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Everyone and their dog knows that the people of Australia are car mad. There’s a rich motorsport history that features some iconic races and racetracks, and the aftermarket tuning scene is huge. Being a stone’s throw from Japan also helps, the amount of JDM cars scattered across Australia is enough to make any collector a little jealous. The rivalry between the Ford and Holden fans is as legendary as the cars themselves, and the turbocharged and supercharged V8s used in the burnout comps are weirdly reliable.

When it comes to any Car of the Year competitions, especially one labelled as a Performance category, you almost expect that a V8 Ford would make the list. It’s not the case, the only one the SXdrv crew expected that made the list is the new Corvette. The rest of the list is made up a Brit with the Jaguar F-Type, an Italian in the form of a Huracan, two Bavarian Germans in the form of a BMW M3 and more stately Alpina B3 and lastly no less than three Germans from Stuttgart in the form of a Porsche Boxster, a Porsche GT3 and a Porsche Taycan. That last one is the only EV in the list of cars that went through the MOTOR testing process across some amazing driving roads as well as some track sessions. With eight cars on test, and the fact that the test needed to be documented with filming and images and so this whole test took place over five days.

Looking at the list of cars that made the cut to be included in the final testing of the 2022 MOTOR Performance Car of the Year is a curious one. The cars aren’t all the best in their class from the automakers used, there are definitely better ones available so budget must have been taken into account. We do like the Huracan, a lot. It has a lot going for it with those intimidating looks and a sublime engine that can create a wave of goosebumps from kilometres away. Nearly 600 horses of normally aspirated power is produced by ten screaming cylinders mated to a brilliantly responsive chassis, it’s no wonder this car made the finalist list.

The Brit entry is the sleek Jaguar F-Type, and this one a V8 too with an all-aluminium V8 with 423 kW (575 hp) on tap. They’ve never been touted as driver’s cars, well not on the same level as the rest of the entries, but when something similar was in the competition before, it did very well. Another loner in the test is the American entry from Corvette in the form of the C8, and it’s allowed because it’s finally on sale in Australia in a right hand-drive configuration from Corvette themselves and not through an aftermarket outfit. 

From BMW we see the M3, which is something you expect in these kinds of tests, because, well, it’s an M3. Controversial front-end aside, it’s typical M3 in every sense of the phrase and that makes it a top competitor in most tests. The Alpina B3 is an odd one because it’s aimed more at the luxury side of things even with some basic engine tweaking, but it still features BMW’s twin-turbocharged straight-six 3.0-litre engine that produces 340 kW (462 hp).

From Affalterbach we see three entries, the Boxster, the GT3 and the Taycan. In the past few years the Boxster has been getting better and better, so much so that the spoon-off Cayman can rival anything else with an RS badge. It’s a car we expect in this kind of test. The same for the GT3, it’s THE Porsche to have if you’re a gentleman racer. The 4.0-litre flat-four is motoring perfection with a healthy 375 kW (502 hp) and 470 Nm. The surprise entry is the Taycan, the company’s Tesla rival. This EV has the equivalent of 560 kW (750 hp) with 1050 Nm, which as you can imagine, equates to some ridiculous performance like the ability to hit 100 km/h in just 2.8-seconds. The weight and handling is where the EVs need help, but this Taycan does really well.

As said, this is quite an interesting mix of cars for the 2022 MOTOR Performance Car of the Year. The most standout things for the SXdrv crew is the fact that we're seeing electric vehicles more and more in these tests and that they're getting better at a fast rate, and then the fact that there's a right hand-drive Corvette C8 available. Will it get to other RHD markets now like the Mustang did?

Take a look at the YouTube video about the Australian 2022 Performance Car of the Year by MOTOR below: 2022 MOTOR Performance Car of the Year | MOTOR.

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