Americas Best Handling Cars - Motor Trend - Track Testing

Motor Trend Motor Trend did subjective testing on how the cars felt, and ran the numbers for lap times, peak G's and average G's over the Laguna Seca track. . The R8 finished on top. The GT-R was 5th by the subjective testing. Subjectively the Dodge Viper ACR was first, then the GT-R , Audi R8. The Viper ACR is fast. Almost as fast as a World Challenge Viper.

BEST LAP (MIN:SEC): 1:40.453

"Sweet!" gushes Pobst after his maximum laps in Godzilla. "Really comfortable on the track. GT-R can easily handle its power-I want more! Minimal body roll, but still good control. I could break the rear end loose when I wanted to, but when it went it really went. Steering is quick, very quick responding-which allowed me to catch the car easily. Really, it's a beastly car-not necessarily in a bad way. It's a visceral car to drive. A lot of fun." Which begs the obvious question: Given his enthusiasm, and the GT-R's impressive track numbers, why didn't Pobst rank the GT-R higher than fifth? "While it predominately understeers slightly, it can easily be provoked into snap oversteer. That was fun, but the GT-R is violent when it breaks loose; the R8, in contrast, drifts sweetly. The "R" mode really isn't a race mode-there's still a lot of stability control working, which is fine for the average guy but frustrating for me as a race driver. And before you turn stability control completely off, boy, you'd better have a lot of car-control clinics under your belt. The R8 is much more refined, a muscular dancer. The GT-R is a wrestler."

BEST LAP (MIN:SEC): 1:35.117

On the numbers boards, the Dodge Viper ACR devastated the field. Quickest in the figure eight by nearly half a second. Most lateral grip by far. Fastest lap time by almost five seconds. Ah, but that was almost a given: With its adjustable suspension (tuned by a Dodge engineer prior to our track laps), downforce-churning rear wing, and huge, barely legal Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires, the Viper ACR is in all fairness a race car you can drive on the street. Pobst loves it. "We just made the jump to light speed! Just raised the limits of cornering and braking into another dimension. Tires felt grippier than many full-slicks cars I've raced. But when they break away, it's quick and it's big. Still, I felt in complete control." So how did this big black bat finish only seventh on Pobst's scorecard? "The Viper is high in terms of numbers," he says. "But it's brutal. It's like riding a bull. It's tremendous fun, and I love that there aren't any electronic stability controls, but if you're going to drive the Viper anywhere near its limit, you had better know what you're doing. It's not a finesse car. It's enjoyable but crude."

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Item Reviewed: Americas Best Handling Cars - Motor Trend - Track Testing Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Sean Morris