Our megaest (is that even a word?) mega-test of the year is back. Here are the best cars and bikes of the year – each of them tested to near destruction so that we can tell you which is best.
Of course, we’re back at the BIC – not merely because we enjoy pounding around in fun cars and bikes, but also because this is the only venue in which we can truly test each new vehicle launched in the past year. Well, all the ones we can get our hands on anyway.
We’re not just testing how fast a machine is, but also evaluating its quality, comfort, ride, handling, refinement, design, drivetrain and practicality. We make every attempt to be as transparent, objective and scientific about this as possible. But there are some subjective factors as well. For instance, X-Factor (which gets 20 points in the case of the cars, and 15 points in the case of the bikes) is that little special something that a machine brings to the table. With its heritage and folklore, the Mustang, for example, is simply the poster child for X-Factor!
Value for Money is one of the most important aspects in our market, and, therefore, it gets the most points – both for the cars as well as the bikes. Of course, its not just a case of giving the most inexpensive machine the greatest points – but looking at just what it offers relative to its competition.
The only purely objective field is Lap Time, which is recorded for each machine using the transponders at the track. This gives us a uniform method to determine virtually all the dynamic factors, such as power, high-speed stability, handling, braking, etc. And, well, we all like to drive and ride – so this is important to us.
The fastest car of the bunch was the Lamborghini Huracan, while the slowest was the Datsun redi-GO – the two were separated by 57.8 seconds and 15 points, which equates to .3 points per second. Now, last year, the lap times were set by professionals. But this year the times were set by our regular track testers – Editor Dhruv Behl in the cars, and Contributing Editor Ashish Jha on bikes. The rationale being that the cars and bikes that make it easier to approach their limits are the ones that will impress. Moreover, our aim here isn’t to break lap records but merely to set consistent and representative lap times over two days – which leads to a fair and representative scoring system that takes into account the full range of a vehicle’s strengths and weakenesses. The evaluators include our full team of experienced road testers, each of whom score each vehicle on the different parametrs before the final scores are averaged and computed.
So, as they say, let the games begin…