Here is the definitive top 5 list of the best sports cars currently on sale, each with a compelling reason to take top spot – but only one can claim the throne…
When picturing a modern sports car, you might imagine anything from alightweight track carora modern hot hatchbackto a mid-engined two-seater or a front-engined grand touring coupé.
For the purposes of this top 5 chart, however, we can narrow our terms of reference down a bit: Caterham Sevens, Ferrari 488s, Audi R8s, Alpine A110s and BMW M cars are ranked and dealt with elsewhere. Here, we’re interested in full-sized, fulsomely endowed, dedicated sports cars with rich and enticing multi-cylinder engines priced between about $60,000 and $120,000. Only grown-up, big-hitting, multifaceted and purpose-built options get in.
Front, midand rear-engined offerings are included, likewise rear-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive layouts, and open and closed cockpits. There are plenty of routes towards the level of indulgent performance, vivid handling poise, immersive driver engagement and character you’d expect of a true sports car, after all. But which should you take – and why?
- Morgan Plus Six
The past few years have been transformative years for the Morgan Motor Company. After being family owned and operated until its 110th birthday, the company is now majority privately owned and has just launched its first new car in nearly two decades: the Plus Six.
Built on an all-new box-section aluminum monocoque chassis with double the stiffness of the older Aero Plus Eight series, the Plus Six uses the same BMW inline-six turbocharged petrol engine you’ll find in the Toyota GR Supra. . And since the 335 horsepower it produces drives a car that weighs half a ton less than a Jaguar F-Type, you can believe this car is fast.
It’s also quite dynamically sophisticated, though nuanced by the fact that it’s a Morgan – and it would have been a big mistake to tune this car to feel particularly modern or wise. Electromechanical power steering makes the Plus Six lighter on the rim and easier to handle than the Morgans of yore, while the apparent structural integrity feels pretty good on bumps and bumps sharper and even better than the Morgans. of yesteryear – although still quite far from Porsche territory.
The Plus Six always offers more motivation, charm and a sense of occasion than outright grip and handling agility – maybe as it should. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience, however, and in an increasingly dining-hungry market, it is well positioned to deliver as much business to Pickersleigh Road as it believes it is right to stock.
- Lexus LC
As an avid pilot, you feel inclined to advocate for the LC. It has a superbly charismatic and sympathetic V8 engine, while the balance, dynamism, handling sometimes make it feel more of a natural rival for the Jaguar F-Type or Porsche 911 than the mix of great sports tourism with two and four doors. that Lexus identifies as its real adversaries. Hence its inclusion here.
The LC feels big, heavy, lead-footed, and a bit bulky on the road at times, so you never quite escape a feeling of ambivalence towards it. On the song, his V8 engine is extremely special, and on a smooth surface, his agility and poise are quite something. Likewise, the cabin, while remarkably luxurious, demands a lot of storage space, while the car’s touring credentials are undermined by a particularly obnoxious secondary drive.
Ultimately, depending on how moved by its virtues or annoyed by its flaws you are, LC is either a bit of a rough diamond or the dreaded priest’s egg. For us, it is much closer to the first.
- Audi TT RS
There’s nothing small or modest about Audi’s five-pot TT RS, except maybe its size. This top-of-the-line compact coupe has a powerful five-cylinder engine with 395 horsepower and, in higher trims, priced over £ 60,000. Thanks to the ” quattro ” four-wheel drive, it can go 60mph in comfortably under 4.0 seconds, and if you pay extra, it’ll run up to 174mph. That’s right: this is a 170 mph Audi TT. What a brilliantly deranged idea.
The appeal of the car’s ” chi-chi ” design probably doesn’t have the same appeal among cars like this as it does among the Mazda MX5s and Toyota GT86s, and neither is the car. most versatile or engaging driver in this class. The four-wheel-drive layout allows for a slight lack of balance when cornering at the throttle at the limit of grip, with the TT RS’s controls feeling slightly distant and over-filtered.
On the other hand, of course, these controls and stability-oriented handling make the TT RS a particularly efficient sports car, and one of the most notable giant slayers in the sports car segment, with regard to point-to-point terrain. coverage speed.
- Nissan GT-R
No matter how long the tooth he has grown, Godzilla will feel unhealthy until his last day. If you expect real-world speed from your sports car in all conditions, nothing does better under £ 100,000 than Nissan’s ‘fastest brick in the world’: the incredible and tireless GT-R .
But then, speed is probably not all you want in a modern sports car, and Nissan knows it. So he’s tried to make the GT-R a more rounded, luxurious, and mature mentalist of a device over the past few years and revisions – and it’s made a difference, although not a big one.
Delicacy and subtlety are no longer the specialties of this car now than before, but, compared to the increasingly digital cars being launched around and about it, the GT-R offers more charm than ever. And, in the case of the top-level Nismo version (see our Super Sports Car rating), it now offers serious track compatibility as well.
- Lotus Evora
A decade has passed since the introduction of Lotus’s mid-engined Porsche 2 + 2 fighter, the Evora; 2022 will be the car’s last year of production.
At the time of its introduction, the car brought many qualities to embrace but also flaws to regret. Today it retains a chassis and steering system that both deserve maximum billing. Few sports cars have such immersive and positive steering or a compromise of ride and handling so suited to life on British roads, and this is especially true now that Hethel has introduced the cheaper and smoother GT 410 to complement it. the GT 410 Sport.
However, what was questionable about the larger Evora ownership case in 2009 has simply become decidedly problematic for her now. This Lotus never really got the powertrain its chassis deserved. Although Hethel now evokes up to 430 horsepower thanks to Toyota’s supercharged V6, the earthy transmission of the Evora remains the limit of your pleasure.
A particularly small boot would make weekend getaways difficult, while a tight, unapproachable and relatively outdated interior pushes the limits of acceptability over the simplicity of a modern £ 80,000 sports car.
Still, if you can find a way to enjoy it, you’ll savor every drive in an Evora. Rare are the cars that mix the absolutely brilliant and the insufficient in such a striking way.