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28-Jul-2017 16:08

We’ve not only recorded such standard MT stats as lateral g and figure eight, but also utilized a bevy of contraptions, sensors, and measuring devices to calculate such dynamics as step steer, swerve stability, and ride quality — all in our best efforts to quantify optimal handling.

A proper dissection of it could fill a book (or much of one; see “Race Car Vehicle Dynamics,” Milliken & Milliken).

To find out, we devised 18 meaningful measurements — ranging from lap times to brake pedal effort.

Acceleration is represented by three familiar numbers: time to 60 mph, time to quarter mile, and passing time, which we define as seconds elapsed accelerating from 45 to 65 mph.

These and other criteria are all scrutinized in the following pages. The Best Driver’s Car award process looks at expert qualitative feedback as well as quantitative data.

The winner will be a car that delivers a balance of useable performance, accessible handling, and driver-friendly design; a vehicle with a multidimensional personality that will delight and reward the enthusiast driver on any road at any time, regardless of weather and traffic conditions.”THE CONTENDERSAUDI R8PRICE: 8,000* DRIVELINE: Mid engine/4.2L V-8/420 hp/317 lb-ft/6M/AWDSUSPENSION, F; R: Control arms, coils, adj shocks, anti-roll bar; control arms, coils, adj shocks, anti-roll bar BRAKE DISCS/CALIPERS, F; R: 15.0-in vented/8-piston; 14.0-in vented/4-piston, ABSCURB WEIGHT (DIST F/R): 3654 lb (44/56%)TIRES, F; R: 235/35R19 91Y; 305/30R19 100Y Pirelli PZero BMW 135i PRICE: ,775* DRIVELINE: Front engine/3.0L twin-turbo I-6/300 hp/300 lb-ft/6M/RWDSUSPENSION, F; R: Struts, coils, anti-roll bar; multilink, coils, anti-roll bar BRAKE DISCS/CALIPERS, F; R: 13.3-in vented/6-piston; 12.8-in vented/2-piston, ABSCURB WEIGHT (DIST F/R): 3364 lb (52/48%)TIRES, F; R: 215/40R18 85Y; 245/35R18 88Y Bridgestone Potenza RE050ACADILLAC CTS-VPRICE: ,000*DRIVELINE: Front engine/6.2L s’charged V-8/556 hp/551 lb-ft/6A/RWDSUSPENSION, F; R: Control arms, coils, adj shocks, anti-roll bar; multilink, coils, adj shocks, anti-roll bar BRAKE DISCS/CALIPERS, F; R: 14.6-in vented/6-piston; 14.4-in vented/4-piston, ABSCURB WEIGHT (DIST F/R): 4277 lb (54/46%)TIRES, F; R: 255/40R19 96Y; 285/35R19 99Y Michelin Pilot Sport Chevrolet Camaro SSPRICE: ,040* DRIVELINE: Front engine/6.2L V-8/426 hp/420 lb-ft/6M/RWDSUSPENSION, F; R: Struts, coils, anti-roll bar; multilink, coils, anti-roll bar BRAKE DISCS/CALIPERS, F; R: 14.0-in vented/4-piston; 14.4-in vented/4-piston, ABSCURB WEIGHT (DIST F/R): 3888 lb (58/42%)TIRES, F; R: 245/45R20 103Y; 275/40R20 106Y Pirelli PZero Chevrolet Corvette ZR1PRICE: 6,620* DRIVELINE: Front engine/6.2L supercharged V-8/638 hp/604 lb-ft/6M/RWDSUSPENSION, F; R: Control arms, transverse leaf, adj shocks, anti-roll bar; multilink, transverse leaf, adj shocks, anti-roll bar BRAKE DISCS/CALIPERS, F; R: 15.5-in CCM vented, drilled/6-piston; 15.0-in CCM vented, drilled/4-piston, ABSCURB WEIGHT (DIST F/R): 3358 lb (52/48%)TIRES, F; R: 285/30R19 87Y; 335/25R20 94Y Michelin Pilot Sport 2* Base price plus any options that impact performance FORD SHELBY GT500PRICE: ,175* DRIVELINE: Front engine/5.4L supercharged V-8/540 hp/510 lb-ft/6M/RWDSUSPENSION, F; R: Struts, coils, anti-roll bar; live axle, coils, anti-roll bar BRAKE DISCS/CALIPERS, F; R: 14.0-in vented/4-piston; 11.8-in vented/2-piston, ABSCURB WEIGHT (DIST F/R): 3903 lb (58/42%)TIRES, F; R: 255/40R19 96W; 285/35R19 90W Goodyear Eagle F1JAGUAR XFRPRICE: ,000* DRIVELINE: Front engine/5.0L supercharged V-8/510 hp/461 lb-ft/6A/RWDSUSPENSION, F; R: Control arms, coils, adj shocks, anti-roll bar; multilink, coils, adj shocks, anti-roll bar BRAKE DISCS/CALIPERS, F; R: 15.0-in vented/2-piston; 14.8-in vented/1-piston, ABSCURB WEIGHT (DIST F/R): 4378 lb (52/48%)TIRES, F; R: 255/35R20 97Y; 285/30R20 99Y Dunlop SP Sport Maxx MAZDA MX-5 MIATA GRAND TOURINGPRICE: ,600*DRIVELINE: Front engine/2.0L I-4/167 hp/140 lb-ft/6M/RWDSUSPENSION, F; R: Control arms, coils, anti-roll bar; multilink, coils, anti-roll bar BRAKE DISCS/CALIPERS, F; R 11.4-in vented/1-piston; 11.0-in vented/1-piston, ABSCURB WEIGHT (DIST F/R): 2516 lb (52/48%)TIRES: 205/45R17 84W Bridgestone Potenza RE050ANissan 370Z NISMOPRICE: ,850* DRIVELINE: Front engine/3.7L V-6/350 hp/276 lb-ft/6M/RWDSUSPENSION, F; R: Control arms, coils, anti-roll bar; multilink, coils, anti-roll bar BRAKE DISCS/CALIPERS, F; R: 14.0-in vented/4-piston; 13.8-in vented/2-piston, ABSCURB WEIGHT (DIST F/R): 3374 lb (55/45%)TIRES, F; R: 245/40R19 95Y; 285/35R19 98Y Yokohama Advan Sport Porsche Cayman SPRICE: ,355* DRIVELINE: Mid engine/3.4L flat-6/320 hp/273 lb-ft/7-sp twin-cl auto/RWDSUSPENSION, F; R: Struts, coils, adj shocks, anti-roll bar; multilink, coils, adj shocks, anti-roll bar BRAKE DISCS/CALIPERS, F; R: 12.5-in vented, drilled/4-piston; 11.8-in vented, drilled/4-piston, ABSCURB WEIGHT (DIST F/R): 3176 lb (45/55%)TIRES, F; R: 235/35R19 87Y; 265/35R19 94Y Michelin Pilot Sport* Base price plus any options that impact performance HOW WE TESTEDAs it happens, the entire time I’ve been crunching away at all the vehicle-dynamics numbers you’ll be encountering, I’ve been listening to on my computer. In short, it’s a Web site where you can create your own online music “station” by selecting an artist you like and then fine-tune its subsequent self-generated song offerings with an occasional thumbs up or down.Steering gain, recorded on the skidpad, is how much additional steering angle is required-above what’s necessary just to creep around it at a few mph-to produce 0.5 g of lateral acceleration.