The cars which make this list are those which do not traditionally fall into the Exotic or Supercar category, and like the previous post, must also be current year models that you can walk into a dealership today and purchase.
Despite not being at the top of most enthusiasts’ “if you could only pick one car…” lists, these automobiles remain remarkable at what they do and are leaders in their respective classes. Whether it be for their outright performance, all-around packaging or industry-changing technologies, these cars play an important role in shaping the automotive landscape.
To help keep this relatively long list of cars more palatable, we’ve divided it into a few major categories: the best coupes, the best sedans / 4-doors, the best high-end sports cars, and the best everyday sports cars.
Best New Coupes
Cars embodying the essence of sports car performance, in a classic 2-door silhouette.
1. 2020 Toyota Supra
Base price: $50,945 / Engine: 3.0L turbocharged inline-6 / Power: 335 hp @ 5,000 rpm / Torque: 365 lb-ft @ 1,600 rpm / 0-60 mph: 4.1 s
It has been a long wait since the last Supra was around – 21 years, for those who weren’t counting. Five years ago, Toyota unveiled the unique FT-1 Concept. Early in 2019, they officially revealed its new Supra sports car. The model debuted with more buzz around it than any other Toyota car before it. The car is the fastest Toyota-badged vehicle to date with a 0 to 60 time of just 4.1 seconds. It is powered by a 3.0L turbocharged inline-6 engine that makes 335 hp and 365 lb-ft of torque.
The engine is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. Its low center of gravity and 50:50 weight distribution should help make it a popular choice for enthusiasts and track warriors alike. Moreover, it has a double-strut-spring front suspension and multi-link rear suspension, and comes standard with 19-inch wheels and Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires, as well as Brembo brakes.
2. 2020 BMW M4 CS
Base price: $104,095 / Engine: 3.0L twin-turbocharged inline-6 / Power: 454 hp @ 6,250 rpm / Torque: 442 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm / 0-60 mph: 3.7 s
BMW has pitched the CS version of the M4 as the lighter, more extreme M4. There is weight saving throughout the car and and compared with the Competition, the CS gets a 10-hp boost to 454 bhp. Model-specific tuning for the electronically controlled limited-slip differential, the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, the adaptive M suspension, and the steering are intended to improve the CS’s dynamic performance.
3. 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500
Base price: $73,995 / Engine: 5.2L supercharged V8 / Power: 760 hp @ 7,300 rpm / Torque: 625 lb-ft @ 5,000 rpm / 0-60 mph: 3.3 s
There’s a lot to love about the GT350’s bigger brother – the new Ford Mustang Shelby GT500. It’s the most muscular of all of Ford’s vehicles, but it’s not just fast in a straight line with its supercharged 760 hp V8. The car can make its way around the twists and bends of the most technical racetracks really quickly, too. There’s a lot to love about the GT500. It’s the most muscular of all of Ford’s vehicles, but it’s not just a fast in a straight line, the car can make its way around a racetrack really quickly. Almost as quick as a Porsche 911 GT3 RS on track.
4. 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350
Base price: $60,235 / Engine: 5.2L naturally aspirated V8 / Power: 526 hp @ 7,500 rpm / Torque: 429 lb-ft @ 4,750 rpm / 0-60 mph: 4.1 s
The Shelby GT350 is a powerful, yet nimble version of the Mustang that is equally at home on the race track as it is on the city streets. One of its most remarkable traits is its super high revving 5.2L V8 engine which redlines at an astronomical 8,250 rpm. The sport-tuned suspension is very capable on the circuit, but refined enough for daily use. The GT350R is available for those who prefer to have a more hardcore track-toy or weekend warrior via an even firmer chassis and a set of lighter carbon fibre wheels.
