This Year in Gear: 41 Great Cars, Motorcycles and Driving Accessories Released in 2017
With a deluge of new products hitting store shelves and browser windows every day, it’s easy to lose track of everything that happens in a year. So, to jog our memories a bit as the year winds to a close, we combed through our Today in Gear archives and other news briefs to reflect back on all of the notable products we discovered in 2017. The result is a new series we’re calling This Year in Gear, and we hope you’ll enjoy reviewing this snapshot of the car and motorcycle industry’s work as much as we have. Think we missed something, or just want to sound off on any trends you noticed? Let us know by dropping a comment on Facebook, Twitter or email.
Stile Ducati: A Visual History of Ducati Design
Ducati has made absolutely stunningly beautiful motorcycles for the better part a century; Stile Ducati captures those works in equally stunning images and breaks down the evolution of Ducati design in 19 steps. It’s an essential for any motorhead’s coffee table.
Jane Motorcycles Wythe Jacket
The pinnacle of black leather badassery. Made in collaboration with Cardinal Motors, the Wythe is crafted with Italian calfskin, American horsehide shoulder pads, lambskin collar and wrist gussets and a Japanese selvedge denim liner, all of which is assembled by hand in Brooklyn.
iClever Portable Car Jump Starter
Like a handheld backup power bank, but for dead engines. It holds enough juice for 30 jump starts, has a built-in flashlight and is no bigger than an iPhone. Stash it in your trunk with your other emergency essentials.
DSTLD Leather Moto Jacket
If you somehow harnessed a hundred years of counter-cultural coolness and distilled (that’s what DSTLD stands for) the whole concoction into a single motorcycle jacket, this is what you’d get. It exudes the rebelliousness of London punk rockers, the badassery of outlaw motorcycle gangs, the timeless style of Steve McQueen. Don’t wear it unless you can confidently channel its powerful mojo.
Butterfield Machine, L.L.C. Fire Piston
The great thing about physics is that it’s always been and always will be — that’s why this “fire piston” is modeled after a device used in the 1700s. It utilizes rapidly compressed air to aid in tinder ignition (which has nothing to do with swiping on your phone screen, to be clear). Three variations on the device are available, all machined from different combinations of colors and metals.
Velomacchi Hybrid Duffel Pack 50L
One of our favorite pieces of kit over the last two years has been the Velomacchi Speedway Roll-Top Backpack. This year the forward-thinking Portlandian outfit released an all-new 50-liter duffel bag that looks to earn its spot on my moto’s tail. Like the backpack, everything is watertight and constructed of 1,000-denier Cordura and features a bevy of rider-specific design bits. As an added bonus, this duffle also comes equipped with hidden shoulder straps for easy schlepping.
Spidi Thunderbird Motorcycle Jacket
Drawing inspiration from the flyboy attire of yesteryear, the Thunderbird leather jacket from Spidi combines timeless style with CE rated protection. Coupled with the right pair of riding jeans and a protective pair of sneakers, you may draw more eyes than your bike this spring.
Indian Motorcycle Scout Sixty
They never taught you about the Indian Scout Sixty in your high school American History class, but they should have. In the pantheon of American manufacturing, it stands as one of the most important motorcycles ever built. The Scout Sixty, Indian’s most affordable bike, adds several new features to the original Scout: a 60-cubic-inch V-twin engine (liquid-cooled and American-made), vibration-dampening aluminum engine cradle, a low center of gravity (for stable, confident high-speed leans), blacked-out details and an ultra-comfortable, ultra-wide leather seat.
Can-Am 2018 Maverick X3 Turbo R
Say hello to the “most powerful factory-built side-by-side vehicle on the market.” What’s a side-by-side, you say? Imagine if a dune buggy and an X-Games four-wheeler birthed the Antichrist. Compared to the previous model, The 2018 Maverick X3 Turbo R delivers 12 percent more horsepower, 10 percent added torque and goes 0–60 in just 4.4 seconds.
Jaguar E-Pace Compact SUV
We’re big fans of Jaguar’s F-Pace SUV for two reasons: its sporting dynamics and its gorgeous, simple design. The E-Pace, which will debut in a live stream on July 13, will feature standard all-wheel-drive and a variety of engines.
