10 Sports Cars So Perfect Aftermarket Upgrades Should Be Illegal - SUV VEHICLE

10 Sports Cars So Perfect Aftermarket Upgrades Should Be Illegal

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For those who love sports cars, it is not just the car that gets the heart thumping. It’s the feel, the freedom, the speed, and the awareness that you are driving around in a machine that is not only fast but also fun to drive. Sports cars can also be luxurious, but regardless, they will always turn heads. When you first sit behind the wheel in your favorite sports car and start pushing it to the limit for a while, it is one of the biggest thrills you can get. However, once the initial buzz subsides, there is usually something that you feel could need improvement.




Also, bear in mind that sports cars in general are expensive, including some of the models on this list, but for good reason. Having said that, there are sports cars out there which are so good out of the box that bolting any aftermarket parts or upgrades to them should be definitively outlawed. That said, we have chosen the following sports cars for their beautiful style, charisma, face-melting speed, and handling prowess, just as their respective automakers intended them to be.

UPDATE: 2024/04/12

There are several sports cars out there that are as close to perfect as any car can get. Therefore, we have added five more cars to this list, including an iconic Japanese model and a quintessential American sports car.

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In order to give you the most up-to-date and accurate information possible, the data used to compile this article was sourced from various manufacturer websites and other authoritative sources, including Car and Driver, and Top Gear. The cars on this list have been arranged based on price (sourced from Classic.com), starting from the cheapest sports car to the most expensive model.



15 1994 Mazda MX-5

Average Used Price: $10,042

1989-1997 Mazda MX-5 Miata NA
Bring A Trailer

The Mazda Miata is a timeless classic, one that will go down in history as one of the most influential cars ever produced. Through the Miata, Mazda demonstrated that a fun-to-drive car didn’t have to be expensive, flashy, or extremely powerful. The MX-5 endeared itself to the world thanks to its agility, simplicity, and lightweight nature. Four generations in, the Mazda MX-5 is still a great car to drive. However, to truly understand why the Miata enchanted the world, go for the first-gen example.


1994 Mazda MX-5 Performance Specifications

Engine

1.8-liter inline-four

Transmission

Five-Speed Manual

Horsepower

128 horsepower

Torque

110 pound-feet

Driveline

RWD

0-60 MPH

8.8 Seconds

Top Speed

118 MPH

(Specs: Mazda)

Any first-gen Miata is fine, but we suggest that you search for models from the 1994 model year onwards: Mazda updated the MX-5 in 1993, installing a more powerful engine, bigger brakes, and larger drivetrain components. Thanks to Mazda’s infallible reliability, you will find one in a reasonable state for around $10,000. That’s a bargain, considering the rave reviews the first-gen Mazda gets.

Pros

  • Enjoyable car to drive
  • Affordable
  • It is a timeless classic


Cons

  • Lacks modern tech
  • Some examples are poorly maintained
  • Lethargic engine

14 2016 Volkswagen Golf GTI

Average Used Price: $23,481

A driving 2017 Volkswagen Golf GTI
Volkswagen

The Golf GTI has long been the benchmark for hot hatch performance. Like the Mazda Miata, the Golf GTI has inevitably gained some pounds since it captured the world’s imagination in the 1970s. However, thanks to its finely tuned chassis, it is still a fantastic car to drive and a practical car to live with. It will function as a daily driver during the week and as a track car during weekends.


2016 Volkswagen Golf GTI Performance Specifications

Engine

Turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four

Transmission

Six-Speed Manual or Six-Speed Automatic

Horsepower

220 horsepower

Torque

258 pound-feet

Driveline

FWD

0-60 MPH

5.9 Seconds

Top Speed

152 MPH

(Specs: Volkswagen)

Though less potent than the current-gen GTI, the seventh-gen Golf remains a fantastic car. Its allure is that it is significantly cheaper than the current model, despite the relatively minor difference in performance between the two generations. For instance, the 2016 GTI is only 0.1 seconds slower to 60 MPH than its successor. There’s no better time than now to buy a Golf GTI, as the next-generation example will likely be electric.

