Currently reading: Britain's best driver's car: Figures, facts and fast laps
For some, laptimes make or break a car. It's not the case in our BBDC test, because as we learn, speed doesn't always correlate with fun

Ah, lap times. We don’t judge cars based on their speed around a circuit, but it gives us a yardstick by which to measure their performance.

We expected, for example, the Lotus Exige S to be the fastest car around Bedford’s (damp-patched) West circuit by a mile, but because of a gearshift unfit to grace a Raleigh Chopper, it wasn’t. 

For fairness, to limit the wear on the heavier, more powerful cars, and so we could get through them all in consistent conditions, each car got the same treatment: an out lap, two fliers, and an in lap.

The time quoted is the quickest. Beyond the Lotus, any other surprises? Not a lot. The Cayman’s wonderful balance let it go quicker than a 911. The RS4 is a frankly astonishing piece of kit.

And the GT86 is proof that speed does not necessarily correlate with fun.

Matt Prior

Matt Prior
Title: Editor-at-large

Matt is Autocar’s lead features writer and presenter, is the main face of Autocar’s YouTube channel, presents the My Week In Cars podcast and has written his weekly column, Tester’s Notes, since 2013.

Matt is an automotive engineer who has been writing and talking about cars since 1997. He joined Autocar in 2005 as deputy road test editor, prior to which he was road test editor and world rally editor for Channel 4’s automotive website, 4Car. 

Into all things engineering and automotive from any era, Matt is as comfortable regularly contributing to sibling titles Move Electric and Classic & Sports Car as he is writing for Autocar. He has a racing licence, and some malfunctioning classic cars and motorbikes. 

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WJA90 3 November 2012

Irrelevant test?

So 30% of the test field is a Porsche of some description, and most of the other cars aren't even the best drivers cars in their class? I'd suggest that even on a sampling level the mix isn't quite right, added to an overt bias towards German machinery this test seems to be more a case of the Best Drivers Car we happened to have in the car park this week...

Driving 3 November 2012

Carbon Aluminium, V12, Speed?

V12, front engine rear box, aluminium chassis carbon fibre body, one would think the Vanquish would at least make an impression on the time sheets yet it could not even match the RS4. I guess testers had too much fun at the Nurburgring. Its not exactly Continental R type of car. I'm still in love with the DB9 though, what a looker