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      08-20-2009, 11:10 AM   #1
Year's_End
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This article sheds more light on the driving side of these cars. Very entertaining and extremely technical compared to your average comparo.


From Autoblog...

In a truly heroic effort that's not only daunting in scope but utterly jealousy-inducing in execution, the hot shoes at Motor Trend have once again teamed up with pro-racer and 24 Hours of Daytona winner Randy Pobst to put ten of the hottest performance cars currently on sale up against each other at Laguna Seca to determine which is best. Last year, the winner was given the title of "Best Handling Car," though this year they are switching the name to "Best Driver's Car." That works.

Without getting too much into the metrics they used (it's an eighteen page article), MT went with a combination of outright speed, braking performance, lateral acceleration data and subjective seat of the pants driving impressions (plus Pobst's excellent feedback) to rank all ten cars in order. Without giving away the winner, we will say that we enthusiastically agree with their findings.

Cases in point: Chevy Camaro SS is dead last. The BMW 135i is second to dead last. The world-beating Corvette ZR1 ends up one place behind the truly superlative Shelby GT500 and the uber 'Stang isn't even the top American car. Meanwhile, the plucky little Mazda MX-5 Miata finishes higher up than all the cars we just mentioned -- including the mystery Yank tank. In fact, the only gripe we have is that last year's third place car -- the Mazda RX-8 R3 – wasn't brought back for a second go round. No one's perfect. That said, you should consider this article a must read. We have, twice.

Autoblog link: http://www.autoblog.com/2009/08/20/i...10-favorite-d/

FULL ARTICLE HERE

Placement

10th: Chevy Camaro SS
-Poor sightlines; UNDERSTEER; Poor steering feel; Too heavy; Glitzy interior not very functional; Has potential with the right tuning
9th: BMW 135i
-Drives heavier than it is; Heavier than it should be; Understeers; Good steering feel; Engine better suited for real world driving with plenty of midrange power, not great on the track, loses breath at high RPMs
8th: Jaguar XFR
-Unpredictable at 10/10ths; Lots of sawing at the wheel; Needs more body control; Monster engine; Comfortable ride; Good interior; Much better around 7/10ths - ideal for canyon carving
7th: Nissan NISMO 370Z
-Superb driving dynamics; Body motion kept in check; Seems to be a great drift car; NVH is terrible, equating the engine to a coffee grinder
6th: Chevy Corvette ZR1
-Quickest by leaps and bounds; Most powerful; Most awe-inspiring; BUT, it's the scariest drive; Not a sublime nor ultimately satisfying car to drive, leaves you more white-knuckled than grinning; Could use better steering feel a la CTS-V; Seat bolsters simply not up to par with performance
5th: Ford Shelby GT500
-Sublime handling; Predictable behavior; Drives lighter than it is; On demand understeer/oversteer; Very functional/tasteful interior with great sightlines...oppositive of the Camaro; Could use better brakes; Still gets upset over rough patches
4th: Cadillac CTS-V
-Great steering feel; Amazingly predictable handling; Superior braking to the XFR (main competitor here) in all respects; Front end is clamped to the road; Can easily be driven with power oversteer all the time
3rd: Mazda MX-5 Miata
-Go kart in a sea of heavyweights; Will do everything the driver asks; Extremely forgiving in every sense, you can brake late, come in too fast, etc; Does wonders for confidence; Very smooth, if a little slow for some people; Sublime experience that puts driving fun ahead of driving fast
2nd: Audi R8
-Extremely close to being the top pick; Chassis response is lightning fast; Superb steering and overall handling; Back end steps out in a great, controllable manner; Interior is top knotch; Heel-toeing made simple; Satisfying gated manual, if not all that functional
1st: Porsche Cayman S
-Balanced better than the rest; By far the most confidence inspiring of the group which led to faster lap times; Hard to fault; PDK works wonders, even in D, it'll have the right gear every time; It's just about impossible to drive this car "badly"

Last edited by Year's_End; 08-20-2009 at 01:23 PM.
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      08-20-2009, 11:15 AM   #2
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and WTF?
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      08-20-2009, 11:18 AM   #3
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Wow, they picked a Cayman over the R8, and a 911 wasn't even included in the mix? RUBBISH!
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      08-20-2009, 12:35 PM   #4
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The caliber of FAIL in this article pretty much sums up the quality of Motor Trend magazines and American car magazines in general.
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      08-20-2009, 12:59 PM   #5
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Eh, I like how technical they got.^

