Today, Motor Trend announced the winner of its 2011 Best Driver's Car competition. The Ferrari 458 Italia took the top honors, beating out the other ten cars in the field. The annual roundup takes into account several factors, including lapping at California's Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, instrumented testing and street driving.

Interestingly, the 458 Italia didn't have the quickest lap time, nor did it record the best straight-line numbers. A Chevrolet Corvette Z06 with the Z07 suspension package and barely street-legal tires managed a blistering 1:34.43 second lap at Laguna Seca, beating the 458 Italia by nearly two seconds. The 458 Italia also fell short of winning the acceleration tests, losing out to the 2012 Nissan GT-R and its all-wheel-drive.

So why did it win? You'll have read the full article over at MotorTrend.com, or hit the jump to see a video of all eleven contenders drag race simultaneously at the El Toro Marine base.




I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 110 Comments
      audisp0rta4
      • 3 Years Ago
      Being a lifelong Corvette lover, it would've been nice to see a ZR1 knock another second + off the ZO6's time, but it would've likely placed the same in the final standings. I think MotorTrend's analysis was accurate. The ZO6's seats, although updated, still suck. The steering is also improved, but still subpar to a Porsche, Ferrari and apparently even the Boss 302 helm. As souless as a GTR is, it's so competent that even a novice can do hero work in one, which makes it a great drivers car. That said, the Corvette represents one of the most impressive sports cars ever and I can't wait to see what the C7 evolves into!
        AcidTonic
        • 3 Years Ago
        @audisp0rta4
        So you just don't like the GTR and can't find anything else bad to say about it? Souless? Come on!
      FSLIV
      • 3 Years Ago
      The Porsche GT3 had the same tires as the Vette
        Sik68
        • 3 Years Ago
        @FSLIV
        Yes! And the Boss is on R Compounds as well...so why all the punishment for the z06, Motortrend?
      mbukukanyau
      • 3 Years Ago
      Corvettes are just insane
        Dr. Jordan1911
        • 3 Years Ago
        @mbukukanyau
        Corvette's are a performance bargain I'll admit...but from an everyday car perspective I can't agree. I like them, but to pay over $50K for a car with that shoddy of an interior doesn't make sense. GM can make a better Corvette, with the engines being shared over the lineup and lessor cars having higher quality interiors like the CTS, Malibu, and Cruze...its alien to me why they would not give it the quality it deserves. If my price point was $100K then I definitely wouldn't buy any Corvette, which is why I'm in the market for an 08 or 09 911 Turbo. If my budget was $60K then I'd get a Vette.
          Noah
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Dr. Jordan1911
          I think the answer to your question is fairly complicated. What I want to know is why American auto manufacturers cannot compete with the likes of Merc, Audi, Porsche, and BMW. This is a global economy and we all have access to the same talent pool. If they want to bring in some German engineers, and some German designers, they're all available for hire. What's depressing to me is the very best products American auto manufacturers can come up with fall far short of the stuff Porsche and BMW are cranking out every day in mass quantity. I really would love to know what's stopping them from competing at that level.
          AcidTonic
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Dr. Jordan1911
          @Noah Management. They think they know everything. We have enthusiasts like you working in the automotive industry. At Big3 vehicle development centers you'll usually see a selection of M3's, AMG Mercs, STI's, and EVOs. Basically a bunch of cars that the very managers they work for would never allow to be sold. They like to think their little margins really take into account everyone's true reasons for buying a car. The other day I was driving past Roush's development center. Front row facing the road. Evo, STI, STI, WRX, Audi S4, Lifted Jeep, Miata (with a cage), and finally another EVO. That's like what, the lottery of vehicles. That's a parking lot full of "unsellable low-margin low-production cars". The Automakers even know this and actively force imports to park in a secondary parking lot further from the public road. It's so comical to see all the engineers screaming loudly which cars they want to buy. People who make six figures and can actually afford them too! But we just got another FWD lineup for small cars..... FWD ST. BOO!
