2011 Mazdaspeed3 & 2011 Mazda MX-5 & 2011 Mazda RX-8 – By Nate Luzod: Just the noses. Anyone who cares a whit for Mazda (our hands are raised) knows that this photo hints at a day extraordinarily well driven.
2011 Land Rover LR4 – By Chris Amos: A country road, a big summer sky, and a slightly dusted Land Rover. If we hadn’t been there for this, we’d wish we had.
2011 Rossion Q1 – By Hugo Lopez: Super evocative light play off the very difficult to shoot matte black paint of this Q1.
2012 Fiat 500 Sport & 2011 Mini Cooper – By Chris Amos: One of our favorite comparisons of the year yielded some saturated, eye-popping shots like this one.
2012 Scion iQ – By Scion Media Services: The iQ is far from most people’s “ideal” of what a car should look like, but the dynamism and color of this shot make us want to get behind the wheel anyway.
2011 Nissan Quest – By Chris Amos: Comparing minivans can be, umm, a test of one’s professionalism. Thankfully the all black and white photo shoot made the illustrations for the piece thoroughly thought provoking.
2012 Fisker Karma – By Bruce Benedict: Far more ominous than your average EV, this Karma photo is downright mean. We love it.
2011 Mini Countryman Cooper S & Nissan Juke – By Chris Amos: We can still smell the summer rain in the air, when we take in the lush greenery that made this Mini/Juke shoot so cool.
2011 Volvo S60 – By Volvo Media Services: This S60 shot really speaks to the love of the journey. A truly dashing car right in the middle of its long-haul-cruising element.
2012 Nissan GT-R – By Chris Amos: Slightly blurry is actually the proper way to see a GT-R, since it’s usually observed flying by you at quasi-insane rates of speed.
2012 Shelby GT350 Convertible – By Chris Amos: 624 horsepower and no roof. Close your eyes—can you hear it?
2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 – By Jeep Media Services: Speed, curves, and elevation change; just the sort of environment that pops to mind when you thing of “Jeep.”
2011 Ford Fiesta & 2011 Honda Fit & 2011 Mazda2 – By Chris Amos: Disquieting color combinations and strange shapes are what small cars are all about. Bonus: spot Amos’s reflection in each subject vehicle.
2012 Chevrolet Sonic – By Chris Amos: This is what the media preview days of the Detroit auto show feel like—a bright blur of color and sound.
2011 McLaren MP4-12C – By McLaren Media Services: Something life-altering just happened on that skid pad. Perhaps the fastest-looking “doors open” photo we saw in all of 2011.
2011 Honda Accord & 2011 Suzuki Kizashi & 2010 Mazda6 – By Chris Amos: You’re looking at the very moment (as best we can pinpoint it) that we realized the Kizashi is the best driver’s sedan in its segment.
2012 BMW 1-Series M Coupe & 2011 Porsche Cayman R & 2012 Nissan GT-R – By Chris Amos: The day your get married, the day your first child is born, and this day.
2011 Mazda2 – By Chris Amos: About as close to “triumphant” as the Mazda2 gets.
2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon & 2011 BMW 328i Sports Wagon – By Chris Amos: With snow, and wet roads, and big rear ends, we think this shot really captures some of the magic of sporting station wagons.
2012 Hyundai Veloster – By Hyundai Media Services: The Veloster is a true original, and not just because of its weird door configuration. (But this cool shot is a good objection lesson, anyway.)