THIS LIST IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN FRIENDS LET FRIENDS WRITE SHIT. WE DO APOLOGIZE. THE OFFENDER HAS BEEN SACKED. IT HAS BEEN MERCIFULLY UPDATED AND EXPANDED BY ONE OF OUR CRACK CAR WRITERS. CHECK OUT THE TOP 50 LIST HERE!
As soon as the combustion engine was invented, men started playing with automobiles to see how fast they could make them run. It is in our blood, if you will.
Over the past decades, hundreds of sports cars were produced by dozens of car manufacturers around the world. Which are the best sports cars of all time is a question we wanted to tackle head-on. Below you will find a list the top 20 sports cars of all time. Some featured innovative designs, others had incredible power, but one factor unified them all: they were all made to drive pretty darn fast!
20. Audi RS4 (B7 Second Generation)
In 2007 the Audi RS4 won the “World Performance Car” award. Among its competitors, we had Porsches, Ferraris and Jaguars. Do we need to add anything else?
Design: Based on the A4 B chassis, the RS4 is practically a racing car masked under an executive station wagon frame. Simple yet beautiful.
Performance: Powered by a 4.2-litre engine, with 8 cylinders in V formation, it produces an output of 414 horse power. It accelerates from 0-60 mph (0-100 km/h) in 4,2 seconds, and it also comes with Audi’s Dynamic Ride Control to provide an even better driving experience.
Chick Factor: High. Some women just don’t like the aggressive look of sporsts car. That is where the RS4 comes handy: elegant style and stunning performance.
19. Lotus Elise Series 2
The British manufacturer Lotus Cars has a unique concept for sports car: “performance through light weight.” Introduced in 2000, the Lotus Elise Series 2 definitely took the Lotus family to a whole new level.
Design: The Lotus Elise packs an aggressive design, despite it’s small frame. The car is 3,8 meters long and it weights less than a ton (from 860 to 910 kilograms). It also comes with a fiberglass body shell.
Performance: Considering that the car features a modest 1.8-litre, 4-cylinders engine, one would not expect much, right? Wrong! This baby can go from 0-60 mph (0-100 km/h) in 4,7 seconds, and it has a top of speed of 150 mph (240 km/h). Given its light weight, you should also have a good time braking and cornering it.
Chick Factor: Low. Some chicks like roadsters, other do not. If you want a car to impress the ladies, though, the Lotus Elise is probably not the best choice. It is, hmm… just small.
18. Ford Shelby Cobra GT500
The legendary partnership between Ford and Carroll Shelby dates back to the early 1960s. Ford would produce the Mustangs, and the Shelby factory would modify them. The result? Some of best performing muscle cars of all time. In 2007 they renewed the deal releasing the Shelby GT500.
Design: The two companies managed to revive the Mustang prestige with the GT500 model. The red and white body colors are classic, with the “Le Mans” stripes going from nose to tail. Aggressive look as usual, featuring a new front line and air splitters.
Performance: The Shelby GT500 comes with a 5.4-litre, DOHC V8 engine, producing 500 horse power. It can accelerate from 0-60 mph (0-100km/h) in 4.5 seconds. The car also features a suspension kit and other improvements from Ford’s Special Vehicle Team (SVT).
Chick Factor: High. Mustangs are a legend and a tradition of the American sports cars scene. If on top of that you go around with a Shelby GT500, you sure will make an impact.
17. Subaru Impreza STi
Subaru introduced the Impreza 1993 as a compact car. It’s chassis, however, became very successful on rally championships, and in 1994 Subaru launched the STi version, bringing considerable improvements to the car.
Design: The car has been immortalized on the blue frame with gold colored wheels by rally drivers, and it also comes with a rear spoiler and hood vents. Definitely not the right car to share with your woman or go to the supermarket with.
Performance: The UK Impreza STi Turbo version has 215 bhp and it can go from 0-60 mph (0-100 km/h) in 4,9 seconds. Consider that most of its parts (e.g., brakes, suspensions, transmission) already come tuned for racing performance.
Chick Factor: Low. Unless you participate in street racing, chicks will probably not find this car very inviting. If you tune the design a lot it would also probably look lame on a normal city ride.
