Fighting the Sin of Omission with a Second Performance-Car Shootout
Be honest. You can spend a week with one of two cars: the Ford Focus RS or the Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R. Or for Europhiles, it’s a decision between a Porsche 911 and a 718 Boxster S. You can’t choose both, but you get to beat on your selection as hard as you like on both a closed road and a racetrack. Chevron is paying for the gas. That Focus RS is a cool hot hatch. But if you’re being honest—really, truly, hand-on-a-holy-book honest—you choose the Shelby.
Such was the sacrifice we made when choosing the field for our 2016 Best Driver’s Car test. It was an embarrassment of riches in terms of jealousy-inducing vehicular choice. We could not bring ’em all for reasons ranging from available time and manpower to the width of the runway where we film the World’s Greatest Drag Race. Being limited to 12 cars meant that to bring the Fiat 124 Spyder Abarth, we would have to cut the Aston Martin V12 Vantage S. Sorry, Fiat. And so the culling began.
We made some tough decisions, and although I think we cut correctly, we left some cars behind. In the days after the McLaren 570S’ win of our 2016 Best Driver’s Car, we discussed how to get the leftovers together for a separate shootout.
Fast-forward a few months, and we found ourselves doing what we love most: pushing great cars as hard as we can on the best roads we can find. We also called upon the services of our race car–driving buddy, Randy Pobst, to set lap times at the Streets of Willow circuit.
Meet what we have dubbed the Leftovers: the BMW M2, the Chevrolet Camaro 1LE, the Fiat 124 Spider Abarth, the Ford Focus RS, the Porsche 718 Boxster S, and the Toyota 86. Let’s be clear. These aren’t minor leaguers. They have serious performance chops. And unlike the six-figure price tags affixed to most of the BDC field, most of them have a family-friendly entry fee.
The competitive set’s excellence became clear after our testing when the first round of initial voting resulted in a four-way tie for first place—and no consistent voting pattern for the silver and bronze, either. Three days of nonstop arguing resulted in our photo finish for first through fourth place. The fifth place car was but a hair behind. It was so close that each vehicle deserved a rebuttal from a dissenting judge.
The big takeaway: These are some very serious driver’s cars, and all of them would have handily held their own at Best Driver’s Car. There might be a winner, but it was far from clear-cut. – Jonny Lieberman
6th Place: 2016 Ford Focus RS
Weather the Storm
I’m among the minority of Motor Trend staffers from a “real” place. For my Southern California native buds, the sun is a year-round phenomenon, rain is something that happens once a year, and snow might as well be a myth.
But growing up as a car enthusiast in New York City, I understood that weather was a certainty, a cloth top was code for “rob me,” and that a true driver’s car has the power and the grip to be enjoyed at your limits rain or shine. That’s the modus operandi of the Ford Focus RS.
The Focus RS is fast, grippy, and versatile. It might be disadvantaged in this group by virtue of its curb weight (four doors and five seats add up, after all), but it makes up for it with new-era technical wizardry and old-fashioned power. On the former front, the Focus sports a trick torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system, capable of routing nearly all of the engine’s twist to either rear wheel, or none, as needed. In dry and sunny SoCal, that results in a car that bombs into corners at speed, plants itself, and squirts out the apex ready for more.
The Ford’s engine is a firecracker, too. Powered by a 2.3-liter turbocharged I-4, the Focus RS has 350 ponies to play with and the most torque of the group at 350 lb-ft. There’s surprisingly little lag from the engine and a ton of midrange torque even when cruising along the highway in top gear. The six-speed manual gearbox is nimble and precise; it’s the type of gearbox you shift not because you have to but because the shifter is so enjoyable to row.
The engine’s noise is just as important as how it performs. At full chat, the engine sounds like Ken Block’s rally car (probably because it is). Nail a rev-matched downshift, and the exhaust crackles like machine gun fire.
With all this grip and an engine that just won’t quit, why didn’t the Focus RS finish higher? As much as I’d like to blame a West Coast conspiracy, the truth is the Focus RS rides worse than a dump truck. Its steering lacks the purity and play of the rest of our group.
It’s not a real driver’s car, but the Focus RS is a tremendous performance car and an easy choice for those where weather is a real concern. – Christian Seabaugh
The last time I endured a suspension this harsh in so many environments was a Porsche 996 GT3 RS, but that was forgivable because #racecar. In the softer settings, the RS’ constant vertical upheavals dominate the driving experience so much that it’s hard to focus on what’s good in the RS.