Lincoln Navigator L
Lincoln’s full-size SUV is a legend in its own right — perhaps the paragon of upper-class-yet-restrained luxury, at least on a large physical scale. The new L extends that paragon another whole foot, making this new Navigator about 12 inches less restrained.
2018 Maserati Gran Turismo
Italy’s most well-known masterpieces are tied together by high, unspoken standards. Most people think of a fresco on a chapel’s ceiling or a carefully prepared sauce, or, if you’re a gearhead, the reimagination of an automotive classic. The 2018 Gran Turismo continues the story of Maserati’s first car built for the road over the racetrack, and in doing so meets those lofty standards set long ago.
Jane Motorcycles Driggs Waxed Canvas Jacket
Made from lightweight 8.5-ounce canvas, the Driggs’ breathable body and trim fit make it great for summertime riding. And with space for protective armor in the shoulders, elbows and back, it’s up for any sort of adventure, on the bike or off.
Zarooq SandRacer 500GT
Hypercars are almost always confined to freshly-paved asphalt. But not the SandRacer. It features a sequential off-road racing gearbox, lightweight racing chassis, built-in roll cage, full carbon fiber body and more off-road-centric performance details. And then there’s the stunning luxury aesthetic, which seems like it’d fit right in on the streets of Dubai. (Incidentally, that’s where the SandRacer is manufactured.)
PupSaver Canine Car Seat
Recently tested by Cars.com, the PupSaver attaches to your back seat just like a children’s car seat, yet is designed for four-legged companions no bigger than 45 pounds. The full system requires a separate harness, which comes in five sizes.
Jaguar’s latest full-size sedan, the 2018 XJR575, features a 5.0-liter supercharged V8 engine with a 25 horsepower increase from the previous model, delivering a neck-breaking acceleration of 0-60 mph in just 4.2 seconds. Plus, it’s a Jaguar, so expect nothing but the finest luxury interior.
Porsche Braided Carbon Fiber Wheel
One of Porsche’s most impressive new wheel options is 18 pounds lighter and 20 percent stronger than conventional alloys.
A unique roof rack, born and bred in South Africa. This year it went global.
Pioneer Shovel/Spade/Axe Mounting Bracket
Shovels and spades and axes and other sharp things do not belong inside your car, where they are prone to bang around and slice up the interior. Mount ’em on your roof instead.
2018 Harley-Davidson Softail Fat Bob
Can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Bullshit. Harley-Davidson is one of the oldest dogs around, yet year after year, they have proven that they can, and will, produce forward-thinking, exciting, unabashedly youthful bikes. The 2019 Softail Fat Bob proves it.
Ducati 1299 Panigale R Final Edition
It’s the end of an era — not just for the Panigale, but for Ducati. The longstanding L-Twin engine in the 1299 Panigale R is going to be replaced by an all-new MotoGP inspired V4 power plant. Why not celebrate the changing of the guard?
Bell & Ross Vintage Bellytanker
Bell & Ross’s new Vintage Bellytanker watches are named after and inspired by the vintage drag racers of the ’40s and ’50s that used aerodynamic, surplus fuel tanks from WWII fighter planes. Like it did when introducing its AeroGT watches, Bell & Ross designed its own racing concept that, in turn, inspired its watch design: The BR V1-92 and BR V1-94 Bellytanker both feature copper-toned dials with black and stainless steel accents that mirror the colors on the Bellytanker vehicle design concept. The BR V1-92 features an automatic three-hand movement in a vintage-sized 38.5mm case, while the BR V1-94 gets a chronograph movement and a larger 41mm case adorned with a tachymeter bezel.
2018 Lexus LS
Lexus is being coy with advanced tech, but the new LS is still excellent.
One of Australia’s most intense off-road trailer companies finally setup shop in the US.
Ducati Monster 797
How can two bikes with identical engines end up so wildly different?
Range Rover Sport SVR
The relevant numbers: 575 horsepower, 4.3 seconds, $114K — and it’s as quick as the Porsche Boxter S.
Autodromo Strinback Driving Gloves
Autodromo, purveyor of classic Italian automobile-inspired time pieces has updated its selection of stringback driving gloves with two new colors: navy blue and ivory. The classic cognac leather stringback gloves are also back in stock.
2018 Audi Q5
It isn’t a standout example of excellence, nor is it the bare minimum of automotive expectations, but it is a damn fine vehicle.
