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Sports Cars Under $80k

Mazda MX-5
1
  • Willing, free-revving 2.0-litre engine; Brilliant manual shift action; Agility and stability through corners; Quality ride; Good pricing

  • Some major ergonomics issues in the cabin; Lots of hard plastics; Engine doesn't sound very sporty; No standard reverse-view camera on any variant

Ford Mustang
  • Most complete and most polished Ford Mustang sold in Australia to date; Broader range of ability from on-road comfort to track weapon; Looks the business

  • The upgrades are worthwhile, but may be too subtle for some; The $20,000 price premium is a big ask; Ford Australia left a sour taste with some buyers after messing up the initial promotional material

BMW 2 Series
  • Techy and sporty vibe; Charming three-pot in the 218i; Decent performance in the M235i; Competitive pricing

  • Sharp ride quality; Questionable styling; Lacks some maturity; Price hike over the 1 Series

Renault Megane
  • Noticeable power bump; Excellent dual-clutch transmission; Active exhaust brings the ruckus

  • Sticker shock at first glance; Fiddly infotainment system; Constantly firm ride is not for all

Toyota 86
  • Tangible benefits from the Dynamic Performance Pack; Keen turn-in and composed body control; Thoughtful, focused cabin trim and appointments

  • Features and equipment outdated when compared to the segment; Overbearing piped induction noise; Cramped leg room for taller occupants

Sports Cars Between $80k-$200k

Porsche 718
1
  • Lightning-fast dual-clutch PDK GT4 outperforms the manual; Beautifully resolved chassis, brake package and steering; Strong non-turbo flat six has boundless enthusiasm

  • Fiddly small paddle shifters on a busy wheel; Small screen and dated infotainment tech; Options prices make your eyes water

2

BMW M2

BMW M2
  • M3-rivalling performance from the uprated six; Really connected and lively handling; Aimed straight at the hearts of enthusiast drivers

  • Plenty of carbon, but no weight saved; Looks a touch expensive alongside the new M3/M4; Electronics platform starting to show its age

Audi A5
  • Willing drivetrain combination; Brimming with standard kit; Practicality of the liftback

  • Fussy ride on 20-inch alloys with thin rubber; Lacklustre warranty; No shortcut buttons for infotainment

Mercedes-AMG C43
  • Engine is monstrous and the gearbox is exceptional; Aero additions toughen the styling up even more; So easy to live with day to day

  • Infotainment screen needs touch functionality; Performance envelope can't be experienced on the road; Supply won't go close to matching demand

Toyota Supra
  • Inline six gets a torque boost; interior is sporty, comfortable and BMW in a good way; lives up to the iconic Supra nameplate

  • GTS is pricey and strengthens the case for the entry grade; rear three-quarter visibility is poor; no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto

Sports Cars Over $200k

Porsche 911
1
  • Most powerful GT3 ever, and it feels it; PDK is even better than before; Naturally aspirated engine note is spectacular

  • The weather put paid to our proper track test; Changes are incremental rather than large; Is this the last of the breed?

Lamborghini Huracan
  • Savage performance; Approachable limits on-track; V10 remains a pinnacle engine

  • Circuit bias will make it crude on-road; Feedback-lite steering

McLaren 720S
  • The ease with which you can drive it day-to-day is impressive; Cabin execution and comfort are as good as the best; Ride quality on poor roads is incredible given the performance on offer

  • More luggage space would be handy for more than a weekend away; Angle of the screen means there is some glare when the roof is stowed; More exhaust noise please

Mercedes-AMG GT
  • Tremendous pull from the TT V8 - and an improved soundtrack thanks to echoey carbon fibre; Aero and chassis setup offer excellent lateral grip; Drive it home - like any other Mercedes; Exclusivity - 15 only coming to Aus, against 28 Black Series.

  • Exclusivity has its price - it's a whole A35 (with options) above a 'regular' GT R; Need to 'Riggs' your shoulder to access the center console; You really need to be a Pro to extract the true performance value out of the car

Ferrari 488
  • Uncompromising performance; Unrivalled street appeal; Best V8 engine in existence; Brilliant ride and dynamic capabilities; Very much a race car you can happily drive daily

  • Options, options, options; Interior feeling its age; Lift kit needs to remain on at higher speeds; Sounds insane, but it's no 458