Sports cars are one of the simplest ways to discover true driving enjoyment. Where many other cars pride themselves on the space and efficiency they offer, sports cars are single-mindedly focused on delivering the maximum amount of fun and style.
We’re not talking about Ferraris or McLarens though – the best sports cars should be simple, lightweight and (relatively) cheap too. So which cars fit the bill better than the rest? We’ve rounded up the eight of the finest on the market.
The Mercedes SLK was the car which really kicked off the folding hardtop convertible craze and, as a result, provides a level of security most other sports cars can’t match. While the roof mechanism makes it a little heavier than some rivals, the SLK is still an entertaining car to throw along a twisty road. If you opt for the 421hp SLK 55 AMG, you’ll gain speed at a truly alarming rate…
If you’re looking for a classy, well made and stylish convertible capable of occasionally letting its hair down (while ruffling your own) then look no further.
Pop the Mercedes SLK in our car configurator to see how much carwow could help you save.
Nissan 370Z Roadster
The Nissan 370Z offers a refreshing and exciting drive. A 328hp 3.7-litre V6 delivers a 0-62mph time of 5.3 seconds with a raw howl that’s all the easier to appreciate thanks to the lack of a roof.
It’s a little on the heavy side compared to some rivals, making it feel like slightly more of a blunt instrument at times. But it’s all the better for it – there isn’t much else on the market which feels like a 370Z.
Spec up a Nissan 370Z in our car configurator to see the discounts available.
Alfa Romeo 4C Spider
If you’re keen to make an entrance, there are few other sports cars that can match the drama of the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider. It’s low, wide, and very, very eye-catching.
It’s also one of the most advanced cars on this list, too. Constructed around a race-car style carbon fibre tub, you’d have to spend comfortably more than double the 4C’s asking price to find this advanced technology elsewhere. It isn’t just a pub fact to impress the mates with either – it results in a very low kerb weight, allowing the fairly modest 240hp 1.75-litre turbo return supercar-baiting performance figures.
Choose your perfect Alfa Romeo 4C in our car configurator to see what offers are available.
Audi TT Roadster
When Audi released the first TT back in 1998, it was clear the marque was on to a winner straight away. It didn’t matter what it was like to drive – it was just so damn pretty.
Now in its third generation, the striking looks remain, but it’s better to drive than ever. The highly versatile chassis from the Volkswagen Golf GTI is a great platform for the TT Roadster. It’s sharp and exciting on the road, while more powerful versions provide the security of quattro four-wheel drive.
Look up the Audi TT in our configurator to see what discounts carwow could help you get.
If it had nothing else, Jaguar’s F-Type would still be easy for the marque to sell – it’s one of the best looking cars ever made. Thankfully for F-Type owners, it’s much more than a pretty face – it handles with plenty of agility and its range of engines are among the most dramatic units you can currently buy.
A 3.0-litre supercharged V6 petrol in two states of tune makes up the lower end of the range but, for those with a penchant for excess, Jaguar offers its 5.0-litre supercharged V8. This unit makes such an aggressive roar, you’re in danger of scaring the lions should you pass a nearby zoo.
See what discounts are offered by putting the Jaguar F-Type in our car configurator.
Sports cars don’t come much more simple, raw and visceral than the Lotus Elise. Only bare minimum equipment is included to keep weight down – you get a radio and carpets, but that’s about it. Combine this with an aluminium chassis and a fibreglass body and the entry-level Elise weighs only 876kg – comfortably less than even city cars like the Volkswagen Up.
Throw in a mid-mounted 1.6-litre petrol engine producing 134hp, and it’ll beat all but the most potent of hot hatches from 0 to 62mph. They’d struggle to see which way it went on a twisty road, too. Realistically, it’s too visceral to be an everyday prospect but, if you ever get the chance, you have to try one!
As a car designed to prioritise fun above anything else, there’s little which can compete with the Mazda MX-5. Its combination of reliability, comfort and bargain price make it a compelling proposition.
The latest MX-5 is due to go on sale later in 2015, and we’d suggest planning your order as soon as you can, otherwise you’ll be waiting for a very long time…
The principles behind the Porsche Boxster’s brilliance are surprisingly straightforward. Mount a flat-six engine – displacing 2.7 or 3.4 litres depending on spec – behind the driver, and send power to the rear wheels. Combine this with a rigid chassis and perfectly judged handling, and wrap in an instantly recognisable body and luxurious interior.
Add these attributes together and you’re left with a beautifully balanced, exciting, fast and stylish sports car. If you’re able to get your hands on one of the GTS versions, you’ll be about as close to sports car perfection as you can get.