On the road during lockdown

Here's what motorists should know.

Meet Smokey Nagata

The man behind the legendary twin-turbo V12 Toyota Supra build.

2014 SA Coty: Porsche controversy

2013-10-22 09:28


SA COTY CONTROVERSY: Wheels24 reader PHILIP HIGGO believes that the Porsche Cayman S (pictured) should claim the 2014 SA Car of the Year title. Image: QUICKPIC

‘The 2013 Coty judges were wrongly criticised,’ writes Wheels24 reader PHILIP HIGGO who believes the Porsche Cayman S will not claim the 2014 title as it's plagued by the 2012 controversy.

I posted the following comment Wheels24's 2014 SA Coty finalists named article:

“The only reason why the Porsche Cayman S will most likely not win the Coty is because its sister, the Boxster, won in 2012. Despite the fact that it was the correct decision, it caused quite an outcry from people who did not understand the criteria (or, to put it quite frankly, the cars per se...)”

Gallery: 2014 SA Car of the Year finalists


Given that I hardly ever comment or post anything (I think the last time was nearly a year ago and that was only because cars are my passion) I thought it appropriate to explain my comment and the dilemma the judges face.

The rules and criteria established by the South African Guild of Motoring Journalists for judging make it clear that the Coty contenders do not compete against each other (it should be quite obvious that nobody can even begin to compare a 66kW Renault Clio 4 with a 280kW Jaguar F-Type S).

Simply put, each contender is evaluated against the other vehicles in its class according to defined categories. The criterion "other vehicles in its class" has nothing to do with the other finalists.

The rules and criteria have not only been carefully worked out (and refined) through many years but are based on the only standard that can truly be regarded as just and equitable. If the award was something like “popular/most practical/most economical to own”, the ballgame would be different. As it stands, it’s not and neither can it ever be.

I read (some say obsessively) reviews and comparative tests conducted by nearly all authoritative overseas and local motoring publications (a whole spectrum from EVO, Autocar,  CAR and topCar etc.)

I think I can safely state that, based on the indicated range of knowledgeable and experienced sources, there is currently not another car that is regarded as being so head and shoulders above anything else in its class.

If one were to try and encapsulate a combination of extracts from the published reviews in an abbreviated format, one would end up with something like the following: (they’re loosely paraphrased and there are simply too many original authors to try to acknowledge)

"... holistically what strikes you is all about the stance, the proportions, detailing, engineering (the feel of precision in everything you touch) and the all-round rightness of the design… how desirable it really is…. looks beautiful from every direction. It has greater muscle tone and physicality, yet remains appealingly curvy..
..combining sports car stats with film star looks… and purity through simplicity……the throttle response, agility, balance and adjustability……a sense of natural handling that is simply wonderful...its sense of easy precision, instinctive poise and flattering controllability equaled only by a handful of other sports cars in the world – and eclipsed by precisely none…
...beguiling, enthralling and addictive
…the Cayman makes you feel special every time you drive it, and is one of the finest sports cars money can buy.
...dare we say, it's the best car Porsche builds right now, and at (+/- R250 K) less than the 911 Carrera, terrific value.
…one of Porsche’s greatest achievements in  its all-encompassing, ever-present entertainment value. If the Boxster is considered the sports-car enthusiast’s gold standard, then the Cayman is rapidly approaching platinum."


So where does this leave the South African Guild of Motoring Journalists/judges who were so wrongly criticised in some quarters in 2012? Other than trying to ensure a better understanding by the public of the criteria and the reasons thereof, I do not profess to have the perfect answer.

The pressure from the popular vote for cars such as the Golf and the Clio (both are very good and among the best in their respective classes) will be significant. One can only trust that the judges will properly apply the criteria and act without fear, favour or prejudice.

Do you agree/disagree with PHILIP's article? Email us and we'll publish your thoughts on Wheels24.

Read more on:    porsche  |  south afrca  |  reader  |  coty  |  wheels24  |  ugc

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.