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Best track day cars

Some of the world's most visceral, engaging track cars have emerged in recent times – these are our favourites

Track cars have a simple mandate to excite and entertain when driven to the maximum. There’s no specific recipe to uphold – driven wheels, body styles and engine layouts shouldn’t matter here, only a resolute focus on being both fun to drive and resilient enough to handle more than a few laps at high speed.

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So here’s our list of the best cars to fulfil for your track day desires, be that something designed specifically for the circuit driving job, or a car with a broader remit. Most are road-legal, but for absolute purity and thrills, there are purpose built machines that take things to the next level. 

Track day stalwarts from Caterham and Ariel make the cut, but 2024 has also seen a new wave of extreme, single-minded supercars from the likes of Ferrari and Aston Martin. So in no particular order, here are the best track day cars you can buy now that’ll make every turn-in, apex and straight a pleasure.

Best track day cars 2024

Alpine A110 R

We were left a little disappointed by the A110 R when we first drove it around Jarama circuit in Spain. It felt like Alpine had been too conservative with what should have been the most vivid, intense A110 of them all, but the beauty of the R is that its chassis is highly adjustable, and that ultra keyed-in feel was just waiting to be unlocked. For our 2024 Track Car of the Year test at Cadwell Park, it arrived with a revised setup and shone brightly next to serious, purpose-built machinery, cementing itself as one of our favourite track cars on sale. 

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Alpine A110 R review

With less than 1100kg being pushed along by a 296bhp four-pot engine, the R is quick but not intimidatingly so; on a track like Cadwell you can build a fast, comfortable rhythm with it, revelling in the car's precision. In the dry, the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres find enormous bite but there's still scope to adjust your line with tweaks of the throttle or steering. The best bit? The R is also sensational on the road for when track day season is over.

Caterham Seven

With every distraction and every ounce of fat carved away, the Caterham Seven distils driving into its core components. The formula has remained fundamentally the same since the Caterham's spiritual predecessor – the Lotus Seven – arrived in the late 50s, but gradual evolution has seen the Seven become a physical, raw and formidable track car today. 

> Caterham Seven review

With a range that spans from the dainty, vintage-style Super Seven series and all the way to the crazed, supercharged 620R, speccing the ultimate Seven is somewhat of a minefield, but fear not – evo has done all the work for you. To coincide with the magazine's 25th anniversary and Caterham's 50th, we partnered with the British car maker to produce the Seven evo25 Edition; a unique spec of Caterham that combines our favourite elements from existing models. With a 210bhp Ford Duratec motor, adjustable 420 Cup-derived Bilstein dampers and a selection of track-oriented options, the evo25 is glorious to drive on track but at home on the road too – covering distance in the snug, cosy cockpit with the dampers softened off is no hardship. Unsurprisingly, neither is belting around your favourite circuit. 

Ariel Atom

The Ariel Atom represents the pinnacle of track day thrills. At the top of the current range is the wild, all-compassing Atom 4R – it's hard to think of another car that's so exquisitely technical yet primal and raw in character. It's Civic Type R-derived turbocharged engine kicks out 400bhp and it weighs less than 700kg, but adjustable traction control and ABS mean that the potential of the 4R doesn't feel hopelessly out of reach. As your trust in the car (and yourself) grows, the Atom takes you into an entirely new realm on a circuit.

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> Ariel Atom 4R review

If you’re after something a little bit different, the Nomad is also an absolute blast, and any preconceived notions that its 2.4-litre Honda engine might be more CR-V than Ariel are completely unfounded. The torquey naturally aspirated unit gives the Nomad a different edge, so too its long-travel suspension and hilarious ability to traverse any terrain in any weather. Just make sure you’re wearing appropriate apparel.

BAC Mono R

Another British specialist, the single-seat BAC Mono is equally stunning as a static object as it is a single-minded driving tool. This is reflected in the £250k asking price, putting it at the very sharp end for something that, although technically road legal, really is just a toy.

> BAC Mono R review

The pay-off is a unique experience dominated by the Mono’s truly astounding capability and speed. Anything this side of a GT3 racer will have serious trouble keeping up with the Mono, and nothing else combines its near-open-wheeler experience with such superb quality.

Porsche 911 GT3 RS

There's an air of inevitability about the Porsche 911 GT3 RS. It's the yardstick by which all other track-focused road cars are judged, and given that the latest 911 is more GT-like than ever, Porsche has pushed the new RS to even more extreme heights than its predecessors to produce a truly formidable machine that's highly distinct from the base car.

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> Porsche 911 GT3 RS review

The GT3 RS’s immense performance and grip are almost otherworldly. It genuinely feels like a 911 Cup car with number plates, and while the 518bhp 4-litre flat-six isn't meaningfully more potent than that of the standard GT3, the RS feels like a car transformed – particularly on a high-speed circuit. With the damper and diff settings adjustable on the fly, it's also a car that offers a deep well of rewards for high-level drivers. At our 2024 Track Car of the Year test it lapped quicker than a Radical SR3 XXR, which tells you just about everything you need to know. 

