Ferrari 458 Italia Named MT’s Best Driver’s Car of 2011, Participates in World’s Greatest Drag Race [Video]

With an empty airstrip and eleven of the best drivers cars in the world, MotorTrend puts on the world’s greatest drag race.

Photo: Motor Trend

Photo: Motor Trend

Photo: Motor Trend

Photo: Motor Trend

Motor Trend has just announced the winner of its 2011 Best Driver’s Car competition.

The Ferrari 458 Italia took the top honors, beating out the other ten cars in the field.

The annual roundup takes into account several factors, including lapping at California’s Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, instrumented testing and street driving.

“What makes a great driver’s car? It’s not brute performance or gut-wrenching grip. A great driver’s car is about balance and finesse, about the quality of the interaction between man and machine,” writes Motor Trend Editor in Chief Angus MacKenzie.

He continues: “A great driver’s car has the chassis and powertain and brakes and steering that enable the enthusiast driver to confidently explore the limits of its performance enve lope on the track, yet remains engaging and entertaining when driven on the road. A great driver’s car doesn’t dare you to tame it; instead, it helps you maximize your potential.”

Interestingly, the 458 Italia didn’t have the quickest lap time, nor did it record the best straight-line numbers. A Chevrolet Corvette Z06 with the Z07 suspension package and barely street-legal tires managed a blistering 1:34.43 second lap at Laguna Seca, beating the 458 Italia by nearly two seconds. The 458 Italia also fell short of winning the acceleration tests, losing out to the 2012 Nissan GT-R and its all-wheel-drive.

So why did it win? You’ll have read the full article over at, or check the video above of all eleven contenders drag race simultaneously at the El Toro Marine base. [MotorTrend via AutoBlog]

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