We've been doing this Autoblog thing for a while, so we know that our bread and butter is obsessively covering the news that happens across the entire automotive spectrum, day in and day out. But that doesn't mean we haven't published a whole lot of other great stuff throughout the year – we bring you new vehicle reviews, exclusive features and other compelling original content, to go along with the steady diet of news. So as we finally tie a bow on 2012, we're looking back to reflect on some of our best original stuff from the year. Consider this our Greatest Hits catalog for the past 365 days.

We had a hard time narrowing this list down to just ten stories, but what we've collected for you below are indeed some of our best features from 2012 (listed in no particular order, by the way). We hope you enjoy reading them as much as we enjoyed putting the list together; we look forward be bringing you more of the same in 2013, and beyond. Be sure to tell us some of your other favorite Autoblog content in the comments.

Subaru BRZ at the Isle of Man

Subaru BRZ at the Isle of Man

Autoblog took its first trip to the legendary Isle of Man this year, and the experience made for one heck of a tale. Managing Editor Jeremy Korzeniewski flogged a 2013 Subaru BRZ around the infamous 37.8-mile road course through the fog, wind and rain, with his only instructions being, "Don't lose the taillamps in front of you." The whole encounter was nothing short of treacherous and exhilarating, and Korzeniewski's well-written experience is indeed one of our favorite tales of the year.

Click here to read the full story.

First Drive: 2013 SRT Viper

2013 SRT Viper

The launch of the 2013 SRT Viper was no doubt one of the most highly anticipated events of the 2012 season, and when it came time to finally put the Snake through its paces, West Coast Editor Michael Harley suited up and hit the track. (Twice.) Accompanying Harley's in-depth first drive of the 640-horsepower supercar was a gallery of stunning photos courtesy of Director of Photography Drew Phillips, showing just how menacing this thing looks on the track – and in the wet, no less.

Click here to read the full story.

Project Ugly Horse

Ugly Horse Mustang

In 2010, Editor Zach Bowman made it public knowledge that he's very good at making bad decisions, telling us the tale of how he came to own a 1975 International pickup. His turmoil made for our reading pleasure. In that same spirit, Bowman started a new series known as Project Ugly Horse. The mission: Turn a busted-up, $475 1989 Ford Mustang LX into a low-budget track day beater. The first three installments of Zach's adventure have already been published (read them here, here and here), and there's a whole lot more in store for 2013.

Click here to read the full story (and don't forget about Part II and Part III).

Battle of the Hot Hatches

Hot Hatch Comparison Test

It's not often that we conduct comparison tests here at Autoblog, but when we do 'em, we do 'em well. Case in point: our head-to-head battle between the 2013 Ford Focus ST and 2012 Volkswagen GTI, brought to your screen through the words of Senior Editor and Test Fleet Manager Steven J. Ewing and the photos of freelance photographer Chris Amos. Our team had an absolute blast tossing these two turbocharged hatchbacks back and forth through southeast Michigan, and that whole experience comes through in this feature story.

Click here to read the full story.

First Drive: 2012 Tesla Model S

When Tesla launched the Model S earlier this year, members of the media were only being given very, very short drive opportunities with the really-big-deal electric sedan. But we went another route: Ring up Autoblog's founder and former owner and borrow his personal Model S – one of the first cars to be delivered to customers – for an extended drive. That experience, combined with a truly stunning set of photos from Drew Phillips, made for one of our best reviews of the year.

Click here to read the full story.

The List – Episode #0073: Drive the Nürburgring

"This episode of The List is my favorite because it's the culmination of our most ambitious attempt at living up to the idea behind the show," says Editor-in-Chief John Neff. "It's the last of three episodes shot in Germany, and itself was one of the most-requested items that we turn into an episode." Every car enthusiast dreams of racing 'round the 'Ring, and we can all live vicariously through our hosts Jessi and Patrick in this episode of The List.

Click here to watch this episode.

Q&A with Tesla CEO Elon Musk

In September, AutoblogGreen Editor-in-Chief Sebastian Blanco sat down with Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk for a in-depth one-on-one Q-and-A session, discussing everything from the company's financials to faults with the Model S. The interview provided an interesting look into not only the inner-workings of the company, but to the mind of the elusive Mr. Musk. Oh, and he and Sebastian are, like, BFFs now.

Click here to read the full story.

First Drive: 2013 Bentley Continental GT Speed

2013 Bentley Continental GT Speed

Our first drive of the 2013 Bentley Continental GT Speed makes its way onto our Best Of list for one simple reason: It's a truly entertaining, enjoyable read. (And the car is bright green. That's pretty cool, too.) Editor Zach Bowman traveled to Germany to get a taste of the 616-horsepower 'Bahn-burner, and his report of the experience made for a seriously good piece of reading.

Click here to read the full story.

Autoblog Podcast #300: Return to Shunkytown

Long-time Autoblogger and podcast host Chris Shunk hung up his microphone earlier this year, and the show has since moved on under the wing of remaining hosts Dan Roth and Zach Bowman. But when we hit a big podcast milestone in September – our 300th episode – we had to invite Shunk back one more time to serve as our guest host. Not only did it make for some great listening, No. 300 holds the title as the most-downloaded episode of the Autoblog Podcast.

Click here to listen to this episode.

2012 Auto Show Season

When it comes to complete, obsessive coverage of every major international auto show, we have to pat ourselves on the back. We've got this auto show thing down to a science now, and some of our highest traffic days happen when we're rocking the show coverage. We can't pick just one show to highlight that we're proud of here, but be sure to go back and revisit the hundreds upon hundreds of posts that made up this year's auto show coverage.

Click here to peruse this season's auto show coverage.

Honorable Mentions

In the interest of brevity, we limited this Best Of post to our Top 10 favorite things published this past year. But in rounding up these posts, there were plenty more that were nominated, and we think they're worth mentioning. Click the links below to check out some of our other favorite stories from 2012.

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