5. 2020 BMW M2 CS
Base price: $83,600 / Engine: 3.0L twin-turbocharged inline-6 / Power: 444 hp @ 5,230 rpm / Torque: 406 lb-ft @ 2,350 rpm / 0-60 mph: 3.8 s
The BMW M2 CS is a step above the M2 Competition. It offers more power and improved performance. Oh, and a manual transmission. Automotive purists, rejoice! The M2 CS comes with tweaked looks, too, and is the smallest super-fast sports car from BMW right now. The car features a turbocharged inline-six-cylinder engine that makes 444 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque. That’s a bump of 39 more hp than the M2 Competition. Learn more…
The 2020 Audi RS5 is the highest performance and boldest styling-wise Audi 5 model. Impressive straight-line speed thanks to its twin-turbo V-6 and sharp cornering abilities thanks to its proven Quattro all-wheel-drive system. Despite its intimidating appearance and track-ready hardware, the mighty Audi coupe is actually a comfortable daily driver. A great daily executive car with enough poke to keep enthusiasts happy.
7. 2020 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
Base price: $62,000 (est.) / Engine: 6.2L naturally aspirated V8 / Power: 650 hp @ 6,400 rpm / Torque: 650 lb-ft @ 3,600 rpm / 0-60 mph: 3.5 s
The all-new range-topping Camaro ZL1 is slated to come with the Corvette’s Z06 engine as standard, providing phenomenal value when it comes to performance. The track-oriented 1LE package adds performance upgrades that allow the car to handle and brake more capably. It is available in coupe and convertible body styles. The ZL1 has a 650-hp supercharged V-8 behind its aggressive-looking front end, and it offers drivers their choice of an engaging manual transmission or a lightning-quick automatic.
Best New 4-Door Performance Sedans
The best performance-oriented saloons and wagons. Predictably German-biased.
1. Audi RS6 Avant
Base price: $112,745 (est.) / Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8 / Power: 591 hp @ (TBD) rpm / Torque: 590 lb-ft @ (TBD) rpm / 0-60 mph: 3.5 s
The 2020 Audi RS 6 Avant’s sheds the conservative styling but keeps the high-performance station wagon concept. Derived from the already-excellent Audi A6 sedan, the souped-up station wagon adds RS-specific bodywork and exclusive go-fast goodies. Powered by a twin-turbo 4 liter V-8 and 48V mild-hybrid system. The system makes 591 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque and the car goes like the clappers. A beast.
2. 2020 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG Estate
Base price: $111,750 / Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8 / Power: 603 hp @ 5,750 rpm / Torque: 627 lb-ft @ 2,500 rpm / 0-60 mph: 3.3 s
Sending 603 handcrafted horsepower deftly to the pavement via variable-torque AMG Performance 4MATIC+, the E 63 S outperforms any wagon on the road. Is it a spacious supercar or a fast family car? Only one way to find out: Open it up.
3. 2020 BMW M5
Base price: $102,700 (est.) / Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8 / Power: 600 hp @ 6,000 rpm / Torque: 543 lb-ft @ 1,800 rpm / 0-60 mph: 3.2 s
Car & Driver said: “Despite its playful all-wheel-drive system and brutal acceleration, the 2020 BMW M5 isn’t the ultimate sports sedan, but its performance is stunning nonetheless“. Here’s the thing though. Where else can you walk into a dealership and buy a sedan that has 600+ hp, all-wheel drive traction, four doors and stunning performance both in a straight line and on track. It is an epic sedan and the class leader.
4. 2020 Mercedes-AMG C63 AMG
Base price: $68,100 / Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8 / Power: 469 hp @ 5,500 rpm / Torque: 479 lb-ft @ 1,750 rpm / 0-60 mph: 3.9 s
A handcrafted biturbo V8 and paddle-shifted multiclutch 9-speed put 469 hp in your hands. Adaptive AMG RIDE CONTROL and a limited-slip diff make it quick on its feet. And an exquisitely detailed cabin lets you take laps in luxury.
5. 2020 Mercedes-AMG GT 63
Base price: $161,200 / Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8 / Power: 630 hp @ 5,500 rpm / Torque: 664 lb-ft @ 2,500 rpm / 0-60 mph: 3.1 s
It has twice the doors and twice the seats of any AMG GT before it. Yet it builds on every dominant trait: Brilliant handling. Exquisite appointments. Seductive style. And a handcrafted biturbo V8 sending 630 hp to its four wheels.
Best New High-End Performance Cars
Cars which possess exotic/supercar DNA and levels of performance, at prices reflecting their stature.