16. Porsche 911 (996 Series GT3)
Talk about myth. On an international poll to vote the car of the century the Porsche 911 came fifth. Introduced in 1963, this car is a hallmark of the sports car industry (and one of the most acclaimed Porsches ever).
Design: The GT3 version has a very aggressive, racing look. Light materials were used for its production, and it does not have rear seats. The aerodynamics were also carefully studied to glue the car on the ground.
Performance: The car comes with a 3.6-litre engine, producing 381 bhp. How fast can that toy go? Well, it accelerates from 0-60 mph (0-100 km/h) in 4,0 seconds.
Chick Factor: Huge. Americans and European have different car tastes, but park a GT3 in front of any bar in Europe and I assure you that you will come out with dozens of telephone numbers.
15. Pagani Zonda C12 S 7.3
Pagani is an Italian company that manufacturers carbon fiber and supercars. They started producing the Zonda in 1999, and only 10 units ship every year (at $400,000 a pop more or less).
Design: As you can imagine from a company that produces carbon fiber, most of the body parts of the Zonda are done with that material. It has a coupe style, with 2 seats, and very characteristic placement of side mirrors and front lights.
Performance: The C12 S 7.3 version comes with a mighty 7.3-litre engine. It is one of the biggest 12-cylinders engine ever produced. It has an output of 555 bhp and a top speed of 220 mph (350 km/h).
Chick Factor: High. Despite being a racing machine, the style of this car is quite appealing (we love Italy don’t we?). It also reveals how much it costs at a first sight (and most women get turned on by that).
14. Nissan Skyline GT-R (R33)
The Nissan Skyline became one of the most successful cars for street and motor racing (particularly in Japan). Its dominance was so great that people started calling it Godzilla.
Design: Based on the standard Skyline coupe frame, the GT-R version packed several racing accessories, and it became famous world wide after its appearances on video games (ever played Gran Turismo?).
Performance: The R33 version used the same 2.6-litre engine of the R32, but it introduced several improvements, like a better oil pump and an advanced intake camshaft. The result? A potency of 450 horse power, a top speed of 200 mph (323 km/h) and an acceleration from 0-60 mph (0-100 km/h) of 4.0 seconds
Chick Factor: Low. Going around with a Skyline would look like you came out straight from a video game.
13. Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII (FQ400)
The Lancer Evolution is manufactured by Mitsubishi Motors, and it already has ten generations on the market. The car has several titles on the World Rally Championships. Initially its production was intended for the Japanese market alone, but people started importing it on Europe and North America, so that Mitsubishi decided to start selling the car in other countries.
Design: The car preserved pretty much the same look since the first generation. Standard features are the frontal air vent and the carbon-fiber rear spoiler, usually matching the color of the vehicle. The Evo VIII was also the first generation to be sold in the US.
Performance: The FQ400 (it is rumored that FQ stands for “fucking quick”), introduced in the United Kingdom, features the standard 2-litre engine of all other Lancer generations. It has a real output of more than 400 horse power, though, which enables it to accelerate from 0-60 mph (0-100 km/h) in 3.5. For a fraction of the cost, this car could keep up with a Lamborghini Murcielago on a test track….
Chick Factor: Low. The Lancer Evolution FQ400 is essentially a racing car. Driving it around the city should be cool, but it probably won’t impress the women around.
12. Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato
Aston Martin introduced the DB4 GT in 1960, and the Zagato version was a model revamped by an automotive factory in Italy by the same name.
Design: Quite innovative for its time, the DB4 featured a long, rounded hood. Surprisingly, the demand for the car was quite low, and only 20 units were produced.
Performance: Considering that it was released in 1960, its performance was pretty impressive. The car could accelerate from from 0-60 mph (0-100 km/h) in 6.1 seconds, and it had a top speed of 153 mph (246 km/h).
Chick Factor: Medium. Women with class will certainly know how to appreciate this jewel of a car. It costs almost $1 million these days, by the way.
11. BMW M3 GTR
This car was initially created in 2001 as a racing prototype. In order to qualify as a Gran Turismo car, however, BMW was forced to produce a street version as well. Only 10 units were sold to selected clients.
Design: As you would expect from a former racing car, the design is very clean, focused on the aerodynamics and performance. Hood and lateral vents complete the look.