Pros

  • Peppy turbocharged engine
  • Finely tuned chassis
  • Acres of passenger space


Cons

  • Outdated infotainment system
  • Stiff ride
  • Optional packages and extras may raise the asking price

13 2018 BMW M3

Average Used Price: $45,365

Gray 2018 BMW M3 CS
BMW

The 2018 BMW M3 is a beast wrapped up in a sophisticated shell. Driving this on any twisty roads, you won’t even break into a sweat. The handling on the M3 is precise and easy to steer, meaning that you will look like an expert on country roads after only a short time driving this compact sports sedan. Featuring a domed hood, wide fenders, carbon-fiber roof, quad-exhaust, four doors, and four seats; it is the kind of car that looks sporty but means you can take the family out on long trips whilst still having endless fun.


2018 BMW M3 Performance Specifications

Engine

Twin-Turbo, 3.0-Liter Inline-Six

Transmission

Six-Speed Manual or Seven-Speed Automatic

Horsepower

425 HP

Torque

406 LB-FT

Driveline

RWD

0-60 MPH

4.0 Seconds

Top Speed

155 MPH

(Specs: BMW)

The 2018 M3’s driver-focused interior is a nice place to put the driver in the spotlight with a comfortable steering wheel and all the gadgets and toys you need within easy-reaching distance. The infotainment system is a breeze to use with a rotary knob in the center, making changing modes and anything you or your passengers want to do very easy! The only downside to the M3 is that all the goodies you’d expect from the price, things like automatic emergency braking and lane departure warning are not standard, unless, of course, you look at newer, more expensive M3 Models.


Pros

  • Sophisticated look and feel
  • Fantastic handling on tricky roads
  • High-Quality German engineering

Cons

  • You will need to pay more for aspects that are standard in rival cars
  • Slower to 60 miles per hour than competitors
  • Harsh ride-quality

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12 2015 Jaguar F-TYPE R

Average Used Price: $49,549

2015 Jaguar F-TYPE Coupe in red posing on mountain road
Jaguar

Inspired by the legendary E-TYPE, that Jaguar built in the 1960s, the 2015 Jaguar F-TYPE amalgamates beautiful lines, luscious style, a seriously good engine, and near-perfect handling on most roads. Featuring a very low stance, long nose, sleek curves, and tiny trunk, the F-TYPE is the epitome of what a sports car should look like. Inspiration taken from a timeless car that has been ranked one of the most beautiful cars in the world is the perfect mix of fun, beauty, and precision.


2015 Jaguar F-TYPE Performance Specifications

Engine

5.0-Liter Supercharged V-8

Transmission

Eight-Speed Automatic

Horsepower

550 HP

Torque

502 LB-FT

Driveline

RWD

0-60 MPH

3.5 Seconds

Top Speed

188 MPH

(Specs: Jaguar)

Driving in an F-TYPE is bound to make you feel sophisticated thanks to the driver-centric cockpit and plush interior. But, if you decide you want to shake the suave, sophisticated look and drive like a hooligan, you also can. Featuring changeable driving modes, ranging from comfort to sport, you can turn off the traction control, which means endless fun. Big back-end slides! The F-TYPE strikes a great balance for the driver; drive like you are driving on rails or drive like you can only go sideways.


Pros

  • Impeccable style
  • Great thumping V-8 engine that delivers awesome sound and speed
  • Top-class handling

Cons

  • Slow infotainment system
  • Small trunk
  • It doesn’t have the same appeal as some of its rivals

11 2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350

Average Used Price: $55,673

A parked 2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350
Ford

Powered by the Voodoo engine, a high-powered variant of the second-generation Coyote engine, the GT350 Mustang was rapid. The naturally aspirated sang an ungodly tune as it revved all the way to 8,250 RPM. It made no secret of the fact that it was the GT350’s party piece. The GT350 remains the most potent naturally aspirated Mustang ever produced. Even the current-gen Dark Horse variant pales in comparison to the black magic-powered GT350.


