The NCAA Tournament for car guys is brought to you by CarBuzz, the #1 application for automotive news. Words by Phillip Harbor.
The finals for the 2012 BUZZ Car Madness Tournament to determine the best new model which debuted at the Geneva Motor Show are being played out today. The championships begin with a "lightning-round" Elite 8 and continue with the Final Four and the Championship Game to determine the overall winner. The cars left, starting in the Performance Bracket, are the #1 seed Ferrari F12berlinetta, #2 seed Koenigsegg Agera R #4 seed Bugatti Vitesse Roadster and the #6 seed Brabus Bullit C-Class Coupe.
In the Mid-Major Bracket, the teams left are the #1 Seed Touring Superleggera Disco Volante, #3 Seed Maserati GranTurismo Sport, #5 Seed 2013 Porsche Boxster and the #10 Seed Ford Fiesta ST. Elite 8 - Game 1: #1 Seed Ferrari F12berlinetta vs. #4 Seed Bugatti Vitesse Roadster The Elite 8 begins with a quick lightning round of comparisons. The Ferrari F12berlinetta features a high-tech F1-derived hybrid KERS system for increased power and performance while the Bugatti Vitesse Roadster is essentially an open-top version of the Veyron SuperSport.
The F12berlinetta gives us something new, is superior technologically and made the biggest impact on the world market. Winner: #1 Ferrari F12berlinetta Elite 8 - Game 2: #2 Seed Koenigsegg Agera R vs. #6 Seed Brabus Bullit C-Class Coupe The Brabus Bullit C-Class Coupe puts out 800hp and 811lb-ft of torque from its 6.3-liter bi-turbo V12 which renders it capable of hitting an amazing 230mph. The 2013 Koenigsegg Agera R features a world-beating 5.0-liter bi-turbo V8 rated at 1,140hp (with E85 biofuel, 960hp on pump fuel), capable of reaching a claimed top speed of 273mph.
The Brabus-built Benz Bullit channels the Baylor Bears, impressive and will beat most competition, but the 2013 Agera R is Kentucky - just too consistent and talented to give the opposition a chance. Winner: #2 Koenigsegg Agera R Elite 8 - Game 3: #1 Seed Touring Superleggera Disco Volante vs. #5 Seed 2013 Porsche Boxster The space-age Disco Volante by Touring Superleggera features a longitudinally-mounted 4.7-liter V8, good for 450hp and 354lb-ft of torque. The new Porsche Boxster combines aesthetic beauty with a 265hp 2.7-liter flat-six or a 315hp 3.4-liter flat-six (in the S).
The plants are mated to a seven-speed PDK. With 0-60mph times of 5.4 seconds for the base and 4.7 seconds for the S, the Boxster is one seriously fast and fun ride. A price tag of just under $50,000 for the base and just over $60,000 for the S are incredible compared to the over-$300,000 you would have to pay for a Disco Volante. The Boxster took most of the headlines due to it being completely new and also it being a Porsche. The Disco Volante is a terrific machine but it just doesn't compare visually or have the relevance of an open-top luxury roadster like the 2013 Boxster. Winner: #5 Seed 2013 Porsche Boxster
Elite 8 - Game 4: #3 Seed Maserati GranTurismo Sport vs. #10 Seed Ford Fiesta ST In the NCAA Tourney, two #10 seeds made it to the Sweet 16. Xavier in the South and Purdue in the Midwest both lost close games by an incredible total of, combined, 8 points to Baylor and Kansas. The Maserati GranTurismo Sport is the latter. The big coupe is menacing and with a 4.7-liter V8 good for 453hp, it provides muscle to back up its sheer size. The Ford Fiesta ST is a hatch indicative of what a Mid-Major is in the NCAA Tourney, when compared to the Maserati.
The great-looking, fun hatch features aerodynamic touches like a sizable rear spoiler that help make use of its entire 180hp 1.6-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder engine. If you compare pricing to scholarships, the similes stay true as the hatch will run around $15,000 while the GranTurismo Sport will price somewhere in the range of $125,000. It's another close game, but unlike the NCAA Tourney this year, the BUZZ Car Madness sees another Cinderella team pull off the improbable. Winner: #10 Ford Fiesta ST
The Elite 8 finishes and that leaves only the #1 Seed Ferrari F12berlinetta vs. the #2 Seed Koenigsegg Agera R in the Performance Bracket and the #5 Seed 2013 Porsche Boxster vs. the #10 Seed Ford Fiesta ST in the Mid-Major Bracket. Final 4 - Game 1: #1 Seed Ferrari F12berlinetta vs. #2 Seed Koenigsegg Agera R The Performance Bracket Championship Game, or first game of the Final Four, features a classic #1 vs. #2 match-up. The Ferrari F12berlinetta takes on the Koenigsegg Agera R for a date with the winner of the Mid-Major Bracket.
