In 2018 sports cars might seem to be getting overlooked, as pickup trucks, crossovers, and SUVs rule the market. But as long as humans are allowed to drive themselves, there will be sports cars. They’re red meat for enthusiasts, and they turn heads and sell magazines like no other segment.
They also serves as great advertising for their manufacturers, because just getting a chance to check one of these mean machines in person is often enough to draw folks into dealerships. In a perfect world, they hover over everything a marque does, and impart some of their cool factor down the line. That’s why the industry refers to them as halo cars.
So on that note, check out our highly subjective list of the five the coolest 2018 sports cars you’ll find at your local AutoNation dealer.
Now, it’s important to note that the Alfa hasn’t really changed since production began back in 2013 — and that’s more than OK. Because of all the cars on this list, it epitomizes the idea of a sports car. There’s little in the way of creature comforts, the carbon fiber of the chassis is visible on the floors, it’s loud, and there isn’t even any power steering. In this era of absurd power, it gets by with a turbocharged I-4 producing 237 horsepower and 258 pound feet of torque, which is more than enough to motivate its 2500-pound curb weight.
While Mercedes-Benz is rightly celebrated for making some of the most luxurious machines on the planet, the AMG GT shows what happens when its engineers are taken off the leash and tasked with building an unhinged sports car. While it doesn’t have gullwing doors like the classic 300 SL which inspired its gorgeous lines, it does comes with a choice of power levels which would have sounded like science fiction back in the day. The top-spec R Coupe version is packing 577 horsepower and will rocket to 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds.
Enzo Ferrari famously called the Jaguar E-Type the most beautiful car ever made, so the designers of its long-awaited followup had their work cut out for them. But just one look at the F-Type will tell you that they succeeded spectacularly. New for this year is a turbocharged I-4 making 296 horsepower, and while well-heeled buyers can opt for the supercharged 550-horsepower V-8, we’d recommend enthusiasts go all Goldilocks and aim for the 400-horsepower V-6 in the middle of the lineup. Strangely, it’s the only version of this quick cat you can get with a traditional stick.
The Corvette has always been a performance bargain, and proven its mettle on the track at endurance races at Le Mans and Daytona. With a good pilot behind the wheel, even base models will give high-end sports cars a run for their money, but the latest version of its range-topping ZR1 is the most capable Corvette yet. With an enormous 755 horsepower on tap, drivers might not be able to tell whether they’re actually propelling the car or changing the rotation of the earth, and its aggressive aero package makes it obvious this machine is all business.
While most of Stuttgart’s sales come from its Macan and Cayenne SUVs, that hasn’t stopped Porsche from offering its most iconic sports car in a ton of different flavors. But whether you opt for the basic 911 Carrera, or a fortunate enough to score one of the ultra-rare and pricey GT2 RS models, you’ll experience the legendary driving dynamics which have made Porsche fans some of the automotive world’s most dedicated. If you’re looking for something that’ll handle both the day-to-day grind and lap after lap at the track, the 911 simply can’t be overlooked.