These are our favorite sporty models that have come out this year.
As we approach the end of another year, it's time to look back on the performance cars that helped make 2017 a great year for enthusiasts. If you're wondering why certain models have been omitted, chances are that they've either been on the market for a while, or aren't coming out until next year. So for those of you asking why the Corvette Z06 or ZR1 didn't make the list, there's your answer. Without further adieu, here are our five favorite performance cars of 2017.
This list was pretty much centered so that we could talk about the new Chevy Camaro ZL1. The latest Chevy Camaro has completed its transition from muscle car into true sports car thanks to the use of GM's lighter Alpha platform. The standard V8 Camaro is plenty fast, but the 650 hp ZL1 has launched the car's performance into the realm of supercars. For those who really like to live on the edge, Chevy also sells the ZL1 1LE, which is by far the fastest car on this list. We love the fact that the standard ZL1 can be incredibly fast in a straight line and around corners, without sacrificing everyday practicality.
When you peel away the skin, the Audi TT doesn't seem like it has what it takes to be a true sports car. It shares a platform with the Volkswagen Golf, which even in R trim, most wouldn't consider a sports car. However, this all fades into insignificance when Audi Sport gets its hands on the TT. The resulting TT RS shares its 2.5-liter five-cylinder turbo engine with the RS3 sedan. This odd little powerplant pumps out a whopping 400 hp, which is a ton for such a small car. It may not have the handling balance of sports cars like the Porsche Cayman, but those who are simply looking for a rocket on the street will love the TT RS.
With our third pick, we have decided to go off of the traditional sports car mold and choose a hot hatchback. People may scoff at the notion that the Focus is a sports car, but the performance found in the RS is certainly deserving of this title. It was that long ago that the V8 from the Mustang failed to produce 300 hp. The 2.3-liter EcoBoost in the Focus RS produces a whopping 345 hp and a 0-60 time of 4.7 seconds. Enthusiasts have been begging Ford to bring the RS to the US, and now that it's here the hype still hasn't fully died down. This and the next car on the list have both captured the hearts of American enthusiasts.
The Honda Civic Type R lives in the same vein as the Focus RS. It was forbidden fruit that us yanks could only dream of attaining. Now that Honda finally sells the Type R in the US, demand has been so high that there are still dealer markups. Some car snobs will laugh at a FWD car making the list, but the Civic Type R absolutely deserves to be here. This is the Civic that we always deserved in the US. The Type R is outrageous to look at, but is still more comfortable than the Focus RS. The car produces 306 hp from a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder, which only goes to a six-speed manual transmission. Who ever said that a performance car can't also be practical?
The final car on our list also proves that performance cars can be both fast and practical. The BMW two-door M3 has always been considered a sports car, so we don't see why the addition of two rear doors should change anything. The Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio isn't just more powerful than an M3, with 505 hp from a Ferrari-derived V6, the Alfa is better to drive as well. Even the basic Giulia with the 280 hp four-cylinder feels like a sports car. Luxury sport sedans have been evolving with technology and we think that most of them have been losing their sporty nature. The Giulia QV doesn't just feel like a sedan with sporty pretensions, it feels like an all-out sports car.