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Beggars can't be choosers: Why we should be grateful we still have the Toyota Supra, Nissan Z, Subaru WRX and more | Opinion

The 2022 Supra might not be all Toyota, but we’re glad the sports car has made a return.

There’s been a recent trend that concerns me. When Subaru took covers off the long-awaited new WRX it was criticised for being underwhelming. The same was true of the ‘new’ Nissan Z, which copped flak for being an updated version of the outgoing 370Z.

It’s not the relatively minor upgrades to these models that concerns me, but the criticisms.

The days of car companies making brand-new sports cars every few years is done, it was a long time ago, so for people to come out taking shots at Subaru, Nissan and others for finding a way to cut costs and keep these cars alive is misguided.

The majority of car companies are devoting most of their future R&D budget on electrification, internal combustion engine development has already slowed or stopped at several brands.

So, the idea that a company like Nissan would invest millions into an all-new sports car platform for the Z is pure fantasy.

Want proof? Take a look at the sports car graveyard, the list of now defunct models we won’t see making a comeback anytime soon; Holden Monaro, Mazda RX-7, Honda S2000, Toyota MR2, Nissan 180SX/Silvia and Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution (to name just a few).

Now look at the list of new/updated performance cars that have arrived in the last year or so, and the others coming in the near-future; Subaru WRX, Subaru BRZ, Toyota 86, Toyota GR Yaris, Toyota Supra, Hyundai i20 N, Nissan Z, and potentially the new Honda Integra.

The recently revealed 2022 Subaru WRX has underwhelmed some punters. The recently revealed 2022 Subaru WRX has underwhelmed some punters.

Are these as good as they could be? Arguably not. Certainly, some of the criticism directed at them is valid.

Yes, the WRX could have more power from its bigger engine. Yes, the platform underneath the Z is getting old. And, yes, the BRZ and 86 are so similar it blurs the lines between the two brands.

But that misses the core of the issue – the fact these cars exist at all is nothing short of a miracle in this day and age.

Car companies have multiple excuses to get rid of sporty cars – emissions, low sales, costly and bespoke platforms – and we’ve seen some big names already fall victim to this (see above list).

The new Nissan Z carries over a lot of the old 370Z's underpinnings. The new Nissan Z carries over a lot of the old 370Z's underpinnings.

If shared platforms and powertrains are able to extend performance cars into the future, so be it. Between a compromised sports car and no sports car, it’s obvious which one we should choose.

Electric vehicles are the present and future for so many brands, and while they offer plenty of performance and I can appreciate them for what they are, I still love the more visceral experience of a petrol-powered sports car.

So, while it’s easy to pick apart this current breed of performance cars (and I will critique them when I do drive and review them), personally I’ll choose to enjoy the fact we still get them at all. Flaws and all.