Currently reading: Top 10 best super sports cars 2024
McLaren, Porsche, Ferrari, Aston Martin and Audi are vying to claim the best super sports car accolade. But what about Bentley and BMW? We've run the rule over them all for our definitive top 10.

The high end, high performance car waters have never been so richly stocked, with manufacturers cottoning onto the fact that there are a lot of well-heeled customers out there with wads of cash burning a hole in the pocket of their tailored trousers. Cost of living crisis be damned! 

In fact, there are so many different types of go-faster motor to choose from that automotive spotters have needed to revisit and broaden the existing taxonomy for this type of machine. Whether it's sports cars, super-sports cars, supercars or hypercars, the list gets longer every month. Which, let’s face it, is no bad thing.

So, what’s a super-sports car and where does it fit in? Well, as the name suggests these models slot below super and hypercars, which have a dedicated and lazer-like focus on delivering pure performance at the expense of almost everything else. Super-sports cars on the other hand are very nearly as fast and, when the mood takes, can be almost as invigorating to drive. Yet they also mix in a dollop of everyday civility and usability that means you could, and arguably should, use them come rain or shine.

However, while each of the cars here shares the ability to be as comfortable on the commute as it is acing apexes, not all go about it in the same way or at the same price point. As a result, we’ve got front, rear and four-wheel drive options, as well as those with front, mid and rear-engined layouts. And the prices range from around £80,000 to ‘if you have to ask, then you probably can’t afford’. Either way, there should be something for everyone.

1. Ferrari Roma

The Roma is a new mould of more affordable Ferrari that in its execution feels very much like an old one. The classically beautiful, V8-powered, front-engined, two-plus-two-seater coupe shares its platform with the Portofino but has looks and handling appeal way beyond the reach of that convertible relation. It is perhaps most alike Maranello's popular 550 Maranello of the late 1990s in spirit, although not technically in every way: a compact, temptingly attainable, daily-usable sporting GT (which also ranks highly in our super GT top ten, by the way) with the performance, excitement factor and handling vivacity of a proper Ferrari, but a cabin and character you could really put miles on.

The Roma's 3.9-litre turbo V8 gives it in excess of six-hundred horsepower and a top speed within a whisker of 200mph; and yet this is the modern Prancing Horse in relatively laid-back guise, and so it's the car's surprisingly comfortable and sophisticated-feeling interior that really strikes you, which is easy to berth, well equipped with the very latest technological mod cons, and tempting to simply spend time in.

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2. Aston Martin DBS 770 Ultimate

As a final send-off for the DBS, the 770 Ultimate is a rather fitting tribute to one of Aston Martin’s fastest and most driver-focussed series production cars. Just 300 coupes and a further 199 Volante drop tops will be produced, so it’ll remain a rare beast, but if you’re one of the lucky ones then prepare for a rare treat.


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Under that long, long bonnet is a massaged version of the familiar twin-turbocharged 5.2-litre V12 that musters 759bhp (or 770PS, hence the name) and a gargantuan 664lb ft. Performance is eye-widening and the 770 can certain Stroll on when needed, but careful throttle mapping and a new found control and composure in the chassis means you can use more of the car’s rabid urge than you’d ever thought possible, pouring the power in out of bends confident that you’ll never have more angle of dangle from the rear than you’ve asked for.

It’s these dynamic improvements that are the real highlight, the tweaked steering and stronger strut braces combining with the revised damper software to create a car that’s at once thrilling and trustworthy, allowing you to lean on its generous reserves of grip and know exactly when you’re about to overstep the mark. After the standard DBS it’s something of a revelation.

That it combines this back road dynamism with a surprisingly controlled and cosseting ride is the icing on the cake, while the car’s head-turning visuals and richly finished cabin only add to the feeling that Aston Martin has finally got its groove back.

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3. Porsche 911 Turbo S

Porsche's brutally fast, incomparably usable, four-wheel-drive performance icon is back for the '992' generation, and once again ranks as one of the quickest point-to-point cars on the planet. Four-wheel drive and new twin-turbocharged engine tuned to 641bhp contrive to deliver a 2.6sec 0-62mph time and a top speed comfortably north of 200mph. And as with other Porsche 911s in the current range, you can also expect a first-class cabin with tangible luxury allure, and a degree of under-the-radar subtlety absent from some of the more extrovert cars on this list.

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And that's a large part of the appeal with the Turbo S, which is also available in cheaper, slightly less rapacious 'Turbo'-badged guise as well (the real world differences in performances are so small that you’ll really be choosing the S because, well, you can).. Despite its manic pace, the flagship 911 doesn't shout everywhere it goes, and its ability to swallow big distances and plenty of luggage also makes it an authentic alternative even to GT-leaning rivals such as the Ferrari Roma.