They described all the nuances for each car's behavior. Like how the CTS-V's front end is planted like it's on rails and how the XFR's steering and handling behavior is extremely unpredictable and hard to rely on. I never would've known that.
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      08-20-2009, 01:01 PM   #6
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The Cayman S is deservedly high. In one of my karting groups, a Cayman S was easily keeping up with a GTR, and F430, and I don't think it was just driver skill. That car handles on rails.
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      08-20-2009, 01:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewSong View Post
The Cayman S is deservedly high. In one of my karting groups, a Cayman S was easily keeping up with a GTR, and F430, and I don't think it was just driver skill. That car handles on rails.
I don't necessarily disagree, but the 911 or R8 are better "driver's cars" in my opinion. The article is flawed, because it really shouldn't be "America's Best Driver's Car", but "America's Best Driver's Car out of this group of 10 that we arbitrarily picked".

The cars chosen are all over the map in terms of capabilities, and it is clearly missing some serious "driver's cars."
911
GT-R
M3
F430 Scuderia
Gallardo

I'm sure there are others. What about the Evo's or STi's?
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      08-20-2009, 01:17 PM   #8
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Cool

Yeah I don't know about the title of the article, but just from the group they picked, the Cayman S has to be rated pretty high from what I've seen of it.
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      08-20-2009, 01:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scollins View Post
I don't necessarily disagree, but the 911 or R8 are better "driver's cars" in my opinion. The article is flawed, because it really shouldn't be "America's Best Driver's Car", but "America's Best Driver's Car out of this group of 10 that we arbitrarily picked".

The cars chosen are all over the map in terms of capabilities, and it is clearly missing some serious "driver's cars."
911
GT-R
M3
F430 Scuderia
Gallardo

I'm sure there are others. What about the Evo's or STi's?
That's true. I just think they've included all of those in other tests and they're focusing on relatively new cars, like the XFR.

The main flaw is the random picks. Still, it's very enlightening. Who knew the new GT500 was so good?
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      08-20-2009, 01:48 PM   #10
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I think its a very good article actually. The average joe cant really afford cars like an LP560,f430,GT-R, Etc etc.. Although the r8 and zr1 are the most expensive in the group they are still somehow logical when spending that kind of money on a car. To me they seem like bang for your buck cars for under 120k. Every test has GTR m3 lp560 f430 etc.. It would just be more of the same if those cars were included in this test. I think the zr1 still has something to prove, as does the r8. The bulk of cars in this list is cars people can actually afford ,and are interested in purchasing. They may not ALL be on the same level but its a nice variation for this kind of test and it gives all consumers a good look at what cars are out there for the money. Good job Motor Trend
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      08-20-2009, 02:18 PM   #11
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ZR1 so low? wow.
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      08-20-2009, 03:08 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scollins View Post
I don't necessarily disagree, but the 911 or R8 are better "driver's cars" in my opinion. The article is flawed, because it really shouldn't be "America's Best Driver's Car", but "America's Best Driver's Car out of this group of 10 that we arbitrarily picked".

The cars chosen are all over the map in terms of capabilities, and it is clearly missing some serious "driver's cars."
911
GT-R
M3
F430 Scuderia
Gallardo

I'm sure there are others. What about the Evo's or STi's?
Some of those cars were tested last year. They wanted new or untested cars for this test, and included the R8 (last year's winner) to see how it would stack up.
CTS-V did great.
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      08-20-2009, 03:21 PM   #13
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Mmmm... CTS-V
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      08-20-2009, 03:42 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scollins View Post
I don't necessarily disagree, but the 911 or R8 are better "driver's cars" in my opinion. The article is flawed, because it really shouldn't be "America's Best Driver's Car", but "America's Best Driver's Car out of this group of 10 that we arbitrarily picked".

The cars chosen are all over the map in terms of capabilities, and it is clearly missing some serious "driver's cars."
911
GT-R
M3
F430 Scuderia
Gallardo

I'm sure there are others. What about the Evo's or STi's?
That's basically what I was getting at, but I was too blunt/didn't elaborate enough. I think their article should have a different title and/or somehow arrange them by price. I was looking for an Exige S to be somewhere in there.
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