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Best sports cars arriving in 2022

Subaru's redesigned WRX benefits from a new platform and a fresh 2.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine.

There might not be too many new sports cars landing in 2022, but the few models that are scheduled to go on sale are significant.

It’s a big year for affordable sports cars and iconic nameplates, but a pair of premium German performance heroes should appeal to those with deeper pockets.

Barring any delays caused by the global semiconductor shortage, here’s the rundown of sports cars hitting Australian dealerships in 2022.

01. Audi RS3 - July


Audi lifted the covers from its all-new RS3 performance sedan and hatch in July 2021, revealing a sexy, sporty take on its volume-selling small car.

Once again powered by Audi’s 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine, with quattro all-wheel drive and a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, the RS3 retains its 294kW power output but gains 20Nm more torque, at 500Nm.

Due in the second quarter of 2022, the new RS3 has a drift mode, and it can cover 0-100km/h in 3.8 seconds in both Sportback hatch and sedan guise – that’s 0.1s quicker than its Mercedes-AMG A45 S rival.

Read more: 2022 Audi RS3 price and features: Still cheaper than its Mercedes-AMG A45 rival despite price increase for new-gen model

Audi RS3


Based on Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP)

02. Nissan Z - August

It’s been a long wait for Nissan sports-car fans, but a new Z car will finally land in Australia in mid-2022 to replace the ageing 370Z.

The new model, simply dubbed ‘Z’, carries over the old model’s platform, although Nissan has made significant tweaks. A new 298kW/475Nm twin-turbo V6 engine powers the rear-wheel-drive Z, paired with a six-speed manual or nine-speed automatic transmission.

Thankfully, Nissan has upgraded in-car tech as well as active safety which gets a boost thanks to auto emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control and more.

Read more: How much is a 2022 Nissan Z? And is it cheaper than a Toyota Supra or Ford Mustang?

Nissan Z


Based on Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP)

03. Porsche 911 GTS - June

A new GTS variant of any Porsche model is big news, especially when it’s the iconic 911. Scheduled for the first quarter of 2022, the new 911 GTS is available in two-wheel-drive Coupe and Cabriolet guise, and all-wheel-drive Coupe, Cabriolet and Targa forms.

Pumping out 353kW/570Nm from its 3.0-litre twin-turbo flat-six engine, the new GTS adds 22kW/20Nm over the previous version. The 4 GTS Coupe completes the 0-100km/h dash in a blistering 3.3 seconds.

GTS styling flourishes are standard, as is the Sport Design package, an updated multimedia system, 20/21-inch alloy wheels and specially tuned adaptive suspension. 

Read more: 2022 Porsche 911 GTS price and features: Sporty new grade ups the ante to take on Audi R8 and Mercedes-AMG GT

Porsche 911


Based on Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP)

04. Subaru WRX - May

Thirty years after setting the standard for affordable rally-bred performance, an all-new Subaru WRX lobs in Australia in the second quarter of 2022.

Based on the Subaru Global Platform underpinning all models but the BRZ, the latest Rex gains a new turbocharged 2.4-litre petrol engine delivering 202kW and 350Nm – a marginal increase in power over the outgoing car.

The all-paw four-door will be offered with a six-speed manual or a sports-focused continuously variable transmission. Subaru says the new stiffer chassis has unlocked more performance than before.

Read more: Better than a Toyota GR Corolla? 2022 Subaru WRX pricing and specs reveal rally-bred performance for an affordable price

Subaru WRX


Based on Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP)

05. Toyota GR86 - Second half

While the second-generation Subaru BRZ hits showrooms in late 2021, collab partner Toyota’s new GR86 doesn’t arrive until the second half of 2022.

Like the Nissan Z, the new GR86 rides on the same platform as the model it replaces, albeit a heavily revised version. It gets an engine upgrade, too, with the old 2.0-litre unit swapped out for a 2.4-litre naturally aspirated engine offering up 173kW/250Nm – a decent increase over the old model.

The exterior design is an evolution of the previous 86, and the differences between the Toyota and Subaru are subtle. The interior gets an upgrade with a more modern look and a new multimedia set-up.

Read more: 2022 Toyota 86 GR: Australian launch timing confirmed for new Subaru BRZ twin - but how will the newly christened GR86's pricing compare?

06. Ford Mustang - May

Ford's Mustang will soldier on for a while yet, but to keep it fresh, the Blue Oval will add a new sticker pack to appeal to enthusiasts from the second quarter of 2022.

The California Special name dates back to the first-generation Mustang from the 1960s, and the 2022 version adds GT/CS side stripes and badges, the larger front splitter from the GT Performance Package, and unique 19-inch wheels. It adds $2000 to the price of the GT.

The 2022 Mustang also gets a minor price increase across the range and access to the Line Lock function in the Track Apps software for track driving.

Read more: 2022 Ford Mustang price and features detailed: Pricing up for Nissan Z, Chrysler 300 SRT rival as Ford adds California Special edition

    Ford Mustang


    Based on Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP)

    07. Mazda MX-5 - March

    As part of a model year update due in the first quarter of 2022, Mazda has dropped the 1.5-litre engine from the MX-5 line-up following slow sales (less than nine per cent), leaving the 2.0-litre as the sole engine.

    It has added a base MX-5 2.0 Roadster grade and added Kinematic Posture Control to the rear suspension to aid cornering and stability.

    Pricing is up slightly across the range, and the MX-5 's colour pallette gains a new Platinum Quartz metallic hue, while a Terracotta Nappa leather option is also available.

    Read more: Enthusiasts, look away now! 2022 Mazda MX-5 loses iconic 1.5-litre engine as part of update that adds suspension tweaks and increases price and features

    Mazda MX-5 2022 review

      08. Mercedes-AMG SL - Second half

      Mercedes-Benz proved it remains committed to the convertible segment with the reveal of a new-generation SL four-seat, two-door, soft-top roadster.

      Landing in the second half of 2022, the SL now falls under the remit of performance arm AMG, and Mercedes says the new model doesn't share any parts with the previous SL, or any current AMG model.

      The 4.0-litre twin-turbo-petrol V8 engine, paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission and Mercedes’ 4Matic+ all-wheel-drive system, comes in two states of tune - 350kW/700Nm for the SL55 and 430kW/800Nm for the SL63.

      Read more: 2022 Mercedes-AMG SL detailed: Unlimited headroom, V8 engine for Australia's newest convertible that has Porsche 911, McLaren 570S and Audi R8 in its sights

        Tim Nicholson
        Managing Editor
        Calling out the make and model of every single car he saw as a toddler might have challenged his parents’ patience, but it was clearly a starting point for Tim...
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