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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
  • Epic power, fair price, sounds awesome.

  • Could have cooling issues on track days, manual only.

BMW 2 Series
  • Great rear-drive dynamics; Looks premium; Keeping the coupe tradition alive

  • Small infotainment screen; Firm urban ride; Tight rear seat

Renault Megane
  • Torquey, lag-free turbo engine; Well-sorted handling and communicative steering; Looks the business; Purists will welcome the clutch pedal; Growly tailpipe noises reflect the car’s enthusiasm;

  • Gear shift a bit grabby, but assured it will free up; Screen and dash don’t thrill; Seat adjustment limited to fore/aft slide; Ride is track sharp (but can be moderated);

Toyota 86
  • It doesn't need a turbo!; Raw and pure sports car; Back seats fold down for more practicality; Tight handling

  • Lacking safety tech; Cabin features are dated; Exhaust could sound better

Sports Cars Between $80k-$200k

Porsche 718
1
  • Excellent touring manners; Flexible powertrain on-road; Real sports car mojo; Red-hot once you hit the track

  • No quicker than the Boxster S for 0–100km/h; No PDK yet; Quite thirsty

2

BMW M2

BMW M2
  • More performance from the new twin-turbo six; Better dynamics from a stiffened chassis and tweaked suspension tune; Precise handling; Sounds glorious at full noise; Plenty of standard kit

  • Ride on the firm side for around town; Cramped back row; Warranty

Audi A5
  • Handsome styling; Upmarket interior; Decent road manners; Improved value and price sharpening

  • Lacks substantial upgrades; Full S line gear costs extra; No adaptive dampers as standard

Mercedes-AMG C43
  • Blisteringly quick when you want it to be; Rear-biased AWD oozes confidence; Nine-speed auto a delight; So too the 3.0-litre turbo V6; Adaptive dampers at their peak when driven hard...

  • ... but a touch brittle in their softest setting; Engine drones at city speeds; Infotainment now a generation behind

Toyota Supra
  • Fantastic handling reflexes; Cabin fits like a glove; The right balance of background tech and analogue driving; An evolution of the Supra, not a nostalgic repeat

  • Squat design hampers visibility; Connected tech features dormant in Australia; Touchy brake pedal when driving enthusiastically; Bloody ugly steering wheel

Sports Cars Over $200k

Porsche 911
1
  • Effortless and energetic engine delivery; Dynamic competence with outstanding braking/cornering; Smart, modern interior with comfortable, multi-adjustable sports seats

  • New decluttered infotainment needs familiarisation; Attention-getting option prices; Big-mouthed frontal look

Lamborghini Huracan
  • Stunning to look at; As quick as the Performante to 100km/h and faster than it on some sections of the Nardò test circuit; There isn't a better exhaust note thanks to the V10 NA; It's got rear-wheel steer and torque vectoring for the first time; Miraculous handling prowess and astonishing grip; Improved interior and latest connectivity make it a genuine daily for those with big bucks; Cheaper than a Ferrari 488 GTB

  • We didn't see the options list, but you can bet they won't be cheap; We're yet to test ride comfort on local roads; Fuel economy and emissions numbers haven't been released – does anyone care?

McLaren 720S
  • Astonishingly quick in seemingly any conditions despite 2WD; Chassis control amazing no matter how you push; Ride comfort over crappy roads; Roomy cockpit; High levels of feedback make this car a breeze to drive fast

  • Exhaust note is getting better, but can't compete with the NA-powered Lambo Huracan Performante Spyder

Mercedes-AMG GT
  • Still the bad-arsed hot rod of the super sports car set; GT C an ideal fit for the road; GT R still the manic track beast; Digital instrumentation an improvement

  • Clumsy cabin layout; Frustrating infotainment usability; Pricing is up $10–$13K across the range; They're quite thirsty

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