MOTOR’s Performance Car of the Year 2022: Eight contenders revealed

These are the eight heavy-hitting performance cars vying for the PCOTY title

2022 PCOTY Main Image

In terms of bumper fields, the 2022 PCOTY line-up is jam-packed full of heavy hitters. To add to that, this year’s track component is held at one of Australia’s best race tracks, the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit. Our edict from those in charge was to go big for the inaugural re-imagined PCOTY – and we’ve smashed it out of the park.

With eight cars to assess and rank, the five judges and gun racing driver Warren Luff had plenty to get through to find a common winner. With a certain Porsche in the running, many might view the result as a forgone conclusion. However, if you cast your mind back to PCOTY 2021, an unsuspecting Mercedes-AMG GT R Pro stole the honours from the Turbo S, a car that was tipped with the shortest odds.

So strap in and take a look at an overview of the contenders vying for the 2022 Performance Car of the Year crown.

The winners of both Performance Car of the Year and Sports Car of the Year 2022 will be announced on Tuesday, March 29.

2022 BMW Alpina B 3


The Alpina B3 is one of those cars where you receive knowing nods from those in the know and inquisitive gazes from others, who can’t quite pinpoint what it is, but understand it isn’t a regular BMW. Or even an M-Division product. Yet, it’s more than just a game of automotive inquisition. The B3 packs 340kW and 700Nm of S58-toting grunt, with a torque-centric, bespoke turbo set-up and xDrive grip. A monster in a straight line and a highway cruiser it might be, but for it to hold a candle to the entire field, it first has to beat the BMW M3.

Engine 2993cc inline-6, twin-turbo
Power 340kW
Torque 700Nm
Transmission 8-speed automatic
Weight 1860kg
Price $142,900
2022 BMW M 3 Manual


It’s a manual. Let us repeat that. The base-model BMW M3 comes standard with three pedals and a six-speed manual transmission. Okay, before we get too caught up in the stick-shift, it’s also worth mentioning that it’s rear-wheel-drive only and comes with a 10-stage traction control as well as a Drift Analyser. Admittedly, the M3’s S58 is missing a whack of torque at 550Nm, but its peak power of 353kW renders it an absolute powerhouse – and a lurid slider. Does the G80 generation rectify the spiky ills of the F80? Phillip Island is sure to sort out what’s what.

Engine 2993cc inline-6, twin-turbo
Power 353kW
Torque 550Nm
Transmission 6-speed manual
Weight 1705kg
Price $144,900
2022 Jaguar F Type P 450 R Dynamic


If there was an award for gorgeous clean lines and a drama-filled soundtrack, the unbashful Brit could walk the catwalk to claim its trophy now. As a car that gets under your skin to live with, the Jaguar F-Type warmed many a heart. However, this is Performance Car of the Year, and the Jag’s 5.0-litre supercharged V8 formula has to stack up in number and sensations. With the four-pot and bent-six sent packing, a detuned version of the venerable eight packing 331kW/580Nm fills the void. However, is it enough to still give the F-Type the bite it needs against the field?

Engine 5000cc V8, supercharged
Power 331kW
Torque 580Nm
Transmission 8-speed automatic
Weight 1706kg
Price $159,900
2022 Chevrolet Corvette C 8

Corvette C8 Stingray

A heavy hitter? You better believe it. Out of the eight PCOTY cars the mid-engine coupe from Bowling Green almost gleans the most intrigue – and not just because we’re the first to get our grubby mitts on it. Yes, the C8 generation Corvette remains V8 and rear-wheel drive, but apart from that, the rulebook for this American hero as we know it has been thrown out. Visually it’s hard to miss the blue hue and polarising styling, but it’s impossible not to hear the glorious 6.2-litre LT2 V8. Like the Mustang, the Yanks know how to do great soundtracks. So, is it worth the wait? Find out.

