Eight years isn’t a long time, but it’s long enough to forget. The World’s Greatest Drag Race has become such a normal part of what we do at Motor Trend that it’s hard to remember when we didn’t undertake the rather loony quarter-mile experiment of launching 12 sports and supercars simultaneously down a runway.
Now that the drag race is a given around here, we’re too busy looking forward to look back. The question is not whether we’ll do a race this year; it’s what we’ll do differently this time. Some would argue a new crop of cars is enough, but we know we can do more to boost the excitement factor.
Easter eggs in past drag races have varied. In the second race, the Subaru BRZ, which was going to come in dead last no matter what, did a donut across the finish line. In the fifth, I jumped the start in the Miata (and still lost). The next year, we added in a Dodge Charger Hellcat. Last year, it was the Miata that got the boot in favor of the quickest car we’d ever tested, the Tesla Model S P100D Ludicrous.
If you need a refresher or just a good binge-watching Saturday afternoon, you can find all seven previous drag races on MotorTrend.com/bdc.
This year, we were once again the guests of our outstanding hosts at Vandenberg Air Force Base, home of the cleanest, most race-ready airfield in the world (no hats on the flight line, please). You’ve already seen the pictures and know we had a special guest. Once again, the Miata was excused in favor of something with a bit more horsepower—the old-fashioned, gas-guzzling kind. Meet the 1320.