We are living through a high period for the super sports car. Never before has there been such a varied and exotic mix of offerings available within this swollen niche of the performance car market, each car with its own blend of qualities and mechanical subtleties.
The list of 10 cars below features everything from hardcore hooligans to more forward-looking mid-engined hybrids. There’s a car for all tastes in this segment, but the ones below are our picks of the bunch.
Aston Martin has taken a giant leap into true blue driver’s car territory with the new Vantage. Never before has Gaydon departed so clearly from its traditional preference for fairly laid-back, long-legged, old-school front-engined GT sports cars than it has here.
So much about the new Vantage – from its first-order performance level to its tight, tenacious body control to its impressively advanced driveline specification and its on-track composure, handling precision and staying power – tells you loud and clear that it’s ready to transform Aston into a firm that can be taken seriously by real petrolheads; people who’ve stuck to their Porsches and upper-level BMW M cars thus far. It's now available in roadster-bodied form, as well as with the chassis and styling tweaks that made up the limited-edition AMR version.
Never have you been able to drive a series-production Aston as hard as this, or really contemplate using one like you might a track-ready 911. Partly perhaps as a result of all that newfound grip and purpose, the car doesn’t quite overcome the limitations of its size and weight and involve like the greatest driver’s cars when driven on the road – but it certainly enriches everyday use as a super sports car should, and as only an Aston Martin could.
The 570S occupies purer and more exciting notional territory than many its super sports car rivals, but it’s also more forgiving and more comfortable than many as well.
Its performance level is exceptional, without compromise to driveability. Its handling is equally outstanding: a special mix of track-ready purpose, with on-road compliance, precision and stability – and enriched by wonderful control feedback and delicacy of feel.
It is more exotic than the Porsche 911, more tactile to drive than an Audi R8 V10 Plus and more practical than you might think too. There’s little doubt that McLaren’s entry-level 'sports series' model has actually been the car to make its creator's reputation - although, with a replacement imminent, you'll have to act fast if you want one.