The high end, high performance car waters have never been so richly stocked, with manufacturers cottoning onto the fact that there are a lot of well-heeled customers out there with wads of cash burning a hole in the pocket of their tailored trousers. Cost of living crisis be damned!
In fact, there are so many different types of go-faster motor to choose from that automotive spotters have needed to revisit and broaden the existing taxonomy for this type of machine. Whether it's sports cars, super-sports cars, supercars or hypercars, the list gets longer every month. Which, let’s face it, is no bad thing.
So, what’s a super-sports car and where does it fit in? Well, as the name suggests these models slot below super and hypercars, which have a dedicated and lazer-like focus on delivering pure performance at the expense of almost everything else. Super-sports cars on the other hand are very nearly as fast and, when the mood takes, can be almost as invigorating to drive. Yet they also mix in a dollop of everyday civility and usability that means you could, and arguably should, use them come rain or shine.
However, while each of the cars here shares the ability to be as comfortable on the commute as it is acing apexes, not all go about it in the same way or at the same price point. As a result, we’ve got front, rear and four-wheel drive options, as well as those with front, mid and rear-engined layouts. And the prices range from around £80,000 to ‘if you have to ask, then you probably can’t afford’. Either way, there should be something for everyone.
1. Ferrari Roma
The Roma is a new mould of more affordable Ferrari that in its execution feels very much like an old one. The classically beautiful, V8-powered, front-engined, two-plus-two-seater coupe shares its platform with the Portofino but has looks and handling appeal way beyond the reach of that convertible relation. It is perhaps most alike Maranello's popular 550 Maranello of the late 1990s in spirit, although not technically in every way: a compact, temptingly attainable, daily-usable sporting GT (which also ranks highly in our super GT top ten, by the way) with the performance, excitement factor and handling vivacity of a proper Ferrari, but a cabin and character you could really put miles on.
The Roma's 3.9-litre turbo V8 gives it in excess of six-hundred horsepower and a top speed within a whisker of 200mph; and yet this is the modern Prancing Horse in relatively laid-back guise, and so it's the car's surprisingly comfortable and sophisticated-feeling interior that really strikes you, which is easy to berth, well equipped with the very latest technological mod cons, and tempting to simply spend time in.
As a final send-off for the DBS, the 770 Ultimate is a rather fitting tribute to one of Aston Martin’s fastest and most driver-focussed series production cars. Just 300 coupes and a further 199 Volante drop tops will be produced, so it’ll remain a rare beast, but if you’re one of the lucky ones then prepare for a rare treat.