All posts in “Special Lists”

Best New 4-Door Sporty Saloons ($50K–$100K USD)

Long gone are the days when the 2-door coupe had a monopoly on the best performance an automaker had on tap. In modern times, the 4-door saloon has become an increasingly popular platform for companies to showcase their greatest technologies, in a more utilitarian and family-friendly package to boot.

As a matter of fact, today’s market has demanded more versatility from products as consumers look to maximize the overall value of each and every purchase they make—automobiles are no exception.

This shift in philosophy has led to the creation of some incredible performance saloons over the years, and this now-very-competitive space has also fostered plenty of innovation as automakers dedicate significant resources towards the research, production and marketing of their sporty 4-door models.

Let’s also be clear that ‘sporty’ in this context doesn’t translate to some sort of watered-down or muted rendition of a company’s best offerings; rather, these cars are all contemporaries of their respective product line’s flagship models, if not already in that camp themselves.

Here are the Best New 4-Door Sporty Saloons you can purchase today, between $50K–$100K USD.

BMW M3 Competition

2021 BMW M3 on mountain road

Price: $69,900 USD

BMW has refreshed the M3 sedan and M4 coupe for 2021, and the 6th-gen siblings remain as driver-focused as ever. By not caving in to conventional wisdom—and in doing so, honoring the wishes of its enthusiast fanbase—BMW is offering the base versions of the cars with a 6-speed manual transmission as standard.

By all important metrics, the M3/M4 are superior cars to their predecessors in every regard; a bump in power, a better chassis, fresh styling, and more luxuries all coming together in a very formidable looking and high-performing package.

The Competition version of the incoming generation is going to be my pick of the lot. Besides the notable increase in power and torque (503 hp and 479 lb-ft in total) over the regular M3/M4, the Competition models will exclusively have the option of adding xDrive all-wheel drive. BMW has promised that the rear-biased system will offer all of the traction benefits, without any drawbacks on the thrill-o-meter.

Inevitably, the potent power plant was decidedly a better match for the 8-speed M Steptronic transmission. While this may not be the purists’ first choice, the Competition models are better equipped for those who find lap times to be the more pressing matter at hand.

Tesla Model 3 Performance

Tesla Model 3 Performance on road

Price: $58,990 USD

The Tesla Model 3 itself is a pretty revolutionary car, offering a currently unrivaled combination of performance, utility, range, and price. While the sub-$50k range restricts us to the Rear-Wheel Drive model (which uses a single electric motor), upgrading to the Long Range ($50,990) and Performance ($58,990) models would only take you just over the $50K mark, so they are certainly worth mentioning as well.

Aside from their dual-motor electric drivetrains offering better performance, these cars offer better range as well. The Long Range and Performance models offer well over 300 miles of range, while the Rear-wheel Drive is good for around 272 miles.

The Performance model would obviously be our pick of the lot, with its 450 hp and all-wheel drive allowing the car to accelerate from 0-60 mph in an impressive 3.1 seconds. It also benefits from a more sporty suspension, better better brakes, stickier tires, and a selectable Track Mode.

Kia Stinger GT2

Orange Kia Stinger GT2 on country road

Price: $50,390 USD

While the Kia Stinger hasn’t uprooted the market like some thought it would, it is still one of the most attractive buys in the luxury small car class. It looks impressive, performs well, and is priced about the same as most non-luxury brands’ comparable offerings.

It has been widely praised by the automotive press and generally receives high marks in all categories. That is what you would expect from luxury cars that command luxury prices, but you can get into a Kia Stinger for as low as $33,090.

That’ll get you the peppy 255 hp 2.0L turbocharged inline-4 GT-Line model, but stepping up to the GT, GT1 and GT2 trims will unlock the 3.3L twin-turbocharged V6 engine, which produces 365 hp. This transforms the Stinger from sporty 4-door to athletic sports sedan, with the performance-oriented models also benefiting from a more robust suspension and bigger brakes.

The range-topping GT2 would be our pick of the lot, and it also happens to be the only trim that crests into the $50K range before options.

Porsche Taycan (Base Models)

Porsche Taycan RWD Base Model in showroom

Price: $79,900 USD (Sedan), $90,900 USD (Cross Turismo)

Porsche’s first EV was the statement car of 2020, proving that a future with electrification can still embody the soul of a true sports car in the Taycan Turbo and Taycan Turbo S.

Shortly after their release, Porsche added a slightly detuned version of the Taycan in a trim level known as the Taycan 4S. The company has since expanded the Taycan sports sedan lineup with even more versions, including a rear-wheel drive base model, with a GTS version just recently unveiled.

With the introduction of the new Cross Turismo range of Porsche Taycan models in 2021, we’ve now entered the second act of the company’s electrification strategy. The Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo carries over the EV-platform and performance from its sedan counterpart, then amalgamates them with the utilitarianism of a sporty crossover/estate.

What this means is that you can expect the same 800-volt battery architecture powering the car, with 93.4 kWh as the standard fare on all models (certain sedan trims could be had with a smaller 79.2 kWh pack).

Our focus for this list is on the base Taycan models. Our first choice is the RWD Sedan, which features the aforementioned smaller 79.2 kWh battery and is the only rear-wheel drive Taycan model in the range.

The second would be the sub-$100K Taycan 4 Cross Turismo, which costs more than the base Sedan, but does come standard with the 93.4 kWh battery and all-wheel drive (in addition to the crossover body-style).

Mercedes-AMG C 63 / C 63 S Sedan

Blue Mercedes-AMG C 63 on country road

Price: $68,600 USD (C 63), $76,200 USD (C 63 S)

The C 63-series cars are the first step into “true” AMG territory, being the lowest point of entry in order to get one of those highly-coveted handcrafted AMG engines. The C 63 is the beneficiary of a 4.0L biturbo V8 mated to paddle-shifted multiclutch 9-speed, outputting 469 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque.

Standard Adaptive AMG RIDE CONTROL and a limited-slip differential make it quick on its feet. An exquisitely detailed cabin completes that “total package” feeling, which the C 63 provides in spades.

The Mercedes-AMG C 63 S is the top model in this range, equipped with the same handcrafted biturbo V8 as the C 63, but now unleashing 503 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque in this guise. Aggressive style envelops advanced new technologies, and from the cabin, drivers are immersed in innovation and superb build quality.

Both the C 63 and C 63 S are available in coupe, sedan and convertible configurations, meaning that buyers don’t need to fuss over how much (or how little) they can fit in their new AMG car.

Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio

2021 Alfa Romeo Giulia on city street

Price: $75,250 USD

The Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio’s legitimate performance cred starts with its engine, which is upgraded to a 2.9L twin-turbocharged V6 with over 500 hp.

It has the handling to match, with substantive upgrades, which allow the Quadrifoglio to negotiate turns on the racetrack or back country roads with aplomb. In fact, everything is turned up a few notches in the sportiness department, with aggressive styling and a fantastic sounding exhaust to boot.

There were several changes in 2020 that also carry over into 2021, including a new driver-focused cockpit and impressive technology including available Level 2 autonomy features and an 8.8 inch touchscreen.

BMW i4 M50 xDrive

Blue BMW i4 M50 xDrive at charging station

Price: $66,895 USD

The BMW i4 M50 xDrive is one of a number of fully electric BMW vehicles set to debut in the short term. The M50 has the distinction of being the very first (and only, for now) BMW EV to part of the M family. With that said, you can be confident that this car will have all of the performance credentials required for it to be a contemporary within this distinguished group of automobiles.

The easiest comparison that can be made with the sporty sedan is that it offers M3-like performance with an all-electric drivetrain. An 84 kWh battery pack and two electric motors (through which 536 hp and 586 lb-ft of torque can be produced) certainly backs up those claims, while putting it in direct competition (power-wise) with the Porsche Taycan 4S and Audi e-tron GT.

BMW has also claimed range figures of around 250 miles, compared to 300 miles that the more tame and economical i4 eDrive40 (the platform on which the M50 is based) is capable of.

The BMW i4 M50 xDrive is not on public roads yet, but you can certainly order one today. The base price of the M50 is around $4,000 less than the entry-level M3–something to ponder, while we wait for deliveries to begin early in 2022.

Best New Luxury GTs (All Prices)

Ah, yes. The grand touring car. It was once stereotypically front-engined, two-door and rear-wheel drive. The British establishment (Aston Martin, Bentley, Jaguar, Rolls-Royce) have turned the art of making one into a science, while other automakers have started to submit their own thesis on what a GT could and should ought to be. This has blurred the lines between what is and what isn’t a grand tourer these days.

Automakers such as McLaren (who are ironically, also British) have made very clear indications of what their interpretation is; by no means did they, or were they, ever going to follow suit with the long-standing blueprint of mounting an engine at the front of one of their cars. In fact, powerplant placement, number of doors, and to some degree, drivetrain, are no longer standardized prerequisites in the making of a proper modern GT car.

Ultimately, the lines have to be drawn somewhere, and without a doubt, all of the automobiles on this list continue to showcase the most quintessential characteristics of a grand touring heavyweight—the most important of those, being that the driver is able to enjoy the highest tier of automotive performance in a sensible and uncompromising package. This means refinement, luxury and utilitarianism are the key ingredients in the mix, but not at the cost of thrilling driver engagement and an unmatched fun factor.

Here are 25 of the Best New Luxury GTs you can purchase brand new today.

Porsche 911 GT3 Touring (992)

2022 Porsche 911 GT3 Touring

Base MSRP: $160,100 USD

Porsche unveiled its new 992-generation Porsche 911 GT3 via digital livestream on YouTube. First deliveries are just starting to trickle in now, making it likely to be designated as a 2022 model.

Semantics aside, this new GT3 becomes the seventh iteration of one of Porsche’s most established and beloved automobiles. More importantly, it continues to embody the spirit of previous GT3 models by amalgamating all that is awesome about the 911, and the Porsche brand, in a single road car.

Soon after the unveiling, the GT3 Touring model—essentially a gentleman’s version of the otherwise track-focused road car—was released.

The automaker has continued the use of the naturally-aspirated 4.0L 9A1 flat-6 powerplant in the 2022 Porsche 911 GT3 and GT3 Touring. The only key differences between the engine used in the race car and the one used in the 992 GT3 are the exhaust system and ECU.

Otherwise, the two engines share virtually all the same components, such as individual throttle bodies. As such, the new GT3s needed no “sound engineering” and inherently sound amazing.

With an astronomical 9,000 rpm redline, both cars produce 502 hp @ 8,400 rpm and 346 lb-ft of torque @ 6,250 rpm. The GT3 and GT3 Touring continue to use the 7-speed PDK transmission, instead of a version of the 8-speed used in the rest of the 992 line-up.

Bentley Continental GT V8

Bentley Continental GT V8

Base MSRP: $206,600 USD (coupe), $227,200 USD (convertible)

With a lively V8 engine delivering irresistibly dynamic performance, accompanied by the sound of its uniquely emotive burble, the new Bentley Continental GT V8 offers a truly engaging driving experience—a grand tourer that makes every journey breathtaking.

The Continental GT V8 is exceptionally responsive, delivering powerful yet smooth acceleration, accompanied by the irresistible sound of a Bentley V8 engine. The Bentley Continental GT V8 Convertible offers all of the above, plus an exhilarating open-air grand-touring experience.

I love that Bentley is now offering a “base” Continental GT with a V8 engine. It makes sense and it looks to be really good business on their part. For starters, this variant offers a more engaging and spirited driving experience for those owners who prefer to be the ones driving themselves around instead of relying on their chauffeurs.

On the business side of things, offering the V8 variant lowers the price of entry just a tad, too. More Continentals for all!

McLaren GT

2021 McLaren GT

Base MSRP: $210,000 USD

So there’s no hint of an SUV from McLaren, or even anything with four doors or room for a family.” If we can’t make the world’s best SUV, why the hell would we?” stated GT Global Product Manager Tom Taylor, who reiterated McLaren’s no nonsense approach to any car they produce (and one which I personally find very charismatic).

There is instead, the new McLaren GT, which debuted for the 2020 model year and has continued into 2021 and beyond. The GT—which stands for ‘Grand Tourer’—is the British automaker’s first attempt at something other than the raw, unadulterated performance conduits they’ve been known for producing in the past.

Unconventional for a McLaren and for a mid-engined car respectively are its particularly luxurious interior and over 20 cu. ft. of storage space. In spite of its supposed layout handicap, the McLaren GT is not outdone by the likes of Aston Martin with regards to the latter, with plenty of room for bags, skis and a week’s worth of luggage.

The new infotainment system also helps to facilitate a comfortable cross-country cruising experience. Traditional grand touring cars are not shy about the shortcomings they are willing to accept in exchange for a heightened level of luxury and refinement; i.e. they are often heavier and bulkier, with typically softer driving dynamics. McLaren looks to shatter such preconceptions with the new GT.

Aston Martin DB11 AMR

Aston Martin DB11 AMR

Base MSRP: $241,000 USD

The Aston Martin DB11 AMR is the new flagship car for the DB11 range. It comes standard with the model’s top engine option—a 5.2L twin-turbocharged V12—boasting greater power, increased performance, enhanced driving dynamics and a more characterful exhaust note. In addition, the AMR features a specially-tuned powertrain and chassis, along with a number of exclusive styling queues and options.

The DB11 AMR may boast an intimidating 630 hp, but its overall demeanor remains that of a refined luxury GT car rather than a raw performance machine. That, ladies and gentlemen, is peak Aston Martin execution, and we wouldn’t want it any other way.

Honestly, Aston Martin could probably get away with having the AMR as its sole DB11 model. It really is that good, and some believe it should’ve been what the DB11 was from the get-go.

Ferrari Roma

2020 Ferrari Roma

Base MSRP: $222,620 USD

Ferrari’s latest true grand touring sports car offers something really unique and refreshing. Its design is simple, almost minimalist as far as the artistry is concerned. Yet, objectively, it is a very beautiful car.

The inner workings of the Roma are anything but uncomplicated. It features one of the most high-tech cabins of any Ferrari, or car in its class. Its 3.9L engine is as athletic as it is utilitarian, making for a grand tourer that really molds to the character of its owner – or perhaps, it’s the other way around?

Granted it is a Ferrari, but those who want something flashy should look elsewhere within the line-up; or, depending on your cup of tea, outside the brand as a whole. But with the “gentleman’s sports car” now being in vogue, it’s this very characteristic that makes the Roma one of the most desirable cars of its kind. In a low-key sorta way.

Lexus LC 500

2021 Lexus LC500 Convertible Inspiration Series

Base MSRP: $93,050 USD (coupe), $101,100 USD (convertible)

The range-topping luxury coupe continues to use the same naturally-aspirated V8 power plant seen in the rest of the brand’s performance lineup. This would be the omnipotent 5.0L unit, which produces 471 hp @ 7,100 rpm and 398 lb-ft @ 4,800 rpm.

The unit is good for 0-60 mph in 4.9 seconds and a top speed of 168 mph. Other notable features include the adjustable suspension which serves to provide a remarkable fusion of performance and comfort.

Lexus later revealed the LC500 Convertible at the 2020 LA Auto Show. It shares all of the same mechanical underpinnings with the coupe, with its signature convertible roof able to open and close in about 15 seconds and be operated at speeds up to 31 mph. That’s pretty impressive.

Because of the open-top, the car required some additional structural components for rigidity. Lexus used magnesium and aluminum to keep the car’s overall weight from ballooning too much.

Rolls-Royce Wraith

Rolls Royce Wraith

Base MSRP: $343,350 USD

Virtually unchanged for 2021, the current iteration of the Rolls-Royce Wraith shares the same BMW F01 platform as the outgoing Ghost, and will continue to do so for at least the meantime.

The Wraith is the sportier version of the two, having been purposed in a coupe guise and shorter wheelbase. A power bump, some weight loss, and a specially tuned suspension further its call for an improved performance focus.

The Wraith still also retains the same powerplant, and this can only be a good thing. After all, 624 hp and 605 lb-ft of torque from the mighty 6.6L twin-turbocharged V12 are stats worthy of just about any supercar out there today. Stick it into one of the most posh cars ever produced, and you have something even more unique and special than that.

Lotus Evora GT

Lotus Evora GT

Base MSRP: $96,950 USD

The Lotus Evora GT is produced specifically for the North American market. For under $100k ($96,950 to be exact), you can get your hands on the most powerful street-legal Lotus available right now.

Lotus also updated the exterior with a new front lip spoiler, wheel arch louvers, ducts behind the wheels, and a rear diffuser. Inside, there’s a more generous serving of Alcantara and carbon fiber materials, which really makes the GT look and feel nicer than ever before.

It also comes equipped with a 3.5L supercharged V6 that puts out 416 hp and 317 lb-ft of torque. The engine is mated to a 6-speed manual transmission, although a 6-speed automatic is also available (only a masochist would buy the automatic for this car).

This powertrain makes for a 0-60 mph time of just 3.8 seconds. The car’s top speed? 188 mph. In the suspension department, Eibach springs paired with Bilstein dampers are standard.

The car also gets 19″ wheels up front and 20″ wheels in the rear, which are wrapped in grippy Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires.

Audi e-tron GT

2022 Audi E-tron GT

Base MSRP: $102,400 USD, $142,400 USD (RS e-tron GT)

The 2022 Audi e-tron GT is the four-ringed company’s first entrant into the high-performance EV weight class. It looks to shake up a playing field, which includes the likes of the Tesla Model S and Porsche Taycan, the latter of which shares many of the same underpinnings.

This isn’t the marque’s first EV model, as it joins up with a roster currently occupied by Audi’s e-tron SUVs. However, the e-tron GT does have the distinction of becoming the first fully-electric car to don the company’s legendary RS badge via the highest and most expensive trim level currently on offer.

The base model e-tron GT predictably comes with less of the go-faster, stop-harder and look-sexier ingredients that are typically reserved for an RS model, but it does share the same 93.4 kWh battery with its more glamorous stablemate.

McLaren Speedtail

McLaren Speedtail

Base MSRP: $2,250,000 USD

Meet the new Speedtail—an aptly-named addition to McLaren’s Ultimate Series of automobiles. This limited-edition car—of which only 106 examples will be built—represents McLaren’s unyielding pursuit of maximum top-speed.

Whereas other McLarens blend handling, acceleration and driving dynamics in a harmonious package, the Speedtail has a more singular focus. That focus is speed; ludicrous amounts of it.

McLaren has labeled the Speedtail a Hyper GT, which seems fitting given the excess of the car and its abilities. More than that, the Speedtail is a car that reminds us that the automotive world serves to inspire and excite us as much as it does to move us from one place to the next.

In the case of the Speedtail, though, it moves us unlike anything else out there. This 1,055 hp car will take you to 250 mph and then to the Opera on the same set of tires (to paraphrase McLaren’s spokesperson with a particularly interesting name: Wayne Bruce).

The McLaren Speedtail hybrid ‘hyper-GT’ produces all that power through the combination of an M840T and parallel system eMotor. This setup—in addition to applying the most brilliant drag-reduction principles in existence today—has allowed the Speedtail to become the fastest production McLaren ever made.

Aston Vantage AMR

Aston Martin Vantage AMR

Base MSRP: $183,081 USD

The Vantage AMR is a new breed of predator, 95 kg lighter in weight than the base model, and boasting a seven-speed rev-matching manual transmission. This is a beast designed to deliver pure, engaging, manual performance—Aston Martin’s interpretation of a “true driver’s car”.

The Vantage AMR also gets a sport-tuned limited-slip differential, carbon-ceramic brakes standard, and the company’s most advanced adaptive damping system with Sport, Sport+, and Track driving modes.

The sport exhaust and sport seats, which are optional on the regular car, also come standard on the AMR. Its 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8 produces 503 hp @ 6,000 rpm and 461 lb-ft of torque @ 2,000 rpm—this allows the Vantage AMR to sprint from 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 200 mph.

Jaguar F-Type R

Jaguar F-Type R

Base MSRP: $103,200 USD

The F-Type R has seen its engine output increased for the 2021 year, gaining 25 hp and 14 lb-ft of torque over the previous year’s entry. The engine is exclusively mated to an all-wheel drive system.

The general platform remains unchanged, with updates to the exterior and interior keeping the model feeling fresh and in line with the rest of its lineup. New LED headlights and taillights, a revised front and rear bumper, and a new infotainment system are amongst the aforementioned updates.

Available in both coupe and convertible form, Jaguar’s F-Type R sports car is now the highest F-Type trim in the roster and is equipped with an arsenal that can square off against the likes of the Porsche 911 and comparable Mercedes AMG and BMW M models.

With sharp handling and blistering acceleration—thanks in large part to its advanced all-wheel-drive system—the F-Type R makes for a padded spec sheet and costs less than most of its competition.

Porsche 911 Turbo / Turbo S (992)

A side/back view of a navy blue Porsche Type 992 911 Turbo S trying out the twisties on a track.

Base MSRP: $170,800 USD (Turbo), $203,500 USD (Turbo S)

Around a year ago, Porsche revealed and released the 2021 model year Type-992 911 Turbo S, and, as is apparent all over the internet, it’s been a bit of a hit. Soon after, riding that wave of success, the new Porsche Type 992 911 Turbo (non-S) was revealed.

While the GT-line of 911 cars tend to generate the most fanfare, the Turbo cars continue to have a large and loyal fanbase, and there seems to be a universal understanding that the 911 Turbo S retains its status as the automaker’s flagship model. It is also by far, Porsche’s greatest testament to the concept of grand touring automobiles.

It would be a disservice to call the Turbo a “lesser” car than the Turbo S, though it undoubtedly does have less in most departments—less power at 573 hp, and less features compared to the jam-packed Turbo S. But most importantly, it also requires less money to put one in your garage, with a price of $170,800 compared to $203,500 for the Turbo S.

This also is not to say that the new Turbo isn’t anything short of a monster. It will still go from 0-60 mph in 2.8 seconds, and corner like it’s on rails with the help of Porsche Torque Management (PTM) and all-wheel-drive, on its way to a top speed of 198 mph.

Porsche themselves, in their press release, points out another important fact about the new Turbo: It matches, or exceeds, the packaging, performance, and technology of the Type 991 911 Turbo S.

Ferrari 812 Competizione

Ferrari 812 Competizione

Base MSRP: $598,000 USD, $600,000 USD (Aperta)

First, the name: it’s officially known as the Ferrari 812 Competizione. But, it can also be called the Ferrari 812 Competizione A(perta). That’s because Ferrari surprised us by unveiling not one, but two versions of this hardcore 812 Superfast variant right from the get go.

The latter—meant to replace the 812 GTS—is a Targa counterpart, which features a removable carbon fiber roof panel that can be neatly stowed away in a special made-to-measure storage compartment.

Besides the obvious aesthetic differences born from having an open-top configuration, the two cars are identical mechanically. Both the Competizione and Competizione A will be powered by the same 6.5L naturally-aspirated V12 engine.

In addition to producing 819 hp and possessing a symphonic 9,500 rpm of vocal range, we now also know that it also churns out 512 lb-ft of torque. Those are the peak figures of course, which are attainable at both 9,250 rpm and 7,000 rpm respectively.

Nissan GT-R

A side view fo the Nissan GT R R 35 T

Base MSRP: $115,335 USD

The venerable Nissan GT-R is still going strong, on its now decade-old R35 platform. While this is a testament to how advanced the platform was when it first arrived on the seen, its longevity is also the bud of many jokes amongst automotive enthusiasts, who collectively feel that the car has exceeded its best-before date by at least a few years. Nevertheless, the R35 has been given incremental, yet important updates every model year.

While it has managed to stay relevant even though it remains in theory, the same car since 2009, recent commotions are suggesting that the 2021/2022 model year should be when the platform gets its long awaited swan song.

With its regular improvements have come an equally consistent increase in the sticker price, and the Nissan GT-R is no longer the $80,000 USD bargain it used to be in a supercar segment that has gotten a lot more contested as well. So while the GT-R no longer boasts the same value-for-performance when it debuted all that time ago as an exotic supercar destroyer, it is still by all accounts a top performer amongst the very best that’s out there today.

Aston Martin DBS Superleggera

Aston Martin DBS Superleggera

Base MSRP: $304,995 USD, $334,700 USD (Volante)

Unquestionably, the DBS Superleggera sits at the pinnacle of the Aston Martin production grand touring range. Aggressive, yet beautiful. Super lightweight, yet powerfully strong. A commanding presence, yet lavishly finished.

Equipped with the most powerful (non-hybrid) engine in the Aston Martin lineup, the DBS Superleggera’s 5.2L twin-turbocharged V12 outputs 715 hp @ 6,500 rpm; good for 0-60 mph in 3.4 seconds and a top speed of 211 mph.

The DBS Superleggera is also available in a fixed-roof-coupe or drop-top Volante configuration—offering buyers more choices when it comes to experiencing the highest echelons of British GT road cars.

The optional Studio Collection Pack ($18,700) offers that extra bit of grand touring perfection, with a Bang & Olufsen BeoSound Infotainment System, powered seat bolster adjustment, and other uber-luxury amenities forming part of the package.

Porsche Taycan (All Models)

2021 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo

Base MSRP: Starting at $79,900 USD (Sedan) / Starting at $90,900 USD (Cross Turismo)

Porsche’s first EV was the statement car of 2020, proving that a future with electrification can still embody the soul of a true sports car in the Taycan Turbo and Taycan Turbo S. Shortly after their release, Porsche added a slightly detuned version of the Taycan in a trim level known as the Taycan 4S.

The company has since expanded the Taycan sports sedan lineup with even more versions, including a rear-wheel drive base model, with a future GTS version rumored to be in the works. Porsche has stated that they will be unveiling new Taycan trims at the upcoming 2021 LA Auto Show.

With the introduction of the new Cross Turismo Porsche Taycan models in 2021, we’ve now entered the second act of the company’s electrification strategy. The Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo carries over the EV-platform and performance from its sedan counterpart, then amalgamates them with the utilitarianism of a sporty crossover/estate.

What this means is that you can expect the same 800-volt battery architecture powering the car, with 93.4 kWh as the standard fare on all models (certain sedan trims could be had with a smaller 79.2 kWh pack). The Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo is currently available in four distinct trim levels—4, 4S, Turbo, and Turbo S—with relative performance figures and standard features across the range, mostly in parallel with that of the sedans.