The engine is an absolute bulldog. Just imagine the Fiata or 86 with this engine. Am I right? But despite what Christian says, the shifter is notchy—not in a good way—and the clutch is vague and grabby at the same time. The midcorner grip and the way it can put power down out of corners is super impressive. Yet at the same time, I never quite knew where I was in the friction circle.
The all-conquering Focus RS is only 0.11 second quicker around the track than the fourth-gen Subaru WRX STI. There’s a single way to get a car like this right, and there are so many ways to get it wrong. I can’t blame Ford for trying. I’m glad it did. It’s been such a long wait for this forbidden Euro fruit, but after tasting it, I think I’ll pass on my next slice, thank you. – Chris Walton
5th Place: 2016 BMW M2
Best Engine Here
“This car is hands down the best BMW made in at least five years, probably more. It’s the first M car in a long time to actually live up to the Ultimate Driving Machine tagline,” features editor Christian Seabaugh says.
Others in our test group mirrored the sentiment. Which is why it stunned, irked, and bemused me that the panel voted the Bimmer fifth out of six entries.
I would reach for the M2 keys before any others in this pack. It has everything a driver wants: forceful power, reassuring handling, a smooth-enough ride, fantastic seats, interior refinement galore, and intuitive infotainment.
Road test editor Chris Walton says the M2 has one of the sweetest engines around and torque available everywhere. There is a mesa of power through the middle gears, so you don’t have to downshift to get a surge of acceleration.
Associate editor Scott Evans said the engine was smooth and extremely responsive, and the steering was precise.
The M2 is confident and planted when driving at 80 percent of its staggering levels of ability—and that’s the hardest you should be pushing any car on public roads. While driving aggressively around tight bends, the M2’s seats were comfortable yet offered supportive bolstering. Not once did I have to brace myself with my knees to hold myself in place.
Evans mentioned a lack of steering feel. The gearshift throws and clutch pedal travel are longer than I’d like. But those aren’t reasons to knock this car to fifth place behind the caveman Camaro, poky Toyota, and harsh Porsche (note, you should pronounce it “harsh-uh”).
So what if ESC is conservatively tuned? It’s still seamless compared to most systems. The heel-and-toe crowd berated the M2’s automatic rpm blips on stick-shift downshifts—but not everyone needs to be Colin Chapman when they sashay through a mountain pass. Sure, the steering wheel is girthy—if your hands aren’t yuge enough to handle the truth.
The M2 was the second-quickest car in Randy Pobst’s race around the Streets of Willow. Even at its wallet-straining 54 large, the Bimmer deserves better than finishing second to last. I voted it first, and if I were to impose an executive (editor) order, that’s where it would have stayed. – Mark Rechtin
Cars in this test that could easily keep up with the BMW M2 on a winding canyon road include the Toyota 86, the Fiat Spider, and the V-6 Camaro. The car that can leave it for dead: the 718 Boxster. Ask me how I know.
I was a little shocked because around town the M2 feels fantastic. But when you push it hard or compare it to other cars, you realize it isn’t as great as you’d hoped.
The biggest culprit is the steering. It’s just … dead. There’s no feel whatsoever. This is a problem plaguing modern BMWs. Then there’s the shifter, which initially has the familiar BMW feel, going back to the E46 M3. But this one feels jiggly, and the throws are quite long. “The whole car is rubbery and disconnected, ” senior features editor Jason Cammisa says. And he’s not wrong. The undefeatable rev-matching downshifts also annoyed all of us. We know how to drive stick shift, BMW. We don’t need your help.
Going into this competition, I had the M2 picked as the odds-on favorite. After a day spent driving all six contenders, I had it in fifth place. So be it. – Jonny Lieberman
4th Place: 2017 Chevrolet Camaro (2LT) 1LE V-6
The Detuned Instrument
As soon as I put the V-8-powered version of the Camaro 1LE through the figure-eight test, I knew Chevrolet had accomplished something special. A week later, the rest of the Motor Trend staff verified my impressions by voting that car fourth place out of 12 world-class contenders in our 2016 Best Driver’s Car extravaganza, beating the Dodge Viper ACR and Audi R8 V10 Plus among others. So we were naturally curious how the V-6 version would do.
