Top 3 Sports Cars for Performance Car of the Year

The Road & Track Performance Car of the Year competition is legendary. Most major motoring journals host some sort of sports car rankings, but the PCOTY (as it’s affectionately known) is special. The competition takes place over four days and testers traveled over 700 miles to put nine performance cars through their paces.

The three best sports cars might surprise you. There was a Porsche, a Cadillac… and a Toyota.

The 2022 Porsche 911 GT3 has become the best sports car

Road & Track admitted it was an uphill battle deciding among the top three cars to pick just one winner. But in the end, it was the new Porsche 911 GT3 that took the trophy. This will come as no surprise to many. MotorTrend crowned the new 911 GT3 its Performance Vehicle of the Year, and this sports car is winning awards and accolades left and right.

One of the things that sets the PCOTY apart from other competitions is its focus on the holistic sports car experience. This means that a successful car doesn’t necessarily need to be the lightest, fastest or have the most power to win. He just has to have the right soul and a healthy dose of euphoria.

The Porsche 911 GT3’s 502-hp 4.0-liter engine wasn’t the most powerful of the bunch. It was only the second fastest sports car. He still won hearts.

Porsche 911 GT3 2022 | Porsche

RELATED: Is the 2022 Porsche 911 GT3 really worth over $160,000?

The 2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing was an aggressive competitor

This Cadillac is the brand’s most powerful sports sedan, producing 668 horsepower and 659 lb-ft of torque from a supercharged 6.2-liter V8. It was the most powerful sedan in the standings, the second most powerful overall, and it’s perhaps the brand’s fond farewell to the internal combustion sports car. Road & Track called it “royalty” and “one of the best sports sedans of all time”.

The praise and love for the CT5-V Blackwing was generously applied. There was little doubt why this Cadillac made the bottom three in a very tough competition.

Front angle view of a blue 2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing sports sedan parked on a paved road at sunset

2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing | Cadillac

Toyota’s inexpensive sports car fought a brave fight

It might seem odd to see an inexpensive Toyota sports car compete with Lamborghinis and BMWs, but the 2022 Toyota GR86 was able to hold its own in a surprisingly powerful class. Its 228 horsepower engine and $30,000 starting price normally put the GR86 coupe at a lunch table far from the likes of the CT5-V Blackwing and 911 GT3, but the PCOTY welcomes anyone who satisfies the cravings for sports cars.

Road & Track called the compact coupe an “ear-to-ear smile on wheels”, and the Toyota GR86 performed well on the track and on back roads. While the other two top three performance cars represent the best of the best, the GR86 is everyone’s sports car.

Red 2022 Toyota GR86 sports car driving on a track, towards camera

Toyota GR86 2022 | Toyota

RELATED: The Toyota 86 gives you speed at the right price

Performance Car of the Year is more than a numbers game

If the competition was based solely on raw data, specs and numbers, this list of the top three sports cars might have looked a lot different. But that’s what makes the Performance Car of the Year trials unique. Cars are not judged solely on their power. The testers judge by whether they are the best possible sports car and whether they can make the heart beat faster and let the imagination run wild.

The Porsche 911 was the well-deserved winner, and the Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing is perhaps the most impressive V8 sports sedan the brand has ever made. But, there’s something great about seeing a peppery little Toyota reach the top.

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