Mercedes-AMG GT Models

Mercedes-AMG GT R

Base MSRP: $118,600 USD (GT), $153,500 USD (GT C), $162,900 USD (GT R), $199,650 USD (GT R Pro)

The 577 hp AMG GT R is Mercedes-Benz’ flagship supercar, which is the amalgamation of half a century of motorsports success, into a single Nürburgring lap. Lightened, sharpened and strengthened, its racing DNA is evident in every fiber of its body, chassis and soul. For those looking for that extra bit of the apex-clipping good stuff, the limited edition ‘GT R Pro’ is an even more track-focused variant of the GT R.

The new GT R Pro is more than just a fancy (yet functional) body kit and is also the beneficiary of upgrades that aren’t as easily seen; such as redesigned mechanically adjustable coil overs, carbon ceramic brakes, a carbon fiber torsion bar, and dynamic engine and transmission mounts. The Mercedes-AMG GT R Pro looks to be calling out the likes of the Porsche 911 GT3 RS, Ferrari 488 GTB and McLaren 720S, and has definitely brought the right arsenal to this battle of giants.

While we believe that the GT R models serve well as grand tourers, we wouldn’t argue that the lower trims (GT and GT C) are better options as an everyday cruiser. Afterall, opting for either of those models also unlocks the choice of having them in Roadster (convertible) configurations.

Audi RS 7

Audi RS 7

Base MSRP: $118,500 USD

The Audi RS 7 Sportback is what you get when you take the RS 6 Avant’s engine, then place it in a sleeker Audi Sportback frame. The resulting Audi RS 7 Sportback is an aggressive and beautiful car, with performance credentials to back up its bold appearance.

This strikingly athletic, yet elegant, four-door sports car is the perfect blend of practicality and performance. At the heart of the car is a twin-turbocharged 4.0L V8 engine with a mild-hybrid system, which puts out a whopping 591 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque.

The results are impressive, too—the car can sprint from 0-62 mph in just 3.6 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 155 mph. If you’re looking for an ideal luxury-performance sports sedan and aren’t quite ready to make the leap over to an EV, this would be the one to get.

Rolls-Royce Dawn
Rolls Royce Ghost / Dawn

Base MSRP: $368,850 USD

The Rolls-Royce Dawn is the soft-top version of the Wraith, but at the same time it’s not. In fact, 80 percent of the Wraith’s body panels are unique, meaning that the Dawn is much more than just the coupe version with its roof sheared off.

Unchanged for 2021, the Dawn also continues to share the same powerplant with the Wraith, though the 6.6L twin-turbocharged V12 in the convertible produces 563 hp, which is about 60 hp less than that of its hardtop stablemate.

Nevertheless, the drop-top factor you get from the Dawn is still its most endearing feature, allowing you to partake in the Rolls-Royce wind-through-your-hair experience like no other car in the lineup can deliver.

Porsche Cayman / Boxster GTS 4.0

718 Cayman GTS 4.0

Base MSRP: $88,150 USD (Cayman) / $90,250 USD (Boxster)

In the new 718 Boxster and Cayman GTS, Porsche has replaced the 2.5L turbocharged four-cylinder with a 4.0L naturally-aspirated flat-six engine, pulled from the GT4 and Spyder (which were released earlier). The 4-pot turbo engine is still available in every trim level up to the Cayman S/Boxster S, but the new GTS gets the 6-cylinder powerplant, as it should. Granted, it is a detuned version of those found in the GT4 and Spyder, making a little less power as it pumps out 394 hp and 309 lb-ft of torque.

There’s more good news, too; this car can only be had with a 6-speed manual transmission. It also comes standard with Porsche’s symphonic sport exhaust system—a perfect compliment to its high-revving heartbeat.

Additional upgrades include a ride height that’s 0.8″ lower than the standard car, 20″ wheels finished in black, 13.8″ brake rotors up front and 13″ brake rotors in the rear, and 6-piston calipers. In addition to the performance upgrades, the GTS gets some blacked-out trim, more Alcantara on the inside, plenty of carbon fiber, and two different interior packages: Carmine Red or Chalk.

For those who desire a true driver’s car—but are less interested in the hardcore-ness of the GT4 and Spyder—the GTS looks to be a really proper choice. Kudos to Porsche for acting on this opportunity to broaden their potential Cayman/Boxster customer base, while pleasing the company’s most hardcore fans, all at the same time.

BMW M8 Gran Coupe
BMW M8 Gran Coupe Competition

Base MSRP: $131,995 (M8), $144,995 (M8 Competition)

For the 2021 model year, BMW announced that the Coupe and Convertible configurations of the M8 will no longer be available for the North American markets, with the Gran Coupe remaining as the sole body-style option. Thankfully, the Gran Coupe retains the 4.4L twin-turbocharged V8 engine borrowed from the M5, which makes 600 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque. This allows the rather hefty grand tourer to rocket from 0-60 mph in 3.2 seconds and hit a top speed of 190 mph, which is mighty impressive for something that tips the scales at almost 2,000 kg.

The M8 also gives drivers the ability to switch between all-wheel drive and 100% rear-wheel drive, making the car both thrilling and well-suited for any situation thrown its way. If all of that simply isn’t enough, the M8 Competition should certainly fit the bill. Power is bumped up to 617 hp, while tweaks to the chassis, suspension and brakes make for a more responsive and agile car.

BMW has also made great efforts to keep weight down by utilizing carbon fiber, so despite having 4 doors, the Gran Coupe platforms shouldn’t weigh much more than the outgoing Coupe models.

Tesla Model S Plaid+

2021 Tesla Model S Plaid

Base MSRP: $131,100 USD

Tesla recently announced that they’ve added a new trim for their Model S and Model X. The base “Long Range” models will still use dual-motors, while the new high-performance models will be replaced with “Plaid”. While this is mostly down to marketing and rebranding, the Model S will have also have a Plaid+ option later this year.

For performance junkies, the Plaid+ option is the most significant news, as this package incorporates Tesla’s latest battery technology. The Plaid+, with its brand new architecture, is said to be capable of 0-60 mph in under 2 seconds and a range of up to 520 miles on a single charge.

Needless to say, figures like those will surely lead to an upheaval of the current status quo in EV-land and will have competitors scrambling to keep up. Word is, these claims are far from anecdotal, as an 1,100 hp prototype version of the Tesla Model S Plaid+ has already beat the Mclaren P1’s lap time at the legendary Laguna Seca raceway in California, USA. Tesla is already taking orders on its website, where it starts at a price of $131,100.

Mercedes-AMG S 63

2021 mercedes-amg s 63 coupe

Base MSRP: $171,400 USD

The purebred performance of AMG meets the passion and precision of the mighty S-Class lineup in the 603 hp AMG S 63. Peak torque of 664 lb-ft is made as low as 2,750 rpm, helping the S 63 from 0-60 mph in just 3.4 seconds. Each 4.0L biturbo V8 engine is crafted by a single pair of masterful hands, while AMG Performance 4MATIC+ ensures that both of the S 63 platforms are swift and surefooted.

As far as total packages go, the S 63 is up there with the very best of them. There appears to be no evidence of compromise, in any area of the car, with the S 63 offering incredible acceleration, agile handling, refined driving dynamics and a best-in-class interior and cabin which borderlines on the extravagant.

The best part is that you also have your pick between coupe or cabriolet configurations, making for an ultimate luxury grand tourer which suits just about anyone’s palate.

Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid

Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo

Base MSRP: $189,800 USD (Base), $193,800 USD (Sport Turismo), $200,200 USD (Executive)

Porsche has provided no shortage of options within any of its model line-ups, with the relatively recent addition of E-Hybrid models serving up even more choices for those seeking a more eco-friendly experience from the brand.

While the Taycan is the only model fully-committed to electrification, the E-Hybrids are an impressive alternative for those who aren’t quite ready to make the big step over to the other side. Currently, E-Hybrid models can be found within the Panamera and Cayenne model line-ups, and are destined to be in the mix with other models such as the Cayman, 911 and Macan in the not so distant future.

The Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid is at the top of the food chain when it comes to the range, and is the only model (notwithstanding the Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid) to feature a hybridized version of Porsche’s 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8. On its own, the petrol engine produces 563 hp and 567 lb-ft of torque, with the E-Hybrid electric motor adding up to 134 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. The Sport Turismo estate-style body would definitely be our pick, as it also provides a greater sense of both utilitarianism and style to boot.

Best New Sports & Performance Cars < $50K USD

It is my belief that the vast majority of true automotive enthusiasts are simple and pragmatic folk. This is by no means an evaluation of one’s IQ or financial means; rather, it’s an assertion that a good sports car only needs to deliver on some very basic but necessary principles.

Of course, the most important of those principles would be that the car provides an engaging experience and is fun to drive. Affordability will inevitably factor in as well, based on varying budget allowances—but for the most part, anything above and beyond that is kind of just fluff.

Needless to say, for those who enjoy a spirited drive in the canyons or a quick jaunt around town, just about any car that fits the aforementioned criteria will do just fine. A $30,000 sports car  brimming with the right qualities will invariably offer the same sensations as a $200,000 supercar in those circumstances.

Sure, the supercar is going to accelerate faster, turn sharper and have a more exotic disposition, but this isn’t a competition for the best lap times; at this point, it’s all about how many grins and smiles were achieved.

Even in a motorsports setting, many of the cars on this list have built a reputation for offering superior bang-for-buck when it comes to the outcomes they produce during weekend track days or high performance driving events. When properly driven, any of the cars we’ve selected can give an exotic car a run for its money, subsequently giving the owners of those vehicles something to think about when the go to sleep at night—and it’s priceless moments like those that can be the most meaningful.

Here are the best new sports & performance cars under $50K USD.

Honda Civic Type R

Honda Civic Type R

Price:

Those who know me know how much I love this car. The Honda Civic Type R is the quintessential example of how performance and affordability can be synonymous, and I experience this with regularity on the race track as both a driver and observer.

The CTR continues to be powered by Honda’s most advanced K series engine to date—the turbocharged K20C1—which sends up to 306 hp @ 6,500 rpm and 295 lb-ft of torque @ 2,500 rpm to the front wheels.

New for 2021 is a Sport Line trim, which looks to scrap original car’s boy racer image, with a more refined and grown-up persona to take its place. This is an evolution of visual details above all else, with the absence of a large rear wing being by far the most notable difference. The Sport Line trim is, however, exclusive to European markets for now.

Ford Mustang GT

Ford Mustang GT parked in lot

Price:

  • $37,480 USD (GT)
  • $41,480 (GT Premium)

The Ford Mustang GT is the most powerful entry on this list, producing 460 hp from its 5.0L naturally-aspirated V8 engine. While there’s a natural tendency to immediately compare it to other American cars in its category, the Ford Mustang GT also provides legitimate competition for the European heavyweights that operate in the affordable-high-performance-car space.

This is in large part thanks to an interior that’s on par with the very best available in this price range, while an advanced chassis—complimented by more standard safety, convenience and comfort features than ever before—really elevates the car into a fearsome contender in the grand touring playing field.

Stepping up to the GT Premium trim doesn’t improve performance, but it does provide a number of interior upgrades, such as a 9-speaker audio system and heated/ventilated seats.

Toyota GR Supra 2.0

White 2021 Toyota GR Supra on road

Price:

  • $43,190 USD

While the sub-$50K restriction means that only the base model Toyota GR Supra qualifies, it still makes it onto this list because, well, the base model Supra is still a supremely good car.

Yes, the 382 hp 3.0L turbocharged straight-six version is a much more seductive proposition, but the 255 hp 2.0L turbocharged inline-4 in the base car will do just fine for those who have idealized the Supra’s chassis and appearances above all else. After all, you’re still getting an ideal 50:50 weight distribution, along with Adaptive Variable Suspension featuring a double-strut spring front suspension up front and multi-link suspension in the rear.

Only adrenaline junkies would find all that extra power useful in any way, and unless they’re on the race track, it’s probably not for legal purposes either. All of this allows the Supra to occupy a very attractive low-$40k entry in to the market, which is impressive for a car that bears such an iconic name.

BMW M240i

BMW M240i speeding down road

Price:

  • $47,345 USD (sDrive)
  • $49,545 USD (xDrive)

The BMW M240i is probably my favorite car on this list. Not only does the compact sports car boast a powerful 382 hp 3.0L turbocharged inline-6, but it’s available in both rear-wheel drive (sDrive) and all-wheel drive (xDrive) configurations, allowing the car to excel in just about any situation its owner demands.

The M240i is remarkably agile (as you would come to expect from such a taut figure), with a retuned suspension, larger brakes, variable-ratio steering system, and electronic rear-diff coming standard on the model.

The lower-trim 230i offers the same sensations as its M counterpart, but we’re going to go ahead and suggest you look exclusively at the M240i if you’re willing to spend around $50K on a car. Besides, forgoing the M240i will have you wanting all the things the 230i can only provide so much of.

Chevrolet Camaro LT1 / SS

Blue 2021 Chevrolet Camaro SS on mountain road

Price:

  • $35,195 USD (LT1)
  • $38,695 USD (1SS)
  • $43,695 USD (2SS)

The Chevrolet Camaro LT1 is the model’s first foray into V8 territory, which allows it to offer a relatively low-priced entry into the world of 8-cylinder performance. Already producing as much as 455 hp from its 6.2L naturally-aspirated V8 engine, the LT1 is a fantastic choice for those who want an unadulterated, no-nonsense sports car.

Stepping up to the 1SS and 2SS models doesn’t add any more power, but it provides more performance and convenience amenities—such as a transmission cooler, rear Brembo brakes, magnetic ride control, wider wheels, a different front bumper, and a standard 8″ touchscreen.

The Chevrolet Camaro LT1 and SS trims provide a modern interpretation of the iconic American muscle car, while packaging it in an everyday-livable package.

Mazda Miata

2021 Mazda Miata MX-5 on city street

Price:

  • $26,830 USD (Sport)
  • $30,290 USD (Club)
  • $31,770 USD (Grand Touring)

The Mazda Miata has long staked its claim to being the world’s most beloved “driver’s car”. Despite being unapologetically simple and perpetually affordable, none of this has overshadowed the Miata’s capability and reputation as a fun-packed roadster over the past 3 decades.

Now in its fourth generation (ND), the latest Miata continues to embody all of that spirit while incorporating the latest automotive technologies, making for an even better performer without any penalty to its well established charisma.

All current Miata trims (Sport, Club, Grand Touring) are equipped with the same 181 hp 2.0L naturally-aspirated inline-4, though we would highly recommend going with the Club trim as it is the only one which offers the Brembo/Recaro/BBS package as an option. This would make it the sportiest model out of the three.

Tesla Model 3

Red Tesla Model 3

Price:

  • $44,990 USD (Rear-wheel Drive)
  • $50,990 USD (Long Range)
  • $58,990 (Performance)

The Tesla Model 3 itself is a pretty revolutionary car, offering a currently unrivaled combination of performance, utility, range, and price. While our price ceiling restricts us to the Rear-Wheel Drive model (which uses a single electric motor), upgrading to the Long Range ($50,990) and Performance ($58,990) models would only take you just over the $50K mark, so they are certainly worth mentioning as well.

Aside from their dual-motor electric drivetrains offering better performance, these cars offer better range as well. The Long Range and Performance models offer well over 300 miles of range, while the Rear-wheel Drive is good for around 272 miles.

The Performance model would obviously be our pick of the lot, with its 450 hp and all-wheel drive allowing the car to accelerate from 0-60 mph in an impressive 3.1 seconds. It also benefits from a more sporty suspension, better better brakes, stickier tires, and a selectable Track Mode.

Audi TT Coupé

2021 Audi TT Coupé parked inside

Price:

  • $49,800 USD

Ok, so the Audi TT only meets the criteria by a hair, and consideration of taxes, freight and other fees will certainly take it above the $50K mark. Nevertheless, we feel that it’s important to mention it on this list, as the Audi TT is still amongst the lowest priced cars in the luxury sports car category and it deserves to stand out. After all, its 228 hp 2.0L TFSI engine is class-leading, and you can always count on Audi’s craftsmanship and interior build quality.

While there’s always that temptation to describe the typical luxury sports car as “dull”, “numb” and “soft” , the Audi TT is anything but. It has sharp, agile handling character and possesses the driving dynamics of much more expensive cars.

While we’re obliged to recommend the RS trim—as it turns all of the above up to 11—we would be well into $70K territory, and that would be a big no-no for the purposes of this list.

Mini Cooper JCW GP

Rear view of 2021 Mini Cooper JCW GP

Price:

  • $44,900 USD

Dishing out north of forty-five grand for a Mini Cooper seems a bit hefty, but the John Cooper Works (JCW) GP is not your typical Mini Cooper, nor is it an ordinary car by any stretch of the imagination.

In fact, the JCW GP has extraordinary performance to go with its extraordinary appearance, with 301 hp produced from its compact but robust 2.0L turbocharged inline-4 engine. Arguably, that’s not even the most notable feature, as extroverted carbon fiber fender flares and a rear seat delete transform this Mini Cooper from cutesy-car to bold-showboater.

It has every right to beat its chest too, as it is one of the quickest production front-wheel drive cars in the world, able to crush the 0-60 mph benchmark in just 4.7 seconds. Its direct competitors are the likes of the Honda Civic Type R and Hyundai Veloster N, but as few would expect, the JCW GP is the most extreme of those, and would be more at home on the race track than on public streets.

Alfa Romeo Giulia

Red 2021 Alfa Romeo Giulia on city street

Price:

  • $39,400 USD (Base)
  • $40,795 USD (Sport)
  • $41,345 USD (Ti)
  • $43,845 USD (Ti Lusso)
  • $44,345 USD (Ti Sport)

After an overhaul of the model in 2020, Alfa Romeo focused on smaller and more subtle improvements to the Giulia for the 2021 model year. Across the board, this means nicer interior materials, a new touchscreen infotainment system, and additional active-safety tech, which bring Alfa Romeo’s core sedan inline with its competition.

They sound like small changes, but together they make a huge difference. Alfa Romeo has raised the standard on its luxury and technology components—and you can see it, feel it and experience it.

There are five trim levels for the Giulia, each of which start under the $50K mark. All of them use the same 280 hp 2.0L turbocharged inline-4 engine, with upstream trims offering more high-end amenities such as larger alloy wheels, 14-way power seats, luxury leather finishes, and more sporty features.

Kia Stinger

Orange 2021 Kia Stinger on highway

Price:

  • $33,090 USD (GT-Line)
  • $39,590 USD (GT)
  • $45,490 USD (GT1)
  • $50,390 USD (GT2)

While the Kia Stinger hasn’t uprooted the market like some thought it would, it is still one of the most attractive buys in the luxury small car class. It looks impressive, performs well and is priced about the same as most non-luxury brands’ comparable offerings.

It has been widely praised by the automotive press and generally receives high marks in all categories. That is what you would expect from luxury cars that command luxury prices, but you can get into a Kia Stinger for as low as $33,090.

That’ll get you the peppy 255 hp 2.0L turbocharged inline-4 GT-Line model, but stepping up to the GT, GT1 and GT2 trims will unlock the 3.3L twin-turbocharged V6 engine which produces 365 hp. This transforms the Stinger from sporty 4-door to athletic sports sedan, with the performance-oriented models also benefiting from a more robust suspension and bigger brakes.

Cadillac CT5-V

2021 Cadillac CT5-V parked in front of hedge

Price:

  • $47,795 USD

The Cadillac CT5-V is another car that just manages to cajole its way onto this list, being a smidge under the $50K threshold. The V-series transforms the otherwise underwhelming mid-sized luxury sedan from an uninspiring point-A-to-B-er into a muscular American saloon.

Spearheading this evolution is a 360 hp 3.0L twin-turbocharged V6 engine mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. The V also benefits from magnetorheological dampers and stickier Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires as standard fare, helping to provide drivers of this souped up CT5 with a more engaging experience centered around improved handling dynamics.

At under $50K before options, the CT5-V offers excellent value and costs less than its direct competition, which is comprised mainly of the luxury German marques.

Toyota 86 / Subaru BRZ

White 2021 Subaru BRZ on desert road

Price:

  • $26,985 USD (86)
  • $28,845 USD (BRZ)

After much speculation, Toyota and Subaru recently confirmed that there will be a second generation of the popular sports car ‘twins’, which should be released sometime during 2022. Both companies will continue to co-develop and co-produce their own versions of the car, as they have done for the now-outgoing platform.

Naturally, there will be some improvements to the new car—most notably in the power department—but this will likely come at a higher sticker price. This means the current BRZ and 86 remain a strong buy, and we should also expect some special edition trims to be released before production comes to a close.

Some dealers may be incentivized to clear inventory in preparation for the new generation, so there may be some bargains to be had here, too. Either way, the hugely popular and affordable coupe and its ideal marriage to its 205 hp 2.0L naturally-aspirated boxer-4 engine is in no need of a new value proposition.

Mercedes-AMG A 35

Mercedes-AMG A 35 parked in lot

Price: $46,900 USD

The Mercedes A-Class range may be the company’s entry-level offering, but once you give it the good ol’ AMG treatment, you can count on it being an impressive car. That’s where the Mercedes-AMG A 35 comes in, with the range-topping model getting an upgraded 2.0L turbocharged inline-4 engine which produces 302 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque.

All-wheel drive is also standard, as is a seven-speed dual clutch transmission, making for a package that starts to sound like a bargain at the sub-$50K mark. The optional adaptive suspension will take it above that territory, but this will be justified by the transformative nature it provides to the A 35’s handling and agility.

While there is certainly a plethora of AMG options which offer more performance, the A 35 is a highly desirable and capable option in the category in which it competes.

Dodge Charger R/T / Challenger R/T

Red Dodge Challenger R/T

Price:

  • $40,950 USD (Charger R/T)
  • $38,825 USD (Challenger R/T)

If you want V8 power for under $40K, then a Dodge Challenger (coupé) is your only choice. The Charger (sedan) comes in at just north of that mark. However, we don’t believe that anyone should feel as though they’re being pigeonholed into a decision, as they are both excellent cars on their own merits.

After all, the R/T trim in both platforms come equipped with a 5.7L naturally-aspirated hemi V8 which produces 370 hp. Amongst the other trims available, it really hits that “sweet spot” in the lineup, as it slots in between the economical V6 models and the more bonkers Scat/Hellcat versions.

The aforementioned Scat Pack will still keep the cars at around the $45K-$50K mark, but we feel that the R/T is a much better all-rounder and will certainly appeal to more buyers who are cross-shopping in this price range.

The Best Porsche Engines Ever Made

Collectively, Porsche is arguably our favorite automaker here at supercars.net, and they are most certainly my personal preference. My fanaticism is born from places far beyond the scope of the Stuttgart automaker’s most recent renditions; a storied history of motorsports success and automotive savant-ism are responsible for producing some of the greatest automobiles ever to grace our planet over the past many decades.

I think most of us would agree that the greatest cars are a product of the engines that power them. Now, one would be forgiven for assuming that the greatest Porsche cars—and as such, the greatest Porsche engines—is a shortlist dominated by the Porsche 911 flagship model, but I’m pleased to say that this list we’ve compiled is a little more diverse than that.

I believe every entry here is no less deserving of recognition than any of the others. Even so, I’ve thrown in a couple that are bound to be highly controversial too. Hint: one doesn’t use petrol, and the other never featured in any Porsche production road cars. Oh no!

Here are the Best Porsche Engines Ever Made.

Porsche M97.74 Engine

Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0 Engine M97.74

Appearing in the 997.2 GT3 RS 4.0, this truly special engine was the swan song for both the 997-generation (2005-2012) of Porsche 911 cars, as well as the Mezger engine design.

Borrowing a number of components from the RSR race car, the 3.8L engine in the ‘regular’ 997 GT3 RS was then upgraded to a 4.0L flat-6 (hence the name), which produced 500 hp and 339 lb-ft of torque, while having an astronomical 8,500 rpm redline.

So convincing was this move, even to Porsche’s own brass, that the following two generations (991 and 992) of 911 cars would continue to employ the 4.0L naturally-aspirated engine in the GT3 lineup, proving that the ‘godfather’ RS 4.0 was also well ahead of its time.

With the proliferation of PDK transmissions, amongst other safety-centric technological advancements, many consider the M97.74 and the GT3 RS 4.0 it powered, to be the final rendition of the purists’ GT3 RS.

Porsche 980/01 Engine

Porsche Carrera GT Engine 980/01

What makes the Porsche Carrera GT engine so special is that it is technically a race car engine. Not in that loosely-based sense—as is often used as a gimmick by salespeople—but in the true sense of the word.

In the late 1990s, Porsche engineers in Zuffenhausen were assigned the task of developing a naturally-aspirated V10 concept engine, which was to later be used in a race car for the infamous 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race. Sadly, the completion of that race car never came to fruition, but the efforts of the engine builders would not go to waste.

Porsche decided to adapt the engine for use in the Carrera GT. They not only refined the engine to satisfy production car protocols but also managed to make it a more powerful version than the original unit.

The result is a 5.7L naturally-aspirated V10 engine, which produces 612 hp @ 8,000 rpm and 435 lb-ft of torque @ 5,750 rpm. This allowed the Carrera GT to accelerate from 0-60 mph in 3.8 seconds and 0-100 mph in 6.9 seconds, with a top speed of 205 mph.

Porsche MDH.NA Engine

Porsche 911 GT2 RS Engine MH.NA

Suffice to say, the 991 GT2 RS is the absolute peak of 6-cylinder performance. The GT2 RS in its entirety is more closely based on a Turbo S than it is to its closest GT relative, the 911 GT3 RS.

After all, at the heart of the GT2 is a revamped version of the Turbo S engine (known as MDH.NA), while the GT3 has its own unique naturally-aspirated 4.0L power plant. The 3.8L flat-6 was fitted with larger variable-geometry turbos and was given an increase in peak boost to 22.5 psi, which is 24% higher than the Turbo S.

Larger intercoolers, a water-spray system, larger exhaust manifold primaries and redesigned pistons work in synergy with the aforementioned to provide the GT2 RS with 700 horsepower @ 7,000 rpm and 553 lb-ft of torque.

Porsche has long buried the traditional notion of “turbo-lag” in its cars with VarioCam Plus, and the GT2 RS is no different, making peak torque from 2,250 rpm to 4,000 rpm. This helped the GT2 RS to a production car record at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife, where it set a lap time of 6:43.300.