The first thing you need to know about the Camaro 1LE V-6 is that the front end never gives up. Go ahead. Try to force this car to understeer. I’ll wait. The steering itself is also exemplary, especially in Comfort mode, where the adjustable weighting seems to be just about right. What’s nice is that you can decouple the steering from the chassis mode. Sport or Track modes are a must for fancy driving, as the stability control is too intrusive if you just leave it in Comfort. The car is such a great handler that you can turn the nannies off with a high degree of confidence.
Instead of the Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3 tires that ship with the V-8 version of the 1LE, the V-6 comes on Eagle F1 Asymmetric 3 tires. These are still sticky summer tires that feature plenty of grip. Despite being naturally aspirated, the throaty 3.6-liter V-6 makes a healthy 335 horsepower. Remember when people gasped when V-8s made that number? Disappointingly, though, torque is rated at 284 lb-ft and is the top reason why you should opt for the V-8. Nonetheless, most of us agreed this motor sounded racy for a V-6 at redline.
Differences between the V-6 and the V-8 1LE might be more than you (and we) were expecting. The V-6 does not have Magnetic Ride Control shocks, does not possess the aforementioned better tires, does not have the borderline-magic eLSD rearend, and does not have the bigger, upgraded brakes. Because the torque is what it is (low), the V-6 1LE does not have the sweet Tremec T6060 shifter of the V-8 Camaros. The 2-3 shift might be the single worst part of the car, at least in Randy Pobst’s opinion.
What it does have, however, is the ability to confidently attack a twisting back road. Despite their long pedal travel, the brakes are stout. If you’re looking for a great-handling sports car, you could do a lot worse. – Jonny Lieberman
The Camaro 1LE is a special car—excuse me, the Camaro SS 1LE is a special car. But the V-6-powered version, despite the 1LE name, is missing a lot of that hardware. Of the SS 1LE gear, the Camaro 2LT 1LE gets none if it; it gets the stock Camaro SS’ suspension and a tall-geared mechanical limited-slip diff. It has less sticky tires, less aggressive Brembo brakes, and a different six-speed manual.
The 335 horsepower from a V-6 should put a smile on your face, but it’s mated to a sloppy, slow gearbox with long gear ratios that makes the car feel heavy and lazy. The Camaro’s steering also doesn’t do what the SS 1LE’s does; the front wheels don’t communicate what they’re doing until after the tires give up. The chassis never does the neutral dance through corners that we’ve come to expect from Camaros.
The Camaro 2LT 1LE might be great in a world without the V-8 version. But it has its big brother breathing down its neck, and it’s not a lot more money. After all, “You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family.” – Christian Seabaugh
3rd Place: 2017 Toyota 86
Slow Car Fast
Ask anyone: Driving a slow car fast is always more fun than driving a fast car slow. The updated Toyota 86 (née Scion FR-S) is the very embodiment of this idea and the essence of a “momentum car.”
Don’t take it from me, though. Listen to what my fellow editors had to say:
Jonny Lieberman: “An incredible driver’s car. Anyone who says differently doesn’t really understand cars.” Christian Seabaugh: “This car is the type of car folks buy and immediately begin modifying and tuning. Don’t do it. Stickier tires and power adders will ruin an otherwise sublimely engineered experience.” Jason Cammisa: “This is a total blast and a fantastic sports car in the traditional sense.” Chris Walton: “You can drive this car at its limit all the time and never worry that it’s going to spit you off. That’s what makes this car special—it has no bad habits or pitfalls when it’s being driven hard.” Mark Rechtin: “This car will really get you into drifting.” Randy Pobst: “I didn’t want to quit driving it. Total pure driver’s car.” With its balance of performance and tire, the 86 allows you to get the most out of the driving experience. But it doesn’t do all the work for you. Where other cars here allow you drive with a ham fist and let the tire grip make up for your bad habits, the 86’s commuter-car tires force you to drive to the best of your ability to maximize cornering speed. Drive sloppily, and you’ll be punished with predictable and avoidable understeer or oversteer. Of course, if you like being loose, the 86 has your back. Oversteer is effectively on demand through tight corners, and it’s progressive, consistent, and easily corrected. A good driver can keep this car right at or just over its limit.
