Autonomous driving might be more common than ever, but there are still cars for those who love driving.
You could be forgiven for thinking fun cars are dying out. All we ever hear about are cars getting bigger, heavier, and packed full of technology aimed at bringing autonomous driving closer and closer.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom for car enthusiasts. Many manufacturers have been pushing the envelope in the field of fun vehicles – and if you’ve got the cash, now might be the best time in history to be a petrolhead.
With this in mind, we’ve put together our most hotly anticipated enthusiast cars for 2022.
The Toyota GT86 is much-loved in enthusiast circles, but it’s far from perfect. It was great to see Toyota introduce a fairly inexpensive front-engine, rear-wheel-drive sports car, but while its handling was fun the engine let it down.
With a slight change of name, it’s been updated for 2022. The GR86 gets its moniker from the firm’s Gazoo Racing division and while it keeps the handling formula we all love, it now has a more powerful engine. All signs point to it being a brilliant drive.
It’s the end of the petrol-powered era, but Lotus has decided to give the internal combustion engine one last hurrah. The Emira is the result.
It has much more exotic styling than rivals such as the Porsche Cayman, but appeals to purists by keeping a manual transmission with its supercharged V6 engine. On top of that, there’s also an engine option from AMG, which is Mercedes-Benz’s performance division.
Porsche 911 GT3 RS
Any time Porsche reveals a car with an RS badge it’s time to rejoice. The 911 GT3 RS has long been one of the best performance cars on sale, so this new version has a lot to live up to.
We’ve already tested the ‘regular’ GT3 and loved its high-revving engine and sharp steering, so expect the RS to turn that up to 11. It’ll be faster, lighter, with more lairy aero. A winning combination.
Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS
Normally we wouldn’t include two cars from the same manufacturer in a list like this, but 2022 is set to be a huge year for Porsche enthusiasts. The Cayman has always sat below the 911 in the firm’s hierarchy, but it’s mid-engined layout is better-suited to fast driving. It has always been held back by Porsche so as not to step on its bigger brother’s toes.
Now it feels like the Cayman has really been unleashed. The RS is lighter and even more powerful than the ‘regular’ GT4, which is already one of the most intoxicating drives you can buy right now. Expect this upgraded version to be nothing short of sensational.
BMW M3 Touring
We’ve focused on pure driving experiences so far in this list, focusing on lightweight, driver-focused cars. However, while the BMW M3 Touring is no sports car, it will be hugely appealing to enthusiasts.
BMW is finally selling an M3 of the big boot variety, bringing 500bhp-plus to its load-lugging model. We imagine BMW will sell these quicker than they can make them.
Honda Civic Type R
This might look like a slight curveball when you look elsewhere on this list, but the Honda Civic Type R’s most recent generations have been utterly fantastic. Yes, it might be front-wheel drive, but it has a sweet manual transmission and playful handling that would embarrass some sports cars.
The outgoing model’s styling was divisive to say the least, but the teasers we’ve seen so far hint at a slightly toned down look, now. There’s still a big rear wing to please your inner boy racer, though.