Porsche 911/83 Engine

911/83 Carrera 2.7 RS Engine

The 911/83 is our lone air-cooled-production-engine entry on this list, and is our pick out of all the amazing air-cooled options out there. Apart from that being in the interest of keeping this list compact and more easily digestible, there’s also some good reasoning behind this, as it was responsible for powering none other than the legendary 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 RS.

This partnership between the 2.7 RS and its 911/83 engine culminated in the fastest production 911 of its time, and is considered to this day to be one of the best Porsche road cars ever produced.

Made for the purposes of homologation, the 2.7 RS and its 210 hp 2,687 cc engine—benefitting from the experience gained during the 917 racing program—elevated the 911 into the 2,500 cc–3,000 cc racing class, where it could compete with heavyweight opposition such as Ferrari Daytonas and DeTomaso Panteras.

Initially, the 2.7 RS was not legal in the U.S. for anything other than racing use or car shows. As a European-spec road-race car, it lacked virtually all of the emissions equipment required. Fortunately, the EPA would eventually relax emissions standards enough to allow Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 RS owners to legally drive these cars on public roads, some years later.

Porsche TTE P01 (TAG Turbo) Engine

TAG Turbo Engine Formula 1

These days, Porsche and Formula One are names that are hardly synonymous with one another; but once upon a time, this was certainly the case. The Porsche-TAG TTE P01 engine—commonly referred to as the TAG Turbo—was an engine developed by Porsche and funded by TAG (yes, that TAG), specially for use by the McLaren F1 team in the mid-1980s.

The TAG Turbo was a 1.5L twin-turbocharged V6 engine which produced anywhere between 750 hp–1,000 hp depending on the selected tune, and was fitted to the McLaren MP4/2 and MP4/3 race cars.

Porsche-philes will be happy to learn that the engine actually did feature in a Porsche 930 Turbo, though this lone example strictly served as a test mule and no production versions of this amalgamation were ever made.

That’s probably a good thing, considering that the powerplant could rev in excess of 10,000 rpm, forgoing almost any possibility of it becoming a road-going model—at least one which could be kept compliant within road laws, emission standards and amateur-level driving abilities.

Between 1984 and 1987, the McLarens that were powered by the TAG Turbo would win 3 Drivers’ Championships and 2 Constructors’ Titles, with race driving legends such as Niki Lauda, Alain Prost, and Keke Rosberg behind their wheels.

Needless to say, Porsche’s brief appearance in Formula One is one which provides more than just an easter-egg of a cameo; in fact, their contribution is a pretty significant one.

Porsche Dual Permanent Magnetic Synchronous AC Motors

Porsche Taycan Synchronous AC Motors Drivetrain
Porsche Taycan Synchronous AC Motors Drivetrain
Porsche Taycan | Photo: Porsche

Queue the pitchforks and torches! This isn’t your traditional engine (if you can even call it that) but it certainly is about to become a conventional one—and for good reason, so hear me out!

With breathtaking acceleration figures, along with its continuously and instantaneously available power output, Porsche’s new EV platform—currently represented exclusively by the Porsche Taycan—embodies everything you would desire in a true sports car.

The top-of-the-line Taycan Turbo S is able to produce up to 750 hp and 774 lb-ft of torque, allowing the car to annihilate the 0-60 mph benchmark in just 2.6 seconds (mind you, this is in a machine that weighs north of 5,000 lbs).

Crucially, with all of that also comes the notion of repeatable performance; the Taycan doesn’t suffer from the overheating issues that plague its competitors when the all-electric drivetrain is subject to prolonged racing conditions.

Despite this still being the early days—and the fact that charging the Porsche Taycan can be tricky, due to a lack of charging infrastructure in many places—Porsche’s new EV architecture has already established itself as the company’s driving force for the future.

While the emergence of biofuels may prolong the combustion engine of some time to come, there is no doubt that this technology will become the basis on which the company stays relevant and competitive going forward.

Best Naturally Aspirated Engines Ever Made

The number of entries – and the variety of automakers involved – onto this list is proof that the naturally-aspirated engine reigns supreme when it comes to the most important characteristics of what makes a good engine, and subsequently a great car. There’s always a temptation to default to turbocharged engines as being the most capable, particular in an age where 0-60 mph times are considered gospel when it comes to determining performance credentials and bragging rights. While turbochargers are typically needed to make monstrous hp numbers and remain the bread and butter of even greater aftermarket tuning potential (if getting into the 4-figures is a big deal for you), all true enthusiasts know that some of the most desirable traits of the best cars in the world come from having an NA engine. Astronomical rev ranges, unmatched acoustics and unrivaled versatility, balance, dependability and endurance. After all, what’s good for race cars is good for road cars, I’d say.

Porsche M97.74

Porsche M97.74

Appearing in the 997.2 GT3 RS 4.0, this truly special engine was the swan song for both the 997-generation (2005-2012) of Porsche 911 cars, as well as the Mezger engine design. Borrowing a number of components from the RSR race car, the 3.8L engine in the ‘regular’ 997 GT3 RS was then upgraded to a 4.0L flat-6 (hence the name) which produced 500 hp and 339 lb-ft of torque, while having an astronomical 8,500 rpm redline.

So convincing was this move, even to Porsche’s own brass, that the following two generations (991 and 992) of 911 cars would continue to employ the 4.0L naturally-aspirated engine in the GT3 lineup, despite the fact that the Mezger design was shelved and further proving that the ‘godfather’ RS 4.0 was also well ahead of its time.

With the proliferation of PDK transmissions, amongst other safety-centric technological advancements, many consider the M97.74 and the GT3 RS 4.0 it powered, to be the final rendition of the purists’ GT3 RS.

BMW S54B32

BMW S54B32

Collectively, the BMW E46 M3 (2000-2006) is one of our favorite cars here at supercars.net, and this is in no small part thanks to its S54B32 inline-6 engine. The naturally-aspirated unit is as pure as it gets from the Bavarian company, with a peak 333 hp being produced at 7,900 rpm on route to its 8,000 rpm redline. Other stand-out features include individual throttle bodies and drive-by-wire operation, further accentuating the car’s inherent rawness and driving purity.

When mated to the 6-speed manual transmission, it really doesn’t get much better than this – from BMW or any other company, for that matter. If BMW ever wanted to revert back to a more minimalist philosophy, the S54B32 and E46 M3 would be writing the playbook.

Honda F20C/F22C

Honda F20C/F22C Engine

When the Honda S2000 first made its appearance in 1999, its naturally-aspirated F20C engine stole the spotlight. It was revolutionary for its time, and in many respects maintains that reputation to this day. A 9,000 rpm redline and being able to produce 120 hp/liter would be the main attractions at first, but the F series engine has also proven to be dependable and well regarded to this day.

It’s a huge reason the S2000 is one of the most sought after cars on the used market today, often fetching astronomical prices not too far off the original MSRP (or sometimes more). Halfway through the car’s lifecycle, the engine would see its displacement increase to 2.2L (with an 8,200 rpm redline) while power figures remained virtually unchanged; acceleration and low-end response were slightly improved as a result.

Honda K Series

Honda K Series

The K Series would ultimately replace the outgoing B Series engines (which would be in the honorable mention section, if there was one) for a number of Honda vehicles, most notable of which included the likes of the Civic Type R and Integra Type R.  The most recent and advanced version of the K series engine has found its way into the current Civic Type R, with the turbocharged K20C1 supplying the company’s popular sports saloon with 316 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque.

Such is the K20C1’s reputation that Honda Performance Development has recently begun to offer crate engines for use in racing and off-highway applications. Other notable K Series engines include the K20A2 (Integra Type R, RSX Type S) and the K24A2 (Acura TSX). Honda reliability, fantastic performance – I don’t doubt that we’ll be talking about the K Series engines for many more years to come.

Ferrari F106

Ferrari F106 Engine

Ferrari’s F106 V8 engine dates as far back as 1973, where it first featured in the Dino 308 GT4. Right from the get-go, it produced an impressive 250 hp from a 2.9L naturally-aspirated engine, which featured a flat-plane crank and dual-overhead cams.

Such was the longevity and capability of the F106 unit, that it continued to be used – with significant updates and revisions along the way, including electronic fuel injection and multi-valve heads – for more than 30 years. Notable models which were equipped with the engine include the F355360 Modena, and arguably the most famous Ferrari of them all; the Ferrari F40, which fashioned a twin-turbocharged version of the F106 producing 471 hp.

Ferrari F136

Ferrari F136 engine

The F136 succeeded the legendary F106, first appearing as a 4.3L naturally-aspirated engine in the 2004 Ferrari F430, producing 483 hp. Like the F106, the F136 would see widespread application throughout the Ferrari lineup; however, it was also featured on a number of Maserati models in concert with the relationship between the two marques.

Most notably, a 454 hp, 4.7L version of the F136 featured on the Maserati GranTurismo and is widely regarded as having one of the best engine/exhaust notes to come out of the V8. The F136 would reach its zenith in the Ferrari 458 Italia Speciale, where it cranked out a massive 597 hp from its 4.5L naturally-aspirated power plant.

Perhaps the most significant (and regretful) fact about the F136, is that it is the last naturally-aspirated V8 engine Ferrari would ever produce. It was replaced by the twin-turbocharged F154 V8 engine in 2015, where it debuted on the Ferrari 488 GTB.

Lamborghini / Audi 5.2L V10

Lamborghini / Audi 5.2L V10 engine

Ever since 2008 – when the refreshed Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-4 was released – all V10 engines used in the Lamborghini line-up have been based on the 5.2L architecture. This has carried over to the Gallardo’s successor – the Lamborghini Huracán – with each and every one of its models having been fitted with the aforementioned power plant, up to this point. In the current stage of its evolution, the 5.2L naturally-aspirated V10 is mechanically identical to Audi’s version of the engine (which uses ‘Fuel Stratified Injection) and is seen in Audi’s own R8 supercar; however, power outputs vary depending on the trim levels of the respective models.

Lambo 5.2L V10 engine

The 5.2L naturally-aspirated V10 power plant we’ve been speaking so much about in this list is at the peak of its evolution via the current Lamborghini Huracán Performanté. In this configuration, the engine produces 640 hp @ 8,000 rpm and 443 lb-ft of torque @ 6,500 rpm; this makes the supercar good for 0-100 km/h in 3.1 seconds and a blistering top speed of 325 km/h, all without the assistance of any type of forced induction. Augmented with the greatest technologies available today, the motor produces its power more efficiently than ever before as well, with more than 70% of its torque already available as early as 1,000 rpm.

Dodge Viper ACR 8.4L V10

Dodge Viper ACR 8.4L V10 engine

Even if the Dodge Hellcat is hogging all the headlines these days, there’s always something you have to admire about the lunacy of a naturally-aspirated 8.4L V10 engine. No, the Dodge Viper doesn’t do subtlety very well. Yes, it does happen to fall under the ‘Old Testament’ definition of “awesome”. With 640 hp and 600 lb-ft of torque being produced from that colossus of an all-aluminum engine, the Viper has the exhaust note of a semi-dormant volcano. It would make absolutely no sense at all if it wasn’t just so damn fast. Variants such as the SRT-10 and ACR-X took the road-going version of the car to the next level, with the latter being a turn-key, non-street legal race car that participates in Viper racing leagues around the world.

Lexus LFA 4.8L V10 (1LR-GUE)

Lexus LFA 4.8L V10 (1LR-GUE) engine

Many regard the Lexus LFA as one of the best supercars ever made. Lexus only made 500 units, and I assumed those 500 sold out quickly. I was wrong. Despite the fact that Lexus hasn’t produced the LFA since 2012, there are still seven brand new LFA supercars for sale in the US, according to Carscoops. With all that said, the LFA came with one of the best V10 engines ever produced by a Japanese automaker. The 4.8L naturally-aspirated V10 – dubbed 1LR-GUE – made 552 hp and 352 lb-ft of torque. Developed in collaboration with Yamaha, it was a free-revving engine with an exhaust note that is truly unlike any other on the planet. As the sole representative from Japan, the 1LR-GUE is certainly one for the ages.

Porsche Carrera GT 5.7L V10 (980/01)

Porsche Carrera GT 5.7L V10 (980/01) engine

What makes the Porsche Carrera GT engine so special is that it is technically a race car engine. Not in that loosely-based sense – as is often used as a gimmick by salespeople – but in the true sense of the word. In the late 1990s, Porsche engineers in Zuffenhausen were assigned the task of developing a naturally-aspirated V10 concept engine, which was to later be used in a race car for the infamous 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race. Sadly, the completion of that race car never came to fruition, but the efforts of the engine builders would not go to waste.

Porsche decided to adapt the engine for use in the Carrera GT and took the necessary steps to not only refine it in order to satisfy production car protocols but also managed to make it a more powerful version than the original unit. The result is a 5.7L naturally-aspirated V10 engine, which produces 612 hp @ 8,000 rpm and 435 lb-ft of torque @ 5,750 rpm. This allowed the Carrera GT to accelerate from 0-60 mph in 3.8 seconds and 0-100 mph in 6.9 seconds, with a top speed of 205 mph.

BMW M5 V10 (S85)

BMW M5 V10 (S85) engine

Released in mid-2005, the E60 M5 sedan featured a high-revving and ultra-powerful V10 engine, which was the only one of its kind in a series-production car at that moment in time (while also being the marque’s most powerful production car engine ever made). The 5.0L naturally-aspirated unit shared more than just the same number of cylinders as the Formula 1 engine that powered the BMW Williams F1 team. Technology forged in the heat of motorsport had enhanced the processes and components used in creating this new powerhouse. As you would expect from BMW M, this high-performance motor generates enormous pulling force over its entire speed range.

Ferrari Colombo V12

Ferrari Colombo V12 engine

Originally designed by Gioacchino Colombo, this engine can trace its roots back to the very first Ferrari-branded model designed by Ferrari Enzo – the 1947 Ferrari 125 S – where it debuted as a 1.5L V12. The core design of the engine would persevere for more than 4 decades; along the way growing in size, having various levels of forced induction, and becoming a dual-overhead-cam configuration with EFI. Many credit the motor’s longevity to its reputation for being bulletproof.

Successful in both road-going and race track derivatives, the list of Ferrari cars this engine has graced has no shortage of automotive icons; the Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa, Ferrari 250 GTO, and Ferrari 365 GTB/4, just to name a few.

BMW S70/2

BMW S70/2 engine

Despite being produced by BMW, the S70/2 didn’t feature in one of the Bavarian automaker’s own production cars. Nevertheless, it did end up powering none other than arguably the most iconic supercars ever made – the 1992-1998 McLaren F1. The 6.1L naturally-aspirated unit produced 627 hp and was capable of 0-60 mph in just 3.2 seconds, and had a top speed of 240 mph. It wouldn’t be until the next millennium before those figures could be surpassed.

Interestingly enough, BMW wasn’t Gordon Murray’s first choice to supply the engine for his groundbreaking supercar, with collaborations with the likes of Honda and Isuzu falling apart before they would opt for the Munich-built power plant. Whatever might’ve happened if things turned out differently, who’s to know? But what we do know is that BMW got things absolutely spot-on with the S70/2, which continues to be regarded as one of the true and timeless masterpieces in automotive history.

Lamborghini V12 L539

Lamborghini V12 L539 engine

Like Ferrari, Lamborghini also has a long and storied history with V12 engines, having created its very own first version of this power plant for its mid-’60s era Lamborghini 350GT production car. Starting off as a considerably brawny 270 hp 3.5L naturally-aspirated unit, the “Bizzarrini” engine would evolve into a 661 hp 6.5L naturally-aspirated unit and be fashioned by models as recent as the 2010 Lamborghini Murciélago LP-670 SV.

As long as the Bizzarrini engine persisted, we feel that the most significant statement of Lamborghini’s V12 mastery comes in the form of its latest iteration of the engine, dubbed ‘L539’. This power plant would share its debut with the 2011 Lamborghini Aventador, of which it initially powered with 690 hp via a 6.5L naturally-aspirated configuration. With a fresh design, the new engine was over 18 kg lighter than its predecessor and was programmed with a new firing order.  The all-wheel-drive supercar would see significant improvements during its lifecycle, with the latest iteration of the L539 car producing 770 hp in the limited-edition 2021 Lamborghini Aventador Ultimae.

Ferrari F140

Ferrari F140 engine

If the F140 had only powered the (2002-2005) Ferrari Enzo – the first Prancing Horse model where it featured – it would have been no less significant or legendary than it is today. The 65-degree V12 engine debuted on the Enzo as a 6.0L naturally-aspirated V12 unit which produced a staggering 651 hp @ 7,800 rpm and 458 lb-ft of torque @ 5,500 rpm. Over the years, 6.3L versions of the F140 have powered the likes of the hybrid LaFerrari and the F12berlinetta.

It has since evolved to its current peak as a 6.5L power plant – dubbed the F140 GA – which produces 789 hp @ 8,500 rpm and 530 lb-ft of torque @ 7,000 rpm in the 812 Superfast; this makes it the most powerful naturally-aspirated production car engine ever produced to this day. It is likely that this could be one of the final generations of Ferrari V12 engines – whether it be naturally aspirated, turbocharged, or even hybridized – so appreciate it while it’s still around!

Mercedes-Benz M120 / M297

Mercedes-Benz M120 / M297 engine

When Mercedes-Benz caught wind of archrival BMW’s side-hustle with Gordon Murray, let’s just say that there was no resting on any laurels going on at their Stuttgart headquarters. With a clever riposte, Mercedes would debut their first-ever V12 engine through the 1993 600 SEC (later to be renamed the S600 Coupé, and frequently referred to as the S-Class). The 6.0L naturally-aspirated power plant was good for 389 hp, 420 lb-ft of torque, and a top speed of 155 mph in its initial configuration.

Not only did Mercedes-Benz one-up BMW by using the engine for their own cars, but they also borrowed a page from their opponent’s playbook and had their M120 engine fashioned for use in the magnificent Pagani Zonda supercar as well. Hand-built and tuned by AMG, the M120 also featured on the Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR race car and also saw its displacement increased to 7.3L for use on the SL73 AMG and CL73 AMG – and at which point it was commonly referred to as the M297.  The most powerful iteration of the M120 features in the Pagani Zonda Revolución, with the non-street-legal car good for 789 hp and 538 lb-ft of torque.

Aston Martin NA V12

Aston Martin NA V12 engine

With one of the best sounding V12s (and automobile engines, period), the story of how the Aston Martin (naturally-aspirated) V12 came to be is rather more peculiar and convoluted. The project had less, should we say, glamorous beginnings, when things basically started off with the development of a 2.5L naturally-aspirated V6 engine. This particular unit was essentially the brainchild of Suzuki and Mazda, with the latter’s then-majority owner, Ford, then taking the blueprint to Cosworth, who would go on to build the Duratec V6.

Needless to say, the story didn’t end there, and Aston Martin would end up bolting two of those engines together to create the 5.9L naturally-aspirated V12 it would stamp its name on (and market as a 6.0L). Having more in common with a Ford Taurus than owners or enthusiasts would like to admit, the motor produced 414 hp and 398 lb-ft of torque in the 1999 DB7 V12 Vantage. Aston Martin continues to employ a V12 engine to this day, with the 2017 DB11 having fashioned a 5.2L twin-turbocharged version. More recently, the company has referred back to the naturally-aspirated configuration, with a 6.5L unit designed to power its Valkyrie hypercar with over 1,000 hp @ 10,500 rpm (plus an additional 160 hp with its hybrid-electric system).

GMA Cosworth V12

GMA Cosworth V12 engine

It’s impossible to speak about the naturally-aspirated engine in the GMA T.50, without getting into how it’s involved in so much more than just spinning the new supercar’s rear wheels, or about how other design elements of the car are built around it. As impressive as a 12,100 rpm redline sounds, its 654 hp and 345 lb-ft of torque doesn’t sound extraordinary by today’s standards. But rest assured this engine, and this car, are on the cusp of a truly “redefining” moment in automotive history. Crucially weighing at just 178 kg, the engine plays a huge factor towards the T.50’s overall curb weight of just 980 kg – about one-third that of a contemporary supercar or hypercar.

The GMA T.50 is the culmination of decades of Gordon Murray’s aerodynamic and mechanical engineering experience. Part of what makes the T.50 so exciting, is that it incorporates the design and function of the infamous Brabham BT46 “Fan Car.” A gigantic fan –  powered by the camshaft of the engine and coupled with the curved underbody of the BT46 – created an active venturi effect that quite literally vacuumed the car onto the road, and allowed it to corner at barely believable speeds and levels of grip. The T.50 will feature something similar, and likely more advanced. On a road car. We can’t wait to see this in the flesh.

Toyota 1GZ-FE

Toyota 1GZ-FE engine

To call Toyota’s 1GZ-FE the “Godfather” of Japanese automobile engines would be neither an understatement nor unbefitting. After all, the venerable V12 from the land of the Rising Sun – which exclusively powers the Toyota Century luxury sedan – is both one-of-a-kind and has a penchant for attracting a particular type of “underworldly” owner in its homeland. It’s the only production V12 engine to come from Japan and still manages to invoke all of the essential philosophies of Japanese craftsmanship – such as reliability, build quality, and refinement.

That being said, it’s certainly not the most powerful engine on this list and remained at around the 300 hp mark during its lengthy production run from 1997-2016. Nevertheless, it remains one of the most unique engines on this list and is no less iconic than its near-1000 hp contemporaries. This engine is prime for swapping into other platforms, with automotive personality Smokey Nagata fitting a twin-turbocharged version to his ‘Top Secret’ Toyota Supra. Thanks in large part to its distinctive engine, the Century remains a status symbol in Japan; in the way a Rolls-Royce Phantom does the same just about everywhere else.

Best New Sports & Performance Cars ($100K – $200K USD)

Porsche 911 GT3 (992)

Porsche 911 GT3 and GT3 Touring

Base Price: $160,100 USD (GT3), $160,100 USD (Touring)

Porsche unveiled its new 992-generation Porsche 911 GT3 via digital livestream on YouTube. First deliveries are just starting to trickle in now, making it likely to be designated as a 2022 model. Semantics aside, this new GT3 becomes the seventh iteration of one of Porsche’s most established and beloved automobiles. More importantly, it continues to embody the spirit of previous GT3 models by amalgamating all that is awesome about the 911 – and the Porsche brand – in a single road car.

The automaker has continued the use of the naturally-aspirated 4.0L 9A1 flat-6 power plant in the 2022 Porsche 911 GT3. The only key differences between the engine used in the race car and the one used in the 992 GT3, are the exhaust system and ECU. Otherwise, the two engines share virtually all the same components, such as individual throttle bodies. As such, the new GT3 needed no “sound engineering” and inherently sounds amazing. With its astronomical 9,000 rpm redline, the GT3 produces 502 hp @ 8,400 rpm and 346 lb-ft of torque @ 6,250 rpm. 

Porsche Cayman GT4 RS

2022 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS

Base Price: $140,000 USD (est.)

Porsche has confirmed under no uncertain terms that there will be a 718 Cayman GT4 RS model. This comes after many months of testing camouflaged mule cars (with accompanied spy shots) which had long hinted that the GT4 RS was going to be a real thing – we finally know that this will indeed be the case. Porsche has stated that they are in the process of wrapping up the final stages of testing.

The GT4 RS will come equipped with a 4.0L naturally-aspirated flat-6, though Porsche has not yet provided any horsepower figures. Besides being obviously more than that of the GT4, many media outlets are predicting that it could make as much as 500 hp, especially considering the measurable gap in their ‘Green Hell’ lap times. Other telling differences can be spotted visually, with the GT4 RS being subject to the customary aerodynamic transformation. This includes a more aggressive front splitter, front fender vents, and a swan-neck rear wing (similar to that of the 992 GT3).

Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 / 718 Boxster Spyder

Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Boxster Spyder & 718 Boxster Spyder overall review

Base Price: $101,200 USD (GT4) / $98,300 USD (Spyder)

The first iteration of the Porsche Cayman GT4 made its debut in 2015, drawing a conclusion to the third generation of Boxster/Cayman (981). Since that time, the GT4 has become a cult hero amongst purists with its absence of frills (not to be misheard as ‘thrills’), relative affordability and undisputable demi-god-status as one of the ultimate driver’s car. Shortly after the release of the 981 Cayman GT4, Porsche ushered in the fourth generation of the Cayman/Boxster (982) in 2016 which are marketed as the 718. The most welcome fact about the new 718 GT4/Spyder models is that they marked the reintroduction of the naturally aspirated 6-cylinder into the Cayman/Boxster series, and for the first time into the 982 generation.

With the main difference between the two cars being that the GT4 is a coupe while the Spyder is a drop-top, both cars are mechanically identical and benefit equally from the typical GT-treatment we have all come to adore. Like the inaugural GT4, the new GT ‘twins’ once again infringe on Porsche 911 territory with their stunning performance metrics to rival Stuttgart’s own flagship car.

Porsche Taycan (All Models)

2021 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo

Base Price: Starting at $79,900 USD (Sedan) / Starting at $90,900 USD (Cross Turismo)

Porsche’s first EV was the statement car of 2020, proving that a future with electrification can still embody the soul of a true sports car in the Taycan Turbo and Taycan Turbo S. Shortly after their release, Porsche added a slightly detuned version of the Taycan in a trim level known as the Taycan 4S. The company has since expanded the Taycan sports sedan lineup with even more versions, including a rear-wheel drive base model, with a future GTS version rumored to be in the works. Although base prices do start below the $100K mark, the vast majority of Taycan models (even without any options added) certainly meet this threshold.

With the introduction of the new Cross Turismo range of Porsche Taycan models in 2021, we’ve now entered the second act of the company’s electrification strategy. The Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo carries over the EV-platform and performance from its sedan counterpart, then amalgamates them with the utilitarianism of a sporty crossover/estate. What this means is that you can expect the same 800-volt battery architecture powering the car, with 93.4 kWh as the standard fare on all models (certain sedan trims could be had with a smaller 79.2 kWh pack). The Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo is currently available in four distinct trim levels – 4, 4S, Turbo, and Turbo S – with relative performance figures and standard features across the range, mostly in parallel with that of the sedans.

