Currently reading: Britain’s Best Driver’s Car 2014 - the verdict
Our eight judges each ranked the 12 cars in order of merit, with their combined scores being used to determine the ultimate pecking order in Britain’s Best Driver’s Car 2014
Matt Prior
News
3 mins read
15 October 2014

We feared for the Alfa Romeo 4C when we planned this feature, but not all of our testers had driven one and there was a chance, we’d heard, that the geometry had been knocked out on the last one we drove. So it got another chance but didn’t take it.

We thought that Jaguar’s F-type R coupé would fare rather better. But Castle Combe is a testing circuit, to which the Jaguar’s front wheels were better tethered than its rears. We like an oversteering car, but when that’s inadvertently in a straight line at 100mph, it’s less amusing.

Also less amusing than it could be is BMW’s M4, whose trick of going as sideways, and only on demand, is combined with too few other abilities to lift it clear of Vauxhall’s VXR8. That its daytime job is being a large saloon means equal ninth is more dignified for it than it is for the BMW.

BMW’s i8 is not a sports car and its handling changes dependent on the state of its batteries. It’s also quite charming, hence a respectable eighth-place finish, just behind the Renault Mégane 275, which we all liked a lot, and the Corvette Stingray, which some of us loved more than others. A better road performance would have placed the ’Vette higher still.

The top five were much harder to separate. McLaren has extracted so much from the 650S’s mechanical layout that it’s difficult to imagine it being better, so engaging is it. It finished a whisker behind the Porsche Cayman GTS, which would have fared better still, we suspect, were this a road-only contest.

Which leaves the top three. Last year’s winner, Porsche’s 911 GT3, occupies the bottom step on the podium. On the road, it feels utterly focused. On a circuit, it feels like motorsport. But even it couldn’t match the Ariel Atom 3.5R, which was unlike anything else on the track but whose unforgiving road nature prevented a few of our testers from placing it high enough to snatch first.

Which leaves the Ferrari 458 Speciale, which, by dint of three judges placing it first and no judge lower than third, takes a very narrow victory. Come the final reckoning, none of us felt it was undeserved.

The final scores:

1. Ferrari 458 Speciale – 16 points

2. Ariel Atom 3.5R – 19

3. Porsche 911 GT3 – 27

4. Porsche Cayman GTS – 33

5. McLaren 650S – 39

6. Chevrolet Corvette Stingray – 43

7. Renault Mégane RS 275 Trophy 54

8. BMW i8 – 64

9=. BMW M4 – 78

9=. Vauxhall VXR8 GTS – 78

11. Jaguar F-type R coupé – 80

12. Alfa Romeo 4C – 93

Britain's Best Driver's Car 2014

Click on the links below to read each section of Britain's Best Driver's Car 2014.

The supercars – Ferrari 458 Speciale vs McLaren 650S vs Porsche 911 GT3

The sports coupés – BMW i8 vs Porsche Cayman GTS vs BMW M4

The V8 muscle cars – Chevrolet Corvette Stingray vs Jaguar F-type R coupé vs Vauxhall VXR8 GTS

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The misfits – Alfa Romeo 4C vs Ariel Atom 3.5R vs Renault Mégane RS 275 Trophy

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Paul Harris 17 April 2015

Such an informative article!

Such an informative article! It is really so important to know this information for me and I am feeling very much satisfied with this. The above scores are telling everything and I am pretty sure that Alfa Romeo 4C is going to be the sports car of the future. Over the years we have seen Mercedes, Jaguar, Ford, Toyota, BMW, Porsche, Audi are providing quality sports as well as luxury cars and all of them going great with their updated car models. A sports car needs proper care and maintenance for a good performance.
Safari 21 October 2014

Yawn

Get back to testing cars in the real world! One with massive pot-holes in the road, rough surfaces, cyclists and horses - children, lorries coming the other way...... Then work out which is the 'best car' this test proves how good all of these cars are on a race-track and nothing else...
FXDojiStar 16 October 2014

Same Result Again!!!

I have not missed purchasing "Britains Best Drivers Car" magazine since 1998. Sadly every year its getting more and more pridicatable (apart from Mazda MX5). Its almost always Porsche or Ferrari. We all luv these cars and yes they are awesome however its so one dimentional. I think they should be tested in the Wet & Dry, City driving, Country Driving etc as most people need to handle a car not on its limit but everyday. If you are doing a test on the limits it should also be done on wet track. Yes it takes longer and may cost Autocar more but its a much more interesting result. When are you going to Oulton Park next for "Britains Best Drivers Car" . Now thats great circuit! I look forward to 2015 now.

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