More digits than an international mobile number
For straight-line testing on Winton’s central strip (which is fairly grippy) we run each car as many times as necessary to get the best number we feel it has in it.
A very finely tuned bum-o-meter helps, as does quite a plump bag of tricks, from which gear to start in, to tyre temp, pressure, you name it. Conditions were sunny, approximately 25-30 degrees and, of course, dry.
Here's what we test for at Performance Car of the Year.
This test benchmarks each car on how it tackles the quarter-mile in its factory setting. Porsche's 911 Turbo S, the fastest car we've ever performance tested in PCOTY history, blitzed the field with a 10.28 second pass - which is almost enough to get you kicked out of a dragstrip and told to come back with parachutes.
This metric measures the trap speed achieved as each competitor passes the flags at the end of quarter-mile testing. Again, Porsche's ballistic Turbo S rose head and shoulders above the field, although the AMG GT R Pro - which finished fourth in the 400m sprint - clocked the second highest V-max.
We also independently measure the 0-100km/h capabilities of each of our PCOTY contestants to see what figures are able to be extracted in the real world. This also handily allows us to gauge which OEM's are sandbagging their figures, and which are being modest with their factory claims.
Braking performance is also a crucial metric, for dynamic assessment as well as real world safety. We measure the stopping distance required by each contender from a cruising speed of 100km/h, standing on the brakes as we pass the markers. It was Herrod's SM17 Mustang and its 380mm six-piston Brembos which pulled up stumps the quickest.
The hot lap component provides an essential lens through which each car's talents can be inspected; with a professional racing driver unearthing inherent dynamic shortcomings, or highlighting the remarkable technical abilities befitting today's cream of the crop. The Mercedes-AMG GT R Pro proved revelatory, positioned in the mid-field in power output, yet scorching the Winton production car lap record in its wake.
Tying into the data gathered from our circuit telemetry, terminal velocity registered in each car's flying laps shows how deftly our competitors deploy their talents on the race track. The 911 Turbo S and its prodigious performance figures devoured Winton's straightaways as expected, but the AMG GT R Pro achieved a higher terminal velocity thanks to its comprehensive aero package and trick suspension - despite yielding a 48kW deficit to the Porsche.