The 10 Biggest Wings Found on Stock Sports Cars

There is an important reason why performance carmakers will often stick a wing, also known as a spoiler, to the rear of their automobiles. That reason is simply called downforce. As the name implies, it pushes down on the vehicle and keeps it planted on the road as it’s being driven at the very edge of performance limits.

The function in principle is very similar to an airplane wing—only this time, it’s in reverse. The air coming over the car flows beneath the wing, creating lower pressure underneath to force the car down (downforce).

For some automobile manufacturers, the wing adds to the overall aesthetics of the vehicle. Others care less about beauty and instead opt for the largest available wing that offers maximum benefits without too much compromise in overall performance.

Here, you will see some of the biggest wings ever fitted to sports cars, straight from the factory. You can decide whether each one serves the dual purpose of aesthetics and performance or if it’s purely a case of function over form.

#10: Bugatti Chiron Sport

Blue Bugatti Chiron Sport 110 Ans Edition outside garageVia Bugatti.

The imperious Chiron Sport followed in the path of the Veyron Super Sport when it debuted in 2018 at the Geneva Auto Show. Here was another car capable of mind-numbing acceleration as it powered on to an electronically-restricted 261 mph top speed.

An impressive feat, no doubt, but another striking feature was how quickly it could scrub off all that forward momentum. The Chiron Sport needs less than 10 seconds and just 491 metres to come to a complete stop from 249 mph!

To achieve this, the 2.2-ton hypercar relies on powerful carbon-ceramic brakes and what has to be one of the largest stock rear spoilers out there today. That massive wing can generate almost 2,000 lbs of downforce when fully deployed. In addition to this crucial function, there’s no doubt the wing, especially in a raised position,  gives the Chiron a cool stance, adding to its overall appeal.

#9: 2019 Porsche 911 GT3 RS

Green 2019 Porsche GT3 RS being driven on trackVia Traction Life.

The ‘RS’ badge on any Porsche sports car automatically implies that its natural habitat remains the race track while still remaining road-legal. This seventh-generation 911 GT3 RS is no different and was designed with a singular purpose: maximum performance.

Porsche approached this task with brutal efficiency, and at the time of the car’s debut, it was the most powerful naturally-aspirated Porsche ever made, with a 520-hp power output. That is enough to supply all the oomph this car needs—just like that huge rear wing, designed to help the car with downforce as it whips around corners or hurtles down straights.

The wing, made from carbon fibre, can also be manually adjusted to a ‘performance position,’ creating 40% more downforce than the previous generation 911 GT3 RS. When it’s not called upon to do its thing on the track, that wing is actually large enough to double as a very effective snack table between runs.

#8: Mercedes Benz AMG GT Black Series

Mercedes Benz AMG GT Black Series being driven around curve on highwayVia Motor1.

As far as performance is concerned, this is AMG’s ‘top dog,’ at least until the arrival of the hotly anticipated AMG One. Everything about the AMG GT Black Series is designed to convey this impression, from its eye-watering $325,000 sticker price to the formidable 720-hp twin-turbo V8 tucked under the hood and the unique twin rear-wing setup.

The setup is not only manually adjustable, but the upper blade has an active aero element that tilts by as much as 20 degrees depending on the driving mode. Altogether, that wing produces as much as 880 lbs of downforce at 155 mph, helping the car stay planted on the road as the driver flirts with its redline.

#7: McLaren Senna

Rear view of black McLaren Senna being driven down track at high speedVia McLaren Automotive.

Let’s face it. The McLaren Senna is a pretty ugly supercar, but then again, McLaren did not design the car so we could all fawn over sleek lines and nice angles. No. The focus was on raw performance, and McLaren prioritized this over all else (except maybe if you consider their curious decision to add see-through doors).

The McLaren Senna pushes the boundaries of what a track-focused performance machine should be and manages to do so while remaining road-legal at the same time. A key reason the car handles so well is that humongous wing that almost looks like an afterthought, hanging over the rear end.

That wing changes pitch and helps the car increase downforce, trim drag, or act as an air brake when needed. The dynamics of the wing impressed Top Gear journalists so much they declared it the ‘Wing of the Year’ for 2018.

#6: 2017 Dodge Viper ACR

Driver in blanket lying on spoiler of 2016 Dodge Viper ACR and sleeping under starsVia Motortrend.

‘ACR’ stands for American Club Racing and is indicative of the purpose behind the design of this all-American race car. The 2017 Dodge Viper ACR was the last hoorah for the legendary sports car, and what a send forth it was!

This vehicle boasted custom tires, race-tuned suspension and a massive 8.4-litre V10 that generated 645-hp and 600 lb-ft of torque. Then there was an Extreme Aero Package that delivered almost 1 ton of peak downforce at top speed.

The most prominent part of that package is the massive adjustable dual-element carbon fibre rear wing. As you can see from the image above, the wing can also double up as a camp bed should you, for some reason, opt to spend the night in the open with your Dodge Viper ACR.

#5: Apollo Intensa Emozione

Apollo Intensa Emozione on white backgroundVia Top Gear.

It’s hard to argue against the fact that the Apollo Intensa Emozione (Apollo IE) is one of the most extreme modern cars ever built. Intensa Emozione is Italian for ‘Intense Emotion.’ As the name implies, it is designed to invoke powerful feelings in you as the driver, passenger or just some passer-by gawking at that uber-aggressive profile.

You will immediately notice that gigantic top-mounted wing. Who wouldn’t? It’s not just there for ‘shock and awe,’ though. According to Apollo, it can generate a scarcely believable 2,976 lbs of downforce at 186 mph. That means the 2,755-lb hypercar can theoretically drive upside down, and if that ever happens in the real world, you can be sure that wing will have a primary role to play.

#4: Koenigsegg One:1

Rear view of Koenigsegg One:1 sitting on country roadVia 95octane.

The Koenigsegg One:1 is a special car indeed, one that offers up approximately one horsepower for every kilogram of the car’s weight (hence the name One:1). What’s more? The Koenigsegg One:1 debuted with what was the world’s first top-mounted, active rear wing.

There is an entire video clip where Christian Von Koenigsegg explains just how unique the wing structure is. The wing moves through various settings as determined by the selected handling mode and throttle/brake use.

It is not your average-sized carbon fibre strip either. This wing is massive and extends well over the rear end of the car. Impressively, the entire structure weighs only 22 lbs, allowing for maximum performance with minimal compromise on the hypercar’s overall weight.

#3: McLaren P1

Rear view of yellow McLaren P1 outside garageVia Top Gear.

Have you ever seen a McLaren in race mode? The suspension lowers by 50mm, the rear spoiler rises to 11.8 inches and extends at a 29-degree angle. It reminds one of an attack dog, just straining at its leash and waiting for the ‘go!’ command.

That sweeping wing is one of the most distinguishable elements of the McLaren P1, and it makes a strong case for the fact that downforce does not have to be ugly. The wing has various automatic settings that help the hypercar produce up to 1,320 lbs of downforce. One has to see it in action to truly appreciate how impressive the setup is.

#2: 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona

Red and white 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona sitting outside near treeVia Mecum.

The ‘69 Charger Daytona was one half of the famous Chrysler ‘Wing Cars’; the other half was the 1970 Plymouth Superbird. This car had the most prominent stock wing fitted on any vehicle during that period. Even today, the Charger Daytona has only a few rivals when it comes to that towering structure over the trunk.

The wing was the idea of a certain John Pointer, a rocket scientist who Chrysler later recruited. He was tasked with making the Charger go faster on the racing circuit, and the wing was one of his innovative ideas. It worked too. In 1970, the Dodge Charger Daytona became the first NASCAR racecar to break the 200 mph barrier.

#1: Porsche 911 (930 Turbo) ‘Whale Tail’

Porsche 911 Turbo 'Whale Tail' on white backgroundVia Old New Club.

This ‘70s sports car is widely regarded as the first Porsche 911 Turbo and was one of the fastest production cars at the time, with a top speed of about 162 mph. The bemusing ‘Whale Tail’ nomenclature directly references the car’s flared rear stance and a huge spoiler that gave the car its distinctive look.

Like all modern performance cars, that wing directed airflow over the car. In addition, its position, directly above the engine bay, also meant that it vented air into the engine, ultimately improving its performance. The ‘Whale Tail’ spoiler was also known as ‘Tea Tray’ at some point in the life of the turbocharged sports car.

Best of the Current Porsche Lineup

Collectively, Porsche is arguably our favorite automaker here at supercars.net and they are most certainly mine, personally. So please bear with me, while you’re being subjected to the extra skip I had in my step while putting together this list (plus the monologue you’re reading right now). Porsche has come a long way since the company basically had to be “rescued” from the jaws of financial capitulation by the Boxster back in the mid ’90s, and has gone on to thrive as one of the world’s most respected car manufacturers.

The company’s first SUV – the Porsche Cayenne, which debuted in 2002 – really took the Stuttgart-based producer to the next level, first by broadening market appeal and then subsequently, expanding their customer base by significant proportions. For us enthusiasts, we really do have the Cayenne to thank for the proliferation of the brand’s performance cars, as the revenues from its sales were instrumental in funding Porsche’s most innovative and inspiring endeavors thereafter.

Fast forward to 2021, and where do we even begin with the brand? There are the fully-electric Taycan sports sedans/crossovers which can do 0-60 mph in as quick as 2.5 seconds. The GT lineup of cars are impressive as ever, with variants of the 718 and 911 being amongst the most revered performance automobiles on the planet, while GTS and Turbo models offer the very best in grand touring cars. The Cayenne continues to excel, offering a wide (and almost excessive) array of trims to cater to just about every taste that’s out there. The relatively new Macan has been tasked with bringing the company success in the increasingly competitive high-performance crossover segment. Perhaps the only model to be struggling right now is the Panamera, due to the significant overlap it has with the Taycan, despite having the opposite drivetrain philosophy.

Needless to say, there is a Porsche model for everyone out there. Here are the best of those, which can be purchased brand new today.

Porsche 911 GT3 (992)

Porsche 911 GT3 and GT3 Touring

Base MSRP: $180,300 USD (GT3), $180,300 USD (Touring)

Porsche unveiled its new 992-generation Porsche 911 GT3 via digital livestream on YouTube. First deliveries are just starting to trickle in now, making it likely to be designated as a 2022 model. Semantics aside, this new GT3 becomes the seventh iteration of one of Porsche’s most established and beloved automobiles. More importantly, it continues to embody the spirit of previous GT3 models by amalgamating all that is awesome about the 911 – and the Porsche brand – in a single road car.

The automaker has continued the use of the naturally-aspirated 4.0L 9A1 flat-6 power plant in the 2022 Porsche 911 GT3. The only key differences between the engine used in the race car and the one used in the 992 GT3, are the exhaust system and ECU. Otherwise, the two engines share virtually all the same components, such as individual throttle bodies. As such, the new GT3 needed no “sound engineering” and inherently sounds amazing. With its astronomical 9,000 rpm redline, the GT3 produces 502 hp @ 8,400 rpm and 346 lb-ft of torque @ 6,250 rpm. 

Overall, the silhouette of the new 911 GT3 remains a largely familiar one – and that’s not a bad thing.  In fact, this is probably great news for Porsche and GT3 enthusiasts, who would contend that there was never anything wrong with the previous GT3 in the first place. One of the most visually notable changes is the “swan-neck” rear wing derived from the 911 RSR competition car, which further emphasizes the link between Porsche’s race cars and its road cars. Those who desire something a little less extroverted, but no less capable, may now also opt for the Touring version which had been promised from the very beginning.

Porsche has even gone as far as pricing both cars with the exact same base MSRP, meaning that you only have to worry about making your decision – on what GT3 variant you really want – based on your personal tastes, and not be forced into one because of a difference in price. We see this as nothing but a good thing. Just pick what looks better to you. Which to be fair, might be easier said than done – oh Porsche, you make things so, so interesting.

Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 / 718 Boxster Spyder

Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Boxster Spyder & 718 Boxster Spyder overall review

Base MSRP: $101,200 USD (GT4) / $98,300 USD (Spyder)

The first iteration of the Porsche Cayman GT4 made its debut in 2015, drawing a conclusion to the third generation of Boxster/Cayman (981). Since that time, the GT4 has become a cult hero amongst purists with its absence of frills (not to be misheard as ‘thrills’), relative affordability and undisputable demi-god-status as one of the ultimate driver’s car.  It is a Porsche model that every fan now lusts after.  For Porsche’s GT department, the blueprint used in creating the GT4 was simple – a naturally aspirated engine, 6-speed manual gearbox, and access to the 911 GT3 parts bin. Combined with the Cayman’s mid-engine layout and a signature emphasis on performance and driving dynamics, the GT4 became an instant hit.

That was then, and this is now – some things have changed, while others haven’t. Shortly after the release of the 981 Cayman GT4, Porsche ushered in the fourth generation of the Cayman/Boxster (982) in 2016 which are marketed as the 718. The most welcome fact about the new 718 GT4/Spyder models is that they marked the reintroduction of the naturally aspirated 6-cylinder into the Cayman/Boxster series, and for the first time into the 982 generation; many were initially concerned about the possibility of a turbocharged engine being used for the range-topping models, which all the other 718 Cayman/Boxster variants had been using up to that point (until the GTS 4.0 was released, which gets mentioned later).

With the main difference between the two cars being that the GT4 is a coupe while the Spyder is a drop-top, both cars are mechanically identical and benefit equally from the typical GT-treatment we have all come to adore. Like the inaugural GT4, the new GT ‘twins’ once again infringe on Porsche 911 territory with their stunning performance metrics to rival Stuttgart’s own flagship car. However, there is some irony in this as a Porsche GT car has never put an emphasis on padding the spec sheet, and the new GT4 and Spyder are no different. The famed Motorsport division continues to use their cars to highlight the pinnacle of vehicle driving dynamics and enjoyment, so it’s safe to say that we are in for one hell (or two hells?) of a ride.

Porsche Taycan (All Models)

2021 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo

Base MSRP: Starting at $79,900 USD (Sedan) / Starting at $90,900 USD (Cross Turismo)

Porsche’s first EV was the statement car of 2020, proving that a future with electrification can still embody the soul of a true sports car in the Taycan Turbo and Taycan Turbo S. Shortly after their release, Porsche added a slightly detuned version of the Taycan in a trim level known as the Taycan 4S. The company has since expanded the Taycan sports sedan lineup with even more versions, including a rear-wheel drive base model, with a future GTS version rumored to be in the works.

With the introduction of the new Cross Turismo range of Porsche Taycan models in 2021, we’ve now entered the second act of the company’s electrification strategy. The Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo carries over the EV-platform and performance from its sedan counterpart, then amalgamates them with the utilitarianism of a sporty crossover/estate. What this means is that you can expect the same 800-volt battery architecture powering the car, with 93.4 kWh as the standard fare on all models (certain sedan trims could be had with a smaller 79.2 kWh pack). The Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo is currently available in four distinct trim levels – 4, 4S, Turbo, and Turbo S – with relative performance figures and standard features across the range, mostly in parallel with that of the sedans.

Now having two distinct body styles and enough trims to satisfy anyone from soccer moms to performance junkies, there are sufficient permutations to create a Taycan for every type of owner and occasion. With the introduction of the Taycan, and now the Taycan Cross Turismo, we’re amidst being ushered into a new age of Porsche cars and a new era for all automobiles. No longer are electric cars something that have to be a compromise. We’re just getting started, and things are only going to get better from here.

Porsche Cayman / Boxster GTS 4.0

718 Cayman GTS 4.0

Base MSRP: $88,150 USD (Cayman) / $90,250 USD (Boxster)

In the new 718 Boxster and Cayman GTS, Porsche has replaced the 2.5L turbocharged four-cylinder with a 4.0L naturally-aspirated flat-six engine, pulled from the GT4 and Spyder which were released earlier. The 4-pot turbo engine is still available in every trim level up to the Cayman S/Boxster S, but the new GTS gets the 6-cylinder powerplant, as it should. Granted it is a detuned version of those found in the GT4 and Spyder, making a little less power as it pumps out 394 hp and 309 lb-ft of torque. There’s more good news, too; this car can only be had with a 6-speed manual transmission. It also comes standard with Porsche’s symphonic sport exhaust system – a perfect compliment to its high-revving heartbeat.

Additional upgrades include a ride height that’s 0.8″ lower than the standard car, 20″ wheels finished in black, 13.8″ brake rotors up front and 13″ brake rotors in the rear, and 6-piston calipers. In addition to the performance upgrades, the GTS gets some blacked-out trim, more Alcantara on the inside, plenty of carbon fiber, and two different interior packages: Carmine Red or Chalk. For those who desire a true driver’s car – but are less interested in the hardcore-ness of the GT4 and Spyder – the GTS looks to be a really proper choice. Kudos to Porsche for acting on this opportunity to broaden their potential Cayman/Boxster customer base, while pleasing the company’s most hardcore fans, all at the same time.

Amidst all of these changes, the effort that Porsche makes to be in touch with their customer base has remained as concerted as ever. As if they were eavesdropping on every conversation ever had about the 982-gen, they have gone on to once again answer the wishes of the people with the release of the new GTS 4.0. It’s the ideal stablemate for the GT4 and Spyder models, and slots in perfectly within the 718 roster.

Porsche Macan GTS (2022 MY)

2022 Porsche Macan GTS

Base MSRP: $79,900 USD

As Porsche continues to refresh the Macan lineup, the company also unveiled an updated version of the GTS late in 2021. Orders for it can be placed now, but deliveries aren’t expected to arrive until early next year where it will be designated as a 2022 model. Currently, the new Macan GTS replaces the now-discontinued Macan Turbo as the highest trim offering; and with that promotion, it has also inherited the latter’s 434 hp twin-turbocharged V6. It’s a bit strange for the GTS to be the top dog in any range of models, yet the Macan GTS still seems to carry on its reputation of really hitting that “sweet spot” relative to other cars. This is in part, due to the fact that the whole Macan roster has been upgraded (with each trim getting an engine “hand-me-down” from last year’s step-up models).

With that being said, all of the new models (including the base and S trims) have been subject to a slight price bump, but not by a substantial amount. In the new GTS model’s case, the base MSRP has only increased by $7,800 over last year’s model, and is still $4,700 less than the outgoing Macan Turbo. That alone builds a pretty good argument to consider the new GTS, but you’re also getting other upgrades such as a retuned adaptive suspension, a revised front and rear end, and updated infotainment and convenience features. Changes aside, you can still expect the same world-class driving dynamics that you would get in a high-performance sports car, but in a crossover SUV.

As a selling point, one could think of the new model as “Turbo performance at a discount”, or a “GTS with Turbo Performance”. Outgoing 2021 models are likely to be offered with price reductions too, but based on all the aforementioned talking points, the new Macan GTS looks like a sure winner and we highly recommend taking a close and hard look at one, if you’re in the market – the premium and the wait, appear to be very much worth it. Either way, it’s a good time for anyone who’s looking to purchase a new Porsche Macan.

Best of the Current McLaren Lineup

McLaren’s rise to the top of automotive stardom has been nothing short of remarkable, and is a relatively recent one at that. It wasn’t even a decade ago, that McLaren had a rather small portfolio of production models which consisted of just a handful of cars made in collaboration with Mercedes-Benz. Granted, even if McLaren had decided to stop making cars at that point, such icons as the McLaren F1 would’ve been enough to keep the McLaren relevant to this day. Thankfully, they weren’t done there, and the company has gone on to release new models at a pace that has been since unheard of in the world of supercar manufacturing.

In this stage of proliferation, McLaren have – by design, or unintentionally – become the world’s V8 engine savants. Despite only producing V8-powered automobiles since as recently as 2011 (via the MP4-12C), few would dispute that claim today. After all, it’s virtually all they know these days, with every single McLaren model – bar the V6-hybrid McLaren Artura – fitted with some adaptation of their M838T or M840T twin-turbocharged V8 motors.

The 3.8L M838T is found in its Sports Series range of cars, which includes the entry-level McLaren 540C and goes all the way up to the indomitable 666 hp McLaren 675 LT. The 4.0L M840T features on all of the Super Series cars, which covers the ‘700 range’ of models, plus the addition of the McLaren GT. In its Ultimate form, the 4.0L unit – dubbed the M840TR – produces 814 hp in the McLaren Senna GTR. The McLaren Speedtail hybrid ‘hyper GT’ produces some 1,035 hp through the combination of an M840T and electric motor.

A myriad of sports cars, supercars, and hypercars have been launched over the past decade, and quite frankly, each new car has been better than the last; something that speaks volumes about the venerable British automaker. While many argue that most of the McLaren range today follows a single “cookie-cutter” formula, we believe that each current McLaren model is unique enough to appeal to a different and specific kind of buyer. The Senna for the millionaire track junkie, the GT for the utilitarian grand touring driver, or the 570S for the pragmatic supercar owner – take your pick, as there’s plenty to choose from in between as well.

Here are the best brand new McLaren cars you can purchase today.

McLaren Artura

2022 McLaren Artura

Base MSRP: $225,000 USD

The McLaren Artura may not come with a V8 engine like every other car on this list (and indeed the entire McLaren lineup), but it is certainly special, and for all the right reasons. Every ounce of McLaren’s technical expertise and experience has been channeled into making the all-new Artura extraordinary to drive, and wonderfully enjoyable to own. Ever since the 12C revolutionized the supercar segment a decade ago, McLaren Automotive has continued to push the boundaries of supercar innovation. The mission brief for the Artura was even more challenging than its predecessors – to create a series-production High-Performance Hybrid supercar that excels on every level, with performance, engagement, and efficiency sharing equal top-billing.

The engineering and design team approached the challenge holistically – no single part of the process was undertaken in isolation – with ambitious targets set in every area: weight; performance; driver engagement; efficiency; agility; refinement; quality and usability. Every target was met – and in most cases, surpassed – heralding the arrival of the Artura as a next-generation McLaren High-Performance Hybrid that ushers in a new supercar era. The Artura’s hybrid powertrain combines an all-new twin-turbocharged 6-cylinder petrol engine with a game-changing axial flux electric motor (E-motor), all of which is integrated within an all-new 8-speed transmission and a lithium-ion battery pack.

McLaren 765LT

McLaren 765LT

Base MSRP: $358,000 USD, $382,500 USD (Spider)

The McLaren 765LT is the most recent product to join the Woking manufacturer’s esteemed roster of Long Tail variants. Based on the already impressive McLaren 720S, it adds to a growing lineup of track-optimized McLaren supercars. For those unfamiliar with the nomenclature, the LT (short for Long Tail) variants represent the pinnacle of performance for their respective models. Derived from the name is the tradition blueprint of longer body dimensions than its base cars – primarily by way of more aggressive aerodynamics – though the LTs inevitably offer much more than just a cosmetic refresh.

Weight reduction is the primary philosophy at play here. The result is a car that is 176 lbs lighter than the 720S coupé, thanks in part to a titanium exhaust system, bespoke carbon fiber amenities, and the removal of air conditioning and infotainment systems – parts which are in some cases, borrowed from the halo McLaren Senna hypercar. Relatively speaking, power increased by a smaller increment, though by an amount that is perfectly suitable for both the car’s design and its intended application. The efficiency of the engine’s power delivery is also refined, with McLaren stating that a noticeable improvement in throttle response has been achieved to further enhance the car’s precision on the race track. So, what does this all mean at the end of the day? In the McLaren 765LT, you now have a 720S that is lighter, longer, more powerful, more aerodynamic and more hardcore. Quite simply, it’s remarkable.

McLaren GT

2021 McLaren GT

Base MSRP: $210,000 USD

So there’s no hint of an SUV, or even anything that could possibly be conceived with four doors or room for a family.” If we can’t make the world’s best SUV, why the hell would we?” stated GT Global Product Manager, Tom Taylor, who reiterated McLaren’s no nonsense approach to any car they produce; one which I personally find very charismatic. There is instead, the new McLaren GT which debuted for the 2020 model year and has continued into 2021 and beyond. The GT – which stands for ‘Grand Tourer’ – is the British automaker’s first attempt at something other than the raw, unadulterated performance conduits they are most known for producing in the past.

Unconventional for a McLaren and for a mid-engined car respectively, are it’s particularly luxurious interior and over 20 cu. ft. of storage space. In spite of its supposed layout handicap, the McLaren GT is not outdone by the likes of Aston Martin with regards to the latter, with plenty of room for bags, skis and a week’s worth of luggage. The new infotainment system also helps to facilitate a comfortable cross-country cruising experience. Traditional grand touring cars are not shy about the shortcomings they are willing to accept in exchange for a heightened level of luxury and refinement; i.e. often heavier and bulkier, with typically softer driving dynamics. McLaren looks to shatter such preconceptions with the new GT.

McLaren Senna

McLaren Senna

Base MSRP: $1,050,000 USD, $1,430,000 USD (GTR)

When it was first unveiled in late 2017, the Senna proclaimed itself as the ultimate street-legal McLaren. We can go back as early as the 1990s when tracing the Senna’s lineage, with the McLaren F1 pioneering the first production car with full carbon-fibre construction. More than two decades later, its predecessor – the McLaren P1 – gave the British automaker a refreshed sense of supremacy with its redesigned flagship car. Fast forward into the current era of automobiles, and the Senna epitomizes a collaboration of the latest and greatest technologies, while paying tribute to a legend of the past – not so much to a car, as much as it is to a driver; none other than the late F1 driver Ayrton Senna.

The McLaren Senna is the pinnacle of McLaren performance. It combines the three principal matters of a high performance vehicle – aerodynamics, chassis and power – in an unrivaled manner. As a purpose-built track car, it still manages to be road-legal; but don’t expect to have a chance encounter with it at any race tracks or on the street. Due to its spartan interior and physically demanding nature, the car precludes mostly any sense of ‘daily use’ and will require an experienced and capable driver behind the wheel to push the car over seven-tenths on a road course. The car is also a bit of a unicorn with all 500 units having been spoken for. An even more hardcore, non-street-legal version of the car – known as the Senna GTR – was also made available by the company shortly after.

McLaren Speedtail

McLaren Speedtail

Base MSRP: $2,250,000 USD

Meet the new Speedtail – an aptly-named addition to McLaren’s Ultimate Series of automobiles. This limited-edition car – of which only 106 examples will be built – represents McLaren’s unyielding pursuit of maximum top-speed. Whereas other McLarens blend handling, acceleration, and driving dynamics in a harmonious package, the Speedtail has a more singular focus. That focus is speed; ludicrous amounts of it. McLaren has labeled the Speedtail a Hyper GT, which seems fitting given the excess of the car and its abilities. More than that, the Speedtail is a car that reminds us that the automotive world serves to inspire and excite us, as much as it does in moving us from one place to the next. Though, in the case of the Speedtail, it moves us unlike anything else out there.

