Best drivers' cars of 2012

2 Nov, 2012 6:00pm

We gather together 10 of the year's best performance cars for our annual high-octane shoot-out

Over the past 12 months, we've seen a variety of great new performance cars hit these shores. Ranging from hot superminis to exotic road racers, as well as powerhouse super saloons and the ultimate supercars, there's something for everybody who wants to experience driving thrills. And the Auto Express Performance Car Of The Year test takes the cream of the crop to determine the best drivers' cars of 2012.

This year we've seen the all-new Porsche 911 and Boxster launch, while the Ford Focus ST offers performance on a par with the previous generation RS. Audi also introduced the all-new RS4 Avant, while the Suzuki Swift Sport offers hot hatch thrills on a budget. And in a radical departure, Toyota revived the rear-wheel-drive coupe class with the GT 86.

We took these cars, plus contenders from Lotus, MINI, Mercedes and even Morgan, to Anglesey Circuit in north Wales, where we assessed them on track and on the great roads in the area.

In addition, we undertook a road trip with a difference in the barely road legal Radical SR1 and BAC Mono, looked back at the past PCOTY masters, and recommended used performance car bargains available at eight price brackets.

For the full results, pick up a copy of this week's Auto Express (out 31 October) and check out the gallery above for our favourite pictures from this year's test.

And watch our exclusive video to find out what happened when we pitted the new Porsche 911 against a very British rival: