It is widely regarded within the motoring community that the Porsche 911 is the best sports car on the planet. The original design may be from the VW Beetle, but many automakers are still building sports cars to rival the 911 – most of which fail to get near the Porsche’s performance, build quality, and engineering.
The original 911 was nothing more than a fancier VW Beetle, before turning into the absolute monster which was the 930 Turbo – known as the ‘Widow Maker’ thanks to the immense turbo lag which would kick in all the boost at the same time. The 911 systematically became better and better over 20 years, consistently ending up in the top three of most ‘Best Of…’ segments in motoring magazines and television shows. The 911 took a slight dip when Porsche introduced electric power steering for the model, but quickly rose up to the top again thanks to everything else. Today, the 911 isn’t exactly cheap – starting at $107,000 for the base Carrera S – but it is still easily picked over a Mercedes-AMG GTS, BMW i8, Lexus LC500, or Audi R8.
The Porsche 911 may have a design from the 1930s, but it is still the go-to sports car for doctors and motoring enthusiasts alike. That being said, if the 911 seems a bit boring, here are ten alternative sports cars to consider instead.
10/10 BMW M4 G82
The current BMW M4 is the best sports coupe on the market, offering huge performance and everyday comfort all in one good-looking package. Some may find the front end a bit controversial, but the rest of it is definitely above anything this side of the Porsche 911.
The M4 is powered by the fabulous S58 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged straight-6 which debuted in the X3M and X4M. The top-spec model produces 503 hp and sends all the rampaging horses to either the rear or all four wheels, depending on the model.
9/10 Lotus Emira
The Lotus Emira only recently became eligible for deliveries and is quite the car. The Emira is available in three different configurations – either featuring a 3.5-liter supercharged V6 mated to either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic, or a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 from AMG mated to an 8-speed DCT.
The V6 produces 400 hp, while the AMG 4-cylinder is slightly detuned from its ridiculous power figure to 360 hp. The Emira is intended to be the last gasoline-powered Lotus before the entire line-up goes electric.
8/10 Chevrolet Corvette C8
The Chevy Corvette is a fantastic American option to rival the likes of European sports cars. The base Stingray features a 6.2-liter V8 which produced 490 hp and sends the power to the rear wheels only via an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission. Sadly, a manual is not offered.
The Corvette Stingray completes the 0-60 mph sprint in under 3 seconds, making it a bargain sports car – verging on supercar – which achieves a respectable fuel economy thanks to cylinder deactivation. The optional sports exhaust adds some grumble to the car.
7/10 BMW M8
The BMW M8 is a super GT in the sense that it can beat the likes of the Bentley Continental GT Speed in a drag race. The M8 may only have a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8, but it is built by BMW and, like Porsche, consistently underrates its power figures.
The M8 produces the same 625 hp as the M5 Competition, sending power to all four wheels via an 8-speed torque converter automatic. The M8 is AWD as standard but has a 2WD mode which turns it into a proper, tire-thrashing M-Car.
6/10 Ford Mustang GT500
The Ford Shelby Mustang GT500 may have a lot more power than any car on this list, but it is still an American muscle. The 5.2-liter supercharged Predator V8 produces an impressive 760 hp and sends all the angry Detroit horses to the rear wheels via a Mustang-first 7-speed dual-clutch transmission.
The GT500 follows the GT350R’s example of lightness, adding fully carbon-fiber panels and options to the car, including extremely-lightweight carbon wheels. Interestingly, Shelby is experimenting with a turbocharging system that boosts the GT500’s power to 1,300 hp.
5/10 Lexus LC500
The Lexus LC500 is one of the best alternatives to the Porsche 911. Not only is it gorgeous, but it also features one of the most harmonious V8 engines currently on sale. The LC500 is also sold in convertible form, adding to the prestige.
The 5.0-liter V8 produces 471 hp and is mated to a 10-speed automatic with the power going to the rear wheels only. The transmission provides smooth shifts, and the softer nature of the suspension tuning makes the LC500 one of the best grand tourers currently on sale.
4/10 Aston Martin Vantage
The Aston Martin Vantage is better than ever. Where the previous generation featured a V8 borrowed from Jaguar, the current model is fitted with a twin-turbo unit from AMG. The Vantage produces 503 hp and shifts gears either automatically via an 8-speed or a 7-speed manual in the AMR trim.
The Vantage is a great option as it has all the best bits from Aston Martin, mixed with the drivetrain from an AMG. The Vantage is easily a sporty GT car, as well as a smoke machine around corners. A version of the Vantage is currently one of the official Formula One safety cars.
3/10 Ferrari Roma
The Ferrari Roma is one of the best designs to come from the Prancing Horse in many years since the F8 Tributo is criticized for being ‘over styled’. The Roma is the company’s lower-end GT car, falling below the 812 Superfast, but above the Portofino.
The Roma features the same drivetrain as the Portofino, meaning a 3.9-liter V8 with electric turbochargers to negate turbo lag. The engine produces 612 hp going through an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic.
2/10 Lamborghini Huracan
The Lamborghini Huracan is sadly on its way out, taking the glorious V10 with it. The current Evo and Tecnica models offer the best of the best of the Huracan range, including the base RWD model – regarded as the proper driver’s car.
The Huracan produces 631 hp going through a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic to either the rear wheels only or all four wheels – depending on the trim. The Huracan will make one last appearance as the Huracan Sterrato – an off-road variant of the supercar to battle the Porsche 911 Dakar.
1/10 Audi R8
The Audi R8 may be built on the same platform as the Huracan and shares most of the parts, but it is a different beast entirely. The R8 is softer and more livable, resulting in the nicknames of ‘the everyday supercar’ and ‘the thinking man’s supercar’.
The 5.2-liter V10 produced either 560 or 612 hp – depending on the model – and sends all the power to either the rear or all four wheels via a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic. The R8 is set to disappear in 2023 but will reportedly be replaced by an all-electric model in 2029.