This 1,055 hp car will take you to 250 mph, and then to the Opera, on the same set of tires (to paraphrase McLaren’s spokesperson with a peculiarly interesting name: Wayne Bruce).The McLaren Speedtail hybrid ‘hyper-GT’ produces all that power through the combination of an M840T and parallel system eMotor. This setup – in addition to applying the most genius drag-reduction principles in existence today – has allowed the Speedtail to become the fastest production McLaren ever made.

Best of the Current Bentley Model Lineup

Bentley is an indispensable member of the British luxury car quadrumvirate (alongside Jaguar, Rolls-Royce and Aston Martin). Headquartered in Crewe, England, the automaker is infamous for its iconic grand tourers and sedans – respectively, the Continental and Mulsanne. Bentley has also recently entered the SUV playing-field with the introduction of its Bentayga, which has quickly become the brand’s best selling vehicle.

For the near future, Bentley has been aggressively preparing its entire roster towards a transition to plug-in hybrid drivetrains. On the more long term battlefront, we can expect fully electric models as well. It looks like Bentley is playing the long game here, as it looks to remain relevant in the years and decades to come.

The uber-luxury automaker did not add any new models to the lineup for 2021, and are in fact discontinuing one of their most iconic cars – the flagship Bentley Mulsanne. Not to worry though, as the Mulsanne is slated for a return in the near future, as part of Bentley’s hybridization initiative.

To pass the time, Mulsanne fans can look forward to a ‘send-off’ version of the car known as the “6.75 Edition” by Mulliner. Mind you, this version is limited to just 30 examples which are more than likely all spoken for by now. Bentley have also added new options and revised some features across the current range, to keep things fresh and enticing.

Here are the best brand new Bentley cars you can purchase today.

Bentley Continental GT V8

Bentley Continental GT V8

Base MSRP: $206,600 USD (coupe), $227,200 USD (convertible)

With a lively V8 engine delivering irresistibly dynamic performance, accompanied by the sound of its uniquely emotive burble, the new Bentley Continental GT V8 offers a truly engaging driving experience – a grand tourer that makes every journey breathtaking. The Continental GT V8 is exceptionally responsive, delivering powerful yet smooth acceleration, accompanied by the irresistible sound of a Bentley V8 engine. The Bentley Continental GT V8 Convertible offers all of the above, with an exhilarating open-air grand-touring experience also at your beckoning.

I love that Bentley is now offering a “base” Continental GT with a V8 engine. It makes sense and it looks to be really good business on their part. For starters, this variant offers a more engaging and spirited driving experience for those owners who prefer to be the ones driving themselves around; not their chauffeurs. On the business side of things, offering the V8 variant lowers the price of entry just a tad, too. More Continentals for all!

Bentley Bentayga Speed W12

2021 Bentley Bentayga Speed

Base MSRP: $245,000 USD

It’s not often that we are picking SUVs as our favorite cars, or lavishing much praise on them. Yet here we are in 2021, with the Bentayga deserving all the plaudits, dare I say. After all, Bentley claims its top-dog Bentayga Speed is the fastest SUV in the world, able to sprint from 0-60 mph in just 3.8 seconds, on its way to a mind-boggling top speed of 190 mph. This is in large part thanks to its manufacturer-special W12 engine – a 6.0L twin-turbocharged unit which produces 626 hp and 664 lb-ft of torque. Believe it or not, it isn’t just about straight line speed either, because this SUV handles better than you would ever expect from a vehicle with its dimensions and weight.

Like so many other premium and exotic automakers, Bentley has brought their A-game to the SUV segment, looking to establish its dominance in this competitive and highly lucrative market. The Bentayga is a midsize crossover SUV which has become the marque’s best seller since it was made available in the 2016 model year. There are two petrol-engine options available in the range; a more-than-capable 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8 and the 6.0L twin-turbocharged W12. Diesel and Hybrid engines are also available, making for a diverse Bentayga roster equipped to suit just about any palette.

Best of the Current Lamborghini Model Lineup

One way to describe the current Lamborghini lineup of cars is to liken it to a balanced diet of awesomeness. For those with deep enough pockets, there’s something for everyone; road-going sports cars, track-oriented supercars, limited-edition halo cars, and of course, an SUV. This lineup, this diet, has everything that could possibly be good for the body and soul.

The core supercar range for Lamborghini is still comprised of the Huracán and Aventador models. Over the past few years, there seems to have been a mandate in place to focus on improving the driving enjoyment of their cars, with both cars being more fun to drive than ever before. The Aventador SVJ continues to thrill at the highest echelons of Nürburgring-dominating performance levels, while the Huracán EVO RWD (and new STO variant) offers the most puristic interpretation of the Lamborghini experience. As the halo car, the Lamborghini Sián – spearheading the company’s “Few-Off” initiative – sits atop the roster and showcases the pinnacle of Lamborghini’s tech and innovation.

The Urus continues to inject new energy to the brand, and is exactly what you expect from a Lamborghini SUV, or any Lamborghini car for that matter. Tremendous performance, class leading dynamics and a road presence unlike any other in its class. It is also quite practical, to boot. So successful has been the Urus’ inaugural appearance, that closest rival Ferrari is already planning a retort through the release of their own SUV sometime in 2022. Game on.

Here are the best brand new Lamborghini cars you can buy today.

Lamborghini Huracán Evo RWD / STO

Lamborghini Huracan STO

Base MSRP: $3,700,000 USD

Amongst this list of very special cars, the Sián is perhaps the most special. That’s because the Lamborghini Sián is the most notable example of an automobile which uses a supercapacitor – the ‘super’ added because, well, you need a really, really big capacitor to help power a car. In this configuration, the supercapacitor collects and stores energy (primarily from regenerative braking). In certain moments (such as a launch), the supercapacitor dumps all of its energy into an electric motor which immediately and briefly adds an extra 34 hp on top of what the Sián’s 785 hp 6.5L naturally-aspirated V12 engine produces. This means that up to 819 hp is sent to all 4 wheels, with the electric motor integrated into the transmission to reduce weight and improve responsiveness.

As long as the supercapacitor keeps getting recharged – which can be achieved with just seconds of hard braking – there will always be that extra bit of power boost at the car’s beckoning. Compared to an EV battery which takes much, much, longer to fully recharge, and weighs substantially more, you might be wondering why supercapacitors aren’t the dominating technology in electric or hybrid vehicles today. Well, there are a few very important reasons for this. For one, supercapacitors aren’t able to store energy for long periods of time like a battery, making them unviable to be the primary food source for an electric vehicle… at least for now.

Best of the Current Ferrari Model Lineup

Ferrari continues to be an ever-present figure when it comes to producing some of the world’s most revered and sought after exotic automobiles. Striking a fine balance between forward-looking innovation and staying true to its heritage, the Prancing Horse marque has some exciting and unequivocally Ferrari-esque projects in the pipeline.

While the lineup has been subject to a quantifiable consolidation for 2021 – with the retirement of the legendary 488 and the phasing out of its family-friendly GTC4 Lusso – Ferrari fans still have a lot to be excited about. The Ferrari Roma, unveiled in the later part of 2020, had its first full-season debut for the 2021 model year.

There is also a new Ferrari SUV in the works called the Purosangue, which is slated for release late in 2021 as a MY2022. While the SUV will be the GTC4 Lusso’s logical successor, there is little doubt that it is a direct retort to long-time-rival Lamborghini’s highly acclaimed Urus. Ferrari will look to claim their piece of this real estate and usurp their adversaries in the process, so we should expect something truly epic.

Returnees to the 2021 roster remain fundamentally unchanged, with such models as the Portofino, F8 Tributo, 812 Superfast, and SF90 Stradale each bringing their own unique purpose and interpretations of the Ferrari experience to the table.

Here are the best brand new Ferrari models you can purchase today.

Ferrari F8 Tributo

Ferrari F8 Tributo

Base MSRP: $280,000 USD

The Ferrari F8 Tributo continues an impressive line of “entry-level” mid-engined sports cars within the Ferrari model lineup. Of course, no Ferrari will ever be considered economical in the grand scheme of things, and the F8 Tributo certainly doesn’t buck this trend. A car that is greater than the sum of its parts, the F8 Tributo is a highly capable all-rounder, which manages to stand out amongst an elite club of daily supercars which continue to redefine the exotic car experience and move the measuring stick higher.

The Ferrari F8 Tributo in my opinion, is the pragmatist’s choice; the one that will provide you with all of the best characteristics of a Ferrari automobile, in a single package. You just can’t go wrong with this car – it’s just that incredible. Available in both a coupe and Spider configuration.

Ferrari Roma

Ferrari Roma

Base MSRP: $222,620 USD

Ferrari’s latest true grand touring sports car offers something really unique and refreshing. Its design is simple; minimalist you could say, as far as the artistry is concerned. Yet, objectively it is a very beautiful car. The inner workings of the Roma are anything but uncomplicated. It features one of the most high-tech cabins of any Ferrari, or car in its class. Its 3.9L engine is as athletic as it is utilitarian, making for a grand tourer that really molds to the character of its owner – or perhaps, it’s the other way around?

Granted it is a Ferrari, but those who want something flashy should look elsewhere within the line-up; or, depending on your cup of tea, outside the brand as a whole. But with the “gentleman’s sports car” now being in vogue, it’s this very characteristic that makes the Roma one of the most desirable cars of its kind. In a low-key sorta way.

Ferrari 812 Competizione

Ferrari 812 Competizione

Base MSRP: $598,000 USD, $600,000 USD (Aperta)

First, the name: it’s officially known as the Ferrari 812 Competizione. But, it can also be called the Ferrari 812 Competizione A(perta). That’s because Ferrari surprised us by unveiling not one, but two versions of this hardcore 812 Superfast variant right from the get go. The latter – meant to replace the 812 GTS – is a Targa counterpart which features a removable carbon fiber roof panel which can be neatly stowed away in a special made-to-measure storage compartment.

Besides the obvious aesthetic differences born from having an open-top configuration, the two cars are identical mechanically. Both the Competizione and Competizione A will be powered by the same 6.5L naturally-aspirated V12 engine. In addition to producing 819 hp and possessing a symphonic 9,500 rpm of vocal range, we now also know that it also churns out 512 lb-ft of torque. Those are the peak figures of course, which are attainable at both 9,250 rpm and 7,000 rpm respectively.

Ferrari 296 GTB

2022 Ferrari 296 GTB

Base MSRP: $280,000 USD (est.)

You’re a hybrid and EV fanatic. Ferrari is your favorite automaker. But the near-7-figure price tag of the SF90 Stradale is a bit of a buzz kill. Well, there’s now a cure for your ailment – the Ferrari 296 GTB. The Ferrari 296 GTB is not a replacement for any models formerly or currently in its product range, with Ferrari stating that it is “creating its own segment”. Price-wise, the 296 GTB is billed as the company’s new ‘entry-level’ mid-engined supercar and is being touted as the automaker’s latest ‘gateway’ to experiencing Ferrari’s race-bred DNA.

In spite (or because) of the car’s hybridized 2.9L twin-turbocharged V6 drivetrain, Ferrari has been emboldened so much by the end-product that they believe it to be the “most fun car to drive in our product range”, both on track and on normal roads. Deliveries won’t begin until 2022, but orders are open right now. No specific word on pricing just yet, though it is expected to hover around the F8 Tributo’s base MSRP of US$277,000.

Best of the Current Maserati Model Lineup

Maserati has seen a notable growth of market share in the later part of the previous decade, peaking with its best global sales tally ever, in 2017. While things have tapered off a fair bit since then, the Italian marque seems to have achieved its goal of improving its image and presence around the world as a legitimate automaker. FCA has been investing heavily in Maserati, funding a swarm of new models over the next five years, with the fully-electric powertrains being the most notable target.

The automaker’s most significant changes to the existing range are focused on the interior improvements and new tech features – an area where Maserati has struggled in the past. The new 2021 vehicles will get a new infotainment system with a 10.1″ screen, which has 10 times the resolution compared to their respective outgoing models. The Android-based system can be updated over-the-air and seamlessly connects with your smartphone, Amazon Alexa, Bluetooth and other popular apps. Maserati has also uniformly redesigned the instrument clusters and included more driver assistance features as standard. Other features such as wireless phone charging and Wi-Fi, really bring the Maserati lineup up-to-date with their contemporaries.

Thanks to the expansion of their high-performance roster of Trofeo models, this is now the fastest and most powerful lineup Maserati has ever offered. The Trofeo treatment has been made available to the Levante, Ghibli, and the Quattroporte. Consistent across the range-topping Trofeo models is a 3.8L twin-turbocharged V8 which produces 580 hp and 538 lb-ft of torque. All cars also feature launch control, a ‘Corsa’ performance driving mode, exclusive Trofeo badging, unique wheels, and more aggressive exterior design cues. Maserati has stated that they wants their Trofeo variants to be easily distinguishable across all the models.

Finally, the impressive Maserati MC20 ‘super sports car’ is the clearest signal of intent that they are indeed ushering in a new era for the company. At the heart of the car is a ‘Nettuno’ 3.0L twin-turbocharged V6 engine which is derived from a number of F1 technologies. It is also the first engine in a Maserati car that has been designed and produced entirely in-house by the automaker, which ends any of the normally expected associations – wanted or not – with Ferrari. The MC20 features a carbon-fiber monocoque chassis engineered by Dallara and a crowd-pleasing ‘butterfly doors’ mechanism. Draped over that, is beautiful bodywork which blends Maserati’s modern design elements and aerodynamic expertise, with the inspiration of Maserati MC12 styling.

Here are the best brand new Maserati cars you can buy today.

Maserati MC20

Maserati MC20

Base MSRP: $210,000 USD

The Maserati MC20 was originally supposed to be delivered in late 2020, but the pandemic put a slight dent into those plans. However, the production version was unveiled in September that year and with orders being completely fulfilled (yes, it’s sold out), deliveries have been pushed out to “fall of 2021 or early 2022” according to the automaker. By far the biggest celebration of the new MC20 – which is short for ‘Maserati Corse 2020’ – is that the entirety of its engine, body and interior are made in-house.

The ‘Nettuno’ engine has been confirmed to produce 630 hp from a 3.0L twin-turbocharged V6 powerplant, which helps propel the MC20 from a standstill to 60 mph in less than 2.9 seconds. Stated top speed is 202 mph. The car also symbolizes a huge step forwards in design for Maserati, as the entirety of the car, from concept to final prototype, took only 24 months in total. This was achieved through extensive use of computer-aided prototyping. The MC20 is sure to bring renewed excitement and energy to the brand; something that Maserati has been in need of for some time.

Maserati Ghibli Trofeo

2021 Maserati Ghibli Trofeo

Base MSRP: $109,890 USD

First introduced in 1966, the original Maserati Ghibli was an innovative grand tourer which challenged the norms of the day. These days, the Ghibli has taken on a new form as the brand’s entry-level saloon, but continues to embody the original car’s aura of race-bred road car performance – combining a smooth, luxurious ride with razor-sharp, coupe-like handling. Car and Driver said of the Ghibli, “As a sports sedan, the Ghibli’s a winner, but it doesn’t live up to expectations on the luxury side of the spectrum”.

The Ghibli Trofeo is pretty much the same, but with more: more power, more fun, more performance. Overall, this formula still works really well and for enthusiasts it is a welcome deviation from the sameness we’ve become accustomed to with cars from Germany.

Maserati Levante Trofeo

Maserati Levante Trofeo

Base MSRP: $152,690 USD

The Maserati Levante has quickly become the brand’s bread and butter, propelling the brand to achieving record unit sales over the last few years. Powered by either a twin-turbocharged V6 or a significantly beefier twin-turbocharged V8 (seen in the GTS and Trofeo), the Levante is yet another amalgamation of the exclusive relationship the marque has with fellow countryman, Ferrari.

With a variety of different trim and engine options, comes a wide spectrum of price points within the model range; it’s quite eye catching to say the least, that the difference in price between the base model and the top-of-range Trofeo, is nearly $100,000. The Levante Trofeo was around before 2021, but Maserati did perform some refreshes for this year which include new side vents and some other small changes. It outputs a whopping 580 hp and is capable of 0-60 mph in just 3.8 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 187 mph – not bad for an SUV.

Maserati Quattroporte Trofeo

2021 Maserati Quattroporte Models

Base MSRP: $142,390 USD

Literally meaning “four doors” in Italian, the Quattroporte sedan is the lineup’s current flagship sedan and comes with the gusto and flair required to duly represent the Maserati brand. Its luxurious interior and plush cabin are the car’s calling card, and is certainly the best out of all the currently available models. More Ferrari-goodness in the engine bay too, with Ferrari twin-turbocharged engines available in two configurations – a 424 hp 3.0L V6 for the S, and a 580 hp V8 for the Trofeo.

An eight-speed automatic and rear-wheel drive are standard on both the S and Trofeo. The Trofeo obviously epitomizes the best of the range, with its more powerful and sporty demeanor transforming what is otherwise a pretty subdued car by today’s standards.

Best of the Current Mercedes-Benz Model Lineup

For all intents and purposes, our selections for this list come exclusively from Mercedes-Benz’ AMG roster – and that’s not a bad thing. There are big perks which come along with the AMG badge, far exceeding the mere addition of a fancy body kit and superficial engravings.

The “one man, one engine” philosophy is donned on every AMG car at the facility in Affalterbach, Germany, where one of only fifty AMG engine craftsmen will have the privilege of stamping their signature on the engine they personally built for the car. With respect to production, Mercedes-Benz has all their bases covered, quite literally, with ensuring that anyone can have a taste of the AMG experience; by having it available in just about every body type imaginable.

With an expansive lineup of cars which come in coupe, convertible, sedan, wagon, SUV and even “4-door coupe” configurations, there is an AMG for any occasion – grocery store runs, road trips to the mountains, your kids’ soccer practice, the race track, or even fighting a zombie apocalypse. Mercedes-Benz doesn’t think that experiencing the best performance that the company has on tap should be limited to cramped 2-seaters with barely any usable cargo space, or enjoyed only on a strict diet of high performance driving events – and they’ve got the lineup to prove it.

Here are the best brand new Mercedes-Benz automobiles you can buy today.

Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Sedan / Wagon

Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Wagon

Base MSRP: $111,750 USD

For 2021, Mercedes refreshed the E63 S’s appearance and has also given the sedan some new features. It’s the recipient of a new grille design with updated headlights and taillights, as well as new 20-inch wheels with a more aerodynamic silhouette. Inside, the E63 S has a redesigned steering wheel with larger paddle shifters as well as an updated infotainment system. Most importantly though, the engine and powertrain are still best in class; it’s a monster when you want it to be, yet it can still poodle around town in luxury when things need to be a little more on the tame side.

The wagon is probably my favorite body-style of any Mercedes-AMG car in the entire roster. It shares the same 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8 as the E63 S sedan – producing 603 hp @ 5,750 rpm – so its slick, utilitarian estate design doesn’t come with any meaningful performance penalties whatsoever. In fact, the E63 S wagon outperforms any of its competitors on the road. Is it a spacious supercar or a fast family car? Only one way to find out: Open it up.

Mercedes-AMG GT R

Mercedes-AMG GT R Pro

Base MSRP: $162,900 USD, $199,650 USD (GT R Pro)

The 577 hp AMG GT R is Mercedes-Benz’ flagship supercar, which is the amalgamation of half a century of motorsports success, into a single Nürburgring lap. Lightened, sharpened and strengthened, its racing DNA is evident in every fiber of its body, chassis and soul. For those looking for that extra bit of the apex-clipping good stuff, the limited edition ‘GT R Pro’ is an even more track-focused variant of the GT R.

The new GT R Pro is more than just a fancy (yet functional) body kit and is also the beneficiary of upgrades that aren’t as easily seen; such as redesigned mechanically adjustable coil overs, carbon ceramic brakes, a carbon fiber torsion bar, and dynamic engine and transmission mounts. The Mercedes-AMG GT R Pro looks to be calling out the likes of the Porsche 911 GT3 RS, Ferrari 488 GTB and McLaren 720S, and has definitely brought the right arsenal to this battle of giants.

Mercedes-AMG G 63 “G-Wagon”

Mercedes-AMG G63

Base MSRP: $167,000 USD

There’s just no avoiding the Mercedes-AMG G 63, when there’s a conversation about iconic SUVs and which one you would buy if money was no object. The G 63 would probably be the pick of the lot in that context; it’s popularity and familiarity as the ultimate luxury off-roader is often proliferated in today’s pop culture and social media platforms.

Thanks to its insane acceleration, industry leading off-road capabilities and timeless styling cues with harken back to the days of peak safari-ism, the Mercedes-Benz G63 has become the quintessential expression of wealth and utilitarianism in one package, making it the fan-favorite in this segment.

Mercedes-AMG C 63 / C 63 S

Mercedes-AMG C63

Base MSRP: $68,600 USD, $76,200 USD (C 63 S)

The C 63-series cars are the first step into “true” AMG territory, being the lowest point of entry in order to get one of those highly coveted handcrafted AMG engines. The C 63 is the beneficiary of a 4.0L biturbo V8 mated to paddle-shifted multiclutch 9-speed, outputting 469 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque. Standard Adaptive AMG RIDE CONTROL and a limited-slip differential make it quick on its feet. An exquisitely detailed cabin completes that “total package” feeling, which the C 63 provides in spades.

The Mercedes-AMG C 63 S is the top model in this range, equipped with the same handcrafted biturbo V8 as the C 63, but now unleashing 503 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque in this guise. Aggressive style envelops advanced new technologies, and from the cabin, drivers are immersed in innovation and superb build quality. Both the C 63 and C 63 S are available in coupe, sedan and convertible configurations, meaning that buyers don’t need to fuss over how much (or how little) they can fit in their new AMG car.

Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S

2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S Coupe

Base MSRP: $113,950 USD

Aside from the G-Wagon, the AMG GLE 63 S is the most powerful and impressive SUV in the lineup. It’s a little more sleek and refined than the former, and will certainly blend in a lot more with daily traffic, making it (arguably) the better choice for city dwellers or more unassuming owners.  The AMG GLE 63 S has been improved over last year’s model with the addition of Mercedes-Benz’ EQ Boost hybrid technology, which has increased peak power to 603 hp compared to 577 hp in the 2020 models.

The drivetrain continues to be hooked up to the impressive AMG Performance 4MATIC+, while the chassis benefits from AMG Active Ride Control. In tandem, these advanced systems help deliver sports-car-like agility and precision via the AMG GLE 63 S. Its lavish, Nappa leather-appointed cabin lets you enjoy wielding its exotic-levels of performance while being cradled in the arms of top-tier luxury. Available in SUV and “Coupe” body styles.

Best of the Current Jaguar Model Lineup

As a brand, Jaguar continues to command an international audience as one of Britain’s luxury automotive powerhouses. It is a name that still resonates very strongly with those whose distinguishable tastes are of a “North-of-the-English-Channel” persuasion.

West of the Atlantic however, the brand has struggled to become a mainstay in North American markets, in spite of some promising sales figures over the last few years. Most European marques – not least of all, the British ones – continue to cater to an extremely niche demographic on the continent. Understanding that the US market provides the greatest opportunities for growth, Jaguar has refreshed significant parts of its lineup for 2021.

Accessibility seems to be the name of the game here, with the newly revised entry-level Jaguar XF sedan starting from as low as $43,995. Also facelifted for 2021 is their best-selling Jaguar F-Pace SUV, which starts at $49,995. The consolidation of their portfolio with the purpose of catering to a wider audience, means that the XF Sportbrake and XE sedan have been axed.

Positioned with three SUV models, a flagship sports car and a competitively priced entry-level sedan, Jaguar’s lineup looks poised to make a reinvigorated attempt at conquering more territory in one of the world’s largest consumer centers.

Still yet to shake off its reputation for producing cars with less-than-perfect build quality and reliability issues, Jaguar will hope that a refreshed lineup, a renewed focus, and a rekindled ambition will take the brand where it needs to go.

Here are the best new Jaguar models you can buy today.

Jaguar F-Type R

Jaguar F-Type R

Base MSRP: $103,200 USD

The F-Type R has seen its engine output increased for the 2021 year, gaining 25 hp and 14 lb-ft of torque over the previous year’s entry. The engine is exclusively mated to an all-wheel drive system. The general platform remains unchanged, with updates to the exterior and interior keeping the model feeling fresh and in line with the rest of its lineup. New LED headlights and taillights, a revised front and rear bumper, and a new infotainment system are amongst the aforementioned updates.

Available in both coupe and convertible form, Jaguar’s F-Type R sports car is now the highest F-Type trim in the roster and is equipped with an arsenal required to square off against the likes of the Porsche 911 and comparable Mercedes AMG and BMW M models. With sharp handling and blistering acceleration – thanks in large part to its advanced all-wheel-drive system – the F-Type R makes for a padded spec sheet and costs less than most of its competition.

Jaguar F-Pace SVR

Jaguar F-Pace SVR

Base MSRP: $84,600 USD

Like the base model, the SVR is the beneficiary of an exterior facelift with revised styling queues. There are some updates and tweaks to the interior as well, with a new glass touchscreen and redesigned instrument cluster amongst the new offerings. Torque has also improved slightly over last year’s version, by 14 lb-ft.

Touted by many in the press as a BMW X3 M and Porsche Macan Turbo rival, the Jaguar F-Pace SVR is the marque’s answer for the performance-oriented crossover segment – one which particularly continues to become more competitive and crowded every year. For 2021, the SVR boasts the latest iteration of its powerful 5.0L supercharged V8, and benefits from upgraded standard equipment such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration.

Jaguar I-Pace

Jaguar I-Pace

Base MSRP: $69,850 USD

The I-Pace is a very impressive EV on paper. Touted as the first true alternative to the Tesla Model X, Jaguar looks to unseat its competition showcasing a unique combination of technical prowess and driving engagement. Remarkably nimble and planted in corners, the I-Pace is fun to drive while still offering the very best in EV range and performance.