Engine 6162cc V8
Power 369kW
Torque 637Nm
Transmission 8-speed dual-clutch
Weight 1545kg
Price $160,500
2022 Porsche Boxster


The Boxster doesn’t shout its intent. It doesn’t have the most power or torque. However, as a whole it is a lovely thing to absorb. Thanks to an anniversary present to its iconic model, Porsche has created the 25 Years edition with styling additions to commemorate the original. Mechanically it remains the same as the already proven GTS variant, with its 4.0-litre flat six nestled just behind the driver. As an added bonus, the red fabric roof drops, revealing the reason you’d opt for it over the Cayman. With two other products from Stuttgart in the field, the Boxster has its work cut out for it.

Engine 3995cc flat-6
Power 294kW
Torque 420Nm
Transmission 7-speed dual-clutch
Weight 1435kg
Price $187,200
2022 Porsche Taycan Turbo S Sedan


The inclusion of the Taycan in the PCOTY field is an important one. Yes, it’s the first fully electric vehicle to compete in our prestigious event. That in itself is an important milestone. However, we’re keen to prove that it is here not just because of that fact. Is it still a Porsche when it comes to the experience gained behind the wheel? And more interestingly, how will it perform on a race track like Phillip Island? With Porsche announcing the next Boxster/Cayman will be of the EV variety, the Taycan’s inclusion is an important taste of what’s to come.

Engine 93.4kWh permanent synchronous magnet
Power 560kW
Torque 1050Nm
Transmission 2-speed auto
Weight 2295kg
Price $345,800
2022 Porsche 911 GT 3


When it comes to expectations, the GT3 ranks high. Since the inaugural event a big chunk of the PCOTY trophies have been engraved with Porsche – and generally followed by 911. So the swan-neck rear wing has a lot of pressure placed on it. Phillip Island is bound to be a test for its aerodynamic addenda, but will its focused intent prove too much for the road? The 992 also doesn’t have it all its own way, with two other Porsche products and a host of top-quality metal to contend with. Regard proceedings as a forgone conclusion at your own peril.

Engine 3996cc flat-6
Power 375kW
Torque 470Nm
Transmission 7-speed dual-clutch
Weight 1435kg
Price $369,600
2022 Lamborghini Huracan Evo Fluo Capsule


This thing is loud. And not just the special-edition colour. Remember to head to the MOTOR YouTube channel after the announcements have been made to hear the V10 scream down Gardner Straight at Phillip Island – the GT3 and Corvette also rank as must listens. Mechanical high note aside, the Rambo Lambo brings substance to back up its visual impact. Packing 470kW it’s the most powerful internal combustion car in the field and, without the aero of the Performante, it promises to be a jet in a straight line. Can its flamboyance be met with competency?

Engine 5204cc V10
Power 470kW
Torque 600Nm
Transmission 7-speed dual-clutch
Weight 1422kg
Price $498,665


A McLaren 765LT was locked and loaded for the event, however, shipping issues meant its ETA blew out to after testing – maybe next year. The Italian GT with supercar pace, the Ferrari Roma was invited to PCOTY 2022. However, Ferrari decided that the combined road-and-track event wasn’t the right fit for its offering. And finally, the Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series missed the field because of a lack of availability. With so few units arriving Down Under, allocations were exhausted and AMG was left unable defend its 2021 crown.

Alpina B3 BMW M3 Jaguar F-Type P450 R-Dynamic Corvette C8 Stingray Porsche Boxster 25 Years Porsche Taycan Turbo S Porsche 911 GT3 Lamborghini Huracan Evo Fluo Capsule
Engine 2993cc inline-6, twin-turbo 2993cc inline-6, twin-turbo 5000cc V8, supercharged 6162cc V8 3995cc flat-6 93.4kWh permanent synchronous magnet 996cc flat-6 5204cc V10
Power 340kW 353kW 331kW 369kW 294kW 560kW 375kW 470kW
Torque 700Nm 550Nm 580Nm 637Nm 420Nm 1050Nm 470Nm 600Nm
Transmission 8-speed automatic 6-speed manual 8-speed automatic 8-speed dual-clutch 7-speed dual-clutch 2-speed auto 7-speed dual-clutch 7-speed dual-clutch
Weight 1860kg 1705kg 1706kg 1545kg 1435kg 2295kg 1435kg 1422kg
Price $142,900 $144,900 $159,900 $160,500 $187,200 $345,800 $369,600 $498,665

Trent Giunco


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