The Top 10 Super Sports Cars of 2021
16 Mar 2021
With new cars from the likes of McLaren, Porsche, Ferrari, Aston Martin and Audi there is a lot of competition vying for the accolade of being the best super sports car in 2021, but here is a run down of our top 10.
These are exciting times for the super sports car, with there never before being so many varied offerings within this niche of the performance car market, with each one bringing its own blend of qualities to the table.
So in no particular order and without further adieu, here are our top 10 super sports cars of 2021
Honda has achieved a world-first in powertrain technology, which offers unconventional means to refine and enhance, as opposed to reinventing, the conventional mid-engined driver’s car. The result of this is a very unique breed of exotic car that doesn’t impose its potential on you, instead it's an incredibly mature and complete car for drivers. It also has multi-faceted appeal regardless of your prevailing speed and journey.
Despite some updates that were introduced in 2019 that included detail chassis tweaks and recalibrations for the adaptive damping, steering and four wheel drive, as well as a bright orange paint-job, there still feels like a need for it to be better equipped and nicer to travel in, and sometimes it could do with a bit more excitement. It has a tendency to run short of outright power at high speeds, which combined with the car’s weight make it somewhat unimpressive on track than some of its competitors in this list. Were Honda to release a Type R then it will have plenty to do to improve upon the current offering.
Despite these potential negatives the NSX definitely deserves respect because of its fusion of talents. Amongst mid-engined options there aren’t many options that provide a more rounded, versatile and compelling driving experience, with the McLaren 570S being the only one that arguably does.
Aston Martin Vantage
Aston Martin have taken huge strides into the realms of a true driver’s car with the new Vantage, with a clear departure from its traditional preference for the fairly laid-back, long-legged and old-school front-engined GT sports cars that we’ve come to expect from them.
There is so much about this new Vantage that immediately lets you know that it’s ready to be taken seriously by petrolheads that have stuck with their Porsches and upper-level BMW M cars. It does this with its first-order performance level, tight and tenacious body control and its advanced driveline specification, and it's on-track composure, precision handling and staying power. It is currently available in a roadster-bodied form as well, which provides chassis and styling tweaks that made up the limited-edition AMR version.
This is the first time that you’ve been able to drive a series-production Aston quite as hard as this, as well as being able to compare it to other track-ready cars. It may be down to the newfound grip and purpose, but the car still doesn’t quite overcome the limitations of its size and weight when driven on the road as some of the greatest driver’s cars do, but it certainly offers an enriched everyday experience as a super sports car should and in a way that only an Aston Martin could.
Audi R8 V10 Coupe and Spyder
It is clear to see the Audi R8’s relation to their motorsports efforts. The car is a singular and visceral tribute to performance and power, revs and noise, traction and grip. This makes it a hugely exciting car to drive, although it perhaps isn’t quite as rounded, communicative or engaging as the very best of the super sports cars.
It could be argued that the latest R8 has lost some of the character of the old car in favour of a more digital form. However, the introduction of the new R8 RWD has restored a good amount of that character with the removal of the front-driven axle. Some may find that the new series-production model’s steering is still lacking in comparison to the likes of the new 911 Turbo S and McLaren 570S, but beneath the aggressive exterior there’s an entertaining and immersive super sports car!
With a number of forms available in the V10 RWD, V10 Quattro and V10 Performance, any of which have the option of choosing the closed-roof coupe or pen-top Spyder bodies, there is a lot of variation available with the R8 to suit you. There are also other options such as “Magnaride” adaptive dampers and carbon ceramic brakes, although these can only be had on the upper-level four-wheel-drive versions.
The 570S perhaps ventures into more exciting territory than many of its rivals amongst super sports cars, but it backs that up by also being far more forgiving and comfortable than many of its competitors as well.
With an exceptional performance level that doesn’t compromise on driveability it truly is a leader amongst super sports cars. It also boasts outstanding handling that has a fantastic blend of track-ready purpose as well as on-road compliance, precision and stability. This is all enriched by the brilliant control feedback and the overall delicacy of feel that it offers.
Overall as a car it is more exotic that the Porsche 911 and more tactile to drive than the Audi R8 V10. In addition it is considerably more practical than you might think! All of this leaves little doubt that the 570S, despite being “entry-level”, has actually been the car to make their reputation. But if you want one you will need to act fast as a replacement is imminent.
Combining the space frame underbody structure of a supercar, the engine from a muscle saloon, suspension that is tuned for maximum on-track attack and yet the practicality and luxury feel of an elegant coupe, or roadster, the Mercedes-AMG GT is truly bewildering.