New for 2021, the I-Pace has received improvements to its battery pack and regenerative braking system which can improve range by up to 8 percent. The 2021 Jaguar I-Pace also now offers the fast, intuitive, Pivi infotainment system and quicker charging capability.

Best of the Current Aston Martin Lineup

The British automaker synonymous with the James Bond franchise is looking to extend its license to ‘thrill’ for 2021 and beyond. While its fame has primarily been built upon its quintessential lineup of grand tourers, Aston Martin – like so many of its compatriots – have started to adopt a more forward-thinking strategy, particularly with electrification in mind.

In fact, this strategy was supposed to be in full motion by 2020 via the Aston Martin Rapide E production vehicle – a fully-electric car based on the otherwise petrol-powered sedan it was meant to replace. Indications are that plans for the production of the Rapide E have been halted – temporarily, at least – with sources stating that all R&D up to this point will be used to bolster the company’s more long-term electrification targets.

With there no longer being a replacement for the base model Rapide, only the Rapide AMR has been representing the model from 2020 onwards. With its limited production run of just 210 units not yet fulfilled, the AMR will carry on into the 2021 model year. No word on when, or how this change of course will eventually result in the production of their first EV.

Perhaps it is a diversion of resources and focus on other ventures, which has led to this change in priorities. Since 2016, Aston Martin has been publicly announcing their expansion into other industries such as speed boats, aviation, fashion and real estate development with the intent on becoming more than just an automaker. The goal is to become an internationally recognized luxury brand.

What this will mean on the automotive front for Aston Martin’s near and distant future, becomes muddled in all the noise of what sounds like some sort of quest for world domination. Some solace can be found through the familiar; with the likes of the Vantage, DB11 and the DBS Superleggera still very much in the picture for 2021. The release of the all new Aston Martin DBX – the company’s first SUV – also shows signs of their commitment in remaining a relevant automaker for the long haul.

Here are the best brand new Aston Martin models you can purchase today.

Aston Martin DBS Superleggera

Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante

Base MSRP: $304,995 USD, $334,700 USD (Volante)

Unquestionably, the DBS Superleggera sits at the pinnacle of the Aston Martin production grand touring range. Aggressive, yet beautiful. Super lightweight, yet powerfully strong. A commanding presence, yet lavishly finished. Equipped with the most powerful (non-hybrid) engine in the Aston Martin lineup, the DBS Superleggera’s 5.2L twin-turbocharged V12 outputs 715 hp @ 6,500 rpm; good for 0-60 mph in 3.4 seconds and a top speed of 211 mph.

The DBS Superleggera is also available in a fixed-roof-coupe or drop-top-Volante configuration – offering buyers more choices when it comes to experiencing the highest echelons of British GT road cars. The optional Studio Collection Pack ($18,700) offers that extra bit of grand touring perfection, with a Bang & Olufsen BeoSound Infotainment System, powered seat bolster adjustment, and other uber-luxury amenities forming part of the package.

Aston Martin Vantage AMR

Aston Martin Vantage AMR

Base MSRP: $183,081 USD

The Vantage AMR is a new breed of predator, 95 kg lighter in weight than the base model, and boasting a 7-speed rev-matching manual transmission. This is a beast designed to deliver pure, engaging, and intimate performance – Aston Martin’s interpretation of a “true driver’s car”. Even so, the playlist of purist essentials hardly ends there. Standard carbon-ceramics, an adaptive suspension system and a sportier exhaust, add an extra dose of delight to the senses while making the car all the more capable for those spirited canyon drives or occasional track days.

This is a car that can do everything brilliantly well, and the Aston Martin I’d enjoying driving everyday more than any other; and given the generous selection of world-class grand tourers to purchase from the British automaker, this serves as the ultimate compliment I could give the car.

Aston Martin DBX

Aston Martin DBX

Base MSRP: $192,986 USD

It’s important to include the DBX on this list because it is a big part of Aston Martin’s strategy to broaden their appeal in the international marketplace. It is meant to instill a more steady stream of income for the automaker, while improving the brand’s overall image. This outcome is not just good for the DBX itself, but for upstream models as well, so the success of their new SUV is something that company is really banking on.

Built on brand-new architecture, the DBX is designed to carry occupants in true Aston Martin style. Brimming with the latest technology to keep you safe, the DBX is comfortable, sumptuously luxurious, and will thrill you from the moment you sit behind the wheel. Thanks to lightweight aluminum construction, and its world-leading Aston Martin powertrain and suspension developed by the finest engineers of their kind, the DBX drives like no other SUV; it drives like a sports car and is considered by many outlets to be the best SUV on the market today, in terms of driving dynamics.

Aston Martin DB11 AMR

Aston Martin DB11 AMR

Base MSRP: $241,000 USD

The Aston Martin DB11 AMR is the new flagship car for the DB11 range. It comes standard with the model’s top engine option – a 5.2L twin-turbocharged V12 – boasting greater power, increased performance, enhanced driving dynamics and a more characterful exhaust note. In addition, the AMR features a specially-tuned powertrain and chassis; along with a number of styling queues and options which are exclusive to it.

The DB11 AMR may boast an intimidating 630 hp, but its overall demeanor remains that of a refined luxury GT car rather than a raw performance machine – and that ladies and gentlemen, is peak Aston Martin execution, and we wouldn’t want it any other way. Honestly, Aston Martin could probably get away with having the AMR as its sole DB11 model. It really is that good, and some believe it should’ve been what the DB11 was from the get-go.

New Cars Powered By V8 Engines

In almost all cases, manufacturers who choose to equip their cars with a V8 engine do so knowingly and deliberately. After all, such engines represent the first big step in crossing over a threshold to a place where performance becomes the sole focus; efficiency and economy are often not even invited as guests for a ride-along in the back seat.

With a quick glance at the back mirror, those pesky 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder engines begin to disappear into the horizon. Then, with the proverbial “pedal-to-the-metal,” the V8 power plant unanimously declares “all-in” with a roar—because this journey is all about thrill-seeking and checking things off the bucket list.

As you begin to drive off towards the sunset, you’ll probably receive the odd jeer from EPA employees, people who hate nice sounds, and various other types of sticklers. But nothing’s going to stop you from reaching your destination. At the end of this journey begins a new one; at the race track perhaps, or maybe the backcountry roads and mountain highways?

Here are all the new cars powered by V8 engines—including sports cars, supercars, and hypercars—available for purchase in 2021.

Aston Martin

2021 Aston Martin Vantage

  • Base price: $149,086
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 503 hp @ 6,000 rpm
  • Torque: 505 lb-ft @ 2,000 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.6 s
  • Top Speed: 190 mph

The Aston Martin Vantage is Aston Martin’s “entry-level” sports car. Its singular purpose is raw and unwavering: to overwhelm the senses through its world-renowned design, agile performance, and dedicated craftsmanship. Its heart beats with a high-powered 4.0 liter twin-turbocharged V8, producing that visceral Aston Martin roar.

New for the 2021 model year, the Aston Martin Vantage Roadster is the drop-top version of the British automaker’s gateway car. It continues to embody all the same awesome characteristics of its fixed-roof counterpart, amplifying the overall experience with that wind-in-the-hair feeling only the Roadster can provide.

The Aston Martin Vantage AMR is a new breed of predator—95 kg lighter than the base model and boasting a seven-speed rev-matching manual transmission. This is a beast designed to deliver pure, engaging, manual performance—Aston Martin’s interpretation of a “true driver’s car.” Only 200 will be produced.

2021 Aston Martin DB11

  • Base price: $198,995
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 503 hp @ 6,000 rpm
  • Torque: 513 lb-ft @ 2,000 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.7 s
  • Top Speed: 208 mph

The Aston Martin DB11 is the most powerful and efficient ‘DB’ production model in Aston Martin’s history. Available as a coupe or Volante with the optional 5.2L twin-turbocharged V12 or standard 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8 engine, the DB11 takes Aston Martin’s grand touring heritage to unprecedented heights.

New for 2021 are the optional Shadow Edition models. Their blacked-out trim packages add subtly sinister touches to Aston’s DB11 coupe and convertible. With a black-painted grille, 20-inch wheels, and badging, the Shadow Edition bits add an extra hint of aggression to the DB11’s svelte bodywork.

The Aston Martin DB11 AMR is the new flagship car of the DB11 range. However, unlike the other models, it comes exclusively with the top engine option—a 5.2L twin-turbocharged V12.

Audi

2021 Audi RS 6 Avant

  • Base price: $110,045
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 591 hp @ 6,000 rpm
  • Torque: 590 lb-ft @ 2,050 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.5 s
  • Top Speed: 190 mph

Probably the hottest performance-oriented station wagon on the market right now, the 2021 Audi RS 6 Avant sheds the conservative styling of the car it is based on but remains in line with the high-performance estate concept. Derived from the already-excellent Audi A6 sedan, this souped-up station wagon adds RS-specific bodywork and exclusive go-fast goodies.

The Audi RS 6 Avant is a powerful car with a mild-hybrid powertrain. At its heart is a twin-turbocharged 4.0L V8 engine, which puts out a whopping 591 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. The results are impressive, too—the car can sprint from 0-62 mph in just 3.6 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 155 mph. This is the first RS wagon to come to America, and Audi wants to make it count.

2021 Audi RS 7

  • Base price: $115,045
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 591 hp @ 6,000 rpm
  • Torque: 590 lb-ft @ 2,050 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.5 s
  • Top Speed: 190 mph

The Audi RS 7 Sportback is what you get when you take the RS 6 Avant’s engine, then place it in a sleeker Audi Sportback frame. The resulting Audi RS 7 Sportback is an aggressive and beautiful car, with the specs to back up its appearance. This strikingly athletic yet elegant four-door sports car is the perfect blend of practicality and performance.

At the heart of the car is the twin-turbocharged 4.0L V8 engine with a mild-hybrid system, which puts out a whopping 591 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. Like the RS 6, it can go from 0-62 mph in just 3.6 seconds and reach a top speed of 155 mph.

Bentley

2021 Bentley Flying Spur V8

  • Base price: $198,725
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 542 hp
  • Torque: 569 lb-ft
  • 0-60 mph: 4.0 s
  • Top Speed: 198 mph

The Flying Spur gets a new model for 2021. Known as the 2021 Bentley Flying Spur V8, the biggest difference for this trim is the use of a twin-turbocharged 4.0L V8 engine that produces 542 hp and 569 lb-ft of torque; it also features cylinder deactivation for improved fuel economy. Bentley says more of its customers want to hustle their cars around instead of being chauffeured and that the more efficient and fun V8 Flying Spur will be the more popular choice with this crowd.

2021 Bentley Continental GT V8

  • Base price: $207,825
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 542 hp @ 5,750 rpm
  • Torque: 568 lb-ft @ 2,000 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.9 s
  • Top Speed: 198 mph

With a lively V8 engine delivering irresistibly dynamic performance, accompanied by the sound of its uniquely emotive burble, the new Bentley Continental GT V8 offers a truly engaging driving experience. A grand tourer that makes every journey breathtaking. The Continental GT V8 is exceptionally responsive, delivering breathtaking acceleration accompanied by the irresistible sound of a Bentley V8 engine.

With the new Bentley Continental GT V8 Convertible, open-air grand-touring is always exhilarating. With its spirited V8 engine, innovative technology, sleek, contemporary design, and exquisite attention to detail, you are both completely in touch with the road beneath you and fully connected to the world around you. A great all-around GT that is our top pick when it comes to both value and overall experience.

BMW

2021 BMW M5

  • Base price: $103,500
  • Engine: 4.4L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 600 hp @ 6,000 rpm
  • Torque: 553 lb-ft @ 1,800 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.0 s
  • Top Speed: 190 mph

Updates for 2021 are not under the hood for the M5. There have been no changes in the power department, but the M5 does receive a freshened-up appearance with redesigned front and rear bumpers, new headlights and taillights, and a larger grille. Convenience features such as a larger touchscreen, Android Auto, and cloud-based navigation have also been added.

Where else can you walk into a dealership and buy a sedan that has 600+ hp, all-wheel-drive traction, four doors, and stunning performance both in a straight line and on the race track? This car can really do it all, which more than justifies its 6-figure price tag. The 2021 BMW M5 is more than just your regular sports sedan; it is an epic sports car and the leader in its class.

For us, it’s really a no-brainer to spend the wee-bit extra to step up to the BMW M5 Competition. Just a touch more powerful, the M5 Competition comes with 617 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque. Where you really get your money’s worth is through the stiffer dampers, stiffer anti-roll bars, and a .28” lower ride height.

All things considered, the M5 Competition is a sharper, stiffer, and even more performance-oriented version of the M5.

The Competition model gets a new full Merino leather color scheme, a new Track drive mode, and new shock absorbers. These dampers benefit from a recalibrated control system that BMW says should improve ride comfort, especially at high speeds.

2021 BMW M8

  • Base price: $133,000 (Coupe), $142,500 (Conv), $130,000 (Gran)
  • Engine: 4.4L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 600 hp @ 6,000 rpm
  • Torque: 553 lb-ft @ 3,600 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.2 s
  • Top Speed: 190 mph

Big updates for 2021 include BMW announcing that the coupe and convertible versions of the M8 will no longer be available in North America, with the Gran Coupe remaining as the sole body-style option. The Gran Coupe can also be optioned with a new Donington Grey Metallic paint.

The BMW M8 is available in three body configurations: coupe, convertible, and Gran Coupe. It borrows its twin-turbocharged 4.4L V8 engine from the M5, which makes 600 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque. The M8 also gives drivers the ability to switch between all-wheel drive and 100% rear-wheel drive, making the car both thrilling and well-suited for any situation thrown its way.

In keeping with the Competition formula as used in the rest of the lineup, the Competition version of the M8 offers up a more hardcore, track-focused version of the base car. The BMW M8 Competition also borrows its engine from its M5 counterpart, producing an additional 17 horsepower over the regular M8. While we don’t expect many M8s to show up to the race track, the Competition package is nevertheless a worth-it option for the more discerning pilots out there.

This car is available in coupe, convertible, and gran coupe body styles. However, only the gran coupe body style is available for the US market.

Chevrolet

2021 Chevrolet Camaro (LT1, SS)

  • Base price: $34,000 (LT1), $37,500 (SS)
  • Engine: 6.2L naturally aspirated V8
  • Power: 455 hp @ 6,000 rpm
  • Torque: 455 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 4.1 s
  • Top Speed: 198 mph

The Chevrolet Camaro LT1 is the model’s first foray into V8 territory, which allows it to offer a relatively low-priced entry into the world of 8-cylinder performance. Already producing as much as 455 hp, the LT1 is a fantastic choice for those who want an unadulterated, no-nonsense sports car. Stepping up to the 1SS and 2SS doesn’t add any more power, but it provides more performance and convenient amenities—such as a transmission cooler, rear Brembo brakes, magnetic ride control, wider wheels, a different front bumper, and a standard 8″ touchscreen.

2021 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

  • Base price: $63,000
  • Engine: 6.2L naturally aspirated V8
  • Power: 650 hp @ 6,400 rpm
  • Torque: 650 lb-ft @ 3,600 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.5 s
  • Top Speed: 198 mph

Step up to the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, and you’re looking at a 650 hp supercharged version, making it the most powerful Camaro available. Driving this car can make 0-60 mph happen in a blistering 3.5 seconds. The all-new range-topping Camaro ZL1 is slated to come with the Corvette’s Z06 engine as standard, providing phenomenal value when it comes to performance.

The track-oriented 1LE package adds performance upgrades that allow the car to handle and brake more capably. It is available in coupe and convertible body styles, and it offers drivers their choice of an engaging manual transmission or a lightning-quick automatic.

2021 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray (C8)

  • Base price: $60,995
  • Engine: 6.2L naturally aspirated V8
  • Power: 490 hp @ 6,450 rpm
  • Torque: 465 lb-ft @ 5,150 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.0 s
  • Top Speed: 194 mph

Probably the most exciting thing to come from the American brand (and perhaps the entire automotive industry) for a long time is the new mid-engine 2021 Chevrolet Corvette C8. It is expected to go full-tilt against the likes of exotic brands such as Porsche, Ferrari, and McLaren on the performance front while costing substantially less to own.

On paper, its bang-for-buck looks untouchable and potentially industry-disrupting. It comes in both coupe and convertible body styles.

Dodge

2021 Dodge Challenger Hellcat

  • Base price: $61,270
  • Engine: 6.2L supercharged V8
  • Power: 717 hp @ 6,450 rpm
  • Torque: 650 lb-ft @ 5,150 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.6 s
  • Top Speed: 199 mph

While the Challenger can be purchased with a V8 engine (starting with the R/T models), we’re going to focus on the Hellcat models here. The Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat continues to evolve, with the 2021 model year treating fans and enthusiasts to even more madness (and variety) than ever before.

While the supercharged 6.2L V8 engine is a mainstay, the coupe can now be configured with up to 3 different engine options—Hellcat, Redeye, and Super Stock—which produce 717 hp, 797 hp, and 807 hp, respectively. These options allow it to become one of the most powerful production cars in the world.

Widebody packages are available for both the base and Redeye trims (and come standard on the Super Stock) to give the car an even more pronounced and aggressive appearance —one that certainly matches the monster lurking beneath the hood.

2021 Dodge Charger Hellcat

  • Base price: $72,670
  • Engine: 6.2L supercharged V8
  • Power: 717 hp @ 6,450 rpm
  • Torque: 650 lb-ft @ 5,150 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 4.0 s
  • Top Speed: 196 mph

The Dodge Charger is, for the most part, the sedan version of the Challenger, and it too offers up the company’s exclusive Hellcat experience. For 2021, the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat—and its new Redeye version—are offered exclusively with the widebody package. These versions produce 717 hp and 797 hp (respectively) from the same 6.2L supercharged V8 used in the Challenger, although no “Super Stock” version is available for the Charger. Yet.

Ferrari

2021 Ferrari Portofino M

  • Base price: US$245,000
  • Engine: 3.9L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 612 hp @ 7,500 rpm
  • Torque: 560 lb-ft @ 3,000 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.4 s
  • 0-124 mph: 9.3 s
  • Top Speed: 199 mph

The Ferrari Portofino has been, for a couple of years, the Italian marque’s 2+2 grand touring cabriolet. It was, and still is, a powerhouse of comfort and technology—as capable of crossing continents as it is of driving a few blocks to the grocery store.

Now, however, it is getting its first refresh, thanks in large part to the success of the Ferrari Roma, which itself was a hardtop coupe evolution of the Portofino. Named the Portofino Modificata, it is shortened to Portofino M for branding purposes.

The highlight of this update has to be the newly developed eight-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission. The everyday drop-top has also been refined on some other aspects, which now makes it even more convenient. A boatload of safety tech has also been added—plus, now the engine offers 20 hp more.

2021 Ferrari F8 Tributo

  • Base price: US$276,000
  • Engine: 3.9L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 710 hp @ 8,000 rpm
  • Torque: 568 lb-ft @ 3,250 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 2.9 s
  • 0-124 mph: 7.8 s
  • Top Speed: 211 mph

Billed as the replacement for the 488 GTB, the Ferrari F8 Tributo inherits much of the outgoing model’s DNA. Mind you, this is largely (if not entirely) a positive thing, as the F8 Tributo notably improves in areas that had room for it while retaining the essence of what worked so well before.

Considered the ‘entry-level’ mid-engined car in the Ferrari model lineup, the F8 Tributo is nevertheless more than the sum of its parts; it is a highly-capable all-rounder, standing out amongst an expanding club of ‘everyday supercars.’

Producing 710 hp at a screaming 8,000 rpm and 568 lb-ft of torque at an accessible 3,250 rpm, the F8 Tributo’s 3.9L twin-turbocharged V8 is nothing to balk at, despite being standard for the times.

The Ferrari F8 Spider replaces the 488 Spider and is officially on sale in Ferrari dealerships. It is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.9-liter V-8 that produces 710 horsepower and 568 lb-ft of torque.

The Spider is rear-wheel drive, and a seven-speed automatic transmission changes the gears. Peak torque comes earlier in the rev range than the 488. The aero kit, headlights, taillights, and body also look different than the 488 GTB.

We drove both the F8 Spider and Tributo back-to-back, and our pick is the Spider. It is just as fast and dynamic as the coupe—but it feels faster, louder, and more visceral—thanks in part to its open top.

Like the F8 Tributo, the 2021 Spider accelerates from 0-60 mph in just 2.8 seconds on its way to 124 mph in just 7.8 seconds, and has a top speed of 211 mph. Fast enough, I think!

2021 Ferrari Roma

  • Base price: US$222,630
  • Engine: 3.9L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 612 hp @ 7,500 rom
  • Torque: 560 lb-ft @ 3,000 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.4 s
  • 0-124 mph: 9.3 s
  • Top Speed: 199 mph

This vehicle is stunning to look at, with a minimalist (by today’s standards) grille and a shark-nose front end. It’s long, lean, and so utterly Ferrari that it makes all the right places on a true car enthusiast ache with desire.

Inside the car, you can see one of the most high-tech cabins of any Ferrari. There’s a large digital instrument cluster, a unique vertically-oriented infotainment screen in the center with some controls in front of it, and the passenger has their own small horizontally-oriented infotainment screen.

Now onto even better stuff; the rear-wheel-drive Ferrari Roma gets a 3.9L twin-turbocharged V8 engine with new cam profiles and a speed sensor that allows the maximum rpm to rise by 5,000 rpm. In other words, this is an Italian Stallion that can truly sing. The engine also has a single-piece exhaust manifold designed to make the most of its efforts. All told, it makes 612 hp and 560 lb-ft of torque.

2021 Ferrari 488 Pista

  • Base price: US$350,000
  • Engine: 3.9 liter twin turbo V8
  • Power: 710 bhp @ 7,500 rpm
  • Torque: 568 lb-ft @ 5500 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 2.85 sec
  • 0-100 mph: 5.4 sec
  • Top Speed: 211 mph

The Ferrari 488 Pista is the marque’s latest Special Series model, and, following in the footsteps of its predecessors, it epitomizes the pinnacle of Ferrari road cars. Ferrari’s naturally aspirated V8s shrieked and snarled into the redline; the Pista barks and roars its way there. A different special series animal for sure, but an animal nonetheless. Almost perfect.

The Ferrari 488 Pista Spider is powered by the same engine used in the coupe, a twin-turbocharged 3.9L V8, which produces a magnificent 711-horsepower and 568 lb-ft of torque. The Spider is a convertible with a removal hardtop, though some would argue it functions more closely to a targa top vehicle. The Spider weighs 200 pounds more than the coupe.

2021 Ferrari SF90 Stradale

  • Base price: US$507,000
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8, plus 3 electric motors
  • Power: 989 hp (combined)
  • Torque: 590 lb-ft
  • 0-60 mph: 2.5 s
  • 0-124 mph: 6.7 s
  • Top Speed: 211 mph

The Ferrari SF90 Stradale is a stunning new hybrid supercar that produces 989 hp from a plug-in hybrid powertrain. This hybrid setup utilizes a twin-turbocharged 4.0L V8 combustion engine linked with three electric motors.

Two of those electric motors are mounted on the front axle, and one is mounted between the engine and the gearbox. The combined maximum output of the V8, together with the electric motors, makes this Ferrari good for 0-60 mph in just 2.5 seconds. This powertrain is the most powerful of any Ferrari and easily places the SF90 Stradale atop the Ferrari lineup.

The car also features an all-new chassis made of carbon fiber and aluminum. The sleek body panels and its aerodynamic shape help the model produce a whopping 860 pounds of downforce at speed; the whole profile of the car is extremely low, allowing it to slice through the air at high speeds. It also has a two-piece rear wing, derived from the company’s participation in Formula 1 racing.

Ford

2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1

  • Base price: $53,400
  • Engine: 3.5L Twin-Turbo V6
  • Power: 450 hp @ 5,000 rpm
  • Torque: 510 lb-ft @ 3,500 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 5.1 s
  • Top Speed: 107 mph

Instead of starting with the Mustang GT, we have moved straight to the limited-edition Ford Mustang Mach 1, which gets a 480-hp version of Ford’s 5.0L naturally-aspirated V8 engine. The Mach 1 comes standard with a 6-speed manual transmission, while a 10-speed automatic is an optional add-on. There is a unique front end and heritage-inspired look with black stripes on the hood and bodysides.

The car also benefits from advanced aerodynamic and cooling upgrades, courtesy of the awesome Shelby GT350 and Shelby GT500. We recommend opting for the Mach 1’s Handling package to experience the full potential of the model.

2021 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500

  • Base price: $72,900
  • Engine: 5.2L supercharged V8
  • Power: 760 hp @ 7,300 rpm
  • Torque: 625 lb-ft @ 5,000 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.3 s
  • Top Speed: 180 mph

There’s a lot to love about the GT350’s bigger brother (especially with the GT350 being discontinued for 2021)—the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500. It’s the most muscular of all of Ford’s vehicles, but it’s not just fast in a straight line with its supercharged 760 hp V8. The car can make its way around the twists and bends of the most technical racetracks quickly, too. It’s almost as quick as a Porsche 911 GT3 RS on the track, according to some credible sources.

Jaguar

2021 Jaguar F-Type R

  • Base price: $103,200
  • Engine: 5.0L supercharged V8
  • Power: 575 hp @ 6,500 rpm
  • Torque: 516 lb-ft @ 3,500 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.5 s
  • Top Speed: 186 mph

The Jaguar F-Type R has seen its engine output increased for the 2021 year, gaining 25 hp and 14 lb-ft of torque over the previous year’s entry. The engine is exclusively mated to an all-wheel drive version.

The platform remains unchanged, with updates to the exterior and interior that keep the model feeling fresh and consistent with the rest of its lineup. New LED headlights and taillights, a revised front and rear bumper, and a new infotainment system are amongst the new offerings.

Available in both coupe and convertible form, the F-Type R sports car is now the highest F-Type trim in the lineup and is equipped with an arsenal intent on squaring off against the likes of the Porsche 911 and comparable Mercedes AMG models. With sharp handling and blistering acceleration—thanks in large part to its all-wheel-drive system—the F-Type R makes for a padded spec sheet and costs less than most of its competition.

