We've already watched the 2012 Best Driver's Car competition from Motor Trend numerous times, and like us, apparently many M/T viewers had questions about the week-long, nine-car comparison. Not wanting to disappoint its audience, the crew got together to enjoy a few pints while reflecting on the experience and respond to viewer questions during an episode of The Downshift.
It sounds like one of the most frequent questions asked was why some cars made the list and others were left out in the cold. First and foremost, the editors wanted to assemble a group of the newest (or significantly updated) most fun-to-drive cars available, but had to do so within the constraints of the automakers' test vehicle fleets. This explains why, for instance, the Subaru BRZ made it in to the final group of nine, while no Ferrari did.
M/T also addressed the age-old question of how and why a non-manual transmission car could be considered a top driver's car. Editors were quick to point out that, with the great automated manual gearboxes used on the Porsche 911, Nissan GT-R and Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Black Series Coupe, all that the cars were really missing was a clutch pedal.
Some of the more interesting bits of the conversation included a breakdown of tire and brake replacements required during this massive comparison. We were amazed to find out that only four sets of tires were shredded, but the "surprising amount of brakes" that required replacement definitely made sense for a competition like this at a track like Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Another thing that caught our attention was the amount of negative feedback in regards to the Lamborghini Aventador (which finished dead last) – from the failed brakes to Autoblog-alumnus Jonny Lieberman stating that "it had no business on a racetrack."
From Jonny's praise of the PDK transmission to former Editor-in-chief Angus Mackenzie's vibrant description of the 911's handling, it's easy to see why the Porsche was named M/T's Best Driver's Car for 2012.
As for the list of cars being considered for the 2013 Best Driver's Car, check out the 13-minute video below to see some of the predictions for next year's lineup.