As the year draws to an end, all shorts of “car of the year” competitions start to pop up. Many of them come from publications, and one of the most interesting is the one conducted by Road & Track.
To crown their 2020 Performance Car of the Year, the editors brought 11 contenders to California’s Thunderhill Raceway Park circuit. After driving them on the track, they cut them down to six, and took them on a road trip through the Sierra Nevada twisties, by the end of which they declared the winner.
By the way, this year they did things the other way round, as usually they performed the road trip first and ended up with the track test – but, in any case, they all got to sample some of the finest sports cars currently available. Mind you, no hypercars were included, although in the past that rule was bent occasionally, as last year they brought along a McLaren Senna.
Nevertheless, it was a motley crew, with prices ranging from $30k (the Hyundai Veloster N) to $332k (the McLaren 600LT Spider) and power outputs varying wildly, from 181 to 630 HP! So, here’s the list of these year’s participants, in alphabetical order.
BMW M2 Competition
Hyundai Veloster N
Lamborghini Huracan Evo
Lexus RC F Track
Lotus Evora GT
Mazda Miata RF Club
McLaren 600LT Spider
Nissan GT-R NISMO
The criteria are way more than sheer speed and track lap times (although they do count); driver feedback and being enjoyable to drive both on the road and the circuit also play a big part in ranking the contenders and, eventually, picking a winner.
Now, every petrolhead would be more than happy with any one of these, but we reckon most would go for something exotic, like the McLaren or the Lambo, or perhaps something more accessible to the average driver, like the Toyota Supra – and let’s not forget the new, mid-engined C8 Corvette that surely has many mouths watering.
In the end, though, there could only be one winner, and we’re willing to bet you’d never guess that this one would take the crown – we know we didn’t anyway. In fact, given the quality of the machines that were competing this year, it is a very big surprise; and you can find it out in the following video.