If one were to make a geographical map with the birthplaces of each truly great driver’s car throughout history, this year would see the markers over Stuttgart, Germany grow disproportionately more numerous: Stuttgart manufacturers took both first and second place in this year’s “Best Driver’s Car” test from Motor Trend.
One of the two most lauded driver’s cars ought to be immediately obvious: the 2016 Porsche Cayman GT4. We recently shared a video of the German rocket setting a hot lap at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in the hands of Motor Trend‘s racing-driver-on-retainer: Randy Pobst.
About Stuttgart’s Porsche Cayman GT4, Motor Trend’s Jason Cammisa wrote that the words “perfect, wonderful, devilish, racy, great, incredible, beautiful, awesome, absolutely phenomenal, the best, the finest, and ‘I’m in love'” appeared repeatedly in the editors’ comments. Unfortunately, the magazine also corroborated Pobst’s more negative observations of the car: that the gearing is too tall, and that even with the sway bars adjusted to mitigate understeer, it was unfortunately present. All that was still enough to earn the Porsche Cayman GT4 a second-place finish out of the ten cars tested.
What came in first? Why, the Mercedes-AMG GT S, also born and raised in Stuttgart, Germany.
The twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V8 in the Mercedes-AMG GT S delighted the editors at Motor Trend. That’s despite some initial apprehension regarding AMG’s decision to move away from the normally-aspirated, 6.2-liter V8 of days past, threatening to reduce immediate throttle response by introducing turbo lag.
But that concern is a non-starter, according to Motor Trend, partly due to the turbos’ positioning between the cylinder banks, which reduces the amount of required plumbing. The engine produces a savory 503 HP and 479 lb-ft, with a broad, flat torque curve and no discernible lag.
That Randy Pobst later stated that he “[doesn’t] know if [he has] ever driven a better-handling car… I love it that much,” is just the icing on the cake. And, of course, it’s the reason that the Mercedes-AMG GT S earned the title of this year’s “Best Driver’s Car” from Motor Trend.
Bravo, Stuttgart. Bravo.