the fastest trips we took in 2016.

Inside Jay Leno's garage, November 2016

Jay Leno's garage. We want!

'My wife knows where to find me,' read the headline in CAR magazine. We were granted fulsome access to the wonder-garage of America's most famous chat show host. It's one of the most extraordinary private collections of automobiles you'll find anywhere in the world.

Take a tour of the latest issue of CAR magazine here

By Tim Pollard

Digital editor-in-chief and motoring news magnet

  • Porsche 911 GT3 RS: we took it to the Monte, where its motorsport story began
  • Georg Kacher, burning rubber in the sensational new BMW M2
  • New Bugatti Chiron: that world's fastest car mantle looks safe...
  • The land where time stood still: but will Cuba remain so automotively interesting after Castro's death?
  • Across South Africa, by Rolls-Royce Dawn
  • Inside the secret vaults that power the Mercedes-Benz museums
  • We scored an exclusive interview with Jay Leno in 2016. What a collection of cars!
  • Where it all began: we took BMW's pioneering 1800ti on a drive in Berlin to mark centenary
  • Reds 2: recreating a famous CAR magazine image, on a Welsh beach (praying the tide will stay out)
  • Nico Rosberg, shot by CAR magazine before he won the F1 championship. And then quit
  • Snowdonia sizzles in the winter sunshine as we take three of 2016's best supercars for a blast
  • Tesla vs Texas: what a backdrop to test the Model X electric crossover
  • Inside Koenigsegg: CAR magazine goes deep inside the Scandic-supercar maker