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The time has come again. MotorTrend’s editors have chosen the highest-performing cars of the year and assembled them for a truly epic contest to determine which is the best driver’s car. Starting from our Los Angeles headquarters, the team is road tripping north via byways and backroads. Their destination is the one and only WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, where—along with Randy Pobst—they’ll take turns pushing the cars to their limits.
In the end there can be only one winner, but until then, take our advice: You need to follow along on MotorTrend’s social media channels to see how things are playing out. We’ll be posting LIVE on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter with #MTBDC, and our updates must be seen to be believed. Check those out—and the dozen contenders vying for the title of Best Driver’s Car 2019.
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From our very first drive, it was clear the most hyped car of the year is also among the best. Controversial construction be damned—this multinational coupe just wants to put a smile on its driver’s face. With a claimed 335 hp, it’s the least powerful vehicle in #MTBDC 2019, but it still has a fighting chance.
Porsche 911 Carrera S 992
Would it really be Best Driver’s Car without some variant of 911? This time it’s the brand-new 992 generation, specifically a Carerra S equipped with PDK and finished in bright yellow. We’ve only had limited exposure to the 992, but we’re already throwing it into the ring. Time to find out how it assumes the mantle.
Aston Martin DBS Superleggera
Elegance and ferocity are tenuously balanced in this twin-turbo V-12 supercar. We’ve been impressed by its abilities as a sporty grand tourer, and we’re eager to gauge its dynamic potential at Laguna Seca. It’s also one of four British entrants this year.
Ford Shelby Mustang GT350
We’ve loved the GT350 from the giddyup, and a GT350R did well in our 2016 contest. But for 2020 Ford added some updates, including stickier tires, stiffer springs, and smarter brakes. Unchanged are the flat-plane-crank V-8 and six-speed manual, making it the only stick-shift car in the bunch. How will that affect its ranking? Follow along to find out.
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BMW M2 Competition
Wait—didn’t the M2 already finish behind the Supra in our comparison test? Yes, it did, but it’s still an M2 we’re talking about. Short wheelbase, turbocharged inline-six, and seven-speed dual-clutch transmission combine for a riotous driving experience, making it a worthy entrant for this year’s Best Driver’s Car.
This big bull is just as much of an SUV as it is a Lamborghini, and it’s very much deserving of a spot in our competition. After all, it’s the best hyper-SUV out there, and we crowned its Huracán Performante stablemate 2018’s Best Driver’s Car. The Urus has pedigree, and we can’t wait to watch Randy fling it down the Corkscrew.View this post on Instagram
Jaguar XE Project 8
Wide body? Check. Limited run? Check. Carbon fiber everywhere? Check. Supercharged V-8? Very check. We’ve driven the Project 8 extensively and adore its performance. Our plan is to test it in “Track-ish” and full-on Track mode at Best Driver’s Car.
We’re eager to get behind the wheel of the real M8, but it simply isn’t available yet. Still, the big, bad Bimmer we’re driving this year has serious swagger and a brawny twin-turbo V-8 to boot. It launches hard, with a 3.5-second 0–60 sprint, and rear-wheel steering helps that long wheelbase around corners. Time to find out how this lovely longnose performs.
Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye Widebody
This thing has already won two things in the contest: longest name and most power. Its 797 horsepower are contained between its bulging fenders, but there’s more to Best Driver’s Car than massive power. Its hefty curb weight might affect its on-track aptitude, but we’d be surprised if any other contender eats more tires.
Bentley Continental GT V-8
Isn’t it funny when entry-level is actually better? Losing four cylinders and a few hundred pounds versus its W-12 sibling seemed to have that effect for the Bentley Continental GT. It’s still excessively quick but handles corners with increased agility. If nothing else, this one might be the best here to sit back and chill in.
Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door
The AMG GT R performed admirably in a previous Best Driver’s Car, so we had to invite its four-door counterpart—here in 63 S guise—to find out how it compares. It’s also arguably the hottest hatchback on the planet, and we don’t mind some extra trunk space to haul our camera gear in.
This carbon-fiber masterpiece needs no introduction. It’ll be a shocker if anything can top the Senna at Laguna Seca—might Randy even crack his Viper ACR lap record? Still, there’s a lot of road on the Best Driver’s Car route, so we’ll see how the Senna’s hardcore personality affects its ranking.