So on what basis did we judge the McLaren MP4-12C to have won this category?
Well, there’s its neck snappingly rapid acceleration for a start. That mid-mounted 3.8-litre twin turbocharged engine kicks out a healthy 592 horsepower, and bolted into a vehicle weighing just 1,300kg thanks to its carbon fibre tub, it leaves a trail of scalded rabbits breathless in your wake every time you floor the throttle.
Then there’s the formidable road holding and executive saloon-like comfort levels. No that’s not a typo; in the McLaren, you really can have both. For the daily commute select Normal on the handling and powertrain dials and you’ll be soaking up potholes and speed bumps with aplomb. If you’re used to its European competitors, the MP4-12C will leave you comfortably impressed, but perhaps wondering if the McLaren is too soft for the twisties.
But fear not, because switching to Sport mode on winding roads has the MP4-12C pricking up its ears, stiffening its sinews and hurtling off into the distance like an excited puppy chasing a Teflon-coated stick.
Those engineers at Woking know a thing or two about suspension and their hydraulic/active damper system means the MP4-12C can be thrown around the curves with precious little body roll, accompanied by a marginally louder soundtrack and levels of road holding in keeping with its McLaren badge. And then there’s Track mode. Two words; Deep Joy. Driving the MP4-12C around a race track with the brake steer flinging you through bends like a slingshot leaves you in awe of its designers.
Standing on the brakes and catching a glimpse in your mirror of the air brake shooting up behind you leaves you giggling.
But the memory of taking the MP4-12C faster around a circuit than any road legal car you’ve ever driven, will, we’re quite sure, never leave you.
So there you have it; for its ability to permanently etch one’s psyche, may we present our Super Sportscar of the year — the McLaren MP4-12C.