2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 Performance Specifications

Engine

5.2-liter V-8

Transmission

Six-Speed Manual

Horsepower

526 horsepower

Torque

429 pound-feet

Driveline

RWD

0-60 MPH

4.2 Seconds

Top Speed

180 MPH

(Specs: Ford)

The GT350 was fast but forgiving: Ford tuned the suspension to suit street use and performance. The automaker offered the hardcore GT350R for people who wanted an unadulterated track machine: it featured stiffer suspension, lightweight wheels, and aggressive aerodynamics. The GT350 has already become a collector’s car. Therefore, get one quickly before prices start soaring.


Pros

  • Insanely powerful V-8
  • Attractive looks
  • Could gain value over the years

Cons

  • Pricey for a Mustang
  • Poor rear visibility
  • Cramped rear seats

10 2024 Toyota GR Supra 3.0 Premium

MSRP: $58,500

Orange 2024 Toyota GR Supra
Toyota

The Supra name is synonymous with aftermarket mods. Due to rising MK4 prices, the underrated MK3 Supra is emerging as a viable tuning alternative. The MK5 Supra, however, doesn’t need modifications to reveal its true potential. Featuring a turbocharged inline-six mill, the 3.0 Supra sprints to 60 MPH in under four seconds. Toyota only offered an automatic transmission when the current-gen Supra debuted.


2024 Toyota GR Supra 3.0 Premium Performance Specifications

Engine

Turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six

Transmission

Six-Speed Manual or Eight-Speed Automatic

Horsepower

382 horsepower

Torque

368 pound-feet

Driveline

RWD

0-60 MPH

3.9 Seconds

Top Speed

155 MPH

(Specs: Toyota)

Several years into the model’s run, Toyota offered a six-speed manual for the Supra – an inspired move that reaped instant reward. Thanks to an adaptive suspension system sourced from BMW, the Supra is comfortable yet sharp enough to attack the corners of a windy mountain road.

Pros

  • Finely-calibrated suspension
  • Stick-shift option available
  • Potent inline-six engine

Cons

  • Higher Supra trims are pricey
  • Relatively thirsty engine
  • Limited rear space


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9 2010 Dodge Viper

Average Used Price: $78,129

2010 Dodge Viper SRT10 in black and white posing on race track
Stellantis Media

The Dodge Viper has had its ups and downs throughout its different generations. But if you are looking for a sports car that is effectively a race car that you can use on the road, the 2010 Dodge Viper is the car for you. With an insane amount of power being produced from its massive 8.4-liter V-10, as soon as you put your foot on the gas, you are gone! Luckily, drivers who want to drive the Viper to its full capacity, can, because this beauty features anti-lock brakes with 14-inch (yes 14-inch) rotors and Brembo dual-opposing calipers.


2010 Dodge Viper Performance Specifications

Engine

8.4-Liter V-10

Transmission

Six-Speed Manual

Horsepower

600 HP

Torque

560 LB-FT

Driveline

RWD

0-60 MPH

3.4 Seconds

Top Speed

185 MPH

(Specs: Dodge)

Boasting a very aggressive style and stance on the road, the 2010 Viper is going to get you looks as you rumble up to the lights and then lose most other cars in your dust. Also, perfect for lighting up country roads, the racing-inspired handling should come alive in such scenarios. However, due to the lack of electronic aids, in the wrong hands, the Viper can be violent and twitchy like a, well, like a viper! The Viper is the car for an exhilarating drive that lives up to its namesake and will leave a huge venomous grin on your face.