The car comes with world-class controls. It employs a bolt-action shifter, pedals aligned for heel-toe downshifting, a linear brake pedal with great feedback, and the best steering feel here. You direct the mechanical ballet from a seat both comfortable for long hauls and bolstered for track duty, and the tires’ audible feedback tells you what they’re doing and how much they have left to give.
If you can find a better driving experience for even double the money, buy it. – Scott Evans
With its early onset loss of tire grip, the Toyota 86 can be fun—if you know what you’re doing or have lots of runoff room. But against the rest of this pack, it’s as slow as Christmas at Aunt Trudie’s house.
The flat-four is far from sonorous; it sounds reedy when pushed. And features editor Christian Seabaugh observed that between 1,700 and 3,000 rpm, there’s just nothing happening. “It has a hard time putting down even tiny amounts of power,” senior features editor Jason Cammisa says.
Others found the clutch and gearshift entertaining, but I found the bite point parabolically sudden and the shifter throws too long. You need to come into the corner slowly and in the right gear if you want to get out of it quickly. There is a yawning power gap if you have to short shift the 2-3 transition. And is it the last new car where toggling the turn signal doesn’t generate three blinks?
I love driving slow cars fast, but at some point, you must reckon that this car is simply behind the pack. – Mark Rechtin
2nd Place: 2017 Porsche 718 Boxster S
The Fast Track
How did the car with the best damping, best steering, best brakes, and just plain ol’ best performances across the board not win this test of performance? Brand bias and vocal minority. I swear I heard somebody say, “Well, of course it’s the best car here. It’s a $90,000 USD Porsche!” Would it be OK with an Abarth badge on it instead? I can’t dispute a price that includes $23,460 USD in options, but like our annual Best Driver’s Car contest, that should not matter, either. If we had the $57,000 USD base 718 Boxster with a manual transmission, it would’ve received more votes than this apex predator. Ppffft.
The 718 Boxster’s more powerful, more fuel-efficient four-cylinder turbocharged engine outperforms the old 981’s atmospheric flat-six. It doesn’t sound like a 911 because, imagine this, it is not a 911. With our Boxster S’ optional sport exhaust, the engine has texture, a guttural voice, and attitude usually reserved for V-8 cars and V-twin motorcycles. It reminds me of the my first ride in an owner-massaged 914 in the ’70s. It was bored out and had a giant Weber, headers, and minimal mufflers. That car, like this 718, had a genuine personality. Reserve your judgment and trolling until you drive or merely hear one under load.
Other so-called criticisms seemed to miss the point of this car. “It understeered if you drove near the car’s limits,” Jonny Lieberman says. Apparently, he wants oversteer while pulling a test-topping 1.03 g.
Added Mark Rechtin: “This car urges you to test your limits because it knows that you would have to be a certifiable moron to exceed its capabilities.” To that I say it’s not nice to call Jonny names. Also, this surplus capability is the direct result of decades of endurance racing experience, engineering, and victories.
Then we put the tires on the track. It beat the pants off the other contestants. More impressively, it’s quicker than every 911 Carrera (993, 996, 991, 991.2) save for the most recent 991.2 Carrera S. Its lap time also beat a 2014 Audi R8 V10, 2011 Ferrari 458 Italia, 2014 Jaguar XKR-S GT, and 2015 BMW M4. Take it from the road test editor: Porsche wouldn’t dare release a new car if it didn’t outperform the car it replaces. This 2017 Porsche Boxster S got my first-place vote and is a winner in my book. – Chris Walton
The ease and fluidity with which the 718 Boxster S ingests a winding road is staggering. You’d need to drive it at reckless speeds to raise your pulse. I say it’s a demerit, but I can accept that some people find excitement in capability.
But I can’t defend the Boxster’s engine. The 2.5-liter flat-four makes stunning amounts of power, but Porsche must have relaxed its internal NVH standards to get it to pass muster. I can’t think of a recent engine, bar the Mitsubishi Mirage’s three-cylinder, that sounds or feels worse.
At low revs, the boxer has auditory hints of a WRX STI—if that engine contained ill-fitting pistons made of leaded glass. By 3,000 rpm, the mechanical drone is reminiscent of a 1980s five-cylinder diesel, just without the cool staccato thrum. Near redline, there’s more racket and white noise but not a hint of music.
