Evo Magazine’s slogan has always been “the thrill of driving,” and that’s exactly what the Evo Car of the Year competition has always been about. This year’s contenders include everything from the $300,000 pseudo-racecar Ferrari 458 Speciale on down to the incredibly practical yet capable $37,000 Volkswagen Golf R, but ECOTY isn’t judged on 0-to-60 times and lateral acceleration; rather, the winner is determined on how each car connects with the driver and how it quickens the pulse.

This is only the third year Evo has put together a full video for ECOTY, and the 2014 edition is easily the best yet. The cinematography is stunning, and the testers on-hand, which include Tudor United SportsCar Championship regular and brother of Indy 500 champ Dario Franchitti, Marino Franchitti, provide excellent insight into each car that compliments the print report beautifully.

Aside from the Ferrari and Volkswagen, this year also brought out the McLaren 650S, BMW M3, Porsche Cayman GTS, Jaguar F-Type R Coupe, BMW i8, Renaultsport Mégane 275 Trophy-R, Aston Martin Vanquish and Audi S1. A few cars didn’t make it. Lamborghini, according to Evo, withheld its new Huracán because it didn’t feel it was quite ready for a group test. Interesting.

The Brits love to go on about the uniquely tight and broken tarmac roads that crisscross their island nation connecting small villages. So, the test is set on the roads of Northwest England near Scotland.

There are more than a few surprises in the finishing order. We won’t ruin anything for you, but a few of the more affordable cars here punch well above their weight, and a few you might think would be shoe-ins for the top-five turnout out to be duds.

Queue this one up on your flat screen and enjoy.

Ferrari 458 Speciale

2014 Ferrari 458 Speciale High Resolution Exterior
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