      Frisky_Dingo
      • 3 Years Ago
      All you complaining about the lack of the ZR1, if you'd do some research, you'd see that the ZR1 already had it's go-round at this event, and didn't fare so well. It got beat out in fact, by the CTS-V, amongst others. It is widely known, especially to anyone whose driven the two, that the Z06 is the more demanding, visceral, involving car. That's why it made the cut, and not the ZR1. As for the results, I think they're bogus. For one, I no longer trust any review about a new Ferrari unless the car is provided by an owner or dealer. This nonsense about Ferrari techs showing up to tune the car, having two different cars setup for different tests, etc is getting out of hand. I honestly think it speaks volumes about their products, and their insecurity and fear of being outperformed. NO other maker does this. I say run what you brung. Not bring multiple cars, test them for a length of time, and adjust/alter the car's settings to perform the best. You know what that's called?? NOT STOCK. And as far as I'm concerned, #'s from a car that's not stock don't mean sh!t. On top of that, any test such as this that ends w/ the top two cars being autos I have to dismiss almost entirely. This should have gone to the Boss or the GT3RS, plain and simple. Shame, I expect better of Motor Trend.
        Gorgenapper
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Frisky_Dingo
        110% truth, especially the part about the Ferrari.
        Steve
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Frisky_Dingo
        You nailed this dead on the head.
        Wes Mantooth
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Frisky_Dingo
        in a 2010 Road & Track comparison with 10 different vehicles around an autocross, road course, drag strip, and nascar oval the dodge srt team showed up with a technician to properly tune the suspension for each type of course so the viper acr would perform better than competitors. most of the journalists said that if the porsche gt2 had the same type of technician it would have won. Its not fair but its the world we live in. many manufactures spend boatloads of cash on brand image and the fact of the matter is these comparos are a form of marketing and ferrari wants their car on top. Cars included in said R&T test: bmw m3 coupe, lotus exige, AM DBS, nissan gtr, porsche gt2, viper acr, vette Z06, lancer evo MR, audi r8 V8, lambo gallardo
      jstevens74
      • 3 Years Ago
      goddamm love the GT-R
      Randy
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm amazed that the Mustang is in this company! The Mustang has come a long way! Wow.....
      Robert Fahey
      • 3 Years Ago
      A black 458 Italia passed me in a hilly and windy stretch of Watsonville, CA. I tried to keep up with it in my rented Mazda 626 -- without a whole lot of success.
        Noah
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Robert Fahey
        Surprising. I didn't think Watsonville had anything other than Volkswagen Buses, Bugs, and floral-inspired spray painted 70's school buses. Did the driver happen to look anything like Jerry Garcia or Cheech (or Chong)?
      another Dan
      • 3 Years Ago
      Now, obviously, this race was just for the fun of it. And just like everyone else I enjoyed watching it thoroughly. But as a Porsche person, I feel compelled to say this: 911 Turbo S (997 Mk2) w/PDK (MSRP = $160,700) runs 10.8 at 129 in the 1/4-mile. And that ET is what? FASTER THAN THE LOT OF THEM.
      jbm0866
      • 3 Years Ago
      Only a fair drag race if each and every driver was the exact same skill level...and each section of the runway was uniform in condition. Yeah, I know it was just for fun and the GTR would win in any case, but still..
      Jeremy The-Subarian
      • 3 Years Ago
      The GTR looks pissed to be in the back
        Sukairain
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Jeremy The-Subarian
        Looks like 10 cars running scared with the GT-R chasing them from behind.
        Jason
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Jeremy The-Subarian
        Ha, I can see that too though.
      Lemon
      • 3 Years Ago
      "Why are we doing it? Because we can." I guess that answers my only question. None of these cars are meant for drag racing... but this video is still pretty awesome
      Rotation
      • 3 Years Ago
      Ferrari sends a rep who customizes the tire pressures (and Ferrari can of course strap on any tire they want from the factory also) and the Z06 gets called out for shenanigans?
    • Load More Comments