Pros

  • Hair-raising acceleration
  • Torquey V-10 engine
  • Race-car-like style and handling

Cons

  • Cramped cabin
  • Minimal electronic driver-aids
  • Not brilliant for daily use

8 2020 Lotus Evora

Average Used Price: $84,252

2020 Lotus Evora GT in green posing on mountain road
Lotus Media

The 2020 Lotus Evora is a car that doesn’t need anything added to it. It should be left as it is. It is sleek, fast, has the hardware to handle like a dream, is aggressively looking on the road, and is exclusive due to low sales. What else could you ask for in a sports car? Featuring some clever engineering from Lotus, a downward force is created in the bucket-load by a front lip that is mounted beneath the mesh grille which helps to reduce under-car airflow.


2020 Lotus Evora Performance Specifications

Engine

3.5-Liter V-6

Transmission

Six-Speed Manual

Horsepower

416 HP

Torque

317 LB-FT

Driveline

RWD

0-60 MPH

3.8 Seconds

Top Speed

188 MPH

(Specs: Lotus)

That, paired with ducts that take high-pressure air away from the wheel arches and racing lines, makes it one of the most aerodynamic lotuses ever produced. If there was one gripe, it would be that the rearview window is small, but we like to take that as Lotus telling you that it doesn’t matter what is behind you because you have already screamed past it! A light, aerodynamic, quick two-seat sports car that would leave you feeling glad that Lotus went over the top in their engineering to perfect a sports car.


Pros

  • It has a manual transmission
  • Brilliant handling capability
  • An exclusive car

Cons

  • Nearly non-existent rear passenger seat and trunk
  • Poor rearview visibility
  • The infotainment system leaves something to be desired

7 2011 Porsche Carrera 911 GTS

Average Used Price: $91,218

White 2011 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS
Porsche

Yeah, another German sports car. An older one at that, but the 2011 Porsche Carrera 911 GTS is part of a long line of great Porsches that still deserve to be on this list. If anything, the average used price of $79,000 is a testament to that. Besides the 911 GTS’ immense steering setup and luxury interior, it features a variable intake system that helps to improve power output and torque.


2011 Porsche Carrera 911 GTS Performance Specifications

Engine

3.8-Liter, Flat-Six

Transmission

Six-Speed Manual

Horsepower

408 HP

Torque

310 LB-FT

Driveline

RWD or Optional AWD

0-60 MPH

4.2 Seconds

Top Speed

188 MPH

(Specs: Porsche)

Six vacuum-powered flaps are used to switch between torque and power-optimized geometry. This creates a resonance charge in the cylinders for cylinder charging at certain engine speed ranges, producing more power. The Porsche Sports exhaust that comes as standard makes the most of the flat-six and belts one crisp tune that is unmistakably Porsche.


Pros

  • Pinpoint accurate steering
  • Great handling
  • An all-wheel drive option is available

Cons

  • Optional add-ons can add up in price
  • Slower acceleration than competitors
  • May be seen as a little dated by some

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6 2024 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing

MSRP: $93,495

Blue 2024 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing on the track
Cadillac

The last surviving V-8-powered sports car with a stick shift is definitely worth nearly $93,500, especially when you consider that its competitors cost significantly more. Power comes from a supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 churning out over 680 American horsepower and a nearly equivalent amount of twist. Despite its considerable heft, the CT5-V Blackwing barrels to 60 MPH in under 3.5 seconds.


2024 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing Performance Specifications

Engine

Supercharged 6.2-liter V-8

Transmission

Six-Speed Manual or Ten-Speed Automatic

Horsepower

668 horsepower

Torque

659 pound-feet

Driveline

RWD

0-60 MPH

3.4 Seconds

Top Speed

200 MPH

(Specs: Cadillac)

The CT5-V doesn’t have the build quality or equipment of its German competitors. A number of optional extras help bridge that gap while increasing the Cadillac’s base price. In terms of performance, however, the CT5-V is just as good, if not better, than its competitors from across the pond.

