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12 Performance Edition Sports Cars Equally Great on Track and on the Road

Updated October 23, 2016

Performance focused vehicles should be ready for the straight line or hitting the track under any driving conditions. They even manage to make the whole experience look somewhat simple, despite it being practically the opposite. With the focus of these cars surrounding the power and track performance, it is essential to ensure that the car is as light as possible. It comes as no surprise that these cars are absolutely not about the ultimate luxurious driving experience, however with recent model upgrades and adaptions, there has been some improvements in driver comfort.

With huge advances amongst these track-edition cars occurring over the last ten years or so, we have comprised a list of the ultimate top twelve. These track-edition models are today achieving power and speed that was once considered as unthinkable and impossible. With breathtakingly high revs and horsepower, these modern day machines are nothing short of amazing.

Our list provides a quick insight into the best twelve, describing their capabilities, listing adaptions that have been made, and of course providing you with all the interesting and important statistics. This taster into the world of track-edition cars, delving into the top twelve is bound to serve as a teaser, making you desperate to get behind the wheel and become the next rally world champion as it sure had that effect on us. Well, we can always fantasize!

  1. 2012 – 2013 Audi TT RS

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The engine configuration used in the 1980’s with the Audi Sport Quattros racetrack editions was so successful that it became a main feature of the Audi TT RS, and still is. The powerful and high performing turbo 2.5l liter five-cylinder engine delivers 360hp, and when in action it sounds magnificent. Words would not bring justice if used to describe the roaring of this engine, so we will leave it to your imagination. This engine reaches an outstanding 4000rpm which will fill you with adrenaline, get your heart pumping, and make you feel like the world’s best rally driver.

When producing revs of 2500rpm, the experience is divine and you feel on top of the world, so you can now sense the extreme excitement at the 400rpm capabilities. The TT RS was extremely popular from the moment it made its first debut, which leaves us surprised and disappointed that its production was so short-lived – only 24 months. A very limited amount of under a thousand TT RS were built. There are high numbers of people aspiring to own one of these collectible Audis. The low production and vast interest and demand in the TT RS makes this likely to be one of the most collectible Audi performance vehicles to-date.

 

  1. 2011 Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0

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We were literally spoiled for choice when it came to selecting which Porsche would take a proud position on our top 12 track cars. Without exaggeration, Porsche could have dominated the list, easily meriting as many as 50% of the 12 titles. Ultimately, the GT3 RS 4.0 came out on top. After all, this was the top performing car of the Porsche 977 era. Highly rare and desirable, as few as 600 of this sacred 911 were produced. With the powerful Porsche GT3 specific track engine, a breathtakingly high 8500 rpm is possible.

Furthermore, despite the absence of a turbo-charged engine, an incredible power of up to 493 hp is generated. The GT3 RS 4.0 shares similar chassis tuning to the GT3 RS, which is sensible given its track performance. With a price-tag of $185,000, you are absolutely getting your money’s worth. Owners are able to opt for the easy installation of a media device and air-conditioning function if their priority is not low weight and fast pace. Porsche has delivered yet another 911 track edition sports car that delivers race results and exciting experiences.

 

  1. 2004 – 2006 Mitsubishi Evolution RS

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Due to its reputation of providing a brilliant and breath-taking driving experience along with its exceptional consistency, the Mitsubishi Evolution RS is considered to be an all-time racetrack favourite. Built intentionally as a rally car and renowned for its remarkable performance on the most challenging of terrain, you may be wondering why the 2004 – 2006 Mitsubishi Evolution RS has earned a place on our list of top racetrack cars. With its outstanding track-tested suspension, this car confirms its worth on our list. There is also the immense power this machine provides of up to 271 hp, thanks to the inclusion of its four-cylinder, turbo engine. The Evolution RS vehicle from Mitsubishi sports a superbly smart all-wheel drive system which further enhances its performance abilities.

Admittedly, the addition of the RS package lacks the wow-factor in terms of performance, however, it removes a 234 lb load from the overall weight. Now that is one way to guarantee enhanced performance! This hefty weight is successfully shifted with the RS package removal of the vehicle’s back wing, its ABS, the air conditioning system, and the equipment that reduces noise while driving. These are all purely added for comfort and are therefore unessential. The now much lighter creation has an awesome ability of reaching 0-60 mph in less than 5 seconds. With the Mitsubishi Evolution RS you effectively are given a blank canvas that allows track performance enhancing adaptions to be personally selected.

 

  1. 2014 Chevy Camaro Z/28

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This Camaro Z/28 is designed to deliver results on the track and although road-legal, the producer Chevy emphasizes its purpose is to be a racetrack competitor. Debuting in the 1960, with ties to the SCCA’s Trans Am racing series, the Camaro Z/28 was considered the best of its kind from as early as the 70’s through to the new millennium. This particular Camaro will set you back $75,000 and promises outstanding track performance and experience for the driver. Despite a 12 year break in continuous production, the return was hugely successful.

The 2014 Z/28 is amazingly 100 lbs lighter than the Camaro SS and apparently its production required 200 specifically created parts. The same as the previous Corvette Z06, the Z/28 engine is a 7.0 liter, V8 engine, reaching an impressive 505 hp. The 2014 Chevy Camaro Z/28 has the ability of making the awesome Porsche 911 Carrera S look slow on the Nurburgring track. Chevy claims that their ability to produce 1.08 G’s is enhanced by the installation of the R compound tires, which are incidentally the biggest ever on the front of a production car.

