ASTON MARTIN V12 VANTAGE (1 to 3): Just about every member of the CAR editorial team had to suppress the urge to imitate (albeit somewhat poorly) James Bond when aboard the Aston. The interior, like the rest of the car, is exquisitely finished. No-one managed to find the button for the rocket launcher, however.
AUDI R8 V10 (4 to 6): Audi is usually highly praised for its perceived interior quality, and the R8 V10 was no different. This vehicle broke CAR records in its September 2009 road test with a zero to 100 km/h of sub-four seconds. How did it fare as a driver’s car against such talented opposition?
BENTLEY CONTINENTAL GT (7 to 9): The W12 of the Bentley was the most powerful car in the shootout, but also the largest and heaviest. Still, Mike Monk, had good reason to choose it for this trip.
BMW M3 (10-12): Amongst the other heavy machinery you see here, the M3 may seem like a mild choice for this exercise, but with its superb 4,0-litre V8 and much-vaunted M-DCT gearbox it’s not a car to underestimate…
CHEVROLET LUMINA UTE SS (13 to 15): As one of the cheapest V8s out there, this vehicle is not to be overlooked. Peter Palm surely made a good argument for it when he picked it for the shootout.
NISSAN GT-R (16-18): This was one of the most eagerly-anticipated performance cars to come to South Africa this past year, and in its October 2009 road test summary, it was described as “… one of the very best of the supercar breed”. On the long road and the on the track, how does it rate as a driver’s car?
LAMBORGHINI GALLARDO LP560-4 (19-21): The Gallardo impresses on looks alone – it is jaw droppingly gorgeous from all angles. The power, spine-chilling noise and performance round off an already exceptional package.
MASERATI GRANTURISMO S (22-24): At the beginning of the trip, it was suggested that the handsomely-styled Maserati was something of a dark horse in the shootout. It seemed to tick all the right boxes for such an exercise; space, comfort, and prodigious power…how did it do?
PORSCHE BOXSTER S (25-27): Many agreed that the little Porsche is a very capable and likable car. Was its finely-balanced handling a match for the sheer firepower of its rivals?
To see which vehicle won the title of ultimate driver’s car, get your hands on the January 2010 issue of CAR Magazine, on sale December 14.