The mighty Corvette truly competes with the world’s greatest sports cars, no excuses required. With a 6.2-liter V-8 making 455 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque (an optional sport exhaust is good for 460 hp and 465 lb-ft), an eight-speed automatic is now available in addition to the standard seven-speed manual. The Corvette sheds its unrefined reputation and has an interior befitting its stature. The Grand Sport is a 10Best winner, combining the LT1 V-8 with the Z06’s bodywork and chassis hardware.
Porsche 718 Boxster
Continuing to define sports-car excellence, the Boxster is once again a 10Best winner. With turbo four-cylinders (the base is a 300-hp 2.0-liter; the S gets a 350-hp 2.5-liter) that are substantially more powerful and torque-rich—making the Boxster faster—we can’t help but miss the guttural yowl from Porsche’s iconic flat-six. Despite these changes, the mid-engine roadster certainly hasn’t lost its dynamic perfection, which is nearly without equal. A touchscreen infotainment system is optional.
From its seductively long hood to its steeply raked windshield and wide rear haunches, the F-type is a stunner. Offered as both a coupe and a convertible, it gets a snarling 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 pumping out 340 hp to the rear wheels through a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic. Racier S models get a boost to 380 hp and offer all-wheel drive with the automatic. Suspension tuning is firm, and the F-type is always eager to play, but the cost is an often harsh ride over bumpy roads.
Audi TT / TTS
With snazzy styling and peppy performance, the TT and TTS appeal to both the practical and the passionate. The TT has a 220-hp turbo four; the TTS makes 292 hp. Quattro all-wheel drive and a six-speed dual-clutch automatic are standard on both models; a manual, unfortunately, is not offered. The TT is available as both coupe and softtop; the TTS only as a coupe. With well-tuned suspensions, the TT and TTS are effortlessly fast. They blend style with refinement in ways the competition doesn’t.
Lotus Evora 400
With its lightweight chassis of bonded aluminum, supple suspension, and mid-engine layout, there’s nothing ordinary about the Evora 400. A supercharged 3.5-liter V-6 cranks out 400 hp; a six-speed manual is standard and a paddle-shifted six-speed automatic is optional. We estimate a 0-to-60 time of 4.3 seconds and a top speed of 172 mph. Handling is lively, steering is light yet responsive, and the brakes excellent; acceleration, however, doesn’t feel as strong as we would expect 400 hp to be.