Naturally, it'll thrill like few others on a B-road, too. Intuitive steering and just a hint of that rear-biased weight distribution give the driver options, though admittedly the Porsche still isn't quite as playful or involving as some on this list.

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4. Aston Martin Vantage F1 Edition

Aston Martin took a giant leap into true blue driver's car territory with the new Vantage. Never before had Gaydon departed so clearly from its traditional preference for fairly laid-back, long-legged, old-school front-engined GT sports cars than it did here.

Yet initial impressions didn’t quite match the hype. Yes the Vantage was fast, thanks in no small part to its twin-turbocharged Mercedes-AMG heart, and it had character by the bucketload, but it was also slightly underdone. It lacked the finely honed dynamic polish of a Porsche product, with handling that was never quite as intuitive or involving as you’d expect. 

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However, most of that changed with the arrival of the F1 Edition, which was arguably the car the Aston should have been all along. The rather tacky aero additions are the most obvious changes, but it’s the tweaking of the suspension that makes the difference, transforming the Vantage into a car that really rewards your efforts when pushing on.

Never have you been able to drive a series-production Aston as hard as this, the F1 melding newfound composure and communication to satisfying effect. Partly perhaps as a result of all that newfound grip and purpose, the car doesn't quite overcome the limitations of its size and weight and involve like the greatest driver's cars when driven on the road - but it certainly enriches everyday use as a super sports car should, and as only an Aston Martin could.

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5. Bentley Continental GT S

Go big or go home - as mantras go, it’s one that fits the Bentley Continental GT S down to the ground. The Crewe missile doesn’t quite represent the very top of the British brand’s coupe range (that’ll be the W12-engined Speed), but we reckon the one-rung-down V8-powered S is the dynamic sweet spot. 

Whichever way you look at it, something this big and hefty simply shouldn’t be able to do what the Conti can. Yet thanks to trick 48V anti-roll suspension technology and a trick, rear-biased all-wheel drive set-up, this sleek stately home on wheels can be punted hard and to hilarious effect. The steering is quick and precise, and despite the comically large dimensions and near £200,000 price tag you’ll soon be throwing the Bentley around like a Toyota GR86. Well, almost.

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At the heart of its appeal is the 542bhp 4.0-litre V8 that bellows and woofles with the best of them, plus delivers a knock-out punch that easily feels the equal of the 650bhp W12 in the Speed. It’s mated to a slick eight-speed auto that shuffles ratios with the speed and smoothness of an expert croupier. 

However, the Conti’s party trick is that it can do all this and yet still deliver the sort of calm and cosseting environment that makes a trans-Continental dash a journey to savour. The air suspension soaks away road imperfections and there’s little aural disturbances from the outside world. And of course, there’s the trad wood and leather hand-finished interior that feels like a haven of pampered tranquility everytime you climb aboard.

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6. Audi R8 V10

The Audi R8's technical relation to the company's motorsport efforts is clear. The car is a visceral, singular tribute to power and performance, noise and revs, grip and traction. It's hugely exciting to drive, although not quite as rounded, communicative or engaging as the very best super sports cars.

When we first drove the latest R8, we felt it had lost some of the old car's character - trading it for a more digital form. However, with the introduction of the R8 RWD - which, unsurprisingly, drops its front-driven axle - a good helping of that character has been restored. This new series-production model's steering may still lack some of the back-and-forth banter you'd get from the likes of the new 911 Turbo S, but there's an entertaining and approachable - if not totally immersive - super sports car beneath the aggressive exterior.

The car can be had in V10 Performance RWD(562bhp) and V10 Performance (612bhp) forms, which can be combined with closed-roof coupe or open-top Spyder bodies. However, its days are very much numbered, so now’s the time to snap up one of these last-of-an-era machines while you still can.

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7. McLaren GT

Could this really be classed as an all-out supercar rather than a super-sports car? Possibly. Yet by McLaren’s own admission the GT is intended to be a more rounded and approachable machine, with a sheen of usability that means you use it everyday for any task, not just when the sun is shining and you’ve got nowhere to be but on the most interesting road you can find.

As a result, the familiar mid-mounted twin-turbocharged V8 musters ‘just’ 612bhp, while the exterior and interior have clearly been designed with a (slightly) less showy brief than the firm’s more focussed offerings. The suspension has been tuned likewise, with a little more compliance for greater comfort but with minimal reduction in the brand’s famed handling purity. 

In realty, the more restrained Macca doesn’t cut it as a true GT - it’s still too raucous and razor sharp for that. But the edges have been softened and, whisper it, this actually makes it a more satisfying drive for more of the time. The hydraulically assisted steering is quick and oh so chatty, while the slightly less aggressive handling makes the GT more enjoyable for more of the time as well as allowing you to work up to its limits at relatively sane road speeds. Even the engine feels more approachable, the turbos chiming in more smoothly for a more progressive delivery.

