New chargers from Alfa Romeo, Audi, BMW, Lamborghini, Volvo, Jaguar, Mazda and Hyundai are raring to topple the ubiquitous Porsche 911 and become the best performance car of next year’s Top 12.

New chargers from Alfa Romeo, Audi, BMW, Lamborghini, Volvo, Jaguar, Mazda and Hyundai are raring to topple the ubiquitous Porsche 911 and become the best performance car of next year’s Top 12.


Every year, CAR’s editorial team names the best vehicles in 12 categories in the February issue of the magazine. The winners are rated on price, package, performance and personality and often – we can reveal – the votes end up equal in certain sections, necessitating a tiebreak vote.


The Italian challenge to Zuffenhausen’s reign will be spearheaded by the recently-launched “entry-level” Lamborghini, the V10-engined Gallardo. Alfa Romeo recently drove South Africa’s Alfisti into rapture by launching the 188 kW 156 GTA, followed up by a three-litre version of the classic Spyder.


Audi didn’t hold back on the horsepower in 2004… The Ingolstadt-based manufacturer first launched BMW M3-bashing saloon and estate versions of its 252 kW S4 quattro and then followed it up with the RS6 super saloon, which is capable of polishing the zero to 100 km/h dash in 5,15 seconds.


And if there’s anyone out there with R945 000 in their back pocket, the stripped-down, race-engineered M3 CSL might be an interesting option. But wait, they’ve all been sold already – the South African shipment, that is.


Furthermore, the highly-rated new Z4 seems destined to succeed where BMW’s much-maligned Z3 failed. Will its “flame surface” styling be the Z4’s trump card?


Meanwhile, the Hyundai Tiburon offers Ferrari looks and honest performance for between R199 995 and R269 995, the all-aluminium Jaguar XJ range gets a bruising “R” derivative that offers the punch of a 4,2-litre V8, the Mazda RX-8 is a great handler and its rotary engine's rev-range reaches the stratosphere and lastly, Volvo has launched the S60 R equipped with an active performance chassis using Four-C technology (continuously controlled chassis concept) and the S60R's five-cylinder 2,5-litre in-line turbocharged engine.


Will any of these sportscars be good enough to beat the Porsche 911 range, which itself was updated with Turbo- and 4C cabriolet versions and a new GT3 model, in 2004’s Top 12?


Remember to enter CAR and CARtoday.com’s Top 12 online tyre giveaway and you could be one of five lucky readers to win tyres worth R4 000 from Michelin. All you need to get your name into the draw is correctly answer our Top 12 related question.

Original article from Car