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The best drivers car by category.

"Cars you must drive before you die."

People are releasing books of 10 places to see before you die and things to do before you die so we thought this would make a good idea and look at 10 cars you must drive before you die. 

The ground rules for this exercise are that they must be cars, so SUV's Trucks and Vans are not included. Because this is about the experience of driving we need to avoid picking just the supercars.

The idea here is to have a range of cars that give a different driver feel and experience. We are also limited to choosing one car from a manufacturer, so no manufacturer will be over represented in this list.

We also wanted to avoid mainstream models that many of us are likely to experience although we didn't want to choose anything too expensive like the Veyron either so we set an upper limit of GB£200,000 around US$340,000 (assuming the car is sourced in the UK.) With the exception of our classic category the car must be available as new in 2008/2009.

You can't really state a preference until you have tried all of the options. Here we present the best of the best to add to your driving experience.

Best cabriolet

TorqueCars felt we needed to include a Soft top. Wind in the hair motoring on a sunny day is a sheer delight. You get a much greater sense of speed in a soft top so what do we think is the best soft top out there?

Our clear winner is from Lamborghini so we have chosen the Murchielago - no ordinary Murchielago though the LP640 Convertible. A stunning car to drive and it proves that a soft top needn't have a soggy chassis. Many drivers and reviewers rate the convertible Murchielago over the non convertible.

Best track day car

Next up we look at some of the fun track day cars. There are quite a few in this category and because of their totally impractical nature as a daily hack add quite nicely to driver experience.

 The wind in your face, knuckles scraping along the ground experience needs to be tried at least once. You get an incredible feel for the road and are truly at one with this machine, a real drivers car.

None of the air conditioning and driver assist buttons - your right foot is the only thing that will get you into and out of trouble.

The car we have chosen for this has to be the face distorting powerhouse aka the Ariel Atom 300. It propels you to 60 in around 2.7 seconds. It really does give the ultimate sensation of speed and can only be described as akin to being grafted onto a large engine with 4 wheels!

Best luxury car

We now need to slow up the pace and enjoy a little sumptuous luxury. The cars in this category are usually driven for the owner by a chauffeur but in this case as we are taking the wheel we look at it from a drivers perspective.

The Rolls Royce Phantom has to be at the top of TorqueCars luxury listing. You won't be driving it for long because of the 17.8 mpg it returns but despite its size it handles nicely and feels very lively. The experience is best summed up by comparing this to sitting in a huge comfy sofa wearing sound deadening headphones falling over a cliff. The driver is removed from the sensation of speed with the only indicator being the speedo needle.

Best small car

Drivers of small cars get a raw deal. Others ignore them, push through and cut them up. There seems to be an unwritten law of inertial momentum where the biggest and fastest moving car has priority. Small cars are a wonderful experience and best described as cheeky. The Fiat 500 arbarth gets our vote here.

It is positively go cart in its outlook on life it gives a supreme driving experience and offers superb driver feedback and driver experience. The small size means you can be smug about parking it in the smallest of spaces and its propensity to sip fuel saves a lot of money and gives that smug greenie something to grin about. The new 500 really does exude retro chic and appeals to the young and trendy and young at heart.

Sports Saloon

The caveat for large sporty saloon has to go to the Nissan GTR. This is a technical wizard and will make even the most timid driver perform well on a track. It is more computer than car with sensors and controls for every aspect of engine and traction management.

This car is actually quite difficult to drive badly. Getting in a GTR and driving it on a track is a strange experience, it feels in its agility and handling much smaller and lighter than it is. Everyone should experience a GTR on a track to see what it is like to drive fast.

Best sports car

When it comes to sports cars and supercars we have a great deal of difficulty choosing just one. There are so many around and it almost seems a shame to pick just on but alas we have set the rules and we must stick with them. After much deliberation and thought we went for the Porsche 911 GT3. This list could easily have run into the 100's but we had the arduous and controversial choice of picking just one.

The Pagani Zonda was on our short list but sadly outside the price range we have set. The 911 GT3 improves on what many would say is the ultimate road going sports car. We know it is technically a coupe but as it has just 2 seats and is regarded by many as a pure sports car it fits nicely into this category. The 400 bhp practically guarantees you will have fun and in a stripped our racer like the GT3 there is little to hold it back.

To read the rest of this article and see which car we rated as best coupe, classic car, Diesel and  Automatic click the next page link. When you cross these off your must drive list you have a fully rounded out experience as a driver. Next Page .......

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