Best track day cars 2022

These are our picks of the best trackday cars for your 2022 season!

Track cars have a simple mandate to entertain as much on track as they do on the road. There’s no specific recipe to uphold – driven wheels, body styles and engine layouts shouldn’t matter here, only a resolute focus on being both fun to drive, and resilient enough to handle more than a few laps at high speed.

So here’s our take on the best cars to fulfil for your track day desires, be that something designed specifically for the circuit driving job, or a car with a broader remit. All are road-legal so while it might not be optimal to drive them to and from a track, it will technically be possible. 

> Click here to book your place at one of our 2022 evo Track Days

This list will inevitably include multiple examples of trackday stalwarts from Caterham and Ariel, so rather than just pick one version, we’ll give you a rundown of the highlights from each range, exploring where best models excel and, indeed, where they don’t.

So in no particular order, here are the best track day cars you can buy now that’ll make every turn-in, apex and straight a pleasure…

Best track day cars 2022

 Lamborghini Huracán STO

Lamborghini has gone down the stripped-out route with its Huracán before, but unlike the Performante, which introduced some clever aero and a small power bump to a fairly basic Huracán LP610-4, the STO is something rather different. Somehow, it looks the same, but different. The car’s wider, yes, but rather it's its construction that differs. The nose is now one carbonfibre clamshell. The rear quarter panels are also of carbon, and the rear screen is gone, replaced with a snorkel and slats.

> Lamborghini Huracán STO review

These elements are for one reason – reduction of weight, which also explains this car’s lack of front driveshafts, its carbon buckets and simplified nature. Best of all, that supersonic V10 engine is in its brilliant 631bhp form, which combined with some superb calibration and tuning of both powertrain and chassis has made the STO the best Huracán on road and track yet.

Caterham Seven

If we were to split Caterham’s range into individual entries on this list, you might find that ‘Best trackday cars’ would instead be ‘Best Caterhams, with an Ariel thrown in’, so vast and widely brilliant is the range. New for 2021 was the entry-level 170 model which pairs the Suzuki-sourced turbo triple with Japanese-spec axles to create not just the smallest Caterham in the range, but also the lightest, with the R coming in at barely 440kg. Now in 2022, there's the wicked new 420 Cup, complete with sequential transmission and an even more highly strung Sigma engine. 

> Caterham 170R review 

Beyond these new additions, there are still 360 and 420 models in the range, the latter Sigma-engined 420 being particularly virile. The hypersonic 620 tops the range, and while most variants are available in both S and R forms, the latter is more track-focused. The nature of Caterham means you can essentially specify any model to your exact preference, creating what might be one of the all-time greats of trackday superstars. Even better, most are equally fabulous on the road, and they hold their value too. This list isn’t ranked, but Caterham Sevens sit at the top of this web page for a reason.

Ariel Atom

Similar deal here to the Caterham, as the Ariel Atom in pretty much all its forms represents a pinnacle of trackday thrills. Stick to the absolute current range and the Atom 4 is resplendent in its magnificence – intense, malleable and intoxicatingly quick. Some might prefer the instantaneous snap of the 3’s supercharged four-cylinder, but the 4’s turbocharged thrust is not only more powerful, but offers its own appeal from its boosty delivery.

> Ariel Atom review

If you’re after something a little bit different, the Nomad is also an absolute blast, and any preconceived notions that the naturally aspirated 2.4-litre engine might be more CR-V than Ariel are completely unfounded, as the extra torque gives the Nomad a different edge, so too its long-travel suspension and hilarious propensity to be able to traverse any terrain in any weather. Just make sure you’re wearing appropriate apparel.

BAC Mono

Another British specialist, BAC’s Mono might also have some exposed front steering arms but it’s a much more serious proposition. This is reflected in the £250k asking price, putting it at the very very sharp end for something that, although technically road legal, really is just a toy.

> BAC Mono review

Yet the pay-off is a unique experience dominated by the Mono’s truly astounding capability and speed. Anything this side of a GT3 racer will have some serious issues keeping up with the Mono, and almost nothing else combines its near-open-wheeler experience with such superb build quality

Porsche 911 GT3

A Porsche 911 GT3 will always come with baggage, but when Porsche consistently delivers it is hard for it not to be the yardstick by which all others are judged. The 992 did start with one arm tied behind its back, though. The larger, heavier and more technically sophisticated 911 Carrera and Turbo models are undoubtedly impressive, but it almost felt like capability came at the expense of engagement – a trait we worried would translate to the new 992 GT3.