Koenigsegg

2021 Koenigsegg Jesko

  • Base price: $2,800,000
  • Engine: 5.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 1,600 hp
  • Torque: 1,106 lb-ft
  • 0-60 mph: 2.5 s
  • Top Speed: 300+ mph

Koenigsegg’s new Jesko hypercar, named after his father, who helped him start his company, claims over 300 mph as its top speed. While Koenigsegg hasn’t yet proven this in the real world, the Agera successor has achieved this feat in simulations, and the company certainly believes it to be as good as true.

There are two different versions of the car; Koenigsegg designed one for a high-speed run (called the Absolut) to achieve the aforementioned 300+ mph, and another with some serious downforce for the racetrack. No matter the variant, you get a new carbon fiber and aluminum chassis, a new suspension setup, redesigned engine, and a special gearbox.

2021 Koenigsegg Regera

  • Base price: $2,000,000
  • Engine: 5.0L twin-turbocharged V8 + 3 electric motors
  • Power: 1,500 hp
  • Torque: 1,475 lb-ft
  • 0-60 mph: 2.5 s
  • Top Speed: 255 mph

The 2021 Koenigsegg Regera is definitely part of the small and exclusive group of hybrid hypercars. Koenigsegg launched the model at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, and since then, it has generated much hype amongst many car lovers and enthusiasts.

Besides a regular engine, the Koenigsegg Regera also carries an electric unit that produces up to 700 hp and 663 lb-ft of torque with a 4.5 kWh liquid-cooled battery pack. As a result, the car—in combination with its 5.0L twin-turbocharged V8—produces an amazing 1,500 hp, simply making it the most powerful hybrid hypercar in the world.

Lamborghini

2021 Lamborghini Urus

  • Base price: US$218,009
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 641 hp @ 6,000 rpm
  • Torque: 627 lb-ft @ 2,250 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.6 sec
  • 0-100 mph: 7.6 sec
  • Top Speed: 190 mph

Yes, we know that the Lamborghini Urus is, by all accounts, an SUV. However, it’s also a Lamborghini, and this list just wouldn’t be complete without one. It really doesn’t matter anyway because the Urus is practically a supercar, and it has the credentials to back it up.

The Urus is powered by a 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8 that is good for 641 hp and 627 lb-ft of torque. Performance is astonishing for the big SUV, with the 0-60 mph trek over in a mere 3.2 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 190 mph.

It looks aggressive, and we think it has just the right level of Lambo styling cues without going overboard. On the inside, the Urus has decent luggage space and a generous helping of electronics and infotainment equipment. The Urus remains Lamborghini’s only sport utility vehicle in the lineup for the 2021 model year.

Self-proclaimed as the world’s first Super Sport Utility Vehicle, we like to call it a luxurious, sporty SUV—where outlandish performance meets comfort and versatility. It offers best-in-class driving dynamics and is easily the best-performing SUV on the planet. The Lamborghini Urus is anything but your typical grocery hauler.

Lexus

2021 Lexus LC500

  • Base price: $92,950
  • Engine: 5.0L naturally-aspirated V8
  • Power: 471 hp @ 7,100 rpm
  • Torque: 398 lb-ft @ 4,800 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 4.9 s
  • Top Speed: 168 mph

The range-topping Lexus LC500 luxury coupe continues to use the same naturally-aspirated V8 power plant seen in the rest of the brand’s performance lineup. Notable features include the adjustable suspension, which serves to provide a remarkable fusion of performance and comfort.

For 2021, the car remains virtually unchanged, although Lexus has recently released a convertible version of the LC500. The convertible roof will open and close in about 15 seconds and can be operated at speeds up to 31 mph. That’s pretty impressive.

Because of the open-top, the car required some additional structural components for rigidity but remains mechanically identical to the coupe otherwise.

Maserati

2021 Maserati Ghibli Trofeo

  • Base price: $109,890
  • Engine: 3.8L twin-turbo V8
  • Power: 580 hp @ 6,750 rpm
  • Torque: 538 lb-ft @ 2,250 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 4.0 s
  • Top Speed: 203 mph

Car and Driver said of the Ghibli, “As a sports sedan, the Ghibli’s a winner, but it doesn’t live up to expectations on the luxury side of the spectrum.” The Maserati Ghibli Trofeo offers more of the same—but with more power, more fun, and more performance. These additions work extremely well, and for enthusiasts, this model offers a nice upgrade to the car they know and love.

2021 Maserati Quattroporte Trofeo

  • Base price: $142,390
  • Engine: 3.8L twin-turbo V8
  • Power: 580 hp
  • Torque: 524 lb-ft
  • 0-60 mph: 4.2 s
  • Top Speed: 203 mph

The Quattroporte is a good car, but not a great one. It sits in a kind of limbo area where it is both a GT and also a sports-focused car.

Fortunately, the addition of the twin-turbo V8 makes it way better. It becomes more powerful, more sporty, and the performance is transformed. This year, it becomes a car that a true enthusiast can love—the Maserati Quattroporte Trofeo.

McLaren

2021 McLaren 540C

  • Base price: US$184,900
  • Engine: 3.8L M838TE twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 533 bhp @ 7,500 rpm
  • Torque: 398 lb-ft @ 3,500-6,500 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.4 sec
  • 0-124 mph: 10.5 sec
  • Top Speed: 199 mph

This car’s an entry-level assassin. A mid-mounted 533-hp 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 drives the rear wheels of the 540C. Despite its lower price, the McLaren 540C inherits performance-aiding technologies from its pricier siblings, such as a system that applies the brakes to a rear wheel to help the car around corners.

Boasting 0-62mph in 3.5 seconds, 0-124mph in 10.5, a top speed of 199 mph, and a power-to-weight ratio of 412 horsepower per ton, this is definitely a car for impressing your friends. What more could you want for your money?

2021 McLaren 570S Coupe

  • Base price: US$191,100
  • Engine: 3.8L M838TE twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 562 bhp @ 7,500 rpm
  • Torque: 443 lb-ft @ 5,000-6,000 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.1 sec
  • 0-124 mph: 9.5 sec
  • Top Speed: 204 mph

This is the car you buy when you are sick of your Porsche. It is a true sports car experience: very driver-centric and with truly epic performance. We have found the McLaren 570S as the perfectly positioned car in the McLaren range.

It has more performance than you could ever need on the road. It is lightweight, has direct steering, and has amazing driving dynamics. It looks like a supercar but also comes with enough interior amenities to be comfortable as a daily driver.

Between a 911 Turbo or 570S, I know which one I’d take. Queue the 570S, please.

2021 McLaren 570S Spider

  • Base price: US$211,300
  • Engine: 3.8L M838TE twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 562 bhp @ 7,500 rpm
  • Torque: 443 lb-ft @ 5,000-6,000 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.2 sec
  • 0-124 mph: 9.6 sec
  • Top Speed: 199 mph

Basically a 570S with a retractable hardtop, the McLaren 570S Spider is awesome. Gone are the days where convertibles were compromised; McLaren seems to have figured out how to make them as good as their coupe siblings.

The Spider has the same twin-turbo V8 as the coupe, as well as the same carbon fiber MonoCell II chassis. Take the top down (15 seconds), and you add a whole host of sounds and sensations that are unique to the Spider. Performance is on par with the 570S coupe (within a 10th of a second to 60 mph and 124 mph).

2021 McLaren 570GT

  • Base price: US$203,950
  • Engine: 3.8L M838TE twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 562 bhp @ 7,500 rpm
  • Torque: 443 lb-ft @ 5,000-6,000 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.4 sec
  • 0-124 mph: 9.8 sec
  • Top Speed: 204mph

Practical, Fast, Luxurious. The McLaren 570GT is an intriguing model to consider now that the company has launched a focused GT model. It adds extra comfort and practicality to the 570 body style. Performance is still tremendous, but it takes the edge off in some ways (which is good).

Every bit a McLaren, this car is optimized for the road, turning the ultimate sports car experience into one that’s perfect for daily use, longer journeys, and weekends away. It has a practical, real glass hatch for extra storage, and its panoramic glass roof makes the car feel airy and spacious.

2021 McLaren 600LT

  • Base price: US$242,500
  • Engine: M838TE 3.8L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 592 bhp @ 7,500 rpm
  • Torque: 457 lb-ft @ 5,500–6,500rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 2.9 sec
  • 0-124 mph: 8.2 sec
  • Top Speed: 204 mph

The limited-edition McLaren 600LT is the ultimate version of McLaren’s 570S/GT range (think of it like the 458 Speciale as to the 458). It uses a variation of 570S’ McLaren’s twin-turbo 3.8-liter V8, in this guise making 592 horsepower and 457 lb-ft of torque.

It has a dual-clutch automatic transmission and is rear-wheel drive. The handling is perfectly balanced and reassures you with its predictable nature, making the ride a little firm due to its track-nature approach.

Standard carbon-ceramic brake discs, extensive carbon fiber, and that massive wing let you know this is a limited edition car designed for the track. It’s as capable of eye-watering performance it is deserving of the LT name.

2021 McLaren 600LT Spider

  • Base price: US$256,500
  • Engine: M838TE 3.8L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 592 bhp @ 7,500 rpm
  • Torque: 457 lb-ft @ 5,500–6,500rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 2.9 sec
  • 0-124 mph: 8.4 sec
  • Top Speed: 201 mph (196 mph with top down)

Like the 600LT coupe, a twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V8 with 592 horsepower and 457 pound-feet of torque shoots the McLaren 600LT Spider to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds. Getting to 124 mph takes just an extra two-tenths of a second compared to the hardtop. You step on the throttle, wait for a tinge of turbo lag, then boom, the ferocious revving and blistering straight-line speed hit you. Rinse and repeat.

Unlike most convertibles, this Spider will also handle in the corners. It is easily my favorite car on the market today. There is no shortfall versus the coupe; this is an epic car that loses nothing to its sibling. This is what a supercar is meant to be: an enchanting machine.

2021 McLaren 620R

  • Base price: US$300,000
  • Engine: 3.8 L M838TE twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 612 bhp @ 7,250 rpm
  • Torque: 457 lb-ft @ 5,500 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 2.9 sec
  • 0-124 mph: 8.1 sec
  • Top Speed: 200 mph

The car is basically a 570S GT4 race car for the road. It’s a limited-run coupe that McLaren will build only 350 of. The McLaren 620R is the most powerful of the Sports Series range.

That engine makes a monstrous 612 hp and 457 lb-ft of torque. The car also gets the 570S GT4’s suspension, braking parts, and many of the different adjustable aerodynamic components. The price of this speedy car is a whopping £329,000 in the UK, including taxes.

2021 McLaren GT

  • Base price: US$210,000
  • Engine: 4.0 L M840TE twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 612 bhp @ 7,500 rpm
  • Torque: 465 lb-ft @ 5,500-6,500 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.1sec
  • 0-124 mph: 9.0 sec
  • Top Speed: 203 mph

This car offers luxury and refinement, the McLaren Way. The McLaren GT—which stands for ‘Grand Tourer’—is the British automaker’s first attempt at something other than the raw, unadulterated performance conduits they’ve been known for producing in the past.

The car retains the ubiquitous mid-engine layout seen throughout the rest of the McLaren lineup. It is based on the same exceptional platform used on the 570S—namely, its Monocell II-T carbon-fiber chassis. Despite this, McLaren has gone to great lengths to ensure that the GT also creates its own unique identity, with two-thirds of components used on this model also being exclusive to it.

Unconventional for a McLaren and for a mid-engined car respectively, are its particularly luxurious interior and over 20 cubic ft. of storage space. Despite its supposed layout handicap, the McLaren GT is not outdone here by the likes of Aston Martin, offering plenty of room for bags, skis, and a week’s worth of luggage. The new infotainment system also helps to facilitate a comfortable cross-country cruising experience.

2021 McLaren 720S

  • Base price: US$300,000
  • Engine: 4.0 L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 710 bhp @ 7,500 rpm
  • Torque: 568 lb-ft @ 6,500 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 2.9 sec
  • 0-124 mph: 7.8 sec
  • Top Speed: 212 mph

The McLaren 720S is a sensational supercar, easily the best of the current breed. It has a twin-turbocharged 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8 that produces 710 hp and 568 lb-ft of torque. It looks gorgeous too.

The 720S has advanced suspension that does a remarkable job of smoothing out imperfections while being sporty and keeping the car flat when pressing on. It boasts unrivaled chassis tuning, absurd amounts of speed, unparalleled acceleration numbers, and a package that looks stunning. This is simply the best supercar for sale today and the sweet spot in McLaren’s current model range.

2021 McLaren 720S Spider

  • Base price: US$315,000
  • Engine: 4.0 L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 710 bhp @ 7,500 rpm
  • Torque: 568 lb-ft @ 6,500 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 2.9 sec
  • 0-124 mph: 7.9 sec
  • Top Speed: 212 mph (202 mph with top down)

The latest iteration of the current 720S—monikered “Spider”—is a convertible variant of the 720S, which comes with a folding hardtop. The McLaren 720S Spider retains the same DNA as the Coupe, utilizing a modified version of its carbon-fiber tub chassis to accommodate the folding roof and its mechanism.

Thanks to its brilliant aerodynamic design, the Spider still achieves a remarkable top speed of 202 mph with the top folded. McLaren does a lot of things better than anyone else, and producing convertible variants that are as good as its coupe counterparts is no exception.

2021 McLaren 765LT

  • Base price: US$368,000
  • Engine: 4.0 L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 755 bhp @ 7,500 rpm
  • Torque: 590 lb-ft @ 5,500 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 2.8 sec
  • 0-124 mph: 7.2 sec
  • Top Speed: 205 mph

The McLaren 765LT replaces the 675LT as the newest limited-production track car in McLaren’s Super Series range. As with previous LT models, weight-saving is the key focus for the 765LT, losing 160+ lbs compared to the 720S.

For the first time, McLaren has also adjusted some of the 765LT’s inner workings. Horsepower from the 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8 engine has been upped from 710 hp to 755 hp, and torque is rated at 590 lb-ft—an increase of 22 lb-ft.

2021 McLaren Senna

  • Base price: US$960,000
  • Engine: 4.0 L M840TR twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 789 bhp @ 7,250 rpm
  • Torque: 590 lb-ft @ 5,500 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 2.8 sec
  • 0-124 mph: 6.8 sec
  • Top Speed: 211 mph

Named after Formula 1 driver Ayrton Senna, the McLaren Senna is a track-focused hypercar. Its aggressive appearance tells you immediately that this thing is designed to destroy lap times.

The McLaren Senna is the fastest McLaren road car ever around a racetrack, with downforce numbers up there with proper race cars. It is an intensely involving and immersive experience.

With a dry weight of 2,600 pounds, it delivers the fastest lap times of any road-legal McLaren to date. There is also a track-only version of the Senna, known as the Senna GTR.

2021 McLaren Senna GTR

  • Base price: US$1,800,000
  • Engine: 4.0 L M840TR twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 813 bhp @ 7,250 rpm
  • Torque: 590 lb-ft @ 5,500 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 2.8 sec
  • 0-124 mph: 6.8 sec
  • Top Speed: 211 mph

A More Hardcore Senna. Adding some track-focused updates to the McLaren Senna hypercar gets you the McLaren Senna GTR. Freed from all road and motorsport rules, it pushes things to the max.

Pared-back, pumped-up, then unleashed for track use only—it is, simply put, ferocious. We’re talking 1,000 kg of downforce and a power-to-weight ratio of 684 horsepower per tonne. This is a serious car for the serious racer (or a seriously rich person who wants to be a racer).

This isn’t a road car, folks, so don’t even think about it if you are looking to burn a few million dollars on something you can drive to your local cars and coffee meets.

2021 McLaren Elva

  • Base price: US$1,900,000
  • Engine:4.0 L M840TR twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 804 bhp
  • Torque: 590 lb-ft
  • 0-60 mph: < 3 sec
  • 0-124 mph: 6.7 sec
  • Top Speed: TBD

The McLaren Elva is a completely roofless and windscreen-less Speedster. McLaren will fit a permanently fixed windscreen where legislation (or the customer) requires it, but all other cars will be built without a windscreen for a true open cockpit feeling.

The Elva shares the Senna GTR’s 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8, with the addition of a new exhaust system for the proper auditory experience. All told, the engine makes 804 hp, which is up from the Senna GTR’s 789 hp. The car also gets a cross-linked hydraulic suspension system, carbon-ceramic brakes with titanium calipers, and a feather-light curb weight.

McLaren hasn’t yet specified what the Elva tips the scales at, but the company claims it will be the lightest McLaren road car in the lineup. The McLaren factory will build just 399 examples of the Elva.

Mercedes

2021 Mercedes-AMG C 63

  • Base price: $68,100
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 469 hp @ 5,500 rpm
  • Torque: 479 lb-ft @ 1,750 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.9 s
  • Top Speed:155 mph (limited)

Upgrading the 2020 Mercedes-AMG C 63, this year’s model offers a handcrafted biturbo V8 and paddle-shifted multi-clutch 9-speed to put 469 hp in your hands.

Adaptive AMG Ride Control and a limited-slip diff make it quick on its feet, and it has an exquisitely detailed cabin. It’s available in coupe, sedan, and cabriolet body styles.

2021 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S

  • Base price: $75,700
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 503 hp @ 5,500 rpm
  • Torque: 516 lb-ft @ 1,750 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.8 s
  • Top Speed: 155 mph (limited)

A handcrafted biturbo V8 unleashes 503 hp and class-leading torque. Aggressive style envelops advanced new technologies. And from the cabin, innovation and inspiration lead to invigoration in every curve and on every surface. The Mercedes-AMG C 63 S is available in coupe, sedan, and cabriolet body styles.

2021 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S

  • Base price: $107,350
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 603 hp @ 5,750 rpm
  • Torque: 627 lb-ft @ 2,500 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.3 s
  • Top Speed: 196 mph

With a handcrafted 603 hp and variable-torque AMG Performance 4MATIC+, the E 63 S Sedan is one of the quickest Mercedes-AMG models yet. It’s also one of the most rewarding and luxurious sedans ever to take track tech to the road.

2021 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Wagon

  • Base price: $111,750
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 603 hp @ 5,750 rpm
  • Torque: 627 lb-ft @ 2,500 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.3 s
  • Top Speed: 180 mph

Sending 603 handcrafted horsepower deftly to the pavement via variable-torque AMG Performance 4MATIC+, the E 63 S Wagon outperforms any other wagon on the road. Is it a spacious supercar or a fast family car? Only one way to find out: open it up.

2021 Mercedes-AMG S 63

  • Base price: $151,600
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 603 hp @ 5,750 rpm
  • Torque: 664 lb-ft @ 2,750 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.5 s
  • Top Speed: 190 mph

With 603 handcrafted horsepower and torque-vectoring AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive, the AMG S 63 might be the most self-assured sedan on the road. Its innovations and appointments make it one of the most reassuring, too. However, it is going to be replaced by a newer model soon. Available in coupe, sedan, and cabriolet body styles.

2021 Mercedes-AMG GT 63

  • Base price: $140,600
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 577 hp @ 5,500 rpm
  • Torque: 590 lb-ft @ 2,750 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.3 s

It has twice the doors and twice the seats of any AMG GT before it. Yet it builds on every dominant trait: Brilliant handling. Exquisite appointments. Seductive style. And a handcrafted biturbo V8 sending 577 hp to its four wheels.

2021 Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S

  • Base price: $161,900
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 630 hp @ 5,500 rpm
  • Torque: 664 lb-ft @ 2,750 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.1 s

The S version of the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 offers all of the same advantages, but with an extra kick in the power department. Its biturbo V8 sends a whopping 630 hp to its four wheels.

2021 Mercedes-AMG GT / GT Roadster

  • Base price: $115,900
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 469 hp @ 6,000 rpm
  • Torque: 465 lb-ft @ 1,900 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.9 s

Developed from the racetrack up to be a pure sports car, the AMG GT’s 469-hp dry-sump biturbo V8 and rear transaxle help create an ideal balance of reduced weight, control, confidence, and composure.

2021 Mercedes-AMG GT C / GT C Roadster

  • Base price: $150,900
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 550 hp @ 5,750 rpm
  • Torque: 502 lb-ft @ 2,100 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.6 s

The coupe version of the AMG GT adds extra power with a 550-hp dry-sump biturbo V8 engine and rear transaxle. Drivers still get all the performance and control the convertible version offers, creating an unparalleled experience.

2021 Mercedes-AMG GT R / GT R Roadster

  • Base price: $162,900
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 577 hp @ 6,250 rpm
  • Torque: 516 lb-ft @ 2,100 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.5 s

The 577-hp AMG GT R condenses half a century of motorsports success into a single Nürburgring lap. Lightened, sharpened, and strengthened, its racing DNA is evident in every fiber of its body, chassis, and soul.

2021 Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series

  • Base price: $325,000
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 720 hp @ 6,700 rpm
  • Torque: 590 lb-ft @ 2,000 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.1 s

The Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series marks the return of an iconic name to the world of super sports cars. It’s as unorthodox as it is untamed. This car has emerged from uncompromising engineering paired with unprecedented performance—especially on the race track.

Best of the Current Audi Model Lineup

The four-ringed German marque has really come into its own in the last decade, with Audi now setting a benchmark for what a luxury sports car – at an accessible price – can and should be. These days they’re propagating this philosophy with the volume cranked all the way up, producing a comprehensive range of SUVs, sedans, estates and supercars.

While the most significant updates for the 2021 model year have been reserved for their entry-level offerings, their top performance vehicles (basically anything with an ‘R’ or ‘RS’ in the name) are also bearing some good news. For 2021, we’ve seen the debut of the RS6 Avant, RS7 and RS Q8 for North American markets. Then of course, there’s the all new e-tron GT – Audi’s high-performance grand-touring EV saloon – which looks to shake up a playing field currently dominated by the Porsche Taycan and Tesla Model S.

The Audi R8 continues to retain its position as ‘poster boy’ atop the performance hierarchy, even though the old-guard has been rumored for retirement no later than 2023. In celebration or in spite of this (depending on how you look at it) Audi has announced that the R8 will be permanently available with a rear-wheel drive base model going forward. In the past, the rear-wheel drive R8 – which first featured briefly in 2018 as the R8 RWS – was a limited-run version of the otherwise exclusively all-wheel drive car.

With the company changing its focus to EV production and technologies, it will be interesting to see how things play out for Audi over the next decade. Will Audi be taking the lead on this next generation of transportation? How will their philosophies and definition of an “engaging driving experience” be affected by this transformation?

Here are the best brand new Audi models you can purchase today.

Audi R8 RWD

Audi R8 RWD

This has to be the best car that Audi currently has in its model range. Now a standard, instead of a one-off offering, the rear-wheel drive version of Audi’s famous R8 supercar is wonderful for so many reasons. Not only does it provide a notably lower price of entry into ownership of a brand new R8, it also brings about the puristic thrills that its heavier and more expensive all-wheel-drive counterpart can’t. Yeah, it’s not going to be as quick as the Performance model, but it sure as heck is going to be more fun to drive. Touted as a proper sports car engine, its V10 makes peak power at 7,800 rpm and smoothly revs all the way to a euphoric 8,700 rpm redline, all the while providing a delightful symphony of sound via its howling engine note.

Audi RS 6 Avant

2021 Audi RS6 Avant

Audi is reinvigorating the currently stale hot-hatch segment, with its greatly anticipated RS 6 Avant finally making its way over to the western hemisphere. Featuring a mild-hybrid powertrain, this is not your average station wagon. The aggressive and attractive RS-specific bodywork makes a loud statement that this is no ordinary grocery getter. Ok, so it’s not exactly cheap either – with a base price north of 6 figures – but it’s easily my favorite Audi, and is the best car in the lineup that is not an R8. At the heart of the car is a twin-turbocharged 4.0L V8 engine that puts out a whopping 591 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. The results are impressive, too – the car can sprint from 0-62 mph in just 3.6 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 155 mph.

Audi e-tron GT

Audi e-tron GT

The 2022 Audi e-tron GT is the four-ringed company’s first entrant into the high-performance EV weight class. It looks to shake up a playing field which includes the likes of the Tesla Model S and Porsche Taycan, the latter of which it shares many of the same underpinnings. This isn’t the marque’s first EV model, as it joins up with a roster currently occupied by Audi’s e-tron SUVs. However, the e-tron GT does have the distinction of becoming the first fully-electric car to don the company’s legendary RS badge via the highest and most expensive trim level currently on offer. The base model e-tron GT predictably comes with less of the go-faster, stop-harder and look-sexier ingredients that are typically reserved for an RS model, but it does share the same 93.4 kWh battery with its more glamorous stablemate.

Audi RS Q8

Audi RS Q8

The Audi RS Q8 is the fastest version of the marque’s Q8 series of sport utility vehicles. It’s also the fastest dang SUV around the Nordschleife too – not too shabby for something you can ferry the kids to-and-from school in, and it will definitely earn you bragging rights amongst all the parents in the neighborhood. The model gets a high-performance 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8 engine, which punches out exotic-level performance figures – namely, 592 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. That’s quite a lot of power for just about anything out there, never mind something that seats 5 adults comfortably. For 2021, the RS Q8 gets only one change; it now comes standard with a built-in toll-road-payment transmission feature.

Audi RS 7

Audi RS 7

The Audi RS 7 Sportback is what you get when you take the RS 6 Avant’s engine, then place it in a sleeker Audi Sportback frame. The resulting Audi RS 7 Sportback is an aggressive and beautiful car, with performance credentials to back up its bold appearance. This strikingly athletic, yet elegant, four-door sports car is the perfect blend of practicality and performance. At the heart of the car is a twin-turbocharged 4.0L V8 engine with a mild-hybrid system, which puts out a whopping 591 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. The results are impressive, too – the car can sprint from 0-62 mph in just 3.6 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 155 mph. If you’re looking for an ideal luxury-performance sports sedan, and aren’t quite ready to make the leap over to an EV, this would be the one to get.

Best of the Current Alfa Romeo Model Lineup

As a brand, Alfa Romeo has looked to reinvent itself with a concerted resurgence in the North American markets, after a somewhat brief and unextraordinary appearance in the later half of the 20th century.

This movement officially kicked off in 2014, when the company introduced its affordable, lightweight, mid-engined sports coupe – the Alfa Romeo 4C – to the region. Never lacking in charisma or personality, the 4C would go on to become the brand’s poster model.

