The Most Affordable Track Day Cars for 2020

Driving on track is a dream of many car enthusiasts around the world. The speed, the G-forces, the thrill, and engagement are hard to come by in any other form of hobby. However, owning a track day car can prove to be very costly – most desirable sports cars are out of the budget for most people.

Not all of them, though. Fortunately, there are affordable cars on the market that can be used on track days. That’s precisely the attributes that adorn the next forty vehicles. So, let’s dig into the matter and find a new or used budget-friendly track-day car for you, shall we?

Toyota 86 / Subaru BRZ ($27,985 / $28,845)

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Photo by Robert Hradil/Getty Images
Photo by Robert Hradil/Getty Images

The Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ duo is synonymous with track driving. Both cars were developed specifically for handling and responsiveness, desired qualities when it comes to tracking. Right now, there is no other coupe in this price range that will offer the same thrill and engagement on a twisty track.

The 86 and BRZ carry the same 2.0-liter naturally-aspirated engine with 200hp, which isn’t very fast in a straight line. That doesn’t sound like a lot, and it isn’t. However, the engine is super-responsive – there is no turbo-lag. Also, the motor is powerful enough to create long power slides. In other words, you may not be the fastest driver on the track, but you’ll undoubtedly have the most fun.

Mazda MX-5 Miata ($26,580)

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Photo by National Motor Museum/Heritage Images via Getty Images
Photo by National Motor Museum/Heritage Images via Getty Images

The Mazda MX-5 Miata uses almost the same recipe as the Toyota and Subaru pair. However, the legendary Japanese roadster ditches the roof for an even more joyful experience. And you will certainly enjoy the MX-5 Miata – the roadster weighs just over a tonne, which translates into very direct and engaging handling.

The 2.0-liter naturally-aspirated unit in the MX-5 Miata provides 181hp. The power is transferred to the rear wheels via a 6-speed manual transmission, which will undoubtedly add to the thrill. Put some max-performance tires and upgrade the brakes, and you’ll have an enjoyable and engaging track-day machine.

Fiat 124 Spider Abarth ($29,930)

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Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images
Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Fiat, the largest Italian car manufacturer, took the MX-5 Miata platform and put its take on it. The model they created is called the 124 Spider Abarth, which means that it’s designed with the help of the in-house performance division. The Italian-Japanese roadster follows the same recipe – lightweight shell and a tiny, but a peppy engine.

Unlike the Miata, though, the 124 Abarth uses a 1.4-liter turbocharged unit that produces 164hp. That’s short on power when compared to the Japanese cousin, but the Italian one can boast about its higher torque number – 184 lb-ft compared to 151 lb-ft. Choose the 6-speed manual transmission, and you’ll surely have a heck of a ride.

Honda S2000 (≅ $20,000, Used)

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Photo by National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images
Photo by National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images

The S2000 might be over a decade old by now, but it can still easily compete with similarly-priced new roadsters, such as the MX-5 Miata and 124 Abarth. Honda’s most iconic convertible is known for the screaming 2.0-liter and 2.0-liter naturally-aspirated units. Both engines rev to the stratosphere and achieve almost 250hp.

Thanks to the lightweight body, the S2000 is a pretty fast roadster in a straight line. More importantly, though, Honda’s chassis engineering made it one of the finest-handling roadsters of all time. Add to that a slick-shifting 6-speed manual transmission, and you have a recipe for track-day fun.

Caterham Seven 160 ($28,900)

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Source: Caterham
Source: Caterham

You undoubtedly didn’t expect to see an exotic roadster on this list, but hey, it’s affordable! Caterham isn’t a very popular manufacturer in North America, but that’s a shame because their models are pure driving machines. Oh, and they are also mega adorable on the outside, which certainly adds to the drama.

The 160 is the company’s entry-level model, but don’t let that fool you into thinking that it’s not ready for track-day duties. This retro roadster weighs only 1080 lbs (490 kg), less than a Formula 1 car. That translates into outstanding handling and responsiveness. Oh, and thanks to the feather-light body, the 660cc three-cylinder turbocharged engine with only 80 horsepower is enough to propel it to 60 mph in only 6.2 seconds!

