Few cars can match the pure joy and engagement offered by an outstanding performance car. This year’s crop of contenders includes a Porsche that astounded us with its Nurburgring lap time, Cadillac with pinpoint handling and front-wheel drive Toyota that combines affordability with fun.
Godzilla may have risen from his sleep, but none can match up against the Chevy Corvette Z06.
The Porsche 911 GT3 is an exotic road car designed to have all of the power of a racecar. Unlike hybrid and electric supercars that are taking over today’s supercar market, this true driving machine demands serious skill when controlling it.
Porsche says the ninth-generation GT3 marks an exciting technical departure for their 911 lineup, having been designed “closer to motorsport than ever.” Its naturally aspirated 4.0-liter flat six engine generates 518 horsepower and 343 pound-feet of torque to power it from zero to 60 in just three seconds and reach its top speed of 184 mph.
As part of its upgrades, this car features a rear-wheel steering system derived from that found on the 991 GT3 Cup racecar, double-wishbone front suspension from the 911 RSR endurance car and retractable swan-neck spoiler (sometimes known as gooseneck in certain markets) for improved downforce. Furthermore, there’s also carbon ceramic brakes and an electrically assisted steering system designed to communicate more closely.
Interior features include the familiar tech found in other 911 models, with a 10.9-inch center console touchscreen and physical controls on steering wheel and shifter. Comfort is provided through deeply bolstered bucket seats with ample legroom. Driver-assistance technologies are optional – backup sensors and traffic-sign recognition being among them.
Patrick Carone puts the ’23 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing through its paces in this episode of Quick Spin. He discusses its styling, materials and features before taking it out onto a track to test its performance. You can listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Stitcher to catch this audio treat!
Channeling 668 horsepower through the rear wheels of a sedan could create serious traction issues, yet somehow, the Blackwing manages it with ease thanks to Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S tires and customizable drive modes that adjust steering, suspension and traction control settings.
The Blackwing may not possess the agility of a BMW M5 CS or be as exciting as a Hellcat-powered Dodge Charger, but its precision and refinement set it apart – while also consuming less fuel compared to these cars! Not bad for a V8-powered family sedan!
As soon as the Toyota GT86 first hit the scene in 2012, it has quickly earned recognition as an enjoyable and affordable performance car to drive. Thanks to its lightweight construction, rear-wheel drive system and willing engine, its lightweight construction means it is quick through corners compared to competitors at its price range and can take corners like few others at its price range can. Even though its 0-62mph time may not be lightning quick – exactly what sports car fans desire!
Although it shares its platform with Subaru BRZ, Toyota provides its own distinct experience. With low center of gravity and well-balanced power/weight ratio, its low centre of gravity and well-balanced power/weight ratio deliver plenty of smiles per gallon – though circuit use reveals it could use wider powerband and perhaps an extra 50bhp or so to ease front tyre pressure during active exploration of its limits.
Internally, the sculpted sports seats provide excellent cornering support while steering wheels are small yet perfectly round – in stark contrast with today’s trend for chopped bottomed square-off wheels. Plush finishes such as leather trim, carbon-like detailing on control panel and aluminium pedals complete the premium cabin finish.