Alfa Romeo’s brand-rebuild was not going to be a one-man team, with the company unveiling its 4-door saloon model – the Alfa Romeo Giulia – at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show. Fast forward another year, and the Alfa Romeo Stelvio crossover SUV would also make its debut.

On a relatively small, but considerably effective scale, Alfa Romeo has made some ground in the North American markets thanks to this strategy. However, as we’ve crested into 2021, there have been some notable changes in direction that the company is taking going forward.

Alfa Romeo has officially axed production of the 4C Spider – having already taken the 4C Coupe off the market a year prior – with nothing in the pipeline for a direct successor. Production ended in December 2020 with a special limited edition Alfa Romeo 4C Spider 33 Stradale Tributo. It pays tribute to the 33 Stradale; the extremely rare and iconic Italian mid-engined sports car of the late 1960s and the production run has been capped for the U.S. market at just 33 units.

Their focus will now be on their more mainstream and profitable models, such as the aforementioned Giulia and Stelvio. It is important to note as well, that there will still be an Alfa Romeo 2-door coupe – known as the GTV – joining the roster later on, which will be built upon the same architecture as the Giulia and Stelvio. Their new compact crossover SUV called the Tonale has already been slated for production in 2021, and will slot into the line-up as Alfa Romeo’s entry-level offering. Both the GTV and Tonale are expected to debut as 2022 models.

Here are the best brand new Alfa Romeo models you can purchase today.

Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA / GTAm

2021 Alfa Romeo Giulia Qadrifoglio GTA/GTAm

We really have a sweet tooth for cars like this, and the GTA and GTAm are certainly the most indulging models in Alfa Romeo’s current lineup. This hardcore version of the Alfa Romeo Giulia can be had standard with Sabelt six-point harnesses, a roll bar taking the place of the rear seats, a more spartan interior, carbon fiber bucket seats, and a redesigned front splitter and rear wing. Designed to compete against the best and brightest from BMW M and Mercedes-AMG, the GTA is an exclusive variant of the Giulia of which only 500 units will be produced worldwide. The GTA and GTAm are about as track-ready as any production car can get, thanks to its up-tuned 540 hp Ferrari-derived engine, and its insanely aggressive aerodynamic and chassis upgrades. It’s ready to dominate the track. It’s exclusive. It’s quite simply incredible.

Alfa Romeo GTV

Alfa Romeo GTV Render

Ok, so the Alfa Romeo GTV isn’t out just yet – but it will be, and you can already put a deposit on one (meaning you can technically buy one today). The brand new GTV looks set to really inject some energy into Alfa Romeo’s lineup, especially with the 4C now discontinued. The (hopefully) inevitable Quadrifoglio model could be the one which brings the most fanfare, with a hybrid drivetrain rumored to be part of the car’s main infrastructure. Various other configurations, including a drop-top Spider version, would make the model more palatable to a broader audience. It should also feature similar powertrain offerings as the rest of the current line up, with a base version coming equipped with a 2.0L turbocharged four-banger. Further up the chain, the inevitable Quadrifoglio trim will offer the more powerful (and possibly hybridized) 2.9L twin-turbocharged engine. All indications point to this being a proper car from Alfa Romeo.

Best Naturally Aspirated Cars Ever Made

Top 20 Naturally Aspirated Cars Ever

As a preamble, it is important to note the context and the era in which this list is being created. The automotive industry has already begun its transition towards a future dominated by electrically powered vehicles, with the vast majority of automakers aiming to have their entire lineups at the bare minimum, hybridized, before the turn of this decade.

Going back just a little further, the wheels were already in motion for the sweeping changes we’re seeing today. It can be argued that the first step towards a more fuel-efficient (and eventually, fuel-less) future started with the mass proliferation of turbocharged engines. For long before that, turbochargers were perceived as a centerpiece for many high-performance sports cars, which hardly had a reputation for being eco-friendly. However, with improvements in technology, their application evolved to that of a more widespread and economical nature.

We’ve already crested over the peak of this transition period in recent times; the likes of Ferrari and Porsche forgoing naturally aspirated engines in favor of the more emissions-friendly, forced-fed power plants. Today, we’re seeing the EV and high-performance hybrid taking the stage. The absence of the naturally aspirated automobile leaves a gaping void; one which will likely never be filled.

Suffice to say, the process of phasing out of the naturally aspirated engine has been long and drawn out but hardly subtle nor evitable. Now that process looks to be on a trajectory that is accelerating exponentially with perpetual improvements to EV technology, driven by the acknowledgement and acceptance of this changeover on a global scale.

This has brought us to a stage of reminiscing and nostalgia; our favorite atmospherically-strung power plants are soon to be a thing of the past. There was, is, and always will be, a lot to love about the most iconic NA cars ever produced – astronomically high revs, a satisfyingly linear power delivery, unparalleled aural soundtracks, instantaneous throttle response, underappreciated durability, and some of the world’s most epic displays of technology on four wheels.

Here are some of the best naturally aspirated cars made, ever, in no particular order.

Ferrari 812 Superfast

The Ferrari 812 Superfast is the successor to the Ferrari F12 and is now the company’s fastest front-engined GT Car. Wrapped in a curvaceous Italian body and paired to one of the greatest chassis we have ever experienced, the 812 Superfast is one for the ages.

The 812 Superfast carries a new 6.5L V12 engine that delivers an astounding 789 hp @ 8,500 rpm and a maximum torque of 718 Nm @ 7,000 rpm. The engine is still front-mid mounted, making the car that much more unique in the already crowded luxury grand touring segment. It can reach speeds of 340 km/h and can sprint from 0-100 km/h in just 2.9 seconds.

It features a 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox, advanced active aerodynamics, and four-wheel steering. Despite the controversy that is sometimes associated with a Ferrari engine sitting in front of the driver, the 812 Superfast remains an absolutely engaging and soul-satisfying Ferrari experience every single time you get into it. The perfect car. The perfect Ferrari.

Porsche 911 R / Speedster

Arguably the purest form of the 911 model range, the 2016 Porsche 119R pays homage to the brand’s epic heritage with the most modern of concoctions. Providing a manual transmission alternative for Porsche’s range-topping-naturally aspirated model is what the 911R is known best for, but it ends up being so much more than just that.

It is the perfect blend of spartanism and elegance that you can call upon in the crowded lineup of 911 models. The absence of outrageous aerodynamics purposes the car more for canyon runs than Nürburgring records, but that’s also the beauty of it. For those who want the absolute best of the 991-gen 911 – without the obligation of having to prove its value on the race track – the 911R is undoubtedly a very proper and special car. 

The 911 Speedster is spiritually the convertible version of the 911R, following the same purist principles as its coupé counterpart. Released in 2019, it has some slightly newer tech and a bit more power too. Its schematic has forged a 911 with a silhouette based on the 4S Cabriolet body, carbon fiber bits borrowed off the 911 R, and front and rear bumpers from the GT3 Touring. That is not to say that there aren’t any unique offerings on the Speedster, with its shorter, more inclined windshield frame and lower fly-line being amongst its exclusive features.

Honorable mention: The 997 GT3RS 4.0, for being the grandfather of these cars.

Honda S2000

For many years, Honda’s beloved roadster held the distinction of producing the most hp per liter of any car on the planet via its F20C engine. Despite being a convertible, the S2000 is renowned for its rigid chassis, which helps to provide one of the most raw driving experiences one can have in a production road car. The slick 6-speed manual – the only choice of transmission – was a perfect match to the car’s 2.0L VTEC powerplant, which produced 240 hp and revved all the way up to 9,000 rpm. Later variants of the S2000 featured a strokered 2.2L engine which delivered more power in the lower rev-range and had slightly shorter gearing to improve acceleration.

Speaking of nostalgia, the Honda S2000 has found a way to tug at many car lovers’ heartstrings, with the used market completely blowing up over the last 10 years. Many examples are going for prices near brand new MSRP, with newer and more rare models (such as the CR) commanding even higher amounts. The Honda S2000 embodies everything that is awesome about a naturally aspirated sports car that is built around the driver; and now, many enthusiasts and collectors alike are seeking to own their piece of its brilliant history.

Lexus LFA

The Lexus LFA features a naturally aspirated 4.8L V10 engine which produces 552 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque. That may seem rather modest in this age of 1,000 hp hypercars, but the LFA is more of an analog machine than most of those vehicles and is regarded by many as one of the best supercars from the last decade.

Lexus only made 500 units, and I assumed those 500 sold out quickly. I was wrong. Despite the fact that the automaker hasn’t produced the Lexus LFA since 2012, there are still seven brand new LFA models for sale in the US, according to CarscoopsWith all that said, the LFA came with one of the best V8s ever produced by a Japanese automaker. This makes the car ripe for following a similar fate to the Porsche Carrera GT, which didn’t sell well when it was first released before going on to establish a cult following many years later. I would imagine that someday these cars will be worth a lot more than their original MSRP. 

Dodge Viper ACR

Even if the Dodge Hellcat is hogging all the headlines these days, there’s always something you have to admire about the lunacy of having a two-seater sports car powered by a naturally aspirated 8.4L V10 engine. No, the Dodge Viper ACR doesn’t do subtlety very well. Yes, it does happen to fall under the ‘Old Testament’ definition of awesome.

With 640 hp and 600 lb-ft of torque being produced from that colossus of an all-aluminum engine, the Viper has the exhaust note of a semi-dormant volcano. It would make absolutely no sense at all if it weren’t just so damn fast.

Variants such as the SRT-10 and ACR-X took the road-going version of the car to the next level, with the latter being a turn-key, non-street legal race car that participates in Viper racing leagues around the world. The Dodge Viper SRT-10 in particular boasts more of what performance aficionados crave: kick-in-the-pants, throw-back-in-the-seat power, combined with benchmark braking, world-class ride and handling, a race-inspired interior, and bold exterior styling.

Ferrari 458 Italia

Collectively, the Ferrari 458 Italia is one of our most-loved vehicles here at supercars.net. You wouldn’t have to dive very deep to find out why that might be the case, as even just a cursory glance at the car is more than suggestive enough.

Whether it be its sleek and timeless Pininfarina design or its epic 562 hp naturally aspirated V8 engine with a 9,000 rpm redline; the 458 was destined for greatness the moment the first car drove off the production line. It has already become a modern classic. Let’s also mention that its F136-FB V8 engine provides one of the most thrilling soundtracks produced by any road-going vehicle out there, courtesy of an orchestra that octaves all the way to 9,000 rpm. Bellissima!

Such was the car’s influence that it would also go on to serve as the platform for the models which followed – namely, the 488 GTB and F8 Tributo – with the original spirit of the 458 Italia remaining intact and on full display through its successors.

Subsequent models and trims such as the Spider, Speciale and Challenge commanded varying degrees of premium in terms of performance, features, and price, over the original car.

Chevrolet Corvette C8 Z06

The C8 Corvette serves as an example of keeping things simple and going back to what worked best. The previous-gen C7 Corvette Z06 was the first of its kind to feature a supercharged version of its V8 engine. While this certainly made it the most powerful Z06 ever produced, the force-inducted unit was widely susceptible to overheating issues on the race track.

Chevrolet has already confirmed that their upcoming Z06 – based on the new mid-engined C8 platform – will be reverting back to a naturally aspirated power plant. This will undoubtedly address most of the shortcomings of the outgoing Z06 and make it much more viable for track use.

While many Corvette enthusiasts were hoping for a return of the monstrous 7.0L naturally aspirated LS7 engine from the C6 generation, we’re currently being told to expect a 5.5L V8 flat-plane crank engine which will redline at close to 9,000 rpm and produce roughly 650 hp – around the same as the C7’s supercharged unit. This smaller, lighter engine will be an essential part of the new Corvette’s mid-ship design, and we can’t wait to see it.

Honorable mention: The C6 Corvette, for reminding Chevy that less can still do more.

BMW E36 M3

BMW has a long history of building amazing cars and an equally long history of powering those cars with awesome engines. There isn’t just one path to producing a great engine, and the folks at BMW have shown over the years that they are adept at trying new things and experimenting with technology to great effect.

The E36 M3 was the model that really launched BMW’s M division to the masses. It targeted the executive buyer who wanted performance but in a tamer package than the original E30 (which was more of a true enthusiast’s car). The second iteration of the M3 brought classiness and refinement that the first generation didn’t deliver.

With a 240 hp 3.0L naturally aspirated inline-6 that was silky smooth and rock-solid, the car had plenty of low-end power and was easy to drive right off the bat. Our pick of the lot is for the 1996 model year cars; the engines were upgraded to a 3.2L displacement, producing the same horsepower but with more torque than the original unit.

Honorable mention: The E30 M3 and E46 M3, for being almost as cool.

Honda Integra Type R

Known for producing legendary naturally aspirated engines and front-wheel-drive cars in its heyday, Honda built the Integra Type R to have both of those things. Nimble like a go-kart and durable like… well, a Honda… the Integra Type R was a popular choice for the weekend racer on a budget. The DC2 platform (1996-2001) is certainly the most popular, with its 4-cylinder B18C5 VTEC engine able to produce 197 hp @8,000 rpm and 130 lb-ft of torque @ 5,700 rpm.  Already a classic because of these inherent characteristics, the Integra Type R is becoming a bit of a collector’s car.

Like the Honda S2000, the aforementioned DC2 ITR has created a bubble in the used marketplace, with many examples currently going for astronomically high prices. The newer DC5 (2001-2005) Integra Type R variants are far less popular as a whole, although their engines (K20A) are often swapped into the DC2 platforms. While the idea of doing so would irk preservationists, the K20A / DC2 combo is widely considered to be an all-around performance upgrade.

McLaren F1

Launched in 1992, the McLaren F1 would go on to revolutionize the supercar industry with many of its core characteristics still referenced in the production of today’s most exotic vehicles. It paved the way for increasingly mainstream use of materials such as carbon fiber, kevlar, and titanium in sports cars and was the first production car to use a monocoque chassis.

Designed by the legendary Gordon Murray, who had one goal in mind, the McLaren F1 was built to be the fastest and best-handling production car in the world. Namely, the ultimate road car – one that is enjoyable in everyday conditions while still at the zenith of road car performance.

To plug Honda and its enthusiasts, Murray has been less than coy when it comes to where he drew his inspiration for the creation of the F1. Indeed, it was the Honda NSX that set the precedence and direction for the F1 and its overall design directive, ultimately having a profound effect on the end product.

Furthermore, Murray initially wanted to leverage McLaren’s relationship with the Japanese automaker and had initially envisioned Honda supplying the engine for the McLaren F1. However, they would end up partnering with BMW’s M Division to commission a power plant exact to Murray’s desired specifications – he wanted an engine with at least 4.5L in a V10 or V12 configuration and without forced induction. 

This collaboration would end up being the catalyst in creating one of the best engines ever made – a naturally aspirated 6.1L V12 with 627-horsepower. Throughout the project, Murray was adamant about not using turbochargers or superchargers to achieve those figures, as he felt that this would help in emulating the resilience of the Honda NSX’s immensely reliable motor.

Ford Mustang GT350

The Shelby GT350 is a powerful yet nimble version of the Mustang that is equally at home on the race track as it is on the city streets. One of its most remarkable traits is its super high revving 5.2L V8 engine which redlines at an astronomical 8,250 rpm. The sport-tuned suspension is very capable on the circuit but refined enough for daily use.

The GT350R is available for those who prefer to have a more hardcore track-toy or weekend warrior via an even firmer chassis and a set of lighter carbon fiber wheels. Arguably better than its faster supercharged big brother, as it is a more balanced unit, with the NA engine making for a better feeling experience.

Our favorite version of the GT350 / GT350 R is the Heritage Edition. Ken Miles is best-known for driving the Ford GT at Le Mans to help Ford beat Ferrari. However, Miles also raced a 1965 Ford Mustang GT350 fastback on occasion. To commemorate this, Ford has rolled out a new Shelby GT350 and GT350 R in the same colors colorways as Miles’ race car. The car features a Wimbledon White paint job with Guardsman Blue stripes. The car also gets GT350 rocker lettering at the rear.

Lamborghini Aventador SVJ

In late July 2018, the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ became the latest production car to break the lap record at the legendary testing ground that is the Nürburgring Nordschleife. It would be more than a month later before the car was officially unveiled to the public, during Monterey Car Week taking place in Pebble Beach, California. It was going to take nothing short of special to dethrone the Porsche 911 GT2 RS, and Lamborghini’s new flagship car is something beyond even that.

Becoming a production car lap record holder at the ‘Ring takes a lot more than just a flashy paint job and hype. To power it’s way around this treacherous course, the Aventador SVJ employs a naturally aspirated 6.5L V12 engine which delivers 770-horsepower at 8,500 rpm and 530 lb-ft of torque at 6,750 rpm to its all-wheel-drive system. It is able to do 0-100 km/h in only 2.8 seconds and has a top speed of over 349 km/h.

With the prolific use of carbon fiber and lightweight materials throughout the car, the SVJ weighs only 1,525 kg. Four-wheel steering remains a feature on the SVJ, and it also benefits from suspension upgrades over the regular Aventador to improve overall mechanical grip, rigidity, and driving feel. Production numbers of the Aventador SVJ will be limited to just 900 units (which is includes the special edition SVJ 63).

Lamborghini Huracán STO

No Lamborghini model range would be complete without a healthy serving of special editions and one-off versions, and this is certainly no different when it comes to the Huracán. While it doesn’t yet boast the plethora of uber-rare cars that its predecessor (the Gallardo) can, special edition models are coming in thick and fast as we approach the final 3 years of the Huracán era.

The Lamborghini Huracán STO is the latest of this batch and also functions as the latest track-focused variant of the Huracán. Too hardcore to simply be considered a replacement for the Performanté (of which an Evo version is likely on the way), the STO possesses remarkable aerodynamic features such as a roof snorkel and extra-large rear wing. Carbon bucket seats with race harnesses also come standard.   

The 2021 Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo Omologata (STO) is inspired by the Huracán Evo Super Trofeo race car developed by Lamborghini’s motorsport division – Squadra Corse – to run in its own competitive race series. The key difference between the two cars is that the STO is completely street-legal.

The STO has clearly been made to carve up any race track, which is highlighted by a 5.2L naturally aspirated V10 engine that produces 640 hp and is mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission sending power to the rear wheels. Around a lap, the STO will be the fastest street-legal Huracán by a considerable margin. The base price is listed at US$334,133, with the first deliveries expected to arrive later in 2021.

Honorable mention: The Huracán Performanté, for being the basis upon which the new Evo variants and the STO were inspired.

Aston Martin One-77

Probably the least well-known car on this list – as there were only 77 ever produced – the One-77 is considered to be Aston Martin’s ultimate expression of design, engineering, and craftsmanship. The proverbial blank check along with the green light to do as they sought fit…if you will.

After three years of teasers and prototypes, Aston Martin put the One-77 into production in early 2011. This completely hand-built supercar was boldly marketed as an alternative to the Bugatti Veyron. The 7.3L naturally aspirated V12 engine was based on the power plant used in the DB9 and was designed by engine builder Cosworth. Producing 750 hp and 750 Nm of torque, the One-77 was the most powerful naturally aspirated road car in the world when it was first released.

Porsche Carrera GT

The Porsche Carrera GT has become one of the most iconic and sought-after Porsche models in the realm of exotic car idolization and ownership. It is hard to believe that things didn’t really start off that way.

When the Porsche Carrera GT was released in 2004, it was anticipated to stir up plenty of fervor. It certainly had all the attributes to do so. It was a mid-engined V10 hypercar – one of the first to be considered a step beyond supercar status – and introduced a variety of industry-first technologies and features to the production car market.It was hard to argue against the Carrera GT having the performance, appearance, and stature to justify its $440,000 USD price tag when brand new.

Nevertheless, Porsche dealerships would have a difficult time selling them despite costing over $200,000 USD less than a new Ferrari Enzo; the Carrera GT’s intended target and rival. The slower than forecasted sales are likely the cause for Porsche ending production after just 1,270 units. Though a run of 1,500 units were originally planned, the German marque went on record to blame “changing airbag regulations” for their decision to ax the car. Thankfully, this turn of events would not prove ominous for the Porsche Carrera GT over the long run. In fact, quite the opposite.

Interestingly enough, we can thank the ongoing technological advancements taking place in the automotive industry for the Porsche Carrera GT’s resurgence into the limelight. Besides being equipped with a wicked state-of-the-art, naturally aspirated, 612 hp engine which was ahead of its time, the Carrera GT was otherwise an extremely analog machine, and it is this very characteristic that would elevate its appeal over time. This was helped on mainly by the fact that since the Porsche Carrera GT was released, the exotic car landscape has shifted dramatically to the production of more user-friendly, technologically refined, and easy-to-live-with supercars – the fastest for the masses, if you will.

Ferrari Enzo

Branding race-derived technology to road cars is not a new idea, especially to Ferrari. Up until the late 1950s, Ferrari’s road cars and racing cars were essentially the same product. Since that time, safety regulations, manufacturing costs, and practicality have more clearly distinguished the cars we race from the cars we drive on the streets. The goal of the Enzo was to bridge this gap.

Racing-inspired technology lays the foundation of the Ferrari Enzo. As such, the chassis is built from carbon fiber and aluminum honeycomb panels, forming a rigid tub. At the center of the chassis is an all-new, 12-cylinder naturally aspirated engine. Dubbed the F140, it is one of the largest Ferrari engines, only being eclipsed by the Can-Am units. Having such a large displacement allows the Enzo to deliver a healthy amount of torque; specifically, 137 ft-lb more than the F50 and at 1,000 rpm sooner. Despite the engine’s large displacement, it still manages to achieve 110 hp per liter, thanks to many variable systems.

With no hybrid setup, no turbochargers, and no dual-clutch transmission, the Ferrari Enzo is the last old-school Ferrari supercar before those dang hypercars came around. It is also the last naturally aspirated Ferrari supercar, with a wonderful 6.0L V12 that just screams. With 650 hp, a claimed 0-60 mph time of 3.1 seconds, and a top speed of 217 mph, the Enzo had performance figures that spoke for themselves. The Enzo’s sharp detailing and Formula 1-derived aerodynamics look just as good today as they did back then. It’s  a tough car to drive fast, and that’s what we love about it – a true old-school supercar.

Honorable mention:  The Pagani Zonda for sharing the same engine.

Ferrari F12berlinetta

The most exciting car to be announced by Ferrari in 2012 was the F12berlinetta. It is the third-gen Ferrari GT which follows the 599 GTB Fiorano and 550 Maranello and would be eventually become the predecessor of the 812 Superfast also mentioned in this list. When released, Ferrari called it the fastest Ferrari ever built and cited a lap time around the Fiorano test track of 1:23.

A highlight of the car is its 65º V12 engine which produces 750 hp without the aid of turbochargers or superchargers. This unit uses variable timing and direct gasoline injection for improved efficiency. Power is sent to the rear wheels through a dual-clutch transmission and an active electronic differential.

In 2015, Ferrari revealed the F12tdf which pays homage to the Tour de France – the legendary endurance road race that Ferrari dominated in the 1950s and 1960s, particularly with the 1956 250 GT Berlinetta which won four consecutive editions in a row. The F12tdf shares the same engine with the F12berlinetta and is the ultimate expression of an extreme road car that is equally at home on the track. Only 799 were built.

Mercedes Benz AMG SLS Black Series

Inspired by the SLS AMG GT3 racing version, the fifth Black Series model from Mercedes-AMG boasts a fascinating mix of breath-taking design, outstanding driving dynamics, and uncompromising lightweight construction. The Black Series features a 6.3L naturally aspirated V8 engine which produces 631 hp @ 7,400 rpm and accelerates the most iconic ‘gullwing model from 0-100 km/h in just 3.6 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 315 km/h.

The Black Series’ engine is an improvement over the one found inside the regular AMG SLS in many key areas; the redline was increased from 7,200 to 8,000 rpm, revised camshafts were installed, restrictions were reduced, and the ECU retuned. As a front mid-engine configuration, the power plant was mounted behind the front axle, which helps to provide a weight distribution that is favorable to high-performance driving.

Audi R8 V10

The Audi R8 underwent a facelift recently. It now has more aggressive styling. It’s the best looking the R8 has ever been. The front fascia is different, and it has new side skirts, a new rear bumper, a new rear diffuser, and a new spoiler. Inside, the cabin looks more or less the same.

For the 2021 model year, Audi has announced that the R8 will be permanently available in the rear-wheel drive configuration going forward. The 532 hp rear-wheel-drive R8 takes its place in the lineup as the entry-level R8 variant; if you want Quattro, you will have to opt for the Performance model. Both variants continue to be powered by a 5.2L naturally aspirated V10 engine. Thanks to the rear-wheel-drive now being the standard offering, the base price of the car is almost $30,000 lower than the previous year – making the Audi R8 as attractive a buy as perhaps it has ever been.

If the regular R8 is not enough, you can make the jump to the Audi R8 V10 Performance and get 602 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque. Naturally, all-wheel-drive continues to come standard in this trim, although this year makes for a more significant case with the elimination of Quattro in the non-Performance (now known as RWD) version. The power bump and addition of all-wheel drive go a long way to padding the performance figures in a desirable fashion, with the 0 to 60 mph time down to 3.2 seconds and top speed up to 205 mph. The Audi R8 has always been a true performer, and now it looks better than ever, too.

Gordon Murray Automotive T.50

The T.50 represents a culmination of Gordon Murray’s lifetime of aerodynamics, design, engineering, and Formula 1 experience. He was the original architect of the McLaren F1; to this day, still one of the greatest cars, let alone supercars, ever made. Ok, so the T.50 isn’t the F1. However, Murray himself said, “It’s not £20 million, so I point out to customers this is a car that delivers the same experience [as the F1], but better in every way, and with an 80 percent discount.” Well…when you put it that way, the GMA T.50‘s $2.6 million sticker price sounds like a steal.

According to EVO, the T.50 features a naturally-aspirated V12 engine that was built by the well-known engine developer Cosworth. This engine powers the rear wheels through a traditional six-speed manual transmission. It offers a 3.98L displacement, a 12,100 rpm redline, and will act as a stressed member of the chassis. There is, though, a 48-volt mild hybrid system that will work in tandem with the V12, producing a combined output of about 700 hp. While this technically means that the T.50 isn’t naturally aspirated by the letter of the law, the 12,000 rpm redline tells us that we ought to let this one slide.