Honda Civic Type R

The latest Honda Civic Type R is an example of a manufacturer listening to feedback and delivering in brilliant fashion. We loved the previous FK8-generation car, its communicative, tenacious chassis and engaging powertrain, but there were two snags in the otherwise world-beating formula: its divisive styling and the restrictive drive mode presets that left the Type R with untapped potential. The FL5 model rectifies both of these and brings a host of engineering enhancements in one hit, making it the best hot hatchback money can buy.

> Honda Civic Type R review

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In an age of DCT-equipped four-wheel drive mega hatches, the Type R feels almost touring car-like in the surgical, sometimes frantic way it delivers performance. The Honda's communicative controls and instinctive manual gearshift draw you into exploiting all of its potential on track, where even full-blooded sports cars would have a very hard time clinging to its rear wing. 

Ginetta G56 GTA

Track days are one thing, but for the most addictive, electrifying experience you can have at the wheel of a car, racing is the answer. Ginetta has been building GT race cars for a variety of skill levels and competition series for decades, and its G56 GTA is an £80,000 entry point into the world of motorsport; and some entry point it is. Having raced a G56 GTA at Oulton Park and Silverstone in 2023 – picking up a few podiums along the way – we can attest that the V6-engined racer is engaging, challenging and rewarding in equal measure. 

Ginetta G56 GTA review

Close-quarters racing against similar cars is always a recipe for a huge adrenaline hit, but it's the G56's natural balance and friendly handling characteristics that make it an absolute joy. With a purpose built tubular chassis, a race-tuned 270bhp 3.7-litre V6 and Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S road tyres, the G56 permeates with focus, but it's also approachable. The Michelins have progressive breakaway characteristics and a surprisingly long life (drivers are allocated three sets across the season), which makes the racing more affordable and more fun. Deputy Editor James Taylor and evo writer Yousuf Ashraf have built lifelong memories racing the G56, and if we had the money, we wouldn't think twice. 

Ferrari SF90 XX Stradale

When we first drove the Ferrari SF90, we were astonished, bewildered, but most of all, confused. The 986bhp supercar (or should we say hypercar?) scrambled our brains with its speed, but left us cold with its inconsistent and unintuitive hybrid integration (it placed stone dead last at eCoty 2021). We've since driven the hardcore Assetto Fiorano version at Anglesey circuit, where it managed to worm its way into our affections and break the production car lap record, but the XX Stradale version is where things get really serious.

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> Ferrari SF90 XX Stradale review

The intimidation factor of Ferrari's first road-legal XX product is off the dial. Never before has a Ferrari worn such an extreme aero package, or packed as much as 1016bhp. Not even the LaFerrari can keep up with the SF90 XX around Fiorano, but it's the manner in which it delivers its performance that earns it a place on this list. The XX is exploitable, tactile and uncannily precise at the limit, delivering peaks of adrenaline that live up to its road-going GT3 car appearance. There isn't anything quite like it. 

Spartan

The name says it all; the Australian-built Spartan is just about as angry and unhinged as track cars come. Designed with inspiration from 1960s Can-Am cars, its flowing carbonfibre body helps keep weight down to just 745kg (full of fuel), and its supercharged 460bhp Honda engine has the goods to thrill, excite and downright terrify its driver (in the best way possible). 

> Spartan review

Thankfully, the Spartan combines this furious performance with directness and communication on a circuit. This gives you confidence to really lean on it through corners, at which point you'll find that the balance is neutral and approachable with reassuring high speed stability. Our man Richard Meaden sums it up: 'I can’t think of another road-legal car that places so much in the hands of the driver and delivers such an intense and unfiltered reward.'

Aston Martin Valkyrie

If you want to recalibrate your expectations as to what a road car is capable of, look no further than the Aston Martin Valkyrie. It should come as no surprise that the 1139bhp, Adrian Newey-designed machine is the most technically impressive, physically demanding hypercar of them all, but with a shrink-wrapped body generating a sustained 600kg of downforce at speed, it opens up an entirely new realm of performance.

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Aston Martin Valkyrie review

The Valkyrie takes time, skill and enormous commitment to get near its potential, but when everything comes together, there's no road car quite like it. 'At first everything feels like it's happening too fast, but the trick is to look further and further ahead,' said evo's Richard Meaden having lapped the Valkyrie at the Bahrain GP circuit. 'It feels unnatural, but it’s all part of the recalibration process. One that you gradually get on top of lap-by-lap, but with less time to relax on the straights and so much compressed into each braking effort the Valkyrie is a ruthless and relentless test of your focus and mental stamina.'

evo track guide

Find more on track cars, track days and track driving through the links below...

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