I don’t know how many of you read the Robb Report, but I’ve always enjoyed it as both motivation to work smarter and for the preposterously pricey toys they review (not to mention the analogies some of the editors choose can only be appreciated by those with a net worth well into the 8 figure range). Anyway, the results of the Robb Report’s Car of the Year competition for 2008 were reported on in this month’s edition.
This year’s test was hosted by the Meadowood resort in St. Helena, California and the neighboring Reserve (a fractionally owned vineyard in Napa Valley). Forty invited and incredibly lucky guests were on hand to drive the 14 hand selected choices that comprised this years mix; an eclectic mix at that.
Audi R8 - Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano - Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet - Bentley Continental GT Speed - Aston Martin V8 Vantage Roadster - Mercedes Benz CL63 AMG - Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe - Maserati Granturismo - Lamborghini LP640 Roadster - Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Roadster - Lexus LS600h L - BMW M6 Convertible - Saleen S302 Extreme - Dodge Viper SRT10
The drivers were paired up and given 30 minutes with each car or 15 minutes of driving time per car. According to the Robb Report, "judges were to rate each car, on a scale of 1 to 5, on 15 different – and entirely subjective – criteria, including design, ergonomics, and performance". As the scoring in this year’s contest was so close, at least amongst the top three, the magazine chose to devise a “rating system that would better contextualize the range from first to 14th place”. So, put very simply, “the winning car was given a rating of 100. Each other cars’ ratings represents the percentage of points it received in relation to the winner’s point total.”
Ok, enough of the background and set-up what does all this have to do with Porsche? Fair question. As you can see from the list above, there is a Porsche on the list. SPOILER ALERT. DON’T READ ANY FURTHER IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW WHAT CAR WON THE CONTEST!!!
The list above is in order of the way the cars were scored. The Audi R8 came in first and was awarded the title of the Robb Report Car of the Year 2008. Unfortunately, Porsche didn't win. What was interesting about this year’s competition is the fact that the top three cars, Audi, Ferrari and Porsche all scored so close to each other in terms of points (100, 98.9 and 98.1) respectively. Even more interesting and the reason you are reading this here is the following excerpt from the article:
“The Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet may not have garnered as many first-place votes as either the Audi R8 or the Ferrari 599, but it dominated our unofficial “Will Buy” category, which, had it counted for points, easily would have given Porsche enough of them to claim this year’s crown. More judges promised to purchase Turbo Cabriolets than any other car in this group, an endorsement that might be more significant than a first-place vote.”
To me, that last sentence sums it up. Here is a group of people that can truly afford to purchase any one of these cars and the overwhelming majority of them favored the Porsche. I know I’m Porsche biased, but it’s always nice to know that there are plenty of other people out there that share those same feelings.
The Robb Report is one of only a number of different magazines I read on a monthly basis looking for new information on Porsche and other car related topics. Later this week I’ll be exploring the various magazines and periodicals available to the Porsche fan (at least those that I’m aware of). I would love to hear from you on what your favorite sources for Porsche information are.
If you would like to see a quick video that showcase the 14 different cars in the competition you can do so here.