The Porsche Cayman R has been declared Britain’s Best Driver’s Car for 2011 after winning the annual contest run by Autocar magazine.
The comparison test pitched 11 of this year’s most exciting new cars against each other on public road and racetrack to determine which one provides the greatest thrill for its driver.
The 11 cars on test were worth a total of almost £900,000. The Cayman R’s competition included: McLaren MP4-12C, Mercedes CLS64 AMG, Vauxhall Corsa VXR, Renault Mégane Trophy, Caterham Supersport, Aston Martin Vantage S, Jaguar XKR-S, Lotus Evora S and BMW 1M.
For the six judges from Autocar’s experienced road test team, it was the £51,728 Cayman R’s completeness, steering and ride that stood out – no mean feat considering that last year’s winner, the Porsche 911 GT3 RS, was also a contender.
In a well-deserved second place was the light and nimble Caterham Seven Supersport. Priced £22,995, the Caterham was also one of the cheapest cars in the contest. Third place went to the Aston Martin V8 Vantage S, with the 911 GT3 RS managing only fourth this time around.
Despite the technical brilliance and undoubted pace of the £168,500 McLaren MP4-12C, speed does not necessarily equal fun, so sixth place was the best it could muster in the test, one place behind the Lotus Evora S.
Autocar’s editor-at-large and Britain’s Best Driver’s Car judge, Steve Sutcliffe, said: “The Porsche Cayman R’s steering is about as sweet as it gets and the ride is 150 times better than it has any right to be considering how little body movement there is when you’re really going for it.
“Right now this car is as good as it gets when it comes to pure driver satisfaction. And that’s saying something when the opposition is as good as it is.”