Toyota Corolla SE 6MT ($23,705)

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Source: Toyota Newsroom
Source: Toyota Newsroom

Wait; what? A puny Corolla for track-day driving? Hear us out first, and then jump to conclusions. The 2020 Toyota Corolla is based on an entirely new TNGA platform and doesn’t have anything to do with the older one. The most significant upgrade with this platform is the handling, which is way better than the old one.

Sure, the 2.0-liter naturally-aspirated unit with 169hp might not sound impressive, but it will push you forward when revved to the redline. But wait, you still haven’t heard about the most remarkable feature – the six-speed manual transmission has an automatic rev-matching! Oh yes, heel-and-toe with the new Corolla is a thing of the past, and we’re certainly happy about it.

Mazda 3 Hatchback ($23,700)

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Source: Mazda Newsroom
Source: Mazda Newsroom

Continuing the economy-car theme, we introduce you to the most enjoyable hatchback in the corners, the Mazda 3 Hatchback. The Japanese compact car not only looks super aggressive and cool, but it also has several technologies that make it an excellent driver’s car.

We are talking about the G-Vectoring Control Plus system here, which adjusts engine torque and braking for a natural feeling in the corners. With the Mazda 3, you’ll feel like Ayrton Senna behind the steering wheel. Also, the 2.5-liter naturally-aspirated SkyActiv-G engine with 186 horsepower is far from slow. There is one caveat, though – Mazda doesn’t offer a manual transmission for the 2020 model year anymore. Still, you can at least manually select gears on the 6-speed auto.

Honda Civic Si Coupe ($25,200)

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Source: Honda Newsroom
Source: Honda Newsroom

Honda’s compact coupe might not be the most potent model in the range, but it still packs enough punch for an exhilarating day at the track. In the front, the Civic Si Coupe has a 1.5-liter turbocharged engine with 205hp, paired with a slick-shifting 6-speed manual transmission. In our book, those are the minimum requirements for engaged driving.

The Civic Si adds an outstandingly direct steering and agile handling to the mix. Honda’s chassis engineering again shows here – the Si is one of the best-driving front-wheel-drive machines out there. Moreover, the low driving position will make you feel like you’re in a racing car – excellent for track days.

Kia Forte GT ($22,490)

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Source: Kia Newsroom
Source: Kia Newsroom

Kia’s economy compact car might not be on most enthusiast’s minds when it comes to track days. Nonetheless, Kia offers a GT trim of the car that packs a lot of punch for the money, especially when compared to similarly-priced models.

Under the bonnet of the Kia Forte GT sits a 1.6-liter turbocharged petrol unit with 201hp. The car even has a sport-tuned exhaust for better aural experience and available slick-shifting 6-speed manual transmission for better engagement. The sport-tuned suspension also dramatically improves the handling when compared to the standard version – the Forte GT is a valid driver’s car.

Hyundai Elantra N Line ($20,650)

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Source: Hyundai Newsroom
Source: Hyundai Newsroom

The Elantra N Line might be based on the same platform as the Kia Forte, but Hyundai decided to offer it in hatchback form. In our opinion, the shorter and lighter a vehicle is, the better it handles in the corners. The suspension tuned from Hyundai’s N division additionally helps the Elantra feel alive in the corners – this is an entertaining car to play with.

The 1.6-liter turbocharged petrol unit with 201hp also doesn’t disappoint – it’s enough to give you exhilarating acceleration. Hyundai offers both a 6-speed manual and 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmissions, both of which work very well on the track.

Fiat 500 Abarth ($20,495)

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Photo by Sjoerd van der Wal/Getty Images
Photo by Sjoerd van der Wal/Getty Images

Fiat’s tiny hatchback was primarily designed for European roads, but there is no reason it won’t work in America. The 500 Abarth is feather-light and has a very advanced suspensions system. Thanks to that, the car is super agile in the corners and a lot of fun behind the steering wheel.