 

  1. 2015 Nissan GT-R Nismo

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This super sports car is more affordable than many others, despite its fierce and ferocious racetrack abilities. Matching its competitors and often compared with the Corvette Z06, this Nissan Motorsports ‘Nismo’ model can reach speeds of 196mph and produces a massive 600hp. Impressive features of this latest 2015 GT-R Nismo edition include increased wheel and tire width, a stiffer structure, reduced overall weight, and an improved suspension using Bilstein dampers.

Despite these enhancements, critics may doubt the Nissan GT-R Nismo’s ability to have an impact on racetracks. To squash these uncertainties, Nissan is releasing the further improved aerodynamics, suspension, and the eagerly anticipated ‘N-Attack’ package. Let’s now wait and see what those critics have got to say about that!

 

  1. 2008 – 2010 Dodge Viper SRT-10 ACR

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The regular model of this Dodge Viper has an incredibly powerful 600hp to be proud of, yet despite this already amazing production, Dodge decided to completely blow us away with the arrival of their 2008 ACR model. Instantly, this car became a top competitor, famously achieving two world record lap times. Power boost was just not necessary with this voluptuous Viper SRT-10 ACR. Its 150mph down-force was a result of the strategic inclusion of lighter vehicle parts, massive rear wing, brand new stabilizer bars and front splitters made using carbon-fiber. Despite being in every inch the ultimate track car, this ACR happens to also be road legal. Furthermore, a variety of special race editions were produced such as the ACR-X, 1:33 and the Voodoo.

 

  1. 2013 M3 Lime Rock Park Edition

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Previously, the E92-generation M3 GTS of 2011 was considered as one of the best, however, further enticing enhancements are seen in this 2013 M3 Lime Rock Park Edition. Costing a huge $80,000, only 200 of these beasts were produced, each sporting the ‘competition package’. The already impressive suspension has been further improved, now both firmer and lower, and the 19” wheels are noticeably ready and up for any challenge. The smart selection of carbon-fiber and titanium components ensure fhat the overall weight of this manually transmitted M3 is kept to an absolute minimum.

 

  1. 2015 Chevy Corvette Z06

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As soon as the original 2001 Corvette Z06 made its appearance, it was instantly a racetrack favourite. The Z06 models have since then continued to impress and strengthen this beauty’s racetrack reputation. Amazingly, the 2015 production is reported as being even faster and more improved overall. With a super powerful 650hp and torque of 650 lb.-ft, it can be described as one of the best Corvettes in terms of traction. Smart and stylish modern introductions to the exterior assist in down-force while also making it nothing less than stunning.

 

  1. 2012 – 2013 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Black Series

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With a limited number of this AMG Black Series being produced, the C63 is the most desirable. Its impressive 510hp ensures plenty of power, whereas the regular C63 remains much less at 451hp. Foil covers which can be adapted and altered ensure simply brilliant suspension in this widened model. Only a hundred of these magnificent Mercedes are made available, setting you back around $130,000. Absolutely delightful to drive and rallying this around a racetrack will get your adrenaline going.

 

  1. 2012-2013 Ford Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca

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This revamped version of the original 1969 Mustang Boss 302, has been gifted with a 444hp, 5.0 liter, V8 engine that can reach accelerations of up to 7500rpm. Wow! Improved suspension and closer track position are further enhancements of this 2012 model. With the rare Laguna Seca Edition (only 2,000 were produced), suspension and traction are unbeatable. This sought after Seca edition takes its name from a Californian racetrack.

 

  1. 2012-2013 Porsche Cayman R

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Making its presence from as early as 2006, the Cayman R gives even the 911 some stiff competition. With its mid-engine and lighter frame, the Cayman R is without a doubt the best Cayman produced to-date. It is a massive 121lbs lighter than the Cayman S and there is reduced distance from the track, which guarantees the 10hp increase will have maximum impact.

A popular feature of this Cayman R is the chunky and sporty Alcantara steering wheel and unbeatable suspension. Considering most cars displaying the “R” have little consideration given to comfort, this model feels good. Costing $80,000, the Porsche Cayman R has everything you could possibly want from a sports car, at the highest possible standard.

 

  1. 2015 Ferrari 458 Speciale

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With the reputation of the Ferrari 458 Italia as an all-round quick, fun and stunning vehicle, there are of course high expectations. The 458 Speciale, costing a whopping $300,000, which proudly incorporates the highest ever amount of technology amongst its competitors, makes its 2016 debut.

Impressively, this creation is as much as 200lbs lighter than the previous models. Reportedly, Ferrari has improved the suspension which along with the featured electrics enhance its ability on the racetrack. The addition of Slide Slip Control (SSP) brings automatic alterations on board based on its smart ability to monitor your individual driving style.

As expected, a hefty 597hp is produced and of course there are active aerodynamics. This 2015 Ferrari 458 Speciale has an outstanding ability to accelerate up to 9000rpm, reaching 0-60mph is under 3.0 seconds, making it officially faster than the Ferrari Enzo. The sound of this engine in action is heavenly!

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Nikola Potrebić
About Nikola Potrebić

Despite driving a piece of junk, Nikola still manages to survive the harrowing experience called "A road trip in a Yugo," day in, day out. On the other hand, precious few things move him as muscle cars do. Especially those from the bygone golden era, which makes him wonder why wasn't he born a few decades earlier? Well, at least he's been given the opportunity to enjoy the likes of the Pontiak Aztek, Chrysler PT Cruiser, Fiat Multipla, and other lovely millennials, right? Come to think of it, I'll stick with my Yugo. Thank you very much.

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