How the 2022 Performance Car of the Year field compares to our 2008 event

We take a look back at the last time PCOTY graced Phillip Island

Audi RS 6 PCOTY 08 T Wielecki 09

Shawty had them apple bottom jeans, boots with the fur. What the hell was Flo Rida on about in 2008? I still have no clue but it’s fair to say that we’ve come a long way since 2008.

Back then, in the International Year of the Potato, we were marvelling at the first generation iPhone, laughing at Felipe Massa’s premature ejaculation in Brazil, and not realising that the world’s economy was about to financially implode.

It was also the last time that MOTOR visited Phillip Island with Performance Car of the Year. Our gun driver for the event was none other than hardy perennial Warren Luff, and conditions were pretty much lineball with what we experienced for PCOTY ’22.

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We even had snapper Cristian Brunelli on board at both events, although on this occasion we wisely avoided the karting given Brunelli’s kamikaze tactics.

It’s eye-opening quite how rapid today’s crop of cars are compared the lap times 14 years ago. Here’s the data table from 2008 for reference.

CARPOWER (kW)PWR (kW/tonne)0-400mLAP TIME
Porsche 997 GT239027111.9 sec1:43.1
Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-441227512.2 sec1:44.9
Porsche 997 Carrera S28319912.6 sec1:48.1
BMW E92 M3 DCT30919313.0 sec1:49.8
Audi RS6 wagon42621012.8 sec1:51.0
Lotus Elise SC16318713.6 sec1:51.3
Mercedes-Benz SL63 AMG38620413.2 sec1:51.7
Audi TT S20014314.2 sec1:53.4
Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG33620313.4 sec1:53.6
FPV F631017113.7 sec1:53.8
Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X21713914.1 sec1:55.1
AVERAGE312199.513.2 sec1:50.5

Now let’s fast forward to 2022. The field is split into two sections, with eight PCOTY cars and 10 SCOTY contenders. Let’s roll out the big guns first.

CARPOWER (kW)PWR (kW/tonne)0-400mLAP TIME
Porsche 992 GT337526111.5 sec1:39.7
Lamborghini Huracán Evo47033110.6 sec1:43.1
BMW M335320712.9 sec1:45.0
Corvette C8 3LT36923911.7 sec1:45.2
Porsche Boxster 25 Years29420412.0 sec1:45.6
Porsche Taycan Turbo S56025310.7 sec1:45.9
Alpina B334018311.8 sec1:48.7
Jaguar F-Type P450 RWD33119412.9 sec1:49.7
AVERAGE386.523411.8 sec1:45.4

We observe that while power has increased by 23.9 per cent, the extra weight the modern cars carry has seen the PWR figure climb by 17.3 per cent, resulting in a 10.3 per cent decrease in 0-400m times and a 4.6 per cent reduction in overall lap times. Diminishing returns?

While old Bernoulli figured out that drag is proportional to the square of speed, an 80km/h hairpin is an 80km/h hairpin regardless of how many kilowatts you’re wielding.

Some of the data here is fascinating. A naturally aspirated GT3 now trounces a twin-turbocharged GT2 in a straight line and around the Island.

The 997 Carrera S would have been one of the tail-end charlies at PCOTY 2022, down there with the Jaguar F-Type and Alpina B3 on a lap.

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A BMW M3 is now nearly five seconds a lap quicker, and had we brought an M3 Competition automatic along, it would easily have eclipsed the Lamborghini Gallardo’s lap time.

The lovely E92 M3, which netted the fourth quickest lap time in 2008, would have found itself wielding the wooden spoon in 2022.

The average 0-400m of the 2022 cars is better than the very fastest of the 2008 cars. That’s quite something.

Bring the more affordable SCOTY cars into the equation and things get really interesting.

CARPOWER (kW)PWR (kW/tonne)0-400mLAP TIME
Ford Mustang Mach 134519412.5 sec1:48.3
Toyota GR Yaris Rallye20015612.6 sec1:51.2
Hyundai i30 Sedan N20614314.0 sec1:52.3
Ford Focus ST20613714.1 sec1:53.4
Volkswagen Golf GTI18013814.3 sec1:53.8
Skoda Octavia RS18012514.3 sec1:53.9
Subaru BRZ17413514.2 sec1:54.4
Hyundai i20 N15012615.1 sec1:55.8
BMW 128ti18012514.3 sec1:56.2
Mazda MX-5 GT RS13513114.6 sec1:58.0
AVERAGE195.614114.0 sec1:53.7

Despite a manifestly inferior, power-to-weight ratio, the Toyota GR Yaris Rallye is able to show a supercharged Lotus Elise a clean pair of heels on track, and only the mega-money 997 GT2 and Lamborghini Gallardo 560-4 would be able to better it on the 400m dash.

The Skoda Octavia wagon would beat a Mitsubishi Evo X on a lap of Phillip Island and 180kW worth of Volkswagen’s Golf GTI would finish the lap in a photo finish with the 310kW FPV F6.

Ford’s Mustang Mach 1 would have done a number on everything bar the top three fastest cars of 2008, just being beaten on the drag to the line by the Porsche 997 Carrera S. Ford’s unprepossessing Focus ST would easily have the measure of a 6.2-litre Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG’s lap time and a front-drive Hyundai i30 Sedan N would better the 0-400m sprint of the all-wheel drive Evo X.

PCOTY 2008 Vs 2022 PCF 15

Some of the old times actually stack up very well. The 997 GT2 is fast even by today’s standards and more than a decade and a half of development at Lamborghini has resulted in a V10 supercar that’s 1.8 seconds quicker per lap, testament to the talent of the original.

The average lap time in 2008 was the 1:50.5, while the average PCOTY lap time in 2022 was a mere 1:45.4. Is it going to take another 16 years before the average PCOTY lap is down at around 1:40, or about as fast as the 992 GT3’s fastest lap? That’s a tough one to answer.

We could have some phenomenally quick electric performance cars that’ll totally rewrite the record books. One thing’s for sure. It’s going to be fun finding out.


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