Yes the GT is flawed as a grand tourer, but as a leftfield super-sports choice that delivers a big dose of driver thrills it’s something of an under-the-radar hit.

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8. Chevrolet Corvette C8

For its latest iteration, the Corvette has gone mid-engined. Yes, quite a development, that - but not, as it turns out, something anyone should be having serious misgivings about. For around £75,000 in the UK, the C8 offers a 475bhp naturally aspirated V8, an interesting and dramatic cabin, and genuinely well-honed mid-engined dynamics. It's not as precise or feelsome as the now-discontinued McLaren 570S and doesn't general the same poise or accuracy as an Audi R8 or 911 Turbo, but there's meat on the bone here for people who love the engage with the process of driving, and a level of polish many won't be expecting.

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The truth is, if you don't like the way this car sounds and how heartfelt and genuine its character is, I'm not sure you can really claim to be a true car fan. And if you can't respect how much better a sports car the Corvette has now become - whether it's quite the kind of sports car you happen to like, or the break from the sporting norm it used to be - we'd say you're simply not giving it an even break. It's that simple.

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9. Maserati Gran Turismo Folgore

It was only a matter of time before an all-electric car made this list, but perhaps the biggest surprise is that it’s Maserati. Yet having driven very early production versions of the Gran Turismo Folgare it’s fair to say the legendary Italian marque has finally found its mojo after quite a few years in the pedigree car wilderness.

While the latest Gran Turismo looks very like its predecessor, it’s actually all-new from the ground-up and has been designed from the outset to be electrified - and that’s allowed engineers to create a machine that drives like a Maserati should. Not only are there three motors (two at the back and one at the front) deliver a combined might of 751bhp, the batteries are laid out along the transmission tunnel and underneath the rear seats, meaning the masses are centralised and you get a properly sporty low set driving position.

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Performance is predictably mind-scrambling, with the 0-62mph sprint taking just 2.7 seconds and a 199mph top speed if you don’t mind depleting the 83kWh battery equally quickly. Drive with a little more restraint and Maserati reckon 280 miles between electricity top-ups is entirely possible. 

Yet, it’s the surprisingly fleet-footed way the Folgare deals with corners that endears it to the keen driver. The steering is smooth and accurate, while the air suspension and adaptive dampers do a fine job of keeping all the Maser’s mass in check. And with two motors for the rear axle, the Gran Turismo can be neatly torque vectored for enhanced agility as well as some easily accessed hooliganism. Bella machina!, as they say in Italy.

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10. BMW M8 Competition

It's debatable whether this near £140k, 616bhp BMW super coupe (which also comes as a convertible or a four-door, as you prefer) really ought to be considered here as a super sports car, or alongside the likes of a Bentley Continental GT as a super GT. BMW's M Division was certainly seeking to bridge both classes when it bestowed M Division tuning and styling on the M8, as well as a luxurious interior, and a driver-selectable four-wheel drive system whose front driveshafts can be disengaged completely.

The M8's size and two-tonne heft both count against it to a certain extent when you consider it as a pure driver's car. It isn't as involving as an Aston Martin Vantage or Porsche 911, isn't as viscerally exciting as a Ferrari Roma, and doesn't have any of the mid-engined poise or tactile feel of a McLaren; which is what has caused some to wonder why you wouldn't simply save a tidy five-figure sum and have the mechanically related BMW M5 Competition instead.

For BMW M car aficionados, this may be the top of the tree; but viewed in the wider context of the niche in which it plays, the M8 lacks some of the finer detail on both genuine driver appeal and static desirability.

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James Disdale

James Disdale
Title: Special correspondent

James is a special correspondent for Autocar, which means he turns his hand to pretty much anything, including delivering first drive verdicts, gathering together group tests, formulating features and keeping topped-up with the latest news and reviews. He also co-hosts the odd podcast and occasional video with Autocar’s esteemed Editor-at-large, Matt Prior.

For more than a decade and a half James has been writing about cars, in which time he has driven pretty much everything from humble hatchbacks to the highest of high performance machines. Having started his automotive career on, ahem, another weekly automotive magazine, he rose through the ranks and spent many years running that title’s road test desk. This was followed by a stint doing the same job for monthly title, evo, before starting a freelance career in 2019. The less said about his wilderness, post-university years selling mobile phones and insurance, the better.

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Ameliaella 25 August 2023

What an exhilarating lineup of super sports cars for 2023! Each of these machines seems to be a work of art in motion, a fusion of engineering mastery and sheer beauty. The automotive world never ceases to amaze, and this list is a testament to the leaps and bounds the industry is making.

Anton motorhead 4 August 2023
Owning any of these cars would make me feel very lucky and spoilt rotten. Even the McLaren GT looks decent without the aukward eyes of its stable mates. Favourite? The Roma, but not far ahead of any of the others.
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