The 1.4-liter turbocharged engine develops 160hp and 170 lb-ft. Sure, that’s not much, but acceleration is swift thanks to the lightweight body. Moreover, the sport-tuned exhaust makes this retro-looking charmer an even more enticing proposition for track driving. Fiat offers the 500 Abarth with a 5-speed manual transmission, which gives more control in the hands of the driver.

Ford Fiesta ST ($31,990)

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Photo by Sjoerd van der Wal/Getty Images
Photo by Sjoerd van der Wal/Getty Images

Ford’s answer to the 500 Abarth is an ST version of the Fiesta. The dynamic-looking small hatchback is one of the best-handling front-wheel-drive vehicles today. It’s agile, direct, and responsive, and on top of that, it provides an excellent steering feel. All of these qualities surely help to enhance track driving.

Under the bonnet, there is a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 197 horsepower. That’s enough to propel the small hatchback to 60 mph in less than 7 seconds. Furthermore, Ford offers the Fiesta ST with a 6-speed manual transmission, which adds to the excitement. The engine also sounds pretty meaty for a small unit for a complete racing experience.

Mini John Cooper Works Hardtop ($33,400)

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Source: BMW Group
Source: BMW Group

Mini’s three-door hatchback is super-fun to drive even in the standard version, but it’s the John Cooper Works models that are best suited for track driving. This trim comes with a sport-tuned suspension that elevates the handling to sports car levels, undoubtedly helped by the low weight of only 2,932 lbs.

The 2.0-liter turbocharged engine comes with an angry-sounding exhaust, which adds to the drama. More importantly, it develops 228hp and 235 lb-ft, enough to propel the tiny hatchback to 60mph in only 5.9 seconds. Right now, Mini offers this model only with an automatic transmission, but they will soon launch a Knights Edition with a 6-speed manual.

Audi S3 2015-2016 (≅ $25,000, Used)

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Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images for Audi
Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images for Audi

Going the used-car route can always give you more performance for less money. A great example of that is the 2015-2016 Audi S3, a car that destroys most new vehicles on this list when it comes to straight-line acceleration.

The 2.0-liter turbocharged engine in the S3 develops healthy 292hp and 280 lb-ft. The engine is paired to a Quattro all-wheel-drive system, which significantly improves traction under acceleration. Overall, the S3 isn’t as agile as some smaller and lighter hatchbacks, but the Quattro system makes the car very easy to drive. Sadly, Audi only offered this generation of the S3 with a 6-speed automated-manual transmission.

BMW 230i Coupe ($35,300)

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Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images
Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

BMW is a manufacturer that literally earns its bread with performance and driving enjoyment. Our pick for the best affordable BMW for track days is the 230i Coupe. We know this is far from the fastest BMW on offer, but it’s still quick enough to give you a thrill.

More importantly, the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine is lighter than the straight-six unit from the faster versions, which makes the car much more agile and responsive. The motor achieves 249hp and propels the car to 60mph in only 5.8 seconds. BMW offers the 230i Coupe with manual and automatic transmission, and both RWD and AWD configuration.

Subaru WRX ($27,495)

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Photo by Sjoerd van der Wal/Getty Images
Photo by Sjoerd van der Wal/Getty Images

The Subaru WRX (previously the Impreza WRX) is a car that was developed on rally courses around the world. Today, Subaru doesn’t compete in the WRC championship anymore, but the WRX is still synonymous with rally racing. Equipped with a symmetrical all-wheel-drive system, the WRX can give you traction on dry and wet tarmac, as well as snow and gravel.

The 2.0-liter turbocharged boxer engine sits very low in the engine bay, lowering the center of gravity. This helps tremendously in drivability and handling, paired with the all-wheel-drive system. The motor is suitable for 268hp, enough to propel the car to 60mph in around five seconds. The 6-speed manual transmission just adds to the excitement.

