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2014 Motor Trend's Best Driver's Car: Where's My Favorite Car?!

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 9/25/2014 Scott Evans

Motor Trend 's Best Driver's Car comes but once a year, but we think about it constantly. With every new sports car revealed, the same conversation inevitably occurs around our office: Will it be available for BDC, and how will it do?

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Unfortunately, sometimes the answer to the first question is a heartbreaking "No." BDC testing occurs in the summer, and there's no guarantee that an all-new sports car will be ready for primetime by then. With new cars being teased and revealed earlier and earlier by manufacturers hoping to gin up hype, there's always a question as to when we in the press will actually be able to drive them. Sometimes, they're just not ready in time for our test. Other times, the manufacturer declines to participate. No matter what, though, you can be sure we asked for them. Now and then we even begged.

Why not delay the test for that super-exciting new car? It's just not logistically feasible. Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, our racetrack of choice, is booked nearly every day of the year. We request our dates (from a very small pool) six months in advance, and once they're set, there's no changing them. Even if we could, the logistics of changing the loans on nearly a dozen other cars, all of which the rest of the automotive media is desperately trying to get ahold, isn't feasible either. The show must go on.

We should also mention the basic criteria of BDC. Like our Of The Year competitions, a car must be all-new or substantially updated in order to compete. Unlike our Of The Year competitions, we invite the previous year's winner back to defend its crown against the latest and greatest sports cars. If a car didn't win in previous years, it won't be invited back until it's gotten a substantial update. All competitors must also be able to complete the full test, including road tripping, closed road performance driving, and track driving. Finally, some of it comes down to experience. We drive every new car as soon as we're able, and when it comes time to narrow down the BDC invite list, we rely on our experience to determine whether a car drives well enough to merit an invite over a competitor.

Still don't know why your favorite new sports car wasn't in this year's competition? Read below for detailed accounts.


BMW M235i

With two higher-performance BMWs already in the test, we decided that the little half-M could stay parked this time. It's a fun car, but BMW was already well-represented, and, based on our experience, the M235i isn't a better driver's car than the M4.


Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Z51 and Z06

Much to our disappointment, the all-new Corvette Stingray Z51 was not out in time to make last year's BDC competition. We finally got a crack at the car a few months later when we staged a BDC Redux in which we pitted the Z51 against the BDC-winning Porsche 911 Carrera 4S and the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta under full BDC rules. The 911 won that contest, too. We decided to treat that test as a second BDC, so the Corvette Z51, having lost, was not invited this year.

The Z06, meanwhile, will not be out until the end of this year and was not available at the time of our test. We plan to invite it next year.


Dodge Challenger Hellcat

As with the Corvette last year, we hoped to get the first Hellcat off the line, but the timing didn't line up and no Hellcats were available at the time of our test.


Dodge Viper T/A 2.0

The Viper T/A 2.0 did not debut until after our test was complete.


Ferrari 458 Speciale

We invited the 458 Speciale to compete. As in previous years, Ferrari declined our invitation.


Ferrari LaFerrari

Ferrari is not loaning any LaFerraris out to the press. To date, we have only driven it on a Ferrari press trip near the headquarters.


Ford Mustang

The all-new Ford Mustang was not out yet at the time of our test.


2014 Motor Trend's Best Driver's Car: Where's My Favorite Car?!

Honda Civic Si

The updated Civic Si lost a track test to the Volkswagen Golf GTI, so the GTI was invited and the Civic Si wasn't.


Jaguar XE S

The XE S did not debut until after our test.


Lamborghini Huracán

Lamborghini did not have any Huracán press vehicles available in the U.S. at the time of our test.


Lexus RC F

Much like the Corvette last year and the Hellcat this year, we'd hoped to get the first RC F off the line in our competition. Unfortunately, Lexus didn't consult us when it set its production schedule, and the RC F was not ready in time. We plan to invite it next year.


Mazda MX-5 Miata

The new Miata didn't debut until after our test. We plan to invite it next year.

2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Convertible© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Convertible


McLaren 650S

We invited the 650S to compete and McLaren accepted. Then, at the last minute, McLaren pulled out, nervous about how the car would perform.


McLaren P1

McLaren is not loaning any P1s out to the press. To date, we have only driven it at a McLaren press event near the headquarters.


Mercedes-AMG GT

The AMG GT did not debut until after our test was complete. We plan to invite it next year.


Mini Cooper S

The new Cooper S lost a track test to the Volkswagen Golf GTI, so the GTI was invited and the Mini wasn't.


Pagani Huayra

We invited the Huayra to compete, and Pagani initially expressed interest, but did not commit. As the test date approached, Pagani backed out, saying it did not have a car available that day.


Porsche 911 GT3

We hoped to have the GT3 compete this year rather than the 911 Turbo, however, the GT3 engine recall kept it out of the competition. At the time of our test, Porsche was busy replacing engines in customer GT3s and had not replaced the engines in its GT3 press cars yet, so they were unavailable.


Porsche 918 Spyder

As you'll see in the story, the 918 Spyder did participate briefly. Unfortunately, Porsche was only able to make a car available for one day of testing at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Because it was not available for the road driving portions of the test, it became simply an honorable mention, but not a full competitor.


Volkswagen Golf R

The Golf R was not available in the U.S. yet at the time of our test.



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