Best supercars 2021
The 10 best supercars on sale today offer performance, thrills and outstanding style
If you're desperately keen to show the world that you're doing very well for yourself, one way of doing it is having a supercar on your driveway. However, owning a truly great supercar also shows petrolheads you have excellent taste as well as a large Instagram following. The best supercars could never be described as cheap or affordable, but in return for your hard earned money, they offer you exceptional performance, a luxurious finish and the power to turn heads wherever you go.
Supercars come from all kinds of manufacturers. Established brands like Ferrari, Porsche, McLaren and Lamborghini have been producing supercars for years, but nowadays they face challenges from the likes of the Ford GT and Honda NSX - not to mention electric cars like the Porsche Taycan that could embarrass half the petrol-powered models on this list.
Whoever makes them, all supercars have fearsome price tags and typically cost a fortune to run. High costs for fuel, insurance and servicing need to be taken into account, as do eye-watering depreciation figures if you choose poorly. Of course many buyers around the world are more than willing to make the trade-off for the supercar’s scintillating performance and capacity to get the adrenaline flowing: it’s not unusual for a supercar to top 200mph these days, and 0-62mph times of under three seconds are becoming commonplace.
Experiencing that level of acceleration is a thrill that never fades for a supercar’s owner, but the enjoyment that supercars create for those who can’t afford them is plain to see, too. That’s because we can all enjoy their outlandish and beautiful bodywork and spine-tingling exhaust notes on the occasions they drive past. In fact, there’s not much that stirs the soul of a petrolhead more than seeing and hearing a Ferrari, Lamborghini or McLaren rocketing past.
Our top 10 best supercars features models that really do tick all of the boxes - they are powerful, packed with tech, stunning to look at and, importantly, still great to live with day-to-day. We think the car that manages this best is the superb McLaren 720S. However, Porsche, Lamborghini, Aston Martin and Ferrari are also storied names in the supercar world, and their cars play a major part in this list…
Top 10 best supercars 2020
- McLaren 720S
- Ferrari F8 Tributo
- Porsche 911 GT3
- Lamborghini Huracan RWD
- Ferrari 812 GTS
- Audi R8 V10 quattro
- McLaren Senna
- Mercedes AMG GT Black Series
- Aston Martin DBS Superleggera
- Lamborghini Aventador SVJ
1. McLaren 720S
The McLaren 720S is not that far off the staggering performance of the P1 hypercar, but is one of the entry points into McLaren ownership now that the 570 series cars are no longer available brand-new. It is powered by a 4.0-litre twin turbo V8 which produces 720PS (710bhp) – hence the name.
Surprisingly for a supercar, the 720S rides extremely well. The interconnected hydraulic suspension soaks up bumps on the road, however, that isn’t going to win you a game of Top Trumps. Being able to go from a standstill to 62mph in just 2.8 seconds and continuing on to a top speed of 212mph might, though, and in this regard the 720S is more than capable.
To buy one, you will need over £200,000 even for the most basic model, but get trigger happy with the options and that figure will start to rise rapidly. Unlike McLaren’s previous infotainment systems, the 720S comes with a much more usable package, thanks in part to McLaren getting third party help to make sure the system matches the high performance nature of the rest of the car.
2. Ferrari F8 Tributo
Anyone who was concerned about the turbocharged F8 Tributo not being much of a step on from its 488 predecessor can rest easy. No, it doesn’t sound as magnificent as a naturally aspirated 458 Italia at full steam, but it still sounds more than good enough for a Ferrari. And in all other aspects the F8 Tributo is utterly sensational to drive, on road or track, and in the simplest of terms is also insanely fast. The best just got better, thanks to a lot of goodness from the hardcore 488 Pista.
So well balanced is this car on the way into, in the middle of, and especially on the way out of corners that the intimidation factor has been all but eradicated, despite the fact that it feels massively more potent than the car it replaced.
That’s one heck of a combination of talents to install under just one roof. Bottom line, the F8 Tributo might be turbocharged and mightn’t sound as spine tingling as before, but in all other aspects it represents yet another giant leap forwards for Ferrari.
3. Porsche 911 GT3
It’s not every day that a new Porsche 911 GT3 hits the road, but 2021 saw just such an occasion as the German marque launched its 503bhp track-ready monster.
Powered by a rear-mounted 4.0-litre flat-six engine, the GT3 will hit 0-62mph in 3.4 seconds en route to a top speed of 198mph. It’s not the absolute fastest 911 - that’s the GT2 RS with the Weissach package - but it’s deeply impressive on road and track.
