Which are the best luxury sports cars you should drive in 2021? We have compiled a list of our top picks to help you make the decision with ease.
Combining uncompromised engineering with a high degree of care for its discerning customers, luxury sports cars leave little to compromise.
Some sports cars are bare-bones performance machines stripped of all but driving essentials, like the Ariel Atom, Caterham 7, or the Lotus Elise. Cars like Toyota’s GR Supra hold the middle ground but are still more on the comfortable side, whereas luxury sports cars are a whole different ball game.
Luxury does come in many forms. Some of it has to do with the luxury sports car brand’s strength, but in all honesty, it has more to do with comfort and ample use of high-quality materials and components.
Next, there’s also technology and all the little things that make every drive an indulgent experience. For some, it’s also the ability to personalize your car to the tiniest detail. Finally, when you add performance to each of these traits, what you’re getting is a superb luxury sports car, and these ten are among the best vehicles on the market in 2021.
1. Porsche 911 GT3 Touring
Let’s start with sports cars fundamentals embodied in the most iconic sports cars silhouette ever created. The venerable 911 is a luxury sports car staple, and the GT3 Touring is just a perfectly mixed cocktail of convenience, style, and performance. So, what makes the all-new 992-generation Porsche 911 GT3 Touring the ultimate luxury sports car?
First off, its naturally aspirated 502-horsepower 4.0-liter flat-six powerful engine revs up to 9,000 RPM, just like inside a regular GT3. Next, it’s packed inside a sleek wingless body, losing on downforce but winning big in style. There’s more, as Porsche offers it with a six-speed manual transmission as a no-cost option, provided that you don’t live in California where it’s available only with an 8-speed PDK.
Finally, instead of Alcantara, the Touring features extensive leather upholstery with a strong emphasis on fulfilling custom orders. This unique blend of enthusiast-pleasing features makes the 911 GT3 the most versatile 911 on the market, hence the epitome of a luxury sports car.
2. Lexus LC 500
To many, Lexus’ design is hard to digest, especially its spindle grille reminiscent of a Predator jaw. But, there’s something highly respectable about the way Lexus executed the looks of the LC 500 coupé, sculpting what is perhaps the most dynamic grand tourer on the market. Contrasting the bold exterior, the interior of this sports coupé is elegant and restrained, typical of modern-day Lexus.
When it comes to character, the LC 500 is powered by a 471-horsepower 5.0-liter V8 powering the rear wheels through a 10-speed Direct-Shift automatic with magnesium paddle shifters.
The interior of this luxury car offers caramel or black leather upholstery with Alcantara headliner and door card inserts, or should one opt for the Sport package, firm-hugging seats wrapped in red leather and Alcantara.
This trim isn’t just a gimmick though, as the Lexus LC 500 also gets a Torsen limited-slip rear differential and Yamaha performance dampers and an optional carbon-fiber roof, transforming the grand tourer into a more capable front-engined V8 sports car.
3. BMW M4 Competition
We’re continuing the best luxury sports cars by sticking to the ‘controversial front end’ theme, but this time from BMW and its new sports coupé, the M4. Powered by a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged straight-six and with extensive options, the M4 Competition could be specified to be an all-out track monster or a highly capable luxurious car.
Moreover, suppose the standard palette of high impact colors isn’t enough. In that case, BMW Individual offers a host of exclusive shades, including five ‘frozen’ finishes, enabling prospective owners to stand out of the crowd even more. However, suppose the owner of this luxury vehicle is inclined towards sheer speed. In that case, the M Performance is there with forged wheels, coilover suspension, titanium exhaust, and many, many more.
4. Lamborghini Huracán STO
Up until the Gallardo, the non-V12 range of sports cars from Sant’Agata Bolognese was never held in high regard, but it all changed when Volkswagen took over. Now, the Gallardo was succeeded by the mighty Huracán, a car proudly bearing its tempestuous name and Lamborghini’s sharp and angular wedge design.
A further evolution of the Performante, the Huracán Super Trofeo Omologata is an even more performance-oriented baby Lambo. This no-nonsense sports car pushes out 640 very angry horses, sending all power from the 5.2-liter naturally aspirated V10 to the rear wheels via 7-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Talking about luxury in the plush sense of the word is hard with such a weapon of a car, so we’ll just say a few other important things: CCM-R carbon-ceramic brakes, acres of carbon fiber inside and out for a total weight of 2951 lb, thoroughly revised aerodynamics and racing helmet storage in the front trunk.
5. Audi R8
While a vast majority of sports cars are on the loud, sometimes even obnoxious side, our 5th pick for our luxury sports car list, the Audi R8, has always begged to differ. Its elegant design made it a true supercar in a tux, and the latest generation is no different, although it sports a more aggressive angular design and a menacing front fascia.
