The results of the first-round are in!
The editors differed on a few of the first-round matchups, which made for a lively editorial conference call earlier this morning. Surprisingly, the readers and the editors agreed on all but four – or 75 percent – of the cars in the initial bracket. Here’s where it gets interesting …
Matchup #1: Ford Mustang Fox Body vs. Nissan 200SX
Tom Stahler: I liked the drop-top version of the 200SX. I never liked the Fox Body Mustangs. My vote is for the Nissan.
Larry Edsall: I like the Nissan 200SX, but the popular Mustang wins this round.
Bob Golfen: This long-lived series has gained new levels of popularity. Fox Body for sure.
Ford Mustang Fox Body (61.54%) vs. Nissan 200SX (38.46%)
Ford Mustang Fox Body
Matchup #2: McLaren 720S vs. Ferrari 599
Tom Stahler: Don’t you just love front engine Ferraris? I do!
Larry Edsall: Basically, I’m voting against the fact there are two McLarens among the 32 “teams.” Who set up this bracket, the NCAA?
Bob Golfen: Awesome front-engine Ferrari beats also awesome but trendy McLaren.
McLaren 720S (57.69%) vs. Ferrari 599 (42.31%)
Matchup #3: Porsche 964 vs. A90 Supra
Tom Stahler: I’m a Porsche guy. There is no substitute.
Larry Edsall: I’m voting for the 964, though the 993, the last of the air-cooled, is the Porsche 911 you want.
Bob Golfen: Toyota’s skillful reboot of classic nameplate.
Porsche 964 (64.71%) vs. A90 Supra (35.29%)
Matchup #4: Ford Taurus SHO vs. Subaru GC8
Tom Stahler: Always loved the SHO-boats, particularly with a manual.
Larry Edsall: A vote for Detroit, and for Yamaha.
Bob Golfen: A blowout for the mighty WRX against the largely forgotten SHO.
Ford Taurus SHO (52.94%) vs. Subaru GC8 (47.06%)
Ford Taurus SHO
Matchup #5: Dodge Demon vs. VW Golf R
Tom Stahler: A factory dragster for the modern age. 700+ horsepower, what could go wrong?
Larry Edsall: I think a nimble car beats ridiculous horsepower every time when it comes to fun behind the wheel. It’s the Golf this round.
Bob Golfen: A close one, but the Demon rules with sheer horsepower.
Dodge Demon (58.82%) vs. VW Golf R (41.18%)
Matchup #6: Lamborghini Murcielago Gated Manual vs. R35 GTR
Tom Stahler: I love the GT-R, however, paddle shifting and all-wheel drive pales in comparison to Italian design and a gated shifter, ‘nuff said!
Larry Edsall: Too many Skylines among the 32 finalists but, well, they sure are fun to drive.
Bob Golfen: Another close one, but the rise of Japanese performance nudges out the great Lamborghini.
Lamborghini Murcielago Gated Manual (61.54%) vs. R35 GTR (38.46%)
Matchup #7: Ferrari 458 vs. Lexus ISF
Tom Stahler: The Lexus is overpriced and heavy. The nimble Ferrari will beat it every time.
Larry Edsall: Seriously? Ferrari vs. Lexus. No contest.
Bob Golfen: Fat V8 power up front vs fat V8 power amidships, with balance winning out, along with style.
Ferrari 458 (82.69%) vs. Lexus ISF (17.31%)
Matchup #8: Lamborghini Aventador vs. Mazda MX-5 Miata
Tom Stahler: We witnessed the Gen-1 release many years ago. Is there a purer sports car in the modern age? I think not.
Larry Edsall: Pound for pound and dollar for dollar, the Miata is perhaps the best sports car ever produced.
Bob Golfen: A lopsided contest, akin to the Knicks vs St. Mary’s High School. Aventador wins.
Lamborghini Aventador (75.00%) vs. Mazda MX-5 Miata (25.00%)
Mazda MX-5 Miata
Matchup #9: Dodge Hellcat vs. Mazda RX-7
Tom Stahler: Gotta love rotaries! No matter the generation of the car (the last was my favorite) they are just beautifully designed, and sound so unique.