Performance: The racing car featured a beastly 4-litre engine, with 8 cylinders in V formation, capable of producing 444 bhp. The street version, for obvious reasons, was tweaked down a bit, producing 380 bhp. The racing one could accelerate from 0-60 mph (0-100 km/h) in 3.3 seconds.
Chick Factor: Medium to high. Girls would undervalue this awesome car. For them it would probably just look like an executive sedan (if that happens to you, just make that engine roar a bit!).
10. Jaguar E-type Series 1
The Jaguar E-type revolutionized the sports car industry. It was the first time that a top performing car could be acquired for a reasonable amount of money. Just consider that between 1961 and 1975 it sold more than 70,000 units.
Design: The car originally featured only two seats, flat floors and external hood latches. It also included several innovations, including the placement of the lights and the style of the frontal opening.
Performance: The Series 1 came with two engines, one with 3.8 liters and one with 4.2 liters. The latter could accelerate from 0-60 mph (0-100 km/h) in 7.1 seconds, and its top speed was 137 mph (215 km/h).
Chick Factor: Medium. A Jaguar is always a Jaguar, and even if not all ladies like classic cars, they sure should respect them at least.
9. Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren
Costing $500,000 a pop, the SLR is the fastest automatic transmission car in the world. It was produced by a joint venture between Mercedes-Benz and McLaren Automotive.
Design: One the most futuristic designs on the industry, the car comes with full carbon-fiber monocoque, crash structures and body panels.
Performance: Sit tight now. Its features a 5.4-litre, supercharged, SOHC V8 engine. What kind of power is that? 616 bhp, with an acceleration from 0-60 mph (0-100 km/h) in 3.1 seconds.
Chick Factor: High. The car is a monster, what else can I say? Additionally, when the ladies see the door opening vertically (called butterfly doors, but they won’t know that) they will love it.
8. Ferrari F40
Enzo Ferrari was 90 years old when he decided to produce the F40. Ferrari was losing its edge on the sports car industry (mainly to Porsche) at the time, so the man decided to create a new project to show the world what they were capable of doing. The rest, as you know, is history.
Design: The F40 was built to perform, so its design is rustic. It had panels made of kevlar, carbon fiber and aluminum for strength and low weight. Its accented lines and the legendary rear spoiler immortalized the car.
Performance: Despite being produced in the early 1990s, the F40 is still one of the fastest street legal cars in the world. It goes from 0-60 mph (0-100 km/h) in 3.2 seconds, and has a top speed of 201 mph (324 km/h).
Chick Factor: Huge. It’s a Ferrari, needless to add anything else.
7. Lamborghini Diablo
Diablo means “Devil” in Spanish, and the car stands true for its name. Introduced in 1990 by the Italian manufacturer, it became famous all around the world, mainly due to celebrities that acquired one (what a waste…).
Design: Just like the Ferrari F40, the initial versions of the Diablo were pretty spartan and focused on performance alone. Late in the 1990s, however, the car gained some softer lines and better interiors.
Performance: The first Diablo packed a 5.7-litre engine, capable of an output of 492 bhp. It could go It goes from 0-60 mph (0-100 km/h) in 4,1 seconds, and had a maximum speed of 202 mhp (325 km/h).
Chick Factor: High. Let’s be honest here, if you can afford a Lambordhini Diablo you won’t have much trouble getting chicks around.
6. Dodge Viper GTS
If you never dreamed about driving a Dodge Viper, you are with the minority. The car become popular after appearing on a myriad of movies and television shows.
Design: Those two white stripes are a trademark of the car. Inspired by the Shelby Cobra, the Viper reintroduced a muscular and aggressive look to American sports cars.
Performance: Just consider that the roof of this car comes with raised sections to allow the drivers to wear helmets…. It goes from 0-60 mph (0-100 km/h) in 4,0 seconds, and it has a top speed of 190 mph (306 km/h).
Chick Factor: High. The car just call the attention to itself. It would be hard to go unnoticed while driving it.
5. Bugatti Veyron
Not a classic like the others on the list, but the Bugatti is the fastest accelerating street legal car in the world, so we felt like it should be included.
Design: The car is, hhmm… rounded. The company decided to go with a new designer for this formerly concept car. Jozef Kaban from Wolkswagen is the man behind it (personally I think that he could have done a better job).