> Porsche 911 GT3 review

We needn’t have, as while the GT3’s immense performance and grip are almost otherworldly, when opened up on track there are few cars that have a more stirring and motorsport-like feel. The GT3’s 4-litre engine might share a cubic capacity with the lesser 718 GT4, but its extra 1000rpm of rev range does wonders on top of its obvious lift in power and torque, while the new double-wishbone suspension up front gives the nose a tenacious turn-in. Even better, push beyond those limits and the chassis is balanced and sweet.

Toyota GR Yaris

The GR Yaris might be a homologation special designed for unpaved road surfaces, but that doesn’t mean it’s out of its depth on the track. With space to push the GR beyond its prodigious grip limits, driving the Yaris on track is great fun, and gives you the chance to experience the true differences between the quite distinct driver modes, especially on the Circuit Pack model that has those front and rear locking differentials.

> Toyota GR Yaris review

And with its short wheelbase and four-square stance, the GR’s occasional snappiness on road can be fully explored without fear. Meanwhile, the brilliant brakes and sheer speed capable from its terrific little turbo triple make this one of the very best hot hatchbacks to take on track. Get tuners like Litchfield involved and some of the GR's traits are only heightened, with key improvements to the seating position an additional benefit.

Porsche Cayman GT4 RS

Porsche’s Cayman GT4 has always impressed as much on the track as it does on the road. Its fundamentals combine a balanced and transparent chassis with a stunning naturally aspirated flat-six engine, but the GT4’s magic is its ability to reward the driver whether they’re a first-timer or an ex-F1 star. Driven carefully, the chassis is confidence inspiring, stable and resilient. Grab it by the scruff and its limits of grip reveal themselves, though, urging you to keep pushing. When you do, you’ll need to have your wits about you as the Porsche can bite back. 

> Porsche Cayman GT4

Once you’re accustomed to the GT4, the best bit is that you can take things further. You could enlist the help of one of the many aftermarket tuners like RPM Technik, building on the GT4’s inherent brilliance with components that will squeeze even more performance out. If you want to keep it stock, Porsche might even sell you the simply stunning GT4 RS, if you’re lucky enough to secure a build slot.

Ferrari SF90 Assetto Fiorano

It might sound a little counterintuitive to find Ferrari’s heaviest car on this list, but more than any other Ferrari currently on sale, the relative freedom of a closed circuit is the only way to experience the plug-in SF90’s immense speed and capability. 

> Ferrari SF90 Assetto Fiorano review

In typical fashion, Ferrari’s made sure that its plug-in hybrid flagship can handle persistent laps, something we can confirm having pounded an Assetto Fiorano-specification SF90 on track for the best part of three days without incident. When you do properly plug yourself into the SF90, it proves so violently fast that it now tops our road-legal lap time leaderboard at Anglesey’s coastal circuit, which broke the overall road car lap record along the way. 

Alpine A110

The Alpine makes a fabulous road car, we know that, but on track the base car’s relatively soft suspension hasn’t made it particularly conducive to track days. That is until tuners like Life A110 get their hands on it. With the right upgrades, the A110 is transformed, maintaining the elements that make it such a hit on the road like its minimal kerb weight and raucous engine, only with a new level of control and poise on-track. 

> Alpine A110 review

Even better, with the newfound confidence in corners the chassis’ inherently playful balance really shines, with a propensity to slip into delicate and controlled oversteer as easily and smoothly as Lamborghini’s stunning STO. Yet because the mass is so low, the A110 goes relatively easy on consumables, with tyres and brakes both lasting for session after session. 

BBR Mazda MX-5 

Much like the Alpine A110 above, it takes some help from third-party turners to unlock an MX-5’s best on-track characteristics. All Mazda MX-5 generations make a good base for creating a serious little track toy, but BBR’s experience with the third-generation NC model is never more obvious than when driving its brilliant supercharged 250bhp variant. 

> Mazda MX-5 review

BBR focuses the MX-5’s little chassis, sharpening the suspension to reveal a neutral balance and propensity to oversteer as much or as little as you desire. The supercharger also makes a world of difference to the car’s character, not by recreating that instantaneous pull of a supercharged motor when applied to a V8, but in delivering a lag-free rev-happy punch at the top-end. The best bit is that you can tailor your MX-5 to your own skill and preferences, creating a personal little track car that’s underpinned by BBR’s general excellence and experience in setting up all things MX-5. 

Click here to book your place at one of our 2022 evo Trackdays here!

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