It’s a cruel honest truth of life but some things are just prettier than others.
2018 BMW GS 310 Is
Your new entry point into the world of adventure motorcycles.
Vuarnet Nightlynx Collection
These aren’t Corey Hart’s nighttime shades. Vuarnet has applied lens technology normally used by fighter pilots for lenses that amplify contrast and distance perception while filtering out blue light and providing 100 percent UV protection for better vision in low-light situations. It’s the perfect accessory to keep handy when you’ve been driving all day and the sun dips below the horizon. Think of it as a low-tech night vision.
Momo Custom Steering Wheels
Momo is a historic supplier of performance car parts but is perhaps best known for its series of detachable racing steering wheels. Now the brand is launching a new lineup of five customizable steering wheels. You have the option to mix and match several components, like leather type, spoke colors, stitching and horn buttons to get the perfect wheel for your ride.
Akin Shift Driving Shoe
Shoes that are both great for heel-toe-shifting and actually have some real-world style are hard to come by. Akin, an apparel company by driving enthusiasts for dricving enthusiasts may have just found the that long saught after intersection. Subtle, minimalist style that doesn’t obnoctiously scream “did you hear me rev matching” when when you get to your destination is incredibly undervalued these days. Akin seems to get it with the Shift, though.
Next-Generation Shelby 1000
SEMA isn’t exactly known for introducing subtle cars, and there’s no way Shelby is going to buck that trend. This year’s show brought us the comeback of the Shelby 1000, the 1,000 horsepower Mustang designed and tuned by the legendary Shelby American. But this muscle car isn’t just for the drag strip — everything from the engine, brakes, tires, suspension, ECU and axels have been upgraded and tuned to handle all that power and get the Shelby 1000 through turns as fast as possible.
2018 BMW M3 CS
BMW’s just given the latest M3 the “CS” treatment, making it the baddest iteration of the sport sedan yet. Power has been bumped to 453 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque (a solid increase from the standard M3’s 425 horsepower and 406 lb-ft) and has lost a claimed 110 pounds in weight. Bestowed with a seven-speed DCT gearbox (and a DCT only), it’s good for a 0-60 sprint in 3.7 seconds.
2018 Lamborghini Urus
Lamborghini finally took the wraps off the 2018 Urus SUV, signaling a few firsts for the storied brand. It’s Lamborghini’s first SUV (though, they call it a “Super Sport Utility Vehicle”), it’s powered by the brand’s first V8 in 30 years, and it’s the first engine from Sant’Agata to be turbocharged. It’ll also be good for 650 hp and a 0-60 mph time of 3.6 seconds and a top speed of 190 mph, making it the fastest SUV on the market.
Singer Vehicle Design x Williams Advanced Engineering
Earlier this summer, it was announced that Singer Vehicle Design was partnering with both the Williams F1 engineering team and the famous Porsche engine designer and engineer Hans Mezger to create a reimagined 911 powered by a custom built air-cooled flat-six. It may be Singer Vehicle Design’s crowning achievement.
2018 Honda CRF10002L Africa Twin Adventure Sports
Think about everything that was great about the previous Africa Twin and dial that up a few more notches. The base Africa Twin isn’t exactly a slouch off the beaten path, but Adventure Sports gives Honda’s halo adventure bike the teeth and muscle it always deserved.
2018 Kawasaki Z900 RS
By now, no one would blame you for being a little fatigued from all the motorcycle brands digging back through their archives for styling inspiration and paint schemes. But what Kawasaki has to offer is distinctly unique from the rest of the sport-standard bikes thumping around: it has an inline-four cylinder bolted in the middle.
2018 Land Rover Discovery SVX
Instead of chasing pointless lap times on the track, the 2018 Discovery SVX gets all the right upgrades to make it better at going off-road. That is to say, it’s true home away from home is off-roading on trails and the unbeaten path.
TVR borrowed the 5.0-liter V8 from the Mustang and had Cosworth tune it up to 500 horsepower. Couple that to the Gordon Murray design (the same guy who penned the McLaren F1), six-speed manual and a weight of just 2,755 pounds and you have a recipe for an incredible British GT car.
Additional editorial contributions were made by Bryan Campbell, Andrew Connor, Grant Tillery, Matt Neundorf, Michael Finn and Nick Caruso