1. 2020 Chevrolet Corvette
Base price: $59,995 / Engine: 6.2L naturally aspirated V8 / Power: 490 hp @ 6,450 rpm / Torque: 465 lb-ft @ 5,150 rpm / 0-60 mph: 3.0 s
Probably the most exciting thing to come from the American brand (and perhaps the entire automotive industry) for a long time, is the new mid-engine 2020 Chevrolet Corvette. It is expected to go full-tilt against the likes of exotic brands such as Porsche, Ferrari and McLaren on the performance front, while costing substantially less to own. On paper, its bang-for-buck looks untouchable and potentially industry-disrupting. It comes in both coupe and convertible body styles.
Porsche’s “ultimate driver’s car” is now also available in a convertible configuration for the 2020 model year, and looks set to be a fan favorite of track junkies and enthusiasts alike. Absolutely thrilling to pilot as you carve through corners and hit your apexes, the GT4 (coupe) / 718 Spyder (convertible) rewards proper driving skills with a sense of satisfaction and reciprocation that few other cars can provide these days.
The greatness continues. After 55 years Porsche shows that the 911 can still be improved. The work in progress continues with the latest version of the 911 (known as Type 992). The models will start to hit the showroom in late 2020 with four models initially for launch that will be quickly followed in the coming 12-18 months. It looks familiar, feels familiar, sounds familiar – and when it comes to the 911, that’s always a good thing.
4. 2020 Nissan GT-R
Base price: $115,335 / Engine: 3.8L twin-turbocharged V6 / Power: 565 hp @ 6,800 rpm / Torque: 467 lb-ft @ 3,300 rpm / 0-60 mph: 2.8 s
The venerable Nissan GT-R is still going strong, on its now decade-old R35 platform. Given incremental, yet important updates every model year, the GT-R has stayed relevant even though it remains in theory, the same car since 2009. With its regular improvements has come an equally consistent increase in the sticker price. Competition within the supercar segment has gotten a lot more contested as well. So while the GT-R no longer boasts the same value-for-performance when it debuted all that time ago as an exotic supercar destroyer, it is still by all accounts a top performer amongst the very best that’s out there.
5. 2020 Tesla Model S Performance
Base price: $101,190 / Engine: Electric dual-motors / Power: 762 hp / Torque: 713 lb-ft / 0-60 mph: 2.4 s
The Tesla Model S is widely recognized as being the first true “tech car” on the planet. Tesla continues using the model blueprint from 2019, offering just the two trims for the Model S in 2020 – Long Range and Performance. Naturally, the Performance model is considered top of the range, with its mind-boggling figures justifying its place there. It is capable of doing 0-60 mph in just 2.4 seconds, which duly puts it in supercar territory. Here we are in the year 2020 with “full self-driving capability” on the horizon for this model. Awesome performance sedan, a beast.
In the new 718 Boxster and Cayman GTS, Porsche has replaced the 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with a 4.0-liter naturally aspirated flat-six engine pulled from the Spyder and GT4. The four-pot engine is still available in the S version of the cars and below, but the GTS gets the six-cylinder just like they should. The flat-six in the car may be related to the Spyder and GT4, but it makes a little less power. The engine pumps out 394 hp and 309 lb-ft of torque. There’s more good news, too. This car can only be had with a six-speed manual transmission. It also comes with a sport exhaust system.
7. 2020 Lotus Evora GT
Base price: $96,950 USD / Engine: 3.5L supercharged V6 / Power: 416 hp @ 7,000 rpm / Torque: 317 lb-ft @ 3,500 rpm / 0-60 mph: 3.8 s
If you looked at the new 2020 Chevrolet Corvette and said, “Nope, not the mid-engine car for me,” and you also don’t want a McLaren, Ferrari, Lamborghini, or any of the other exotics out there, then you should look to the aging but still lovely Lotus Evora.In North America, you can get your hands on the most powerful street-legal Lotus available – the Evora GT – for under $100,000 USD. The Evora 400 continues to be the ‘base’ model in North America and the Middle East.