Ford Focus RS (≅ $30,000 Used)

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Photo by Gerlach Delissen – Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images
Photo by Gerlach Delissen – Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

Ford doesn’t offer the excellent RS hatchback for the 2020 model year, but don’t worry – you can find used low mileage samples. More importantly, you will be getting one of the most enjoyable sporty hatchbacks on the planet.

The Focus RS has an all-wheel-drive system but geared toward fun and agile handling. The car even has a special “Drift” mode – that’s how hilariously fun it is. The 2.3-liter turbocharged engine is no slouch, either. It develops meaty 350 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque, enough to propel the car to 60mph in just 4.5 seconds. The RS only comes with a 6-speed manual, which a great decision in our book.

Volkswagen Golf GTI ($28,595)

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Photo by KARIM JAAFAR/AFP via Getty Images
Photo by KARIM JAAFAR/AFP via Getty Images

Volkswagen is the company that launched the term hot-hatch with the first Golf GTI. Now, over three decades later, the Golf GTI is still the most revered hot hatchback in the world. When it comes to driving, the GTI can be applauded for composure, traction, and agile handling.

It’s no slouch in the performance department, either. The 2.0-liter turbocharged engine is good for 228hp and 258 lb-ft, enough to propel the hatchback to 60mph in only 5.9 seconds. Volkswagen offers the car with a slick-shifting 6-speed manual, or an excellent 7-speed DSG automatic transmission with paddles behind the steering wheel.

Honda Civic Type R ($36,995)

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Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images
Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Honda’s take on the hot-hatch is the craziest one to date. The racing-tuned suspension, super-responsive steering, advanced LSD, and excellent chassis dynamics make the Civic Type R the best track-day car in its class right now. The Type R is so good in the corners that it can beat some supercars. Interestingly, Honda achieved the incredible driving dynamics driving only the front wheels.

The 2.0-liter turbocharged engine is another technological marvel – it develops 306hp and has almost no turbo lag. The interior of the Civic Type R has bucket seats that will hold you in place in the corners, while the 6-speed manual is the icing on this marvelous cake.

Volkswagen Golf R ($40,395)

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Photo by Gerlach Delissen – Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images
Photo by Gerlach Delissen – Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

The Golf R is on the upper limit of what you’d call affordable, but we still couldn’t resist putting it here. Volkswagen’s most powerful hatchback is a sophisticated piece of kit – on the road, it performs almost like a premium car.

Still, the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that develops 288hp and 280 lb-ft of torque is very potent – it accelerates the Golf R to 60mph under five seconds. The Golf R is exclusively equipped with a 4Motion all-wheel-drive system, which aids traction and overall drivability, especially on slippery tarmac. Volkswagen offers both a 6-speed manual and a 7-speed dual-clutch DSG automatic transmission.

Mercedes A220 Sedan ($34,500)

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Photo by Sjoerd van der Wal/Getty Images
Photo by Sjoerd van der Wal/Getty Images

If you want a car that will be classy on the street, yet fun-to-drive on the track, you won’t go wrong with the Mercedes A220 Sedan. Arguably one of the best-looking sedans right now, the A220 also drives as well as it looks. This trim only comes with an FWD configuration, but don’t let that fool you – the car is still very enjoyable to drive in the corners.

Under the bonnet of the A220, there is a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 with 188hp and 221 lb-ft. Mercedes doesn’t offer a manual transmission, but the 7-speed dual-clutch automatic is fast and enjoyable to use in manual control.

Kia Stinger ($33,090)

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Photo by Sjoerd van der Wal/Getty Images
Photo by Sjoerd van der Wal/Getty Images

A few years ago, Kia decided to go head-to-head with the German executive sedans with the Stinger. The car wasn’t a big hit in terms of sales, which is a shame – the Stinger is an accomplished RWD sedan that drives as well as a BMW 3-Series.

Behind the wheel, the Stinger feels direct and composed, just like a rear-wheel-drive sedan should perform. Kia offers two engines on the Stinger. The 2.0-liter turbocharged unit achieves 255hp, while the 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 makes 365 horsepower. Both motors will work well on the track, but we’d go with the V6 if money weren’t an issue.