This would be disappointing if this coarse four hadn’t replaced an ultrasmooth flat-six that was one of the most aurally scintillating engines. But it did, and that’s just not right. – Jason Cammisa
1st Place: 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth
All About Smile Power
When it comes to cars, we all have our preferences. We could argue about the relative merits of a turbo engine’s midrange torque versus a naturally aspirated engine’s instant response. Or whether steering precision is more important than feedback at the wheel. But there’s one thing that you can’t argue with: the power of a smile.
In this group, the Fiat 124 Abarth had the least powerful engine, but it was also the king of back-road perma-grin. The top-down motoring is enjoyable, but the Fiat is also willing to give it all. To wit: In its driver’s seat, I followed the BMW M2, being pushed to its absolute limit by back-road demon Scott Evans (the guy who hated the Fiat.)
Not once in 30 miles (48 km) of tight, twisty road could he, in the 365-hp M2, pull away from me in the 164-hp Fiat. This isn’t because Evans isn’t a fast driver (he is), because the BMW isn’t quicker (it is), or because it doesn’t handle better (it does.) The Fiat kept up with a much more capable car because it earns its driver’s trust. That meant I could turn off its overly intrusive stability control and throw it into every corner without fear.
The Abarth keels over with far less body roll than its assembly line cousin, the Mazda Miata, then pitches its rear end 15 degrees sideways and just hangs on forever. Corner after corner, I had the throttle back on the floor before Evans’ M2 had even finished settling into the turn. At car-chase speeds, the 1.4-liter Fiat’s normally infuriating turbo lag wasn’t an issue. All I noticed was its prodigious grip, indefatigable brakes, flawless chassis balance, quick steering, and precise shifter. Oh, and that my face hurt from smiling for so long.
If the Mazda Miata had this suspension when it launched last year, there’s a fair chance it would have won both Best Driver’s Car and Car of the Year. Similarly, if the Abarth had the Miata’s charismatic and quick-responding naturally aspirated engine, I’d have awarded it every trophy we give, including SUV of the Year and Person of the Year. Flawed though the single-cam, port-injected Fiat engine is, it’s bolted inside a chassis incredible enough that as a whole sports car, it beat some very serious competitors. Just please don’t look at my smile and think I’m joking. This Abarth is no laughing matter. – Jason Cammisa
The Fiata only comes alive when you’re hurtling down a back road, caning the car for everything it’s worth. Even then, there are pitfalls. That laggy turbo engine is happy to bog down exiting a tight corner if you let the revs drop below 3,000. Don’t forget to short shift—the acceleration falls off above 5,000 rpm. That is a really small neighborhood. And keep the radio volume up, too, because the engine never sounds all that good. Where’s the pop and snarl of the 500 Abarth? Where’s the attitude? The tires complain a lot, too.
You’ll also want to watch for bumps in the road because despite the Fiat having less body roll than the Miata, you’ll occasionally land on its bump stops. When you do, be prepared to duck because the seat is higher than the Mazda’s. Even an average-height driver’s hair touches the roof.
