If you’ve been lucky in life, or just like admiring the most exciting cars on the planet, here’s our list of the best supercars on sale
The word ‘supercar’ has been used in its current sense since the 1960s, with the Lamborghini Miura generally considered to be the first such vehicle. And while no concrete definition ‘supercar’ has ever been officially adopted, it has been said that a mid-engined two-seater with at least eight cylinders, making 400hp or more and being capable of at least 180mph fits the bill.
Times, naturally, change: the current Ferrari 296 GTB is two cylinders short of the requirements set out above yet is unquestionably a supercar, while the electric Rimac Nevera doesn’t have a single cylinder – though the Rimac is generally considered to be a hypercar, which is the term we turned to when the speed and performance offered by performance cars exceeded the reins of the word ‘super’.
Yet rather than get twisted with categorisation criteria (it would be a tough to make the argument that the four-seat Ferrari GTC4 Lusso is not a supercar), we’ll define the word thus: a supercar should be ridiculously fast, inordinately expensive, of questionably practicality – and utterly desirable.
This last aspect is key: a supercar should make everyone – regardless of whether they are a car enthusiast or not – excited; a passing supercar should make people say ‘countach!’ an Italian exclamation that translates roughly as ‘wow’, and gave its name to one the best-known supercars to ever grace our roads.
Anyway, enough ado: here’s our pick of the best supercars currently on sale.
Top 10 best supercars of 2023
- McLaren 720S
- Ferrari 296 GTB
- Audi R8
- Maserati MC20
- Porsche 911 GT3 RS
- Lamborghini Huracan STO
- Ford GT
- Chevrolet Corvette
- Aston Martin DBS
- Ferrari 812 Competizione
Modena… Sant’Agata… Woking. Okay, so the McLaren 720S doesn’t hail from the most exotic of locales, but it makes up for it by being utterly brilliant. The twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 packs a 720hp punch, backed up by 770Nm of torque, so acceleration is vivid, to say the least.
Okay, it isn’t the most melodic of engines, but we can forgive it that. Ride, handling and steering are all superb, and better still, the 720S has a cabin that you can actually see out of.
Ferrari 296 GTB
The push towards electrification means Ferrari has moved from a V8 engine to a V6 with the 296 GTB, while the addition of an electric motor means power is rated at 830hp, and the 296 GTB can also cover 15 miles in battery-powered EV mode thanks to being a plug-in hybrid.
But those thoroughly modern credentials don’t mean the 296 is anything other than a Ferrari through and through: it’s beyond exciting to drive, wildly quick and, despite being at least two cylinders short of some definitions of supercar, sounds utterly fantastic.
The 296 GTB is also a reassuring car for petrolheads as it demonstrates that even though market and regulatory requirements are forcing Ferrari to pivot to electrification, the firm remains more than capable of building bonafide supercars.
If ever there were a car that deserved the title ‘everyday supercar’ the Audi R8 is it. That is not to damn it with faint praise – the 5.2-litre V10 engine is a bellowing jewel that thrusts the R8 to 60mph in 3.4 seconds, and on to the far side of 200mph. However, acceleration isn’t quite as visceral as that served up by some turbocharged rivals. Still, it grips strongly enough to wear out your neck muscles, and remains civilised enough to take the sting out of motorway trips.
Yet while the Ferrari 296GTB is very much a modern supercar, the R8 feels like one of the last of a dying breed: no turbochargers to aid efficiency, no electrification – and when it bows out in 2023, no direct replacement.
One of the great things about supercar shopping is just how much choice there is. Germany, Japan, America, Sweden, the UK and numerous other countries have their own supercar makers, but while Lamborghini and Ferrari might be the obvious choices for someone after an Italian model, Maserati’s offerings often give buyers pause for thought.
The MC20 is no exception, with this carbon-fibre mid-engined two-seater featuring the scissor doors that so often go hand-in-hand with supercars, alongside a 635hp 3.0-litre V6 engine, and handling that can best be described as inspired.
Porsche 911 GT3 RS
The Porsche 911 has historically spawned a number of special, low-volume models, and the stripped-out track-focused GT3 RS is certainly one of those.
Its 4.0-litre flat-six engine does without turbocharging to make its 525hp, while aerodynamic features contribute to it making an astonishing 860kg of downforce. Add in racing engineered suspension suspension and chassis tweaks and the the GT3 RS is essentially a proper track car that happens to be road legal.
Lamborghini Huracan STO
Theatre. That’s what the Lamborghini Huracan STO provides in huge quantities. For a start, just look at it. It’s the very essence of supercar, with low-slung, aggressive looks, a blaring firecracker engine, and the sort of view out you get looking through a letterbox. The 5.2-litre V10 engine is savage, and the dual-clutch transmission makes flicking up and down through the ratios rapid and easy. The steering is sharp, and the suspension makes the Huracan feel properly nimble, but you’ll want to seek out smooth roads to make the most of it.
How can the Ford GT’s twin-turbo 3.5-litre V6 give supercar the drama and performance? Well, it does, and then some. How does 0-62mph in 3.0 seconds and 216mph grab you? The aerodynamics play a real part in how the car goes, turns and stops. Inside, it doesn’t make you feel as special as you would in other supercars (the touchscreen is also in a Fiesta), so you’re better just getting on and driving it.
Oh, and the GT has proper supercar credentials, being built with help from Canadian firm Multimatic, which assisted in the creation of models including the Aston Martin One-77 and Valkyrie.
Oscar Wilde once quipped that America and the UK have everything in common except language, but something else that often gets lost in translation as it makes it way across the Atlantic is the American supercar.
The latest Corvette is different; this is something that tends to get said about every new generation of Corvette, but for the C8 it really applies. By adopting the European habit of fitting the engine in the middle of the car and making the chassis aluminium, Chevrolet has ensured that the latest Corvette delivers as much as it promises. Moreover, this is the first Corvette to be offered in right-hand-drive configuration.
Aston Martin DBS
The Aston Martin DBS is breathtaking to look at, and would surely be one of the best supercars to take on a cross-continent road trip. The turbocharged V12 engine is a belter, pulling strongly right round the rev-counter with an exhaust note to match, while 0-62mph in 3.4 seconds and 211mph aren’t to be sniffed at.
The steering is sharp and suspension tweaks have made the DBS feel altogether keener than its lesser siblings. The presence of an outdated Mercedes infotainment system jars slightly, but this is more than made up for by the bespoke feeling, sumptuous interior.
Ferrari 812 Competizione
Yes, we’ve already has one Ferrari, yes, this is more a hypercar than a supercar, and no, you even if you had a spare £447,000 couldn’t buy a new one 812 Competizione in 2023 or any other year as it’s sold out – but when did a true supercar ever rely on logic or sense?
We include the 812 Competizione because a) we can, b) its 830hp 6.5-litre V12 is both the last of a dying breed and one of the best engines ever made, and c) it will make you say ‘wow’ when you drive it, and everyone else will make a similar utterance when they see it.
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