Dodge Charger ($27,390)

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Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images
Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Dodge is the American equivalent of BMW – every single one of their vehicles is good to drive in the corners and fast in a straight line. A great example of that is the Charger – an RWD sporty sedan with agile handling and outstanding high-speed stability. These qualities make the Charger an excellent choice for driving on fast tracks.

The Dodge Charger is available with a suite of powerful engines. The entry-level V6 has 292hp, enough for you to have a lot of fun on the track. Nonetheless, if you want a real blast, we’d recommend the HEMI V9 with meaty 370hp. The Hellcat version comes with neck-cracking 707 horses but isn’t very affordable.

Mini John Cooper Works Clubman ALL4 ($39,400)

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Photo by Michael Debets/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images
Photo by Michael Debets/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Mini’s four-door version of their small hatchback model called the Clubman brings a lot more practicality and room on the inside. Luckily, the company still managed to give the Clubman the John Cooper Works treatment, which transforms the small car into a real track-day weapon.

In this model, Mini massaged the engine to develop 301hp and 331 lb-ft. Paired with an all-wheel-drive system for better traction, the engine can propel the Clubman to 60mph in only 4.4 seconds! Furthermore, the John Cooper Works Clubman ALL4 has a sport-tuned suspension for better handling, which makes it even better for track driving.

Toyota GR Supra 2.0 (≅ $40,000)

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Photo by Sjoerd van der Wal/Getty Images
Photo by Sjoerd van der Wal/Getty Images

The fifth generation of the Supra wasn’t welcomed positively by everyone, but Toyota still sells loads of them. Starting from this year, the company will offer the new Supra with a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine with 255hp and 295 lb-ft. The engine is paired to an 8-speed manual, which sends the power to the rear wheels.

That doesn’t sound like much, but the GR Supra 2.0 can still accelerate to 60mph in only 5 seconds. More importantly, the lighter engine in the front makes the vehicle much more agile and playful. In our opinion, this also makes the 2.0-liter model better for driving on the track, especially in the corners.

Ford Mustang EcoBoost ($33,000)

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Photo by Sjoerd van der Wal/Getty Images
Photo by Sjoerd van der Wal/Getty Images

The Ford Mustang is an obvious choice for track days. It looks menacing; it has a rear-wheel-drive configuration and stable handling. The EcoBoost version of the Mustang is probably the best when it comes to handling, thanks to the lightweight engine under the bonnet. It makes the muscle car more agile in the corners and more responsive.

Even though the 2.3-liter turbocharged motor has only four cylinders, it still packs enough punch for high performance. In this model, it develops 332hp and 350 lb-ft of torque, enough to propel the coupe to 60mph in only 4.5 seconds. It also comes with a 6-speed manual or 10-speed auto, which we applaud.

Hyundai Veloster N ($26,900)

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Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

The Veloster is a one-of-a-kind coupe with one door on the left side and two doors on the right side. Hyundai opted for this design to increase practicality for the rear passengers, without losing the sporty appearance. What you should know is that the Veloster N is a perfect choice for track days.

The quirky coupe is agile and stable through the corners and comes with a slick-shifting 6-speed manual that will make your track days that more enjoyable. Moreover, the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine also packs a lot of punch. With 250hp on tap, or 275hp if you opt for the performance package, the lightweight coupe can sprint to 60mph in under 6 seconds.

Chevrolet Camaro 1LS ($25,000)

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Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images
Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

The Chevrolet Camaro 1LS is one of the most affordable muscle cars on sale today. However, you certainly won’t notice that while driving. The entry-level model comes with a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 that develops healthy 275hp and 295 lb-ft. That is enough to launch the angry-looking muscle car to 60mph in only 5.4 seconds.

Oh, and because the tiny engine is very light, the Camaro 1LS is no slouch in the corners. Handling is predictable, the steering is responsive, and there is a lot of grip from the tires. Track-day enthusiasts will be happy to hear that this engine is available with a 6-speed manual transmission.

