2020 Sports Cars

Sports cars allow automakers and drivers to let their hair down and have some fun. These two-door performance machines have continued to evolve over the years. Not only are they quicker and brimming with more cutting-edge tech, they're more efficient than their predecessors. Sports cars can keep pace with older supercars, while modern supercars out-perform hypercars. The typical sports car blueprint calls for rear-wheel drive, two doors and a low-slung, lightweight body. That isn't always the format, and many automakers have produced their own riffs on it, with great results. No matter your budget there's a sports car available, from the humble Mazda MX-5 Miata through to McLarens, Lamborghinis, and Ferraris. Every sports car shares a common theme: they represent the best of the industry in terms of technology, engineering, and design.

SEE ALSO: Top 10 Best American Sports Cars of the 2000s

Pros and Cons of Sports Cars

Pros

  • Driving fun is top priority
  • Dramatic looks
  • Come in many sizes and prices
  • The bleeding edge of tech
  • Light weight means better fuel efficiency
  • Hold their value well
 

Cons

  • Less practical than sedans/SUVs
  • Higher operating costs (fuel, insurance)
  • Not always four-season appropriate
  • Can attract the wrong kind of attention

What’s New in Sports Cars for 2020?

We kicked off the new decade with a whole pack of new sports cars. Some trumpeted the return of iconic names, while others focused on switching (back) to highly responsive naturally aspirated engines over turbocharged power. Every one of them promised driver enjoyment at all speeds. The year's biggest story happens to belong to a homegrown American icon, however.

Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

Easily the biggest news of the year is the mid-engined Chevrolet Corvette. After over 65 years of pushing the limits of the front-engine layout, the American brand has dropped the classic small-block V8 behind the two seats. The result is a more mature 'Vette with very different dynamics compared to what's come before. The looks are also quite a departure, with the midship layout forcing a change in proportions that we believe works better in the metal than pictures suggest. Did we mention America's sports car has ditched the manual transmission too? This new 'Vette puts out the sort of numbers you found from a Ferrari 430 only a decade ago, while still starting at around $60,000.

SEE ALSO: 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray First Drive Review

The C8-generation Corvette comes in just Stingray form right now, with a 490-horsepower V8. It is available as either a coupe or convertible. Of course, like its erstwhile European competition the Porsche 911, the Corvette will soon expand its lineup with more powerful models. We can hardly wait.

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Porsche 911 Turbo S

Speaking of the 911, Porsche’s evergreen sports car got its own thorough refresh just over a year ago. With the internal code 992, this generation of the German sports car added its high-performance Turbo S model for the 2021 model year.

SEE ALSO: 2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S Does 0-60 in 2.6 Seconds

Boasting a mega 640 horsepower and a 0–60 mph time of just 2.6 seconds, it's the quickest road-going 911 ever, and one of the quickest new cars period. You'll need a princely $204,850 for the privilege—or even more for the convertible. Luckily the 911 Carrera starts at less than half that, with a 379-horsepower turbocharged flat-six of its own. Even without the GT models, the 911 range already includes a dizzying array of options thanks to rear- or all-wheel drive, regular Carrera or higher-performance S, and both manual and automatic transmission options.

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Toyota GR Supra

Toyota brought back the storied Supra nameplate this year on a car that's guaranteed to elicit strong reactions one way or the other. Yes, it shares its platform—and engine, and transmission, and infotainment system—with a BMW, in this case the Z4. We drove both and found them quite different in nature. The Supra originally arrived with just one engine option, the smooth, 335-horsepower turbocharged inline-six.

SEE ALSO: 2021 Toyota GR Supra Adds More Power, New Entry-Level Four-Cylinder

For 2021 Toyota has bumped up the power of the six-pot to 382 hp and introduced a more affordable, lighter 2.0-liter turbo-four. A strict two-seater, the Supra is a well-rounded sports car, feeling light and alert on road and track alike.

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Porsche Boxster/Cayman GTS 4.0

Sticking with two-seaters, Porsche’s smaller sports car duo got a welcome update for 2020 with the addition of the GTS 4.0 models. As the name implies, they borrow the bigger 4.0-liter flat-six from the Cayman GT4 and Boxster Spyder, though slightly detuned to 394 hp. This is an about face from the previously all-turbo lineup, which began with the switch to the 718 name in 2015. The atmospheric engines promise more progressive power delivery and sharper throttle response. Regardless of the engine found behind the driver, every Cayman and Boxster offers up impressive driving dynamics lead by beautiful chassis balance.

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Mazda MX-5 Miata

We're cheating a bit here: the Mazda MX-5 Miata offers no major updates for 2020 after getting a power bump last year. But as the cheapest two-seater sports car on the market we have to mention it. The 2019 update brought in more tech, while keeping this lightweight roadster a nimble joy to drive. The MX-5 has earned its place as a modern day icon, staying true to its simple, engaging ethos for over 30 years. Having the option of the regular soft-top or RF retractable fastback is just icing on the cake.