Performance: Packing a 16 cylinders engine with a displacement of 8 liters, the car is capable of producing 987 hp. The car holds the world acceleration record, going from 0-60 mph (0-100 km/h) in 2.46 seconds. Running at its top speed of 253.2 mph (407.5 km/h) a full tank runs dry in about 10 minutes.
Chick Factor: Medium. Someone buying a Bugatti is obsessed with speed. Girls will think that he should be done within 2 minutes or so, if you know what I mean.
4. Chevrolet Corvette 1968 L88
The bad-ass of the Corvette family. It was the third generation produced by Chevrolet, and it marked the realm of sports cars forever (this car is still the most powerful street legal car produced by GM).
Design: Designed by Larry Shinoda, the car had a very aggressive look and marked curves for a coupe. A bit of trivia: GM tried to keep the design secret before the launch but Mattel, a toy manufacturer, revealed it forehand on its line of miniature cars.
Performance: The car was a beast. With a 7-litre engine, the factory listed its produced horse power at 460. But guess what, they were underestimating it. Third parties that tested the car found it to produce 560 hp. No kidding!
Chick Factor: Medium. This is a men’s car. If you are going to buy one, due it because you love the car and not for the ladies.
3. Porsche Carrera GT
The development of the Carrera GT started in the late 90s, but only in 2004 it reached the streets, costing $440,000 a piece. Being one of the most aggressive Porsches ever produced, only 1270 units were sold around the world.
Design: The Carrera GT has some big side inlets and air dams to improve the cooling system of its massive engine. It is interior is made with carbon, magnesium and leather materials. Initially it was available in 5 color variations, but custom designs could also be ordered on the factory (for some extra money obviously).
Performance: Porsche used an innovative engine for the Carrera GT, with 10 cylinders in a V formation and a displacement of 5.7 liters, capable of producing over 600 horse power. The manufacturer claimed that it could accelerate from 0-60 mph (0-100 km/h) in 3.9 seconds, but private testers found that it was even faster, marking a 3.6 seconds.
Chick Factor: High. The car is a master piece of the German house. Every detail was carefully laid down to create a perfect balance between aesthetics and performance.
2. AC Cobra 427
Racing driver Carroll Shelby sent a letter to British manufacturer AC Cars asking if they would produce a car to him featuring a V8 engine with a light chassis. AC Cars accepted, and after some time they sent the car to Shelby. He then tested the car, and one night dreaming about it came with the “Cobra” name. That is how the myth was born.
Design: The interesting thing about the AC Cobra is that it borrowed pieces, parts and accessories from several other cars (including a Ford based engine, Jaguar in-board disk brakes, and a VW Beetle steering rack). Overall the manufacturer managed to create a very unique and memorable design around the car, however.
Performance: This car was responsible for the implementation of road speed limits in the United Kingdom. Ouch! The 427 version packed a 7-litre engine, with 425 horse power and a 0-60 mph (0-100 km/h) acceleration of 4.2 seconds.
Chick Factor: Medium. Same as the Ferrari 250 GTO below, this car was manufactured in the 60s so it won’t be considered sexy by women in general. Smart ones will definitely love it, though.
1. Ferrari 250 GTO
This is the best Ferrari ever made. As a consequence, it must also be the best sports car ever made. A bit of trivia: GTO stands for “Gran Turismo Omologata,” while the 250 is displacement of each of its cylinders. It was introduced in 1962, and in 1964 its production was halted, with a total of 36 units manufactured.
Design: With a compact berlinetta design, this car is still considered as one of the most appealing Ferraris. The concept was created by Giotto Bizzarrini and his team, based on the previous chassis of the 250 GT.
Performance: This jewel had an outstanding V12 engine, each cylinder displacing 250 cubic centimeters, for a total displacement of 3 liters. It was capable of producing 302 horse power, and it could accelerate from 0-60 mph (0-100 km/h) in 6.1 seconds. Remember, we are talking about a car launched in 1962. Here is a quote from Wikipedia that says it all: “In the best Ferrari tradition, it made normal drivers look excellent and gave great drivers an unsurpassable advantage.”
Chick Factor: Medium to high. The ladies would probably not give the deserved value to this car. They would just see it as an historical car. If you have the opportunity, though, please teach them about the legend behind this Ferrari.