Best New Everyday Car
These cars emphasize a combination of everyday driveability, versatility, utilitarianism and value.
1. 2020 Tesla Model 3 Performance
Base price: $65,200 / Engine: Electric dual-motors / Power: 450 hp / Torque: 471 lb-ft / 0-60 mph: 3.5 s
The Model 3 itself is a pretty revolutionary car, offering its currently unrivaled combination of performance, utility, range and price. The Performance model allows you to experience this at the highest levels. With absurd acceleration, nimble handling, and a price well below the 6-figure mark even when optioned-out, the Model 3 Performance is set to sell a lot of units. The trim comes with its own unique 450 hp dual-motor drivetrain and has all-wheel-drive as standard.
2. 2020 Honda Civic Type R
Base price: $37,230 / Engine: 2.0L turbocharged I4 / Power: 306 hp @ 6,500 rpm / Torque: 295 lb-ft @ 2,500 rpm / 0-60 mph: 5.0 s
The new CTR was presented at the 2020 Tokyo Auto Salon. The updates to the car should help with some of the overheating complaints that were making their rounds. To address these, a larger grille is being fitted to improve engine cooling. The Type R will also get a Boost Blue exterior color that’s exclusive to the model. Additional updates include a modified front suspension that includes new dampers. This should allow the front-wheel-drive car to handle more smoothly and steer with improved feel. The 2.0L turbo four remains unchanged as does its super-slick and satisfying 6-speed manual transmission.
3. 2020 Ford Focus RS
Base price: $45,000 (est.) / Engine: 2.3L turbocharged I4 w/ hybrid electric motor / Power: ~400 hp / Torque: ~400 lb-ft / 0-60 mph: ~4.4 s
Expected to come with a hybrid powertrain for 2020, the new Ford Focus RS will be the most powerful version yet. The model will continue using the turbocharged 2.3L four-banger, which with the help of electric boost, will make up to 400 hp compared to the previous version’s 350 hp. More details are expected to be revealed later this year, with a release slated before 2021 comes around.
4. 2020 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo
Base Price: $190,200 / Engine: 4L Twin-Turbocharged V8 + Electric / Power: 677 hp / Torque: 626 lb-ft / 0-60 mph: 3.2 seconds / Top Speed: 192 mph
The base Panamera gets a turbo V6 with 330 hp and rear-wheel drive, while the Panamera 4 gets all-wheel drive. Moving up to the Panamera S and 4S means upgrading to a twin-turbo 2.9 liter V6 with 440-hp. Above that Porsche has the Panamera GTS range and that is when things get super fun. The GTS Panamera cars get a 4 liter twin-turbo V8 engine good for 453 hp. The Panamera range also has a number of hybrid powertrain options and shooting brake gran turismo body style. In fact it is the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid that sits on top of the Panamera performance heap with its 4 liter twin-turbocharged V8 and electric motor generating an absurd 677 hp and 626 lb-ft of torque.
5. 2020 Lexus LC500
Base price: $92,950 / Engine: 5.0L naturally aspirated V8 / Power: 471 hp @ 7,100 rpm / Torque: 398 lb-ft @ 4,800 rpm / 0-60 mph: 4.9 s
The range-topping luxury coupe continues to use the same naturally aspirated V8 power plant seen in the rest of the brand’s performance lineup. Notable features include the adjustable suspension which serves to provide a remarkable fusion of performance and comfort.
For 2020, the LC 500 remains virtually unchanged, although Lexus has gone on record to say a convertible variant is definitely on its way, perhaps later in the year.
6. 2020 Jaguar F Type SVR
Base price: $123,600 / Engine: 5.0L supercharged V8 / Power: 575 hp @ 6,000 rpm / Torque: 516 lb-ft @ 2,500 rpm / 0-60 mph: 3.4 s
Stepping up the the highest trim of the brand’s poster car will also net you more performance. Lighter, sharper and faster than the F-Type R, the aforementioned has the V8 engine uprated to 575 hp, a re-tuned electric steering system, a tweaked stability control module, and more carbon fibre as standard. For the 2020 model year, the Jaguar F-Type SVR now has front parking sensors and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration as standard equipment.