Apart from its striking looks and matching performance, the 2021 Audi R8 excels in the interior as well. Driver-oriented cockpit, high-quality Nappa leather, and optional diamond stitched pattern all scream understated luxury, and so do the optional carbon inserts and B&O 13-speaker sound system. Mate all of this with a mid-mounted 532-or-602-horsepower V10 engine, and you’ll get a sports car that can exceed even the highest expectations in its own special way.
6. Aston Martin DBS Superleggera
All the way from the David Brown era to this very day, Aston Martin never lacked two things: style and power.
Over the years, the iconic British brand worked with two renowned Italian coachbuilders, Carrozzeria Touring and Zagato, with both workshops creating automotive gems like DB4 and DB4 GT. Thanks to Victor Gauntlett’s acquisition of Zagato, the coachbuilder still produces ultra-exclusive cars for the Gaydon-based brand. At the same time, Aston Martin paid tribute to Touring by introducing the DBS Superleggera in 2018.
This luscious grand tourer is based on the DB11 but with more than a few aesthetic and mechanical upgrades. The 5.2-liter twin-turbocharged V12 engine is nested low and deep inside the rigid chassis. It produces 715 horsepower which are sent to the rear wheels via ZF 8HP95 8-speed automatic. Keeping the weight down, large portions of the body were crafted in carbon fiber, and the DBS Superleggera was sculpted to possess optimal aerodynamics and captivating beauty. Finally, the interior is worthy of a flagship V12 GT, especially if configured through Q by Aston Martin’s bespoke branch.
7. Bentley Continental GT Speed
There’s no better way to name a grand tourer than Bentley did when it first introduced the Continental nameplate all the way in the early 1950s. Seven decades later, the 2021 Bentley Continental GT Speed is more than worthy of its name as it stays true to all core values of the original gentleman express.
The Continental GT Speed gets its…well…speed, from a 6.0-liter 650 horsepower W12, the luxury part of its persona is equally impressive. Bentley offers near-endless personalization options with 89 exterior shades to choose from, as well as an array of interior finishes ranging from traditional wood to high tech carbon fiber or gentlemen drivers’ favorite circular brushed aluminum, all crowned with subtle touches like diamond knurled instruments and tactile controls. To us, it’s more than enough for the Continental GT Speed to find its place on the list.
8. Mercedes AMG GT 4-Door 63S 4MATIC+
Normally, sports cars are either coupés or convertibles, but for diversity’s sake in our list of luxury sports cars, this entry is a luxurious four-door sedan with a long name and a blisteringly fast Nürburgring time of 7:23,009. To put that in perspective, this supersedan (or four-door coupe) lapped the ‘Ring faster than the C8 Corvette, Ferrari 812 Superfast and 997.2 911 GT2 RS, among many others.
All this being said, the Mercedes AMG GT 4-Door 63S is a perfect marriage of outstanding performance and world-class build quality. Of course, there’s a long list of standard and optional comfort-enhancing features, including 14-or-25-speaker Burmester audio, heated front, and rear seats, heated and cooled cupholders and, all that in a luxury sedan doing 0-60 mph in 3.1 seconds and much, much more.
9. Alfa Romeo Giulia QV
After a long hiatus, Alfa Romeo returned stateside in fabulous fashion fronted by the high performance Giulia QV sedan. Beneath the boy racerish looks accentuated with an aggressive body kit, the Giulia QV is a family sports car powered by a 503-horsepower twin-turbo V6 derived from the F154 Ferrari V8. As such, it’s more than fit to wear its historic nameplate and the Quadrifoglio Verde badge.
Talking about its sports car credentials, there’s more to the Giulia QV than a Ferrari-sourced powerhouse. It features surgically precise steering, perfect weight distribution, and a host of racey features such as carbon fiber steering wheel and carbon fiber Recaro buckets, all making it one of the best-performing sedans ever created.
10. Ferrari Roma
Since the penultimate car on our best luxury sports car list was a Ferrari-powered one, the only fitting way to finish this countdown is with a true Ferrari.
A front-engined V8-powered Ferrari is something of a novelty for Maranello, as this family branch was introduced in 2008 with the California and continued in 2017 with the Portofino. In late 2019, Ferrari gave us the Roma, the latest and the sleekest baby grand tourer so far.
Ferrari markets the elegant Roma under the slogan La Nuova Dolce Vita and rightfully so, as everything about it screams sweet life the Italian way. Ferrari offers a number of historic throwbacks for the nostalgic, including another retro-modern take on the Daytona seats and an automatic transmission console reminiscent of Maranello’s traditional gated shifter. As for the power, the twin-turbo F154 V8 packs 612 thoroughbred horses paired with the 8-speed dual-clutch F1 transmission.
A combination of delicate looks, superior build quality, and refined performance makes the Roma the greatest neoclassical Ferrari and a truly generous luxury sports car with a magnificent driving experience.
Do you believe we missed a luxury sports car that should have been within our top 10? Comment below.
[Feature image courtesy of Ferrari]