Pros

  • Powerful supercharged V-8
  • Available with a manual transmission
  • Finely-tuned chassis


Cons

  • Optional extras are expensive
  • Lacks the refinement of German machines
  • Subpar interior materials

5 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

Average Used Price: $96,760

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray in red
Chevrolet Media

Ah, the great American sports car! You are probably as excited to see this entry here in a segment dominated by European and Japanese cars, and the 2020 C8 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is something else! There will be no swaying in the stingray as you are pinned to the asphalt in this remarkable sports car. With an impressive dash to 60 miles per hour in as little as 2.9 seconds, you’ll have to be on the ball on the brakes but can feel confident with near-perfect handling on twisty roads and a track.


2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Performance Specifications

Engine

6.2-Liter V-8

Transmission

Eight-Speed Automatic

Horsepower

495 HP

Torque

470 LB-FT

Driveline

RWD

0-60 MPH

2.9 Seconds

Top Speed

194 MPH

(Specs: Chevrolet)

Unlike previous Corvettes, the 2020 Stingray features a mid-engine layout which has only improved weight distribution, something that most of the automotive world didn’t think was possible. The latest Corvette has been compared to exotic cars for its style, top-class handling, and electrifying speed, so not bad at all really for a car with a used price of just under $70,000.


Pros

  • Insane rate of acceleration
  • Race-car like handling
  • Incredible top speed

Cons

  • No manual transmission option
  • Poor rearview visibility
  • Passengers may feel like they are sitting on their own due to cabin design (you decide if that is a con)

4 2024 Lexus LC 500

MSRP: $99,800

2023 Lexus LC500H driving on town road
Lexus 

Now here comes an entry that you may not have been expecting: The 2024 Lexus LC 500. Though it doesn’t have the historic pomp compared to models from manufacturers like Ferrari, Porsche, and Jaguar, it is still one that competes in the major league. Featuring a stylish and eye-catching exterior, the 2024 Lexus LC 500 is a real contender for the best-looking sports car of 2024. With a low, wide stance, a massive windshield that stretches above the driver’s head, a long nose, a plush interior, and aggressive body lines, it looks like a sports car should.


2023 Lexus LC 500 Performance Specifications

Engine

5.0-Liter V-8

Transmission

Ten-Speed Automated Manual

Horsepower

471 HP

Torque

398 LB-FT

Driveline

RWD

0-60 MPH

4.7 Seconds

Top Speed

168 MPH

(Specs: Lexus)

Featuring a wide all-over profile, the LC 500 offers a great field of vision for you as you make the most of the 417 horsepower 5.0 Liter V-8 engine. In it, you can reach 60 miles per hour in 4.4 seconds. Not as quick as some competitors, but still a respectable time. The major reason that the LC 500 is one of the most brilliant sports cars around is that it boasts a V-8 and a balanced suspension that strikes a good balance between comfort and sportiness. Great for curvy roads and sharp corners, or for spending a long time driving. It will give you a great excuse to go for a drive at any time.


Pros

  • Amazing cabin design and interior
  • Sporty and comfortable
  • Good list of standard equipment

Cons

  • No all-wheel drive option
  • Lacks the prestigious heritage of rivals
  • Minimal cargo space

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3 2017 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT-R

Average Used Price: $135,019

2017 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT-R In silver posing on country road
Mercedes-Benz USA

Featuring an aggressive front grille, unmistakable three-pointed star ‘Merc’ badge, road-hugging stance, rear spoiler, and ferocious-looking lines, the 2017 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT-R is an absolute dream to stare at. It screams ‘Here I come’ and if you are driving it, people will know you are coming a mile off due to its grunting V-8 that orchestrates an ominous throaty symphony that’ll get any rival sports car driver looking around in all the mirrors and quaking.


Performance Specifications

Engine

4.0-Liter V-8

Transmission

Seven-Speed Automatic

Horsepower

456 HP

Torque

443 LB-FT

Driveline

RWD

0-60 MPH

3.5 Seconds

Top Speed

198 MPH

(Specs: Mercedes-AMG)

Boasting a wider chassis than its predecessor and featuring an electronically controlled limited-slip differential, the AMG GT-R can be driven at speed without any lift, slips, or wobbles. Handling like a sports car should. Along with high-performance stats, the interior is beautifully crafted with a wrap-around dash, clear heads-up display, chrome inlays, and leather seats. You will feel justified spending the money on it for the interior alone!


