Beautifully styled and designed to provide an unforgettable driving experience, luxury sports cars are fast, fun and fabulous. Unfortunately, they're also frequently impractical, heavy on fuel and pricey. That said, it's free to dream, so why not take a look at some of the truly magnificent high-end sports cars currently on the market?
1. Nissan Z
When you buy a Nissan Z, you're buying into more than fifty years of motoring heritage. The Z has a beefy V6 3l twin-turbo engine (298.2 kW/475Nm), providing plenty of power when it's needed. This is a sports car that can trace its ancestry right back to Nissan's Datsun days when the Datsun Fairlady roadster hit the streets back in the 1960s.
The current Nissan Z benefits from rave reviews about its driving performance. If you like to drive and want a car that you can chuck about a little without risking life and limb, the Z fits the bill. It's also surprisingly affordable - prices start at $73,300. The limited Proto Spec version will set you back around $80,700.
2. Mercedes AMG GT C Roadster
Few vehicles epitomise the term "luxury sports car" like the GT C Roadster. This is a stunning car that blends exceptional styling with serious performance. The 4l bi-turbo V8 engine delivers 410kW and up to 680Nm of torque. Design features include an impressive composite braking system, the AMG Speedshift DCT 7G transmission, a lightweight, aluminium frame and an electronic stability programme. These innovations result in a car that has responsive handling and the capacity to travel quickly and safely in a range of environments.
Mercedes offers a number of different add-on packages. These enable owners to customise their roadster as required.
If you fancy splashing out on this roadster, prices start at around $406,902.
3. Ford Mustang
Another sports car with 1960s roots, the Mustang's powerful engine and iconic styling make it an irresistible choice for dedicated petrolheads. The 2022 version benefits from many upgrades and improvements. For example, drivers can now choose between the traditional 5.0l V8 (339kW/556Nm) and a more civilised 2.3l Ecoboost engine (231kW/406Nm). There are also some handy tech innovations, including push-button start, voice-activated infotainment and FordPass. FordPass is a Smart phone activated remote locking and unlocking system that can also be used for climate control.
Prices for a 2022 Ford Mustang start at $51,490, rising to $83,241 for a top-of-the-range option.
4. Porsche 911 GTS
Porsche is well-known as a sports car manufacturer, and for good reason! For 2022, Porsche has reinvented the 911, providing it with an appealing GTS makeover. In addition, there is an improved suspension system, a tech upgrade and the option of a Sports Design package. The flat-six, twin-turbo, 3l engine provides 353kw/570Nm of power, ensuring the 911 absolutely flies. Reviewers love the performance, describing it as "peerless", "effortless" and "sensational".
It's the little touches that make a big difference. Porsche 911 drivers can match their seatbelts to the paintwork colour, for example, or invest in a colour-coded key! As you would expect from a sports car that starts from $334,000, it's supremely comfortable and well-equipped.
5. Lotus Emira
The Emira is an exciting addition to the luxury sports car class. This is likely to be the last petrol car Lotus makes, and it's a good one. . Intriguingly, the engines incorporated in the Emira are made by other manufacturers. The 3.5l V6 (294kW /420Nm) is a souped-up Toyota engine; a second engine option, a 2l 4-cylinder option (268kW) available later this year comes from Mercedes AMG.
Great to drive, the Emira is also pleasantly spacious and includes plenty of little details that set this car apart. At around $184,990, this is a competitively priced luxury option that offers great value.
6. McLaren Autura
Historically McLaren hasn't had a big presence here, but that's set to change with the arrival of the Autura - a hybrid roadster that fuses impressive driving performance with a greener approach to motoring. The 3l, V6 engine delivers 500kW and 720Nm and is teamed with an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
The Autura has typical McLaren lines, complemented by a high-end interior that's been created with sustainability in mind; rather than leather, for example, the interior is upholstered in Alcantara, a carbon neutral, synthetic substitute.
At $449,500, the Autura isn't cheap, but given the performance of other McLaren supercars, it's almost definitely worth it.
7. Mazda MX-5
One of the best things about the MX-5 is the amount of big sports car fun it provides on a relatively puny budget. With prices starting at a modest $36,090 for a base-spec version, this nippy Mazda puts exhilarating motoring within the reach of a wide audience. The 2l engine may not be the biggest out there, but clever engineering and a lightweight chassis mean the MX-5 can certainly hold its own.
The 2022 version has been slightly tweaked, but much of the traditional styling (which is impeccable) and the fundamental design concepts remain the same. There is a reason the MX-5 is the best-selling two-seater sports car in the world!
8. Chevrolet Corvette
Although Chevrolet doesn't have a formal presence here, it's still possible to have one imported through a private sale. If big, bold and bright are your priorities, the Corvette is an absolute must. Eye-searing paint options, a low, wide profile and a thunderous V8 engine combine to create a sports car that's an American legend.
Reviewers rave about its performance and handling, comparing it favourably with offerings from high-calibre manufacturers such as Ferrari. A high-spec interior and plenty of tech add to this car's appeal - US prices start at around $62,295 USD (about $90,316).
9. Alpine A110
Brim full of European style, the Alpine A110 combines a nostalgic look with contemporary performance. Famed for its lightweight, aluminium chassis (the Alpine weighs just 1,100kg), the Alpine features a 1.8l, turbo-charged 4-cylinder (185kW/320Nm) engine that provides plenty of torque for such a diminutive vehicle.
Alpine enthusiasts love the driving position, the responsive controls and the Sabelt seat belts. Although some critics feel the interior lacks the high-end feel of the Emira (the Alpine's closest rival), its comfort and performance mean the final choice between the two will probably come down to personal preference.
A new Alpine A110 will cost around $77,300.
10. BMW Z4
Perhaps more of a roadster than a sports car, the BMW Z4 is a beautifully crafted vehicle that showcases solid engineering and high-quality design. This BMW is powered by a 2.0l turbo 4-cylinder engine (135kw 270Nm) alongside a Steptronic Sport transmission. The Z4 combines space and comfort with a fair amount of speed - reviewers commented on how smooth the ride is, even over challenging road surfaces.
Prices for a 2022 BMW Z4 range between $84,900.00 and $133,900.
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