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Other Important Sports Cars

Aston Martin continued its march towards modernism recently by fully refreshing its small Vantage sports car. With power from a turbocharged AMG-sourced V8, its styling is as sharp as its dynamics. Aston offers even more exclusive options, including the V8- and V12-powered DB11 and the range-topping, 715-horsepower DBS Superleggera. Another British option is the curvaceous Jaguar F-Type. With facelift and revised powertrain lineup for 2020, this slinky cat is available in both drop-top and coupe forms. The entry-level four-cylinder model sends its 296 hp to the rear wheels, with six- and eight-cylinder models going all-paw. Sorry, manual fans: this feline is auto-only now.

SEE ALSO: Top 10 Most Fun-To-Drive Cars Under $30,000

The Dodge Challenger isn't really a sports car, but it's a barrel of laughs in its own way. It offers one of the best dollar-per-horsepower ratios in the business, especially the V8 models. For maximum tire abusing grins, look no further than the 797-horsepower Hellcat Redeye. For more track-friendly muscle cars, even in turbo four-cylinder trim, look to the Ford Mustang EcoBoost High Performance Pack or Chevrolet Camaro 2.0L 1LE.

Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody Review-SMART-08 Acura updated its NSX hybrid supercar for 2019 with refinements that improve performance incrementally. It remains an accomplished, high-tech option that can burn up the track yet remain as civil as a Civic around town. Want something Italian? There's the Fiat 124, affectionately known as the "Fiata" thanks to sharing its platform with Mazda's MX-5. It swaps out that car's naturally aspirated four-cylinder for a turbocharged number, and the Abarth comes with one of the best exhaust notes this side of $100,000. There's still Alfa Romeo’s 4C Spider too, a mini exotic with a carbon fiber chassis.

Of course, both Ferrari and Lamborghini continue to pump out the sorts of supercars that feature on bedroom walls. Ferrari's current stable consists of the mid-engined F8 Tributo, front-engined Portofino and 812 Superfast, and the GTC4 Lusso, a shooting brake available with four-wheel drive. Joining the lineup this year is the Roma, a stunning-looking coupe companion for the Portofino; and the SF90 Stradale, which is the brand's first series-production hybrid.

Not to be outdone, Lamborghini will release its own hybrid, the Sian, later this year. It continues to produce the Aventador and Huracan, the latter of which got a substantial update last year. The Huracan Evo takes everything the company learned from the Performante and applies it to the "baby" Lambo with ruthless efficiency. McLaren remains the British riposte to the wild Italians, and offers a range of models itself. New this year are the bookends: the softer, mile-munching McLaren GT and its seven-figure sibling, the Speedtail. The mainline lineup consists of the Sports Series (570S, 600LT) and Super Series (720S, 765LT). Way over at the other end of the price spectrum is the Subaru BRZ / Toyota 86 duo. These everyday heroes are getting up there in age, but only the Miata offers similar pared-back thrills, and does so without the (small) back seats.

What’s Coming in Sports Cars?

Let's start with the part of the market us mere mortals can afford. The Toyota 86 is set to get a second-generation model, named GR86, by mid-2021. Rumors suggest it will follow the industry trend towards turbo power, this time adopting a 2.4-liter Subaru boxer engine.

The mid-market is a sea of unknowns. Nissan will finally, finally release a new Z car in the near future and we're excited to see it face off against the reborn Supra. The American muscle car trio will continue to evolve as well, with a next-gen Mustang expected to launch over the next few years. With its new mid-engine layout as a base from which to build, the Corvette will see higher-performing models arrive soon. The Z06 will be first to return, with a flat-plane crank V8 pushing out more power and higher revs.
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2020 Maserati GranTurismo
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2020 Tesla Roadster
2020 Tesla Roadster
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2020 Chevrolet Camaro
2020 Chevrolet Camaro
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2020 Ford Mustang
2020 Ford Mustang
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$26,670 - $70,300 12/18 mpg
2020 Dodge Challenger
2020 Dodge Challenger
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$28,095 - $58,995 13/21 mpg
2020 Subaru BRZ
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$28,845 - $31,495 20/27 mpg
2020 Nissan 370Z Coupe
2020 Nissan 370Z Coupe
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$30,090 - $47,190 17/26 mpg
2020 Audi TT Roadster
2020 Audi TT Roadster
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$49,000 23/31 mpg
2020 BMW Z4
2020 BMW Z4
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$49,700 - $63,700 24/31 mpg
2020 Audi A5 Cabriolet
2020 Audi A5 Cabriolet
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$49,900 23/31 mpg
2020 Mercedes-Benz SLC
2020 Mercedes-Benz SLC
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$49,950 - $64,650 20/29 mpg
2020 Toyota GR Supra
2020 Toyota GR Supra
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$49,990 - $55,250 24/31 mpg
2020 Porsche 718 Cayman
2020 Porsche 718 Cayman
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$57,500 - $99,200 16/23 mpg
2020 Chevrolet Corvette
2020 Chevrolet Corvette
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$58,900 - $66,400 15/27 mpg
2020 Porsche 718 Boxster
2020 Porsche 718 Boxster
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$59,600 - $72,000 19/24 mpg
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