The more serious “-R” version was then introduced in 2017, following on from ambitions to make inroads into the market of GT-cars. The first version increased power up to 577bhp, which was not changed by the introduction of the GT-R Pro version that came in 2019, which instead focused on chassis and suspension tweaks and aerodynamic gains, without making any particular changes to the car’s powertrain.
When compared to its rivals the GT-R is a bit of a brute, more likely to beat a bump in the road into submission instead of smoothly gliding over the top of it. It is definitely a fun car to drive, but does require a big helping of precision, skill and commitment from its drive in order to be driven well.
The Roma comes from a new breed of more affordable Ferraris that feel like a classic one. The beautiful, V8-powered, front-engined, two-plus-two-seater coupe may share its platform with the Portofino, but offers looks and handling that far surpasses its relation. In spirit it is possibly most related to the popular 550 Maranello of the late 90s. It is a compact, attainable and daily usable GT, but still provides the same performance, excitement and handling that you would expect from a proper Ferrari, but with character and a cabin that is comfortable enough to put the miles on.
Its 3.9-litre turbo V8 means it has an excess of six-hundred horsepower gives it a top speed just shy of 200mph, yet it still feels quite laid-back making it a very comfortable driving experience, with a sophisticated and striking interior.
Nissan GT-R Nismo
Despite having been on the scene for well over a decade now, the Nissan GT-R still remains one of the fastest and most capable super cars on the market. With the Nismo version building on this further.
You can even opt for the more aggressive aero package, which gives you a sizeable rear wing, increased torsional rigidity, in addition to tweaked springs, dampers and anti-roll bars, which provide superior levels of agility. Nissan has said that these modifications take the GT-R Nismo to another level that is more playfully close to the limit. It also offers steering that is incisive and accurate and is clearly happy to send its power to the rear to help bring its tail end into play, which only helps to confirm that the modifications made by Nissan have done exactly what they had intended.
Thanks to its 3.8-litre V6 and twin turbos courtesy of the GT-R GT3 race car it can produce 592bhp, which makes it insanely quick in a straight line too! Whilst Nissan haven’t quote an official 0-60mph time it definitely wouldn’t be a stretch of the imagination to see that coming in at under 3 seconds.
Porsche 911 Turbo & Turbo S
Porsche has returned for the “992” generation with its brutal speed, highly usable, four-wheel-drive performance icon and once again features on the list of the quickest point-to-point cars on the planet. With four-wheel drive and a new twin-turbocharged engine that is tuned to 641bhp it delivers 0-61mph in 2.6 seconds as well as a top speed that is comfortably higher than 200mph. It goes without saying that you can also expect a first-class cabin and luxurious allure, as well as a degree of subtlety that is perhaps absent from some of the other contenders on this list.
That is definitely one of the biggest appearls of the Turbo S, with the cheaper Turbo version also available. Despite its abundance of pace it still provides a fantastic ability to travel large distances with plenty of space for luggage as well, which definitely makes this a strong contender.
It’s intuitive steering and slight hint of rear-biased weight distribution will make it a joy to drive on B-roads, giving the driver plenty of options. Having said that it perhaps isn’t quite as involving or playful as some of the other contenders on this list.
BMW M8 Competition
It could be argued over whether or not this super coupe should be included on this list alongside the other cars listed, but we still think it’s worth a mention. This 616bhp super coupe from BMW is available either as a convertible or a four-door and comes with a luxurious interior, and a driver selectable four-wheel drive system that allows the front driveshafts to be completely disengaged.
It does have its drawbacks as a driver’s car though, as it is quite sizeable and hefty at two tonnes, it is also perhaps less involving and exciting as some of the other options on this list, as well as missing the mid-engined poise and feel. This means that for many it won’t be the top choice when you could save yourself some money and get the BMW M5 Competition instead, which is closely related to the M8.
Having said that this car may still come in at the top of the pile for BMW M aficionados as it does fit a certain niche, but definitely misses some of the finer details around driver appeal and desirability.
Aston Martin DB11 V8
This is the bigger brother of the Vantage, with the V8 being the entry-level version, but arguably the one that is most qualified to be seen as a through and through driver’s car. Whilst it may be last on this list don’t let that fool you, as it is definitely more than qualified to be here and would likely be at the top if we could bring ourselves to put this list in order.
Whilst it perhaps isn’t the most refined of its peers on this list, with some tyre roar and the rustling of air passing over the base of the A-pillar. The cabin definitely has an old-school feel of luxury, with brogued leather all around if you want it. It may not have the most technologically impressive interior, which perhaps it should, and its fittings may not feel as solid as you may like, but it is still impressive to say the least.
Once you sit in it the tone for what this car can do is quickly set by the AMG-sourced engine up front. It is also deeply intuitive to steer and handles in a supremely balanced manner, all of which makes this hugely desirable for any driver.