Audi TT Coupe ($45,500)

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Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images
Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

The Audi TT Coupe isn’t as affordable as most cars on this list. However, it’s also not extremely expensive, yet it packs several qualities that make it a track day weapon. The obvious ones are the short wheelbase and lightweight body, which give the car super-agile handling and excellent responsiveness.

The entry-level model comes standard with a Quattro all-wheel-drive for better traction and stability. The 2.0-liter turbocharged engine develops 228hp and 258 lb-ft, which is enough to propel the tiny coupe to 60mph in only 5.2 seconds. Audi only offers the TT Coupe with a dual-clutch S-Tronic automatic transmission, but as far as automatics go, this is one of the best out there.

Nissan 370Z ($30,090)

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Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images
Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

The Nissan 370Z is one of the oldest sports coupes on the market. However, Nissan originally designed this vehicle thinking about track days, and that is still valid even today. The 370Z has a V6 engine up front, which sends the power to the rear wheels for balanced and predictable handling.

The 3.7-liter unit develops 337hp, enough for a 0-60 time of around 5 seconds. The engine is mated to a 6-speed manual transmission, which is always the right choice. Moreover, the 370Z is easily upgradeable with excellent aftermarket solutions designed for track days. In other words, you can extract even more performance from this machine.

Dodge Challenger ($27,995)

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Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images
Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

The Dodge Challenger is easily one of the mightiest muscle cars on the market. The aggressive and muscular styling, paired with Dodge’s know-how about making performance machines, makes the Challenger into a competent track day machine.

That’s true even for the entry-level model, which comes with a 3.6-liter V6 Pentastar engine with 305hp and 268 lb-ft. We like the fact that Dodge didn’t put a turbocharged engine in the Challenger. The naturally-aspirated unit is more responsive and more comfortable to handle on the track, and there is no turbo lag. The chassis is also well-mannered, while the 8-speed auto works great during aggressive driving.

Tesla Model 3 ($41,190)

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Photo by Sjoerd van der Wal/Getty Images
Photo by Sjoerd van der Wal/Getty Images

The most popular electric vehicle on the planet is not only efficient – it’s also very quick. Sure, when it comes to straight-line acceleration, the higher-end models are much better, but it’s the entry-level one that’s most enjoyable to drive. The 50-kWh battery is lighter than on other models, which translates into more agile cornering.

Moreover, the Standard Range Plus model has one electric motor on the rear wheels, which further adds to the fun factor. With 353hp and 368lb-ft on tap, the motor will propel the funky-looking sedan to 60mph in only 5.3 seconds. The only thing you’ll have to accept is the total silence, even during hard accelerations.

Lexus RC ($41,295)

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Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images
Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

The Lexus RC Coupe is one of the most aggressive-looking coupes on the market, dividing opinion among enthusiasts. However, while we can’t agree on the styling, everybody agrees that the RC is an enjoyable coupe to drive, even in the entry-level model.

The least-expensive Lexus RC comes with a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 with 241hp, paired to an 8-speed automatic transmission. Lexus doesn’t offer a manual transmission in its models anymore, but the automatic one should do the job on the track. More importantly, Lexus massaged the chassis on the 2020 model to make it handle better in the corners, and that shows behind the responsive steering wheel.

Infiniti Q60 ($41,350)

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Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images
Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

The Q60 is a direct competitor to the Lexus RC. Unlike the Lexus, though, the Infiniti Q60 is more geared toward luxury and refinement, rather than outright performance. Nonetheless, we still think that it’s a very good solution for people that don’t go on track days that often.

When it comes to track day driving, it’s not performance that the Q60 lacks. The twin-turbo V6 has 300hp on tap, enough for exhilarating accelerations. The chassis is also agile and well-mannered in the corners, especially thanks to the all-wheel-drive configuration. That said, the steering feel isn’t on par with the competition, but that’s the price you need to pay for luxury.

BMW Z4 ($49,700)

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Source: BMW Group
Source: BMW Group

If you didn’t know that already, the Z4 is the half-brother of the new GR Supra – they share the same platform. The BMW is more expensive, which is expected, but it also ditches the roof to appeal to roadster enthusiasts.