Pros

  • Stunning interior
  • Fantastic handling
  • The engine produces a huge amount of power and performs very well

Cons

  • Potentially confusing infotainment system
  • Not comfortable over long distances
  • Not a great field of vision

2 2018 Audi R8 V-10 Plus

Average Used Price: $151,715

Gray 2015 Audi R8 V10
VanderWolf via Shutterstock

Another mid-engine sports car that can light up any track or road that you drive it on. The 2018 Audi R8 needs little introduction as it is such a popular and well-known sports car. Featuring a high-revving V-10 that produces a ridiculous 602 horsepower at 8,250 RPM! You won’t be disappointed with the pull that the R8 can produce as you are probably gentle at first, and then recklessly plant your foot on the floor and accelerate to 60 miles per hour in around 3.5 seconds. If you are brave enough, and do it somewhere you are allowed to, of course, speeds of 199 miles per hour can be reached. That is some serious power!


2018 Audi R8 Performance Specifications

Engine

5.2-Liter V-10

Transmission

Seven-Speed Automatic

Horsepower

602 HP

Torque

413 LB-FT

Driveline

AWD

0-60 MPH

3.5 Seconds

Top Speed

199 MPH

(Specs: Audi)

Along with some sticky tires that leave you confident on winding roads, the 2018 R8 is very comfortable and plush inside. This is a sports car that is great for long distances thanks to its lush and comfortable interior, is capable of providing you with endless fun, and boasts oodles of power from an awesome, high-revving V-10 engine. Once again, Audi should take a bow for creating a sports car that seems to deliver everything that a sports car should.


Pros

  • High revving V-10
  • Plush interior
  • Handles brilliantly

Cons

  • Lots of Audi’s 2018 safety aids are not available
  • Limited cargo space
  • Limited field of vision in coupe

1 2021 Aston Martin Vantage

Average Used Price: $155,930

2021 Aston Martin Vantage Roadster in silver posing in front of cliffs
Aston Martin

The 2020 Aston Martin Vantage. Unlike the newer Valour, the Vantage is a truly fantastic British sports car, which not only looks incredibly sleek but delivers in a big way. Boasting a 4.0-liter quad overhead-cam twin-turbo V-8 engine that can kick out more than a few farm’s worth of horses all over the road, it is a car that you can drive fast, aggressively and through the canyons all with the style and charisma of a wannabe James Bond. The Vantage is the best-selling nameplate in Aston Martin’s history. From the 2021 models, either choose from the coupe or the convertible and hit the canyons quickly with lively but predictable steering.


2021 Aston Martin Vantage Performance Specifications

Engine

4.0-Liter V-8

Transmission

Eight-Speed Automatic

Horsepower

503 HP

Torque

505 LB-FT

Driveline

RWD

0-60 MPH

3.6 Seconds

Top Speed

195 MPH

(Specs: Aston Martin)

Boasting a double-wishbone front suspension and multi-link rear suspension, the 2021 Vantage sticks to the road at most speeds. The main advantage of the suspension setup is that even at speeds, like a guided missile, the way you steer the car is the way it will go, even with a little twitch, which we think makes for more fun.


Pros

  • A very exclusive car
  • Powerful V-8
  • Looks extremely elegant and stylish

Cons

  • The ride can be a little loud
  • The Interior is not as refined as some of its rivals
  • The infotainment system is a little dated

A near-perfect sports car comes at a price and, considering that the Vantage is only a couple of years old, it comes with a big price tag. Boasting a drop-dead gorgeous desi, fun driving characteristics, historical allure, and exclusivity, this is a sports car that delivers in all the ways it should. A definite no-no to aftermarket parts on this one.

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