Remember those caveats because the Fiata is not very forgiving of mistakes. Drive it the wrong way, and it’s all big understeers and not-fun oversteers. You drive on its terms, or the fun goes away. – Scott Evans
|2016 BMW M2||2017 Chevrolet Camaro (2LT 1LE)||2017 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth|
|DRIVETRAIN LAYOUT||Front-engine, RWD||Front-engine, RWD||Front-engine, RWD|
|ENGINE TYPE||Turbocharged I-6, alum block/head||60-deg V-6, alum block/heads||Turbocharged I-4, iron block/alum head|
|VALVETRAIN||DOHC, 4 valves/cyl||DOHC, 4 valves/cyl||SOHC, 4 valves/cyl|
|DISPLACEMENT||181.8 cu in/2,979 cc||222.7 cu in/3,649 cc||83.5 cu in/1,368 cc|
|POWER (SAE NET)||365 hp @ 6,500 rpm||335 hp @ 6,800 rpm**||164 hp @ 5,500 rpm|
|TORQUE (SAE NET)||343 lb-ft @ 1,400 rpm*||284 lb-ft @ 5,300 rpm**||184 lb-ft @ 3,200 rpm|
|REDLINE||7,000 rpm||7,000 rpm||6,500 rpm|
|WEIGHT TO POWER||9.4 lb/hp||10.5 lb/hp||15.0 lb/hp|
|TRANSMISSION||6-speed manual||6-speed manual||6-speed manual|
|SUSPENSION, FRONT; REAR||Struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs, anti-roll bar||Struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs,anti-roll bar||Control arms, coil springs, anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs, anti-roll bar|
|BRAKES, F; R||15.0-in vented, drilled, 2-pc disc; 14.6-in vented, drilled, 2-pc disc, ABS||12.6-in vented disc; 12.4-in vented disc, ABS||11.0-in vented disc; 11.0-in disc, ABS|
|WHEELS, F;R||9.0 x 19-in; 10.0 x 19-in, forged aluminum||8.5 x 20-in; 9.5 x 20-in, forged aluminum||7.0 x 17-in cast aluminum|
|TIRES, F;R||245/35ZR19 (93Y); 265/35ZR19 (98Y) Michelin Pilot Super Sport||245/40ZR20 95Y; 275/35ZR20 98Y Goodyear Eagle Asymmetric 3||205/45R17 84W Bridgestone Potenza RE050A|
|WHEELBASE||106.0 in||110.7 in||90.9 in|
|TRACK, F/R||62.2/63.0 in||62.5/63.7 in||58.9/59.1 in|
|LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT||176.2 x 73.0 x 55.5 in||188.3 x 74.7 x 53.1 in||159.6 x 68.5 x 48.5 in|
|TURNING CIRCLE||38.4 ft||38.1 ft||30.8 ft|
|CURB WEIGHT||3,440 lb||3,514 lb||2,464 lb|
|WEIGHT DIST, F/R||52/48%||52/48%||54/46%|
|HEADROOM, F/R||40.1/36.5 in||38.5/33.5 in||37.4/- in|
|LEGROOM, F/R||41.5/33.0 in||42.6/29.9 in||43.1/- in|
|SHOULDER ROOM, F/R||54.4/53.4 in||55.0/50.4 in||52.1/- in|
|CARGO VOLUME||13.8 cu ft||9.1 cu ft||4.9 cu ft|
|ACCELERATION TO MPH|
|0-30||1.8 sec||1.9 sec||2.1 sec|
|PASSING, 45-65 MPH||2.1||2.4||3.5|
|QUARTER MILE||13.1 sec @ 106.8 mph||13.7 sec @ 101.7 mph||14.9 sec @ 92.6 mph|
|BRAKING, 60-0 MPH||106 ft||105 ft||108 ft|
|LATERAL ACCELERATION||1.01 g (avg)||1.01 g (avg)||0.92 g (avg)|
|MT FIGURE EIGHT||24.0 sec @ 0.82 g (avg)||24.5 sec @ 0.78 g (avg)||25.8 sec @ 0.70 g (avg)|
|1.6-MI ROAD COURSE LAP||84.27 sec||85.19 sec||89.05 sec|
|TOP-GEAR REVS @ 60 MPH||2,300 rpm||1,800 rpm||2,500 rpm|
|PRICE AS TESTED||$54,795||$40,690||$29,190|
|AIRBAGS||8: Dual front, front side, f/r curtain, front knee||8: Dual front, front side, f/r curtain, front knee||4: Dual front, front side|
|BASIC WARRANTY||4 yrs/50,000 miles||3 yrs/36,000 miles||4 yrs/50,000 miles|
|POWERTRAIN WARRANTY||4 yrs/50,000 miles||5 yrs/60,000 miles||4 yrs/50,000 miles|
|ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE||4 yrs/Unlimited miles||5 yrs/100,000 miles||4 yrs/Unlimited miles|
|FUEL CAPACITY||13.7 gal||19.0 gal||11.9 gal|
|REAL MPG, CITY/HWY/COMB||Not tested||Not tested||30.4/43.4/35.1 mpg|
|EPA CITY/HWY/COMB ECON||18/26/21 mpg||16/28/20 mpg||26/35/30 mpg|
|ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY||187/130 kW-hrs/100 miles||211/120 kW-hrs/100 miles||130/96 kW-hrs/100 miles|
|CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB||0.93 lb/mile||0.98 lb/mile||0.66 lb/mile|
|RECOMMENDED FUEL||Unleaded premium||Unleaded regular||Unleaded premium|
|*369 lb-ft @ 1,450-4,750 in overboost
** SAE certified
|2016 Ford Focus RS||2017 Porsche 718 Boxster S||2017 Toyota 86|
|DRIVETRAIN LAYOUT||Front-engine, AWD||Mid-engine, RWD||Front-engine, RWD|
|ENGINE TYPE||Turbocharged I-4, alum block/head||Turbocharged flat-4, alum block/heads||Flat-4, alum block/heads|
|VALVETRAIN||DOHC, 4 valves/cyl||DOHC, 4 valves/cyl||DOHC, 4 valves/cyl|
|DISPLACEMENT||138.0 cu in/2,261 cc||152.4 cu in/2,497 cc||121.9 cu in/1,998 cc|
|POWER (SAE NET)||350 hp @ 6,000 rpm||350 hp @ 6,500 rpm||205 hp @ 7,000 rpm|
|TORQUE (SAE NET)||350 lb-ft @ 3,200 rpm||309 lb-ft @ 1,900 rpm||156 lb-ft @ 6,400 rpm|
|REDLINE||6,500 rpm||7,400 rpm||7,500 rpm|
|WEIGHT TO POWER||9.9 lb/hp||9.0 lb/hp||13.4 lb/hp|
|TRANSMISSION||6-speed manual||7-speed twin-clutch auto.||6-speed manual|
|AXLE/FINAL-DRIVE RATIO||4.06:1 (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th); 2.95:1 (5th, 6th, R)/2.77:1||3.62:1/2.24:1||4.30:1/3.30:1|
|SUSPENSION, FRONT; REAR||Struts, coil springs, adj shocks, anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs, adj shocks, anti-roll bar||Struts, coil springs, adj shocks, anti-roll bar; struts, coil springs, adj shocks, anti-roll bar||Struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs, anti-roll bar|
|BRAKES, F; R||13.8-in vented disc; 11.9-in vented disc, ABS||13.0-in vented, drilled disc; 11.8-in vented, drilled disc, ABS||11.6-in vented disc; 11.4-in vented disc, ABS|
|WHEELS, F;R||8.0 x 19-in forged aluminum||8.0 x 20-in; 10.0 x 20-in, forged aluminum||7.0 x 17-in cast aluminum|
|TIRES, F;R||235/35ZR19 (91Y) Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2||235/35ZR20 88Y; 265/35ZR20 95Y Pirelli P Zero N1||215/45R17 87W Michelin Primacy HP|
|WHEELBASE||104.3 in||97.4 in||101.2 in|
|TRACK, F/R||60.9/60.0 in||59.6/60.6 in||59.8/60.6 in|
|LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT||171.7 x 74.1 x 58.0 in||172.4 x 70.9 x 50.4 in||166.7 x 69.9 x 50.6 in|
|TURNING CIRCLE||39.4 ft||36.0 ft||36.1 ft|
|CURB WEIGHT||3,456 lb||3,160 lb||2,753 lb|
|WEIGHT DIST, F/R||59/41%||44/56%||55/45%|
|HEADROOM, F/R||38.3/38.0 in||39.1/- in||37.1/35.0 in|
|LEGROOM, F/R||43.1/33.2 in||42.2/- in||41.9/29.9 in|
|SHOULDER ROOM, F/R||55.6/52.6 in||51.3/- in||54.5/51.7 in|
|CARGO VOLUME||19.9 cu ft||5.3 (front), 4.4 (rear) cu ft||6.9 cu ft|
|ACCELERATION TO MPH|
|0-30||1.6 sec||1.4 sec||2.3 sec|
|PASSING, 45-65 MPH||2.8||1.9||3.3|
|QUARTER MILE||13.6 sec @ 99.3 mph||12.2 sec @ 112.6 mph||14.9 sec @ 94.6 mph|
|BRAKING, 60-0 MPH||110 ft||99 ft||116 ft|
|LATERAL ACCELERATION||1.02 g (avg)||1.03 g (avg)||0.91 g (avg)|
|MT FIGURE EIGHT||24.6 sec @ 0.75 g (avg)||23.5 sec @ 0.86 g (avg)||26.0 sec @ 0.68 g (avg)|
