WAIT... what!? The Porsche? The bloody porker? But what about the Fezza? After all, it was on its first Ferrari sanctioned multicar assessment in Australia. Surely this was the one the Italians had to win, right? This is Performance Car of the Year, dammit!
I went to my local newsagent in anticipation of finding the latest PCOTY results. Front and centre on the cover was one of, if not the, most revered cars in recent history, and my mind instantly went ‘winner’.
And then I looked in the bottom right-hand corner and read ‘one upset’.
My heart stopped. So I checked the cover again. Lambo Huracan, M2 Pure, HSV Clubbie, GT-R, Mustang, Porsche 911 Turbo S and the Focus RS. How the hell could any of these even come close to the mighty 488, let alone topple it?
I’d like to tell you that I diligently returned home and went through the entire PCOTY process before getting to the winner, but I was barely out the door of the newsagent before I had to know what the upset was!
And there it was, second place! Not to mention a $51K hot hatch right up its clacker in third. What the hell is going on? So I went through the tests – all 59 pages. And now realise the rightful winner was crowned.
Much as I pined for my automotive hero to win, it became obvious the further I got into the tests that the cars were really being measured against the criteria. NVH, luggage capacity, etc, came into play. Not normally things I’d associate with performance, but there is a measuring criteria for liveability, so these must be assessed. It’s clear all cars were put through the same paces, free of any preference or bias.
The Focus in third place, wedged between a $600K Ferrari and an M2 Pure – notably finishing in front of the Lambo! It’s almost inconceivable, until you turn back to the criteria, of course.
A stellar field of contenders, rigorous testing and the new criteria to stack everything up against. I have a strong belief that the tests and measures in place for PCOTY are very real and strictly adhered to. It lends credibility to both the result and the publication when rigid, unwavering standards are applied evenly across all comers. And it’s very clear that they were.
Fair play Porsche, congratulations on a well-earned win. Roll on PCOTY 2018.
Thanks for you comments, Robert. It’s great to see you obviously share as much passion for PCOTY as we do here at MOTOR HQ. Indeed, once the Ferrari was confirmed and in front of us at DECA, the judges could see little reason why the 2017 honours wouldn’t go the way of Maranello. However, as you quite rightly point out, once put up against the criteria and horrid Winton weather, the formidable Porsche became hard to beat. The 488 GTB’s brilliance is clear, but the Turbo S is an undeniably worthy winner in an ultra-competitive field.