The Sports Car. An automotive stamp of prestige and authority, stealing the wistful gaze of pedestrians and commuters as one slips into the side lane. Before notching up Mustangs, Supra’s and WRX’s, let’s nail down the definition of a sports car. The SC pedigree demands two door, two seat configurations, plenty of horsepower and cutting edge features, curves and designs. Sit back and let your engines rumble, as we count down our top five sports brands on the racing and domestic streets today.
Maserati is beginning to live up to its legacy, weeding out temperamental issues and producing an exotic, sleek ride. The Maserati Sports Coupe 2013 is sterling example of how far a little modification can go, modestly tweaking aesthetics while delving into engine performance. A powerful 4.7 litre engine pumps into life, supporting 453hp and 384 of torque, revamped pistons, updated engine mapping and cutting edge ignition timing. Leather flourishes, seat warming and MC Auto shift round out the features, making the latest addition to the Maserati family top dog in its segment.
Porsche have been developing reliable, luxurious sports entries for almost a century, since Ferdinand Porsche founded the company in 1931, though it didn’t take the name until after the second World War. The Porsche Boxster is burned into the dreams of sports car fanatics worldwide, attracting muted awe and affection. The Boxster isn’t just a car, it’s an institution. The 2013 Porsche Boxster is a masterpiece of steel, torque and embellishments; perfectly weighted and highly agile, road testers everywhere are excited by the myriad of options presented by Porsche, from engine size to wheel width, making this cost effective machine customisable and elegant.
Jaguar, acquired by luxury 4WD company Land Rover in late 2012, seduces SC devotees with luscious lines, fuel economy and market value. Since sputtering on the starting line in 2007, reviews of Jaguar SF have returned to the favourable end of the spectrum, spouting an external makeover and optimised features. The 2.2 litre engine revs out 140KW at 3500rpm, promising minimal torque at 450N at 2000rpm – while speed freaks might not be entirely satisfied, two turbocharges ensure the right balance of punch and panache disappears down the exhaust pipe. 0 to 100 in just under 9 seconds? Yes, please.
Lotus consistently delivers affordable, agile and light-weight models, placed front and centre of any mid-range collection. The Elise is the lynch pin in Lotus’s wider market success, varying the design and interiors only slightly to keep up with modern tastes and feature demands. Though developers went back to the drawing board to perfect the overall drivability, they discovered it wasn’t possible to fix a perfect piece of motorised engineering, with its supercharged, 6-speed engine.
Whether you’re dreaming of your first sports car or considering yourself an enterprising collector, the sheer range of models and styles available will inspire fiscal flexibility. Some models attract low depreciation values, almost cancelling out the seemingly exorbitant expenditure – a sports car is not a means to an end, but a four wheeled investment, transforming what it means to drive your car.
Mark has been an engineer for 3 years and is a complete rev head. He has 2 cars to his name, and his past time hobbies include redoing old cars, travelling, going to car shows and writing blogs about cars.