Which awesome performance car will take home the crown?
Every year, Motor Trend conducts a huge performance test to find the best driver's car of the year. Past winners include the McLaren 570S last year, the Mercedes AMG GT in 2015, the Chevy Camaro Z/28 in 2014, the Porsche 911 Carrera 4S and Carrera S back-to-back in 2013 and 2012, and the Ferrari 458 in 2011. This year's contenders include (in alphabetical order): the 488 GTB, 570GT, 718 Cayman, 911 Turbo, AMG GT-R, Camaro ZL1 1LE, Corvette Grand Sport, DB11, Giulia Quadrifoglio GT-R Nismo, LC500 and Mazda MX-5 RF.
In order to choose the best driver's car of the bunch, Motor Trend likes to put the cars through a series of tests that includes track laps as well as on-road driving. There is also a huge 12-car drag race that is dubbed "The World's Greatest Drag Race." That last test doesn't actually prove all that much, but it is spectacular to watch. In twelfth place, the Aston Martin DB11 finished last in the test. Something had to be last, right? Motor Trend noted that the car is smooth, but is "designed for five-tenths driving." We bet that a more hardcore DBS model will up the ante for next year's test.
The Nissan GT-R Nismo finished in 11th place. The Nismo variant is the fastest GT-R ever, but it's video game feel prevents it from being a true driver's car. The Mazda MX-5 RF gets 10th place. The testers loved the RF, but it is simply too soft compared to the rest of the field. The McLaren 570GT gets a surprisingly low 9th place. Last's year winner is still a great car, but the field has simply caught up in that time. The Lexus LC500 takes 8th place, because it is a great cruiser, but not great at track work due to its heavy weight. The Chevy Corvette Grand Sport received 7th place. Motor Trend noted that the Z06 has too much power to put down, but the Grand Sport felt too slow and there should be a model in between the two.
The Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio was the only four-door car in the test, and it scored an impressive 6th place. The Mercedes AMG GT R scored way higher than the Nissan GT-R at 5th place. Everyone loved driving the GT R but it was bit too loose on track. The ZL1 1LE gets 4th place, and could have scored higher if it was more comfortable on the road. In 2nd and 3rd place are the Porsche 911 Turbo S and 718 Cayman S respectively. This is a great finish for two awesome products from Porsche. We think that the 911 GT3 could have won the test, but it probably wasn't ready in time for this year.
Perhaps Motor Trend will test it against the winner in a later test to see which is really best. The winner was the Ferrari 488 GTB, which really doesn't surprise us. The 488 has a near perfect balance of track speed and on-road comfort. Just watch out Ferrari, because we have a feeling that the Porsche GT3 is coming for you.