We’ve saved the best for last in our week-long series looking ahead at what’s headed our way in 2022. Today we’re looking at the sports cars arriving this year, from the affordable to the out-right exotic.
It’s been a long wait, after Subaru took the covers off the new BRZ back in November 2020, but the updated coupe is due to hit showrooms in January. Still developed in partnership with Toyota, the new BRZ features an updated version of its unique rear-wheel drive platform.
Under the bonnet the engine is swapped from a 2.0-litre to a 2.4-litre four-cylinder boxer engine, which makes 170kW of power and 249Nm of torque; up from 147kW/212Nm. It will still be available with a six-speed manual or automatic gearbox.
Subaru has confirmed that it will be fitted with Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres, replacing the deliberately lower-grip rubber borrowed from the Toyota Prius that was a hallmark of the original.
Still one of the most famous names in sports cars, Nissan’s Zed is back for 2022 with a fresh look and more power.
The new design is a combination of retro touches with a modern twist that results in a sleek and stylish-looking coupe, and one that’s quintessentially a Zed.
It gets a performance boost from a new 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 which makes 298kW/475Nm, sending that to the rear wheels via either a six-speed manual or a nine-speed automatic ‘box.
It’s not scheduled to arrive until the third quarter of the year (July-September), so don’t expect pricing and other details until closer to then.
Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS
Porsche keeps making the 718 Cayman even better, unveiling the GT4 RS in 2021, ahead of its arrival in Australia by the middle of the year.
This new track-tuned sports car features the same 4.0-litre flat-six found in the 911 GT3, tuned to make 368kW/450Nm and mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
But the engine is only a small part of the GT4 RS story, with Porsche completely overhauling the chassis and aerodynamics for superior performance on the track. There are more lightweight panels, new air-intakes instead of rear windows, lowered suspension and a racing-style swan neck rear wing and adjustable front diffuser.
Fans of the British brand famous for its lightweight sports cars will enjoy one last petrol-powered model for Lotus transitions to an electric future. The Emira is that car, an all-new offering built on a new aluminium chassis and powered by the choice of two petrol engines.
For starters there’s a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo, sourced from Mercedes-AMG, that makes 268kW/400N. Then there’s a 3.5-litre supercharged V6 that makes 298kW/430Nm, which will power the flagship model.
The V6 version is due to begin arriving locally in July, with pricing starting at $184,990.
Toyota will launch its version of the 86/BRZ partnership before the end of the year. The car, which was previewed at the Bathurst 1000, receives the same upgrades as the Subaru version – meaning the more powerful engine and revised chassis.
The other notable change is the name, with the car now known as the GR86 in reference to Toyota’s growing Gazoo Racing performance brand.
Another area of improvement is the cabin, with an effort from Toyota to enhance the presentation and quality of the interior after it was the most obvious criticism of the out-going model.
Ferrari 269 GTB
The Italian brand will begin a new era in 2022 with the arrival of its new hybridised V6-powered supercar. Designed to replace the V8-powered F8 Tributo as Ferrari’s entry-level mid-engine model, the 269 GTB is motivated by a new 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 paired with an electric motor.
This is a major change for a brand synonymous for its powerful petrol engines, but with government regulations around the world demanding cleaner, greener cars not even Ferrari is immune.
The good news is it still comes with plenty of performance, a combined output of 610kW/740Nm from its petrol-electric powertrain. The company claims that’s enough to launch it 0-100km/h in just 2.9 seconds.
While the exact timing is unclear, it’s understood first deliveries to new owners will begin during 2022.
Ferrari isn’t the only supercar brand making the switch to more hybrid models, with long-time rival McLaren also set to begin delivering its own electrified, V6-powered sports car. Known as the Artura, the new McLaren effectively replaces the 570S, and features a raft of changes.
For starters, it ditches the numerical name for a word, but more importantly it’s on a new platform and is powered by a new V6 petrol engine and hybrid system.
The V6 is only the British brand’s second road-car engine, joining the V8 used across the rest of the range. The 3.0-litre engine and electric motor combine to make 500kW/720Nm.
Deliveries are due to start sometime this year, but given the supply chain problems it’s not clear precisely when that will be.
Chevrolet Corvette Z06
The good news is General Motors Specialty Vehicles (GMSV) has confirmed the new race-bred Z06 is coming to Australia. The bad news is, they haven’t said when.
It’s highly possible that it could hit our shores late in 2022, giving the American brand a boost 12 months after the Corvette C8 Stingray’s first arrival.
Whenever it arrives, the Z06 sounds like it will be worth the wait because it features a raft of upgrades over the Stingray.
The biggest selling point is the engine, known as the LT6, it’s a 5.5-litre V8 with a flat-plane crankshaft that allows it to rev to 8600rpm – while making 500kW/623Nm.
The Z06 also gets chassis upgrades and multiple aerodynamic kits available, including a track package that includes a race-style rear wing.