Under the bonnet, the Z4 has the same 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 as the GR Supra 2.0. The engine develops 254 horsepower, enough to launch the lightweight roadster to 60mph in around 5 seconds. Like the GR Supra, the Z4 isn’t available with a manual transmission, but the 8-speed auto is perfectly-suited for track driving. The BMW Z4 also handles very well in the corners, but you already knew that.

Ford Mustang Bullitt ($48,905)

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Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images
Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

We decided to put two different Mustang trims on this list simply because they drive very differently. While the EcoBoost model is all about sweet handling, the Bullitt is all about aggressiveness, noise, and straight-line speed. Not that it doesn’t handle good – the sport-tuned suspension is designed for track days and makes the Mustang very agile in the corners.

Under the bonnet, the Bullitt comes with a 5.0-liter naturally-aspirated V8 engine with 480hp, paired to a 6-speed transmission with rev-matching. This means that you don’t have to worry about heel-and-toe when downshifting, which makes track driving easier. Also, this trim comes with a performance exhaust with quad tips that sounds amazing.

Porsche Cayman 2012-2016 (≅ $40,000, Used)

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Photo by nakhon100 via Flickr
Photo by nakhon100 via Flickr

The Porsche Cayman is arguably the best coupe in the world when it comes to handling. Porsche’s driving machine turns with immediacy that few vehicles can copy, yet is supremely balanced and composed. The steering in this generation is razor-sharp and returns a lot of feedback from the road.

These qualities should be enough to get you to buy the Cayman, but wait, there is more! The naturally-aspirated flat-six engine with a capacity of 3.5-liters sounds sweet, while also developing healthy 325hp. Paired with a precise 6-speed manual, this motor will propel the Cayman to 60mph in only 5 seconds.

Chevrolet Corvette (≅ $40,000, Used)

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Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images
Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Going the used-car route can significantly improve your chances of buying a real performance machine. Sure, maintaining these cars isn’t very affordable, but most people can still manage if they put enough care. One of the best used GT supercars is the Corvette Stingray, which handles almost like Italian classics from Ferrari.

The best thing about this car is that it was developed for track-day driving, so there is no need for upgrades. Under the bonnet, the Vette packs a 6.2-liter V8 with 455hp, which is enough for a 0-60 time of around 4 seconds. The Corvette Stingray also handles beautifully, and even comes with a 7-speed manual transmission with rev-matching.

Mercedes-AMG A35 (≅ $45,000)

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Photo by Pradeep Gaur/Mint via Getty Images
Photo by Pradeep Gaur/Mint via Getty Images

Mercedes-AMG just launched a mild version of the A-Class sedan, called the A35. This model isn’t the range-topper – later, the company plans to introduce the A45 version, which will be hell on wheels. However, the A35 is still powerful enough for most people and well-suited to track driving.

Equipped with a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 with 302hp and 295 lb-ft, the A35 can reach 60mph in only 4.7 seconds. The model comes standard with an all-wheel-drive system, which should give the driver better traction and stability through the corners. The 7-speed dual-clutch transmission is also track-ready – it comes with paddles behind the steering wheel.

Porsche Boxster 2012-2016 (≅ $40,000, Used)

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Photo by Joseph Branston/T3 Magazine/Future via Getty Images
Photo by Joseph Branston/T3 Magazine/Future via Getty Images

The last generation of the Boxster is mechanically similar to the Cayman. However, the Boxster loses the roof, which should appeal to people that want to feel more from the road or track. By removing the roof, Porsche also removed the razor-sharp reflexes of the Cayman.

Nonetheless, the Boxster is still very enjoyable to drive in its own right, and certainly better than almost every other roadster from its generation. The 3.5-liter naturally-aspirated flat-six also sounds fantastic, especially with an opened roof. It also propels the Boxster to 60mph in little over 5 seconds. Moreover, the 6-speed manual transmission glides through the gears and makes for a delightful drive.