Eight sensibly priced performance cars launched in 2022
You need not blow a trust fund to have thrills with these reasonably priced speedsters
Fast and sporty driving enthusiasts know too well the steep asking prices for their fixes. Brands such as Porsche, Ferrari and McLaren have long crafted a reputation for road torpedoes but they usually cost multimillions to sign up.
Thankfully there are mainstream brands that offer cars that ignite your soul for a cheaper price, many of them also throwing family practicality in the bargain mix. These are eight reasonably priced pocketrockets launched in SA during 2022.
Audi RS3 Quattro
Audi offers the choice to have its little champion in more practical hatchback or suave sedan guise. For the record, I’m for the booted version but both models offer scintillating performance from a turbocharged 2.5l five-cylinder engine with 294kW and 500Nm powering all the wheels.
This translates to good grip to launch it from 0-100km/h in 3.8 seconds and a top speed of 250km/h. Furthermore the latest iteration can turn up the adrenaline with a drift mode. They cost R1,215,000 for the hatchback and R1,245,000 for the sedan.
BMW i4 M50
An unlikely sports car, the BMW i4 M50 has electric power as the trick up its sleeve, and so too its price tag. You’ll not find anything else electric that flashes past 100km/h from standstill in 3.8 seconds for a paltry R1.6m. With a total system output of 400kW and 795Nm, advantages include space for four passengers, a generous boot and permanent detachment from expensive fossil fuels.
BMW M240i xDrive
BMW has a lovely selection of fast cars to choose from but the M240i is another gem in the harem. Available in all-wheel configuration and eight-speed automatic only, the deputy to the M2 packs an unexpected punch from a 285kW and 500Nm turbocharged 3.0l in-line straight-six engine. Acceleration from standstill to 100km/h is in 4.3 seconds and a top speed of 250km/h. It costs R1,113,662.
Ford Mustang GT California Special
The sports coupe template that includes a naturally-aspirated V8 motor driving the rear wheels has endured for decades. Now virtually dead in most markets, the Ford Mustang revived the legacy during 2022 with the launch of the 330kW and 529Nm California Special. It’s good for a 4.8 seconds sprint from 100km/h with a top speed of 250km/h. The musical company from eight normally-aspirated pistons cannot be emphasised enough, and so too the accessible R1,154,900 price.
Hyundai Kona N
The hot crossover SUV is fast replacing the hot hatch genre and there have been quite a number of them over the years. This year Hyundai transplanted the fiery internals of the i30N hatch into the family-orientated Kona. Outputs of 206kW and 392Nm from a 2.0l turbo-four transforms the boldly styled city romper into a robot racer. An automated dual-clutch and raspy sports exhaust complete the belligerence, as does a 5.5 seconds dash to 100km/h and a 240km/h top speed. It costs R764,900.
Two-door, two-seat aerofoil shaped sports cars are typically expensive and those costing under a million new are virtually non-existent, save for the Toyota GR86. The latest model is now in sale in SA and features a more powerful 2.4l engine with 174kW and 250Nm and paired to either a six-speed manual or automatic gearbox. Performance is rated at 6.4 seconds from 0-100km/h while top speed is 226km/h. Prices are R698,100 for the manual and R733,700 for the automatic. Rear-wheel drifts come standard.
Volkswagen Tiguan R
The latest Golf R is scheduled to go on sale in SA only in 2023, but its Tiguan R team mate is available now if you want to share performance giggles with your family and their luggage. There’s 235kW and 400Nm and a seven-speed DSG powering all the wheels resulting in a 5.1 seconds sprint to 100km/h and a top whack of 250kmh. All in for R999,900.
Volkswagen Polo GTI
The Polo GTI has always marketed affordable thrills since inception. The diminutive size mated to a powerful 147kW and 320Nm engine delivers the goods in the 2022 model. It no longer comes with a six-speed manual, but the automatic transmission does the job well enough. Sure-footed handling and good body control through fast bends are good traits of the Polo GTI, and the R514,500 asking price makes it the bargain of this sensible high-performance car list.
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