The Ferrari F12berlinetta has the previously-mentioned KERS system for a short-term power boost and with an already powerful V12 rated at 730hp, it is certainly no slouch. No slouch, but no comparison to the 2013 Agera R in terms of power or performance. With the previously-referred to 1,140hp 5.0-liter bi-turbo V8 on E85 biofuel, a top speed of 273mph is attainable and will wrestle the fastest production car in the world crown back from Bugatti. The F12berlinetta might have more people ogling over its incredible looks, but the Agera R just looks mean... and fast.
Ferrari's supercar features performance of 0-62mph in 3.1 seconds, 0-124mph in 8.5 seconds and a top speed of 211mph. The Agera R goes from 0-62mph in 2.9 seconds, 0-186mph in 14.53 seconds and owns the world for the 0-186mph-0 time of only 21.19 seconds. With a claimed world record top speed, the Koenigsegg Agera R is in the pursuit of perfection category while the Ferrari F12berlinetta makes a go at the hybrid-supercar crown. They both win those categories, but the Agera R wins out overall. Winner: #2 Koenigsegg Agera R
Final 4 - Game 2: #5 Seed 2013 Porsche Boxster vs. #10 Seed Ford Fiesta ST According to Docsports.com, no #7, #9 or #10 seeds have ever made it to the Final Four. Two #11 seeds have made it since 1985: LSU and George Mason. The Ford Fiesta ST hatchback has made history, and now it takes on a whole new challenge: a car that does all the same things it does just as well, and maybe even better. Both the Ford Fiesta ST and the 2013 Porsche Boxster are small and sporty cars. The new Boxster in base trim boasts an extra 85hp over the Fiesta ST and in S form sees that number grow to 135hp.
Base form sees the Porsche hit 60mph from rest in 5.4 seconds and in S trim hits the mark in 4.7 seconds. It takes the Fiesta ST just under 7 seconds to hit 62mph and has a top speed just over 136mph. The Porsche can reach a top speed of 164mph and the S can hit 173mph. The performance for the new Boxster S was on display at the Nurburgring in Germany, as the open-top Porsche ran a lap time of 7:58, just 18 seconds slower than the new 911 and a second faster than both the Corvette C6 and Viper SRT-10. The Fiesta ST doesn't carry a big price tag, however neither does the 2013 Porsche Boxster.
The luxury roadster bests the impressive hatch at what it does well in terms of price and performance, and with its smooth design, luxury interior and terrific back-end, the all-new 2013 Porsche Boxster makes its way into the Championship Game. Winner: #5 2013 Porsche Boxster The Championship Game is set: The Performance Bracket-winning 2013 Koenigsegg Agera R takes on the Mid-Major Bracket-winning 2013 Porsche Boxster. The heavily updated Agera R and the all-new Boxster both performed admirably thus far, however only one can be determined the best debut at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show.
For a bit of history, since the NCAA Tournament started in its current 64-team format (though now we have four play-in games) in 1985, only three #2 seeds have ever won the NCAA Championship. No #5 seed has ever won the tournament. Championship Game: #2 Seed Koenigsegg Agera R vs. #5 Seed 2013 Porsche Boxster What else can you say that we haven't already said about the 2013 Koenigsegg Agera R? It features incredible acceleration, ludicrous top speed, aggressive and powerful looks along with a $1.5 million dollar price tag.
The 2013 Porsche Boxster is a fun little luxury convertible with seriously sporty looks, solid power, high-class interior, daily-driving compatible and a modest enough price tag. For all the pros that the Boxster boasts, the Agera R is a record setter set to be possibly the fastest and most sought after production car in the world. They are both mid-engined models, but the location is the only thing their powerplants share in common. The flat-six is Porsche's calling card, however Koenigsegg's technologically-advanced bi-turbo V8 runs on both pump fuel and E85 biofuel.
This is no knock on Porsche's famed engine line-up, but the differences are undeniable. It may be more fitting to compare them in terms of relevance and coverage. The new Agera R has been and will continue to be covered every time someone takes it out for a spin and a passer-by with an iPhone snaps its photo (and sends them to firstname.lastname@example.org). The 2013 Porsche Boxster is absolutely relevant and you are more likely to see them on streets in your town, however it won't command the attention that the Swedish supercar will draw when a wealthy owner goes out for a Sunday drive.
Two great models, two terrific designs and plenty for both companies to be proud of. But, much like the Highlander, there can only be one. Winner of the inaugural 2012 BUZZ Car Madness: 2013 Koenigsegg Agera R