The year is now at its end, and as we look forward to all the exciting reveals of 2013, cars like the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette, 2014 Mercedes-Benz S Class and Ferrari’s F150 supercar, we shouldn’t forget some of the impressive new cars launched over the past 12 months.
Some of those cars are a bit more memorable than others, and not because of superior engineering, avant-garde design or how many gadgets they were packing. No, some are more memorable simply because of the stunning imagery associated with their respective reveals.
Of course, simply pointing a camera and shooting is no guarantee of creating brilliant photos, no matter how lust-worthy a car is. It takes a good deal of talent and preparation, as well as plenty of luck.
The end result of all these measures, however, is that some rather mundane models can end up being the cars remembered most. We hope automakers take note, as we love ogling over images of new cars just as much as the fans.
Let us now take a look at some of the highlights from the past 12 months.
We’re sure you’ll have your own favorites--some of which were probably plastered across your desktop at some point--but these are Motor Authority's picks for the 24 (yes, that's two for each month) best car photos of 2012:
24) Starting off the list is this image of the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 45th Anniversary Edition. Taken at a deserted track on a clear and sunny day, it makes you yearn to hop behind the wheel and take this beast for a spin. Sadly, that’s almost next to impossible as only five of these special edition race cars are being built.
Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 45th Anniversary race car
23) Next on this list is a little piece of forbidden fruit that we desperately want to see in the U.S. The car is the new Opel Cascada convertible, which goes on sale in Europe next year and hopefully will be hitting local roads as a Buick at some point in the future. The open top, perfect weather and empty miles of winding road in front of you--what's not to like?
2013 Opel Cascada
22) Moving along, we come to this impressive shot showing close to 1,000 Ferraris taking to the Silverstone race track in the UK. A total of 964 Ferraris congregated at the track, helping organizers set a new world record for the largest single gathering of Prancing Horses.
Gathering of 964 Ferraris at Silverstone in the UK have set a new world record
21) It’s rare that photos from an aftermarket tuning firm look better than most of the official shots put out by the automakers, but this shot from Texan tuner Hennessey is particularly noteworthy. Of course, it didn’t hurt that the car being photographed was a 1,226-horsepower Cadillac CTS-V Coupe.
2013 Hennessey VR1200 Twin-Turbo Cadillac CTS-V Coupe
20) The McLaren MP4-12C Spider was one of the most stunning cars of the past 12 months. Take it to an empty track and start burning some rubber and you’ve got the perfect view to capture.
McLaren MP4-12C Spider
Hit the next two pages to see the rest of our list.
19) Since its unveiling in 2007, Nissan’s GT-R supercar has continued to evolve, with engineers putting it through some of the harshest conditions in order to help them fine tune the car over the remainder of its life.
2013 Nissan GT-R (Club Track Edition) entering Nürburgring 24 Hours
One such test was the Nürburgring 24 Hours held this year, where this stock GT-R was photographed at dusk.
Piloted by Nissan’s first GT Academy winner Lucas Ordonez in the SP8T class, together with Kazunori Yamauchi, Yasukichi Yamamoto and Tobias Schulze, the GT-R emerged a class winner and the 30th finisher overall in the arduous endurance race.
With its brakes and tail-lights glowing, the car in this image perfectly conveys the performance potential of this world-beating supercar.
You’re now just a quarter of the way through our list of the 24 best car photos of 2012.
At any time, if you think there’s a better shot posted on Motor Authority that we’ve missed, feel free to let everyone know in the comments below.
Let's move on and see the 18 remaining photos on our list.
18) At number 18 it is this image of the BMW 4-Series concept. This single shot of the BMW 4-Series concept, a preview of the production 4-Series Coupe due out next year, has helped reaffirmed our belief that BMW can still design a stunning vehicle. The concept’s sleek lines, muscular bulges and aggressive look all help convey the current style of BMW, though at the same time it also invokes qualities of several models from the automaker’s past.
BMW 4-Series Coupe concept
17) If anyone doubted the performance potential of the Subaru BRZ, along with its Scion and Toyota cousins, this single shot showing the car taking off at this year’s Isle Of Man TT should silence the critics.
Isle of Man 2013 Subaru BRZ drive
16) With the Austrian Alps in the background, this image of the facelifted 2014 Audi R8 is simply breathtaking. With its choice of powerful V-8 and V-10 engines, quattro all-wheel-drive surefootedness and comfy cabin, we can think of few better cars to climb some mountains.
2014 Audi R8 first drive
15) Next on the list is an image of one of the most exciting cars of the year, the new 2014 Jaguar F-Type. The particular stretch of road depicted here would prove the ideal holiday spot for any auto fan, and with an F-Type in tow it would be pure bliss.
2014 Jaguar F-Type
14) There’s something about this image of the 2013 Chevrolet Camaro Hot Wheels Edition that makes this muscle car really look like a life-sized toy. Maybe it’s the iconic lines of the Camaro, or perhaps it’s simply the bright blue paint job, but whatever it is we like what we see. Interestingly, in over 40 years of Camaro Hot Wheels toys, this is actually the first that’s been brought to life and sold to the public.