|1.6-MI ROAD COURSE LAP||86.01 sec||81.87 sec||90.36 sec|
|TOP-GEAR REVS @ 60 MPH||2,250 rpm||1,700 rpm||2,750 rpm|
|PRICE AS TESTED||$41,370||$92,910||$27,120|
|AIRBAGS||7: Dual front, front side, f/r curtain, driver knee||8: Dual front, side, head, knee||6: Dual front, front side, f/r curtain|
|BASIC WARRANTY||3 yrs/36,000 miles||4 yrs/50,000 miles||3 yrs/36,000 miles|
|POWERTRAIN WARRANTY||5 yrs/60,000 miles||4 yrs/50,000 miles||5 yrs/60,000 miles|
|ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE||5 yrs/60,000 miles||4 yrs/50,000 miles||2 yrs/25,000 miles|
|FUEL CAPACITY||13.7 gal||16.9 gal||13.2 gal|
|REAL MPG, CITY/HWY/COMB||Not tested||22.2/39.6/27.7 mpg||27.8/37.0/31.3 mpg|
|EPA CITY/HWY/COMB ECON||19/25/22 mpg||21/28/24 mpg||21/28/24 mpg|
|ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY||177/135 kW-hrs/100 miles||160/120 kW-hrs/100 miles||160/120 kW-hrs/100 miles|
|CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB||0.91 lb/mile||0.82 lb/mile||0.82 lb/mile|
|RECOMMENDED FUEL||Unleaded premium||Unleaded premium||Unleaded premium|
|*369 lb-ft @ 1,450-4,750 in overboost
** SAE certified
|Streets of Willow lap times (1.6 mi)|
|Year Make model trim (option)||Time|
|2015 Nissan GT-R Nismo||01:19.07|
|2014 Nissan GT-R Track Pack||01:19.55|
|2012 Nissan GT-R||01:20.25|
|2011 Chevrolet Corvette Z06||01:20.43|
|2017 Porsche 718 Boxster S (7 PDK)||01:21.87|
|2014 Audi R8 V10||01:21.90|
|2011 Ferrari 458 Italia||01:22.30|
|2014 Jaguar XKR-S GT||01:22.50|
|2014 Porsche Panamera Turbo||01:22.68|
|2013 Chevrolet Camaro SS 1LE||01:22.70|
|2015 BMW M4||01:22.94|
|2016 Chevrolet Camaro SS (2SS)||01:23.15|
|2011 Ford Shelby GT500||01:23.50|
|2015 BMW M4||01:23.73|
|2015 Lexus RC F||01:24.05|
|2016 BMW M2 (6M)||01:24.27|
|2015 Ford Mustang GT Performance Pack||01:24.29|
|2014 Audi RS7||01:24.30|
|2014 Mercedes-Benz CLS63 S AMG||01:24.71|
|2015 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S||01:24.80|
|2013 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT||01:25.11|
|2017 Chevrolet Camaro 2LT 1LE (6M)||01:25.19|
|2014 Chevrolet SS||01:25.71|
|2016 Chevrolet Camaro RS 2.0L (Summer Tires)||01:25.75|
|2015 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack||01:25.76|
|2013 Ford Mustang GT Track Pack||01:25.80|
|2016 Ford Focus RS||01:26.01|
|2015 Subaru WRX STI||01:26.12|
|2015 Mercedes-Benz CLA 45 AMG||01:26.20|
|2014 BMW M235i||01:26.37|
|2015 Jaguar XFR S||01:26.49|
|2015 Dodge Charger Hellcat||01:26.87|
|2016 Chevrolet SS||01:27.24|
|2016 Ford Mustang Perf Pack (2.3L EcoBoost)||01:27.32|
|2014 Subaru WRX||01:27.32|
|2013 Subaru Impreza WRX Special Edition||01:27.40|
|2011 BMW M3 Coupe||01:27.70|
|2014 Chrysler 300 SRT8||01:27.74|
|2011 Ford Mustang GT||01:27.80|
|2016 Chevrolet Camaro RS 2.0L (A/S Tires)||01:28.18|
|2013 Ford Focus ST||01:28.40|
|2001 BMW M5||01:28.65|
|2017 Fiat 124 Spyder Abarth (6M)||01:29.05|
|2013 Ford Mustang V-6||01:29.10|
|2013 Hyunda Genesis Coupe 2.0T R-Spec||01:29.12|
|2013 Ford Focus ST||01:29.30|
|2014 Ford Focus ST||01:29.68|
|2013 Subaru BRZ (Long Termer)||01:30.30|
|2013 Subaru BRZ Limited||01:30.30|
|2017 Toyota 86 (6M)||01:30.36|
|2013 Scion FR-S||01:31.20|
|2012 Volkswagen GTI DSG||01:31.50|
|2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata||01:31.90|