It's about time you considered one of these alternatives to the usual sports car suspects.
The motoring world is filled with comparisons between the latest Porsches and Ferraris. We see endless variations of the Nissan GT-R battling it out against the latest Corvettes, but there are a whole range of excellent sports cars that get left out of the limelight. When did you last see a Volvo or Cadillac gracing the front page of your favorite car mag? There are some hidden gems out there and to unearth them we have selected ten of the best substitute sports cars that are the perfect antidote to the usual suspects.
Hyundai Veloster N The i30 N has already debuted in Europe and here in the States its closest relative is the Elantra GT Sport. However, whereas this car makes do with 201-hp and a Golf GTI has 220-hp, the Hyundai i30 N offers up to 275 hp. There are important changes to the suspension too, the bad news is that we won’t be getting this car in the US. The good news is that then N-Performance Veloster is on the way here with the same underpinnings as the i30 N.
Subaru BRZ There isn’t a day that goes by without a group comparison involving a Toyota 86, yet the practically identical Subaru BRZ is better looking, costs a few hundred dollars less and hardly gets a mention. It’s hard to say why, especially since you can option Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, something not even available on the Toyota 86. The 200-hp boxer flat-four and well-balanced chassis are still present and correct too.
Fiat 124 Spider The 124 Spider shares its basic architecture with the sublime Mazda Miata. Where it differs is in the exterior styling and the use of a 1.4-liter turbocharged engine. The looks are arguably more appealing while the turbo motor provides some useful mid-range torque that is a bit lacking in the Miata’s naturally aspirated 2.0-liter unit. Stick with the manual and you will have the perfect weekend car.
Volvo S60 Volvo is generally associated with stylish yet staid cars, but if you look hard though there are usually one or two sporty models hidden in the range. The T6 R-Design is one such car. With a turbo and supercharged 302-hp 2.0-liter engine it is as fast as you would realistically need and the subtle styling will appeal to the more introvert car fans. If you don’t mind a bit of flash then the Polestar trim adds some sporty 20-inch alloys, a carbon front splitter as well as uprated brakes and shocks.
Kia Stinger The Stinger is Kia’s first foray into the sports sedan category and the range-topping 365-hp 3.3-liter twin turbo version is super quick too. A lot of effort development has been put into the chassis, so the Stinger is much more than just a straight-line machine. Other than some minor switchgear that could be of slightly higher quality, this Kia is a big step up from anything that has come before it. The base 255-hp 2.0-liter trim is great too, and at $31,900 offers a lot for the money.
Infiniti Q60 There are plenty of German sports coupes to choose from but there is not much wrong with the smooth and powerful Infiniti Q60 despite having been around for a few years now. The Red Sport 400 offers, predictably, 400 hp and is packed with plenty of luxury equipment to go with its strong performance. There is also a 300-hp V6 on offer which gives up some performance but greatly increases the value proposition. The Q60 may not be a volume seller but that just makes it a bit less common on the roads which is a good thing.
Cadillac ATS-V In a world of BMW M3s and Mercedes-AMG C63s, the Cadillac ATS-V has struggled to get much more than the odd mention in motoring magazines. This despite it being more than capable of matching up to either one. With a 464-hp twin-turbo V6 under the hood, it will rush to 60 mph in 4 seconds and is superb in the corners too. If you need a bit more space, then the even more ludicrous 640-hp CTS-V sports sedan may be more to your liking. It too can corner like the best German sedans but is even quicker than them in the straights.
Koenigsegg Regera Moving on to the supercars, Koenigsegg has been around since 1994 yet has stayed relatively under the radar with small production numbers. Rarity is a desirable trait in these circles and the latest Regera is a beautiful 1,100-hp, 246-mph missile that will leave most Ferraris in its tracks. The previous Agera RS broke the fastest production car record achieved an average of 277.9 mph in Nevada last year. The Regera promises to be even faster, its 1,497-hp hybrid powerplant is claimed to propel it to 250 mph in under 20 seconds.
Pagani Huayra Horatio Pagani founded the sports car company that bears his name back in 1992. Coming from Lamborghini he had a good foundation to build some of the most outrageous sports cars around. The early Zondas were excellent and the latest Huayra combines active aerodynamics with a 720-hp 6.0-liter twin-turbo engine to provide some serious performance. With a mere 100 built you are unlikely to see another one coming the other way.
Rimac C_Two Rimac is a relatively new sports car manufacturer and its first model, the Concept One became famous both for its 1,288-hp electric powerplant as well as when Richard Hammond of Top Gear turned one into a ball of flames. The C_Two promises to be even crazier. Revealed at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, it puts 1,914 hp and 1,696 lb-ft of torque through all four wheels. A 0-60 mph time of under 2 seconds is claimed, which would make it the fastest thing on the road.