Larry Edsall: See my choice of the Golf R above. RX-7 wins this round.
Bob Golfen: While the RX-7 has been on the rise lately, the Hellcat powers its way to the top.
Dodge Hellcat 68.63% vs. Mazda RX-7 (31.37%)
Matchup #10: 997 Porsche GT2RS vs. Lamborghini Huracan
Tom Stahler: Porsche. Rennsport. Drools.
Larry Edsall: I pick the Porsche, but it’s the 993 you really want.
Bob Golfen: This one starts out strong and will stay that way.
997 Porsche GT2RS (65.38%) vs. Lamborghini Huracan (34.62%)
997 Porsche GT2 RS
Matchup #11: 991.2 Porsche GT3RS vs. Toyota MR2
Tom Stahler: Porsche. Yep.
Larry Edsall: A nod to Toyota, but basically, I’ve already voted for two Porsches so it’s someone else’s turn. MR-2.
Bob Golfen: Another lopsided contest. Porsche.
991.2 GT3RS (88.46%) vs. Toyota MR2 (11.54%)
991.2 Porsche GT3 RS
Matchup #12: McLaren 620R vs. BMW M2
Tom Stahler: Remembering the great Bruce McLaren. Not the world’s biggest fan of the Bavarian marque. Though I have a few favorites, a tuned 2-series is not even on the radar.
Larry Edsall: At least one McLaren has to advance out of the opening round.
Bob Golfen: The ‘race car for the road’ will always be exceptional.
McLaren 620R (82.35%) vs. BMW M2 (17.65%)
Matchup #13: Corvette ZR1 vs. BMW 2002
Tom Stahler: This was the hardest choice. The 1990 ZR-1 was one of the monsters that rescued car culture from the ’70s and ’80s abyss of crappy underpowered cars. The Mercury Marine-developed powerplant was amazing. The C5 body? Meh. I love the look of the 2002. I vote ZR-1.
Larry Edsall: If you’ve ever driven a 2002 you know why I voted as I have.
Bob Golfen: ZR-1. No contest.
Corvette ZR1 (78.43%) vs. BMW 2002 (21.57%)
Matchup #14: Porsche Carrera GT vs. Dodge Viper
Tom Stahler: The Carrera GT is a blue-chip car and was an instant classic, but the Viper was the other car (besides the ZR-1) that brought horsepower and design back to a hungry (starving) car culture.
Larry Edsall: Tough decision. I’ve driven both the Porsche and the Viper on racetracks. What impressed me about the Carrera GT was that it was a supercar that still felt like a Porsche, not like some freak from an experimental laboratory.
Bob Golfen: The Viper is cool but Carrera GT is great.
Porsche Carrera GT (60.78%) vs. Dodge Viper (39.22%)
Porsche Carrera GT
Matchup #15: Cadillac CTS-V vs. MKIV Supra
Tom Stahler: I love the CTS-V – particularly with the 6-speed. I would easily take one of these over an M5 any day. This car proved America can build hot luxury!
Larry Edsall: Another vote by default, but the CTS-V you really want was the early station wagon with the manual transmission!
Bob Golfen: The Toyota Supra Mk IV is riding the Fast and/or Furious wave into the future.
Cadillac CTS-V (54.90%) vs. MKIV Supra (45.10%)
Matchup #16: R34 Skyline vs. Mitsubishi Eclipse (2nd Gen)
Tom Stahler: What can I say? It’s a pure Japanese muscle car that can handle. Would love me a right-hand-drive JDM!
Larry Edsall: The Eclipse is a road-legal rally car.
Bob Golfen: A classic and always-desired JDM performance icon.
R34 Skyline (86.00%) vs. Mitsubishi Eclipse (2nd Gen) (14.00%)
Here are your second-round matchups …
Check back on Friday, March 20th, for the results of the second-round!