2013 Chevrolet Camaro Hot Wheels Edition
13) At lucky number 13 on our list is this image of the latest 2013 Chrysler 300 Motown Edition. The white sedan is contrasted beautifully against the Detroit skyline behind it, showing to all that view it that even an industrial city like Detroit can create objects of beauty.
2013 Chrysler 300 Motown Edition
12) With miles of empty road ahead of you, winding its way through canyons and dotted hills, what better car to attack this dream-like surrounding than the new 2014 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Black Series. Looking at this image, you can almost hear its sweet exhaust note bouncing off those canyon walls as it screams past.
2014 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Black Series
11) There’s nothing better than a beautiful action shot, and seeing the 662-horsepower 2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 burning up the rears from just inches away makes this image almost droll-worthy. For about $60k, this is one supercar most of us can afford and it’s one we can lust over for days on end.
2013 Ford Shelby GT500
10) We’re now down to the final 10, and kicking off this list of finalists is the 2013 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 10th Anniversary Edition. Like the legendary trail it’s named after, the Wrangler Rubicon exudes toughness and this is portrayed beautifully here.
2013 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 10th Anniversary Edition
9) The current C6 Corvette is nearing the end of its run, with the new C7 just two weeks out from its debut. However, as this image of the 2013 Corvette 427 Convertible confirms, the C6 still looks as fresh as the day it was launched.
2013 Chevrolet Corvette 427 Convertible Collector Edition
8) We love this shot simply because it shows off all of the latest 2013 Land Rover Range Rover’s best attributes. The big SUV with its beautiful and luxurious design is seen here demonstrating its dune-stalking, terrain-conquering prowess, perfectly conveying the strengths of the iconic off-roader in a single shot.
2013 Land Rover Range Rover
7) What would a best photos list be without a Ferrari or two, so it should be no surprise that an image of the Prancing Horse’s latest and greatest, the new F12 Berlinetta, is in the top ten. If only we could be there to take this beauty through the Italian countryside behind it.
Hit the next page to see the final six photos in our list.
You’ve now made it to our six finalists in our best car photos of 2012 list.
Lexus LF-LC Blue Concept
Filtering through all the images that were posted on Motor Authority this year and finding the best 24 was certainly no easy task, but we hope you agree with some of our choices.
6) Now, at number 6 on our list is this stunning image of the Lexus LF-LC concept car sitting next to the even more stunning Sydney Harbour and its unique Opera House.
Making the photographer’s job easier are the gorgeous lines of the LF-LC. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to take a bad shot of the LF-LC. However, the way the curves of the LF-LC match the unique architectural lines of the Opera House behind it should not be overlooked.
The best part about the LF-LC is that this concept isn’t just for show. Lexus execs have confirmed that its good looks mask some very exciting design and engineering innovations that will influence the automaker’s future models.
We’ve still got our fingers crossed that a production version is in the works.
Note, a photo of the LFA supercar from Lexus was our favorite last year, but this time the automaker’s talented photography team could only muster a sixth ranking for 2012.
5) Certainly one our favorites, and we’re sure yours as well, is this image of two great Lamborghinis, the Aventador and Countach, racing down a stretch of road in Sant'Agata Bolognese. Seeing the two cars standing still is already breathtaking, but seeing the two raging bulls in full flight makes this image all the more impressive.
Lamborghini Aventador and Countach
4) Porsche’s 918 Spyder is in the final stages of its development, and one of its trials was an obligatory fastest lap at the Nürburgring race track in Germany. This photo shows the 918 Spyder wearing its delicious Martini livery and optional track pack, and sitting behind the wheel is none other than legendary rally driver Walter Röhrl. And in case you missed our original story, the Porsche 918 Spyder set a blistering lap time of 7:14.
2014 Porsche 918 Spyder
3) This beautiful shot of the 2013 SRT Viper sitting atop what looks to be a giant checkered flag perfectly conveys the car’s purpose, to win at races. And we bet that’s exactly what it will be doing in 2013. The angle of the shot makes the headlights look like the focused eyes of a snake, while the hood vents look as through they’re ready to flare like nostrils as the car gets ready to strike. We’re looking forward to seeing who its victims will be.
2013 Dodge SRT Viper
2) Admittedly, when we first saw the 2014 Aston Martin Vanquish, we weren’t completely smitten. At first the car looked a little overstyled and to us, at least, not quite worthy of being called a Vanquish. However, after seeing the car in person and having a little time behind the wheel, we have fallen completely in love with the new Vanquish. The photos just don’t do it justice. The presence the new Vanquish has when seen in person, its powerful bulges, elegant lines and beautiful craftsmanship makes it one of the most impressive cars on the market, and we can’t think of a better place to drive one than through the quiet Italian country side like seen here.
2014 Aston Martin Vanquish
1) Choosing between the final three shots was a tough task. They all deserve to be number one, but this shot of the 2013 BMW M6 at Laguna Seca just managed to edge out the competition. The M6 may not be the fastest car around a track, but the contrast between the car’s red paint and the blue edges and yellow runoff area of the track really makes this photo stand out.
2013 BMW M6
And there you have it, our list of the best car photos of 2012. Once again, if you think there’s a better shot posted on Motor Authority that we’ve missed, feel free to let everyone know in the comments below.