While the GT2 RS will lighten your bank account by over £200,000, the GT3 is a comparative bargain at £128,000. It’s good value compared to its main rivals, too, but prices will remain high as demand will undoubtedly be higher than supply.
Superb damping means that the ride is brilliant, and it provides a stable platform that allows you the driver to exploit the huge performance provided by the engine. No wonder it lapped the Nurburgring in under seven minutes (a whole 17 seconds quicker than the previous GT3).
4. Lamborghini Huracan RWD
The Huracan RWD may look identical to the regular four-wheel-drive Huracan, but it’s differentiated by only sending power to the rear wheels (and a near-£35,000 discount compared to the AWD version).
It may be the cheapest Lamborghini, but it’s also the sweetest to drive and still reaches 0-62mph in just 3.3 seconds. The naturally aspirated V10 not only delights those who are dismayed by the tidal wave of turbochargers plaguing modern cars, but it also produces 602bhp (30bhp down on the Huracan Evo) and 560Nm of torque.
Traction on dry roads is superb, and you can dial up the Lamborghini experience by selecting Sport or Corsa driving modes - although not being able to configure the settings individually means the ride gets progressively more uncomfortable too. That slight choppiness will pale into insignificance when you wind out the 5.2-litre V10, though.
5. Ferrari 812 GTS
The 812 GTS spyder drops the eponymous Superfast name, and adds an open-roof experience for drivers wanting a blisteringly quick, front engined, rear wheel drive supercar. Not only that, but the 812 is more comfortable, more luxurious and more civilised than the old F12. The 6.5-litre V12 engine produces 789bhp and will charge forward until it tops out at 211mph. Changing gear is taken care of with a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, which has shorter gearing and faster shifts than its predecessor.
However, despite the performance updates, it’s the chassis and aerodynamic packages that have undergone the greatest changes. There is also a new rear-wheel-drive steering system, third generation electronic differential, torque variable electronic power steering, and handily, Ferrari’s Slide Slip Control as first seen on the 458 Speciale.
To add to the overhaul, the kerbweight has been reduced by 60kg. However, the 812 is not intended to be a lightweight track car, as proven by the tyres which come with the car – Pirelli P-Zeros. So while the Superfast is still a supercar, it has definitely been designed for the road.
6. Audi R8 V10 quattro
The latest version of the Audi R8 looks a lot like the last one at first glance, but there’s a myriad of new tech, and performance is better than ever.
The most obvious difference if you’re planning to buy Audi’s ‘everyday’ supercar is the current lack of a V8 option. Nowadays you’ve got a choice between the 533bhp or 602bhp versions of the noisy V10 that is shared with the Lamborghini Huracan.
There’s no manual option, but the twin-clutch automated gearbox offers super quick shifts when you’ve got the hammer down (and utterly seamless ones when you don’t). The quattro 4x4 system is updated too, and offers incredible levels of grip and balance with a torque split system that can send 100 per cent to the front or rear on demand.
With super-sharp steering to boot, we reckon the R8 is nimbler on the limit than the Lambo, as well as being more conducive to lurid tail slides if that’s your kind of thing. It’s quick too, with 0-62mph in 3.2 seconds for the hotter V10 Plus.
With a terrific high-quality interior featuring a 12.3-inch virtual cockpit display, and a supple, comfortable ride, only the poor luggage capacity prevents the R8 from being a flawless all-rounder.
7. McLaren Senna
The McLaren Senna is an awkward-looking car, with good reason. All its wings, ducts and chasms are there to generate maximum aerodynamic downforce and performance; the Senna creates a huge 800kg of downforce at 155mph.
And you can get to three-figure speeds in the time it takes to take a breath, courtesy of a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 that pushes out 789bhp. Acceleration is helped by the fact that the Senna weighs just 1,198kg. Zero-to-62mph takes just 2.8 seconds, and after 6.8 seconds you’ll be travelling at 124mph. Less than 19 seconds after setting off from a standstill, you’ll be bowling along at 186mph.
While a racetrack is its natural home, the Senna has all the necessary concessions to make it road legal, so you could nip to the supermarket for a pint of milk in one of the most exciting cars McLaren has ever built. It even has see-through door panels, so you won’t lose a cyclist or a van in your blind spots.
8. Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series
Few cars look quite as angry as the new Mercedes-AMG GT range-topper. The Black Series nameplate is reserved for AMG’s most hardcore, least forgiving machines, and you can probably tell its intentions just by looking at it. The enormous air vents, slashes and canards might look like something from Need For Speed, but it’s all functional. Even the impressive double-stacked spoiler can flex upwards to increase the rear downforce at speed, with the result being 400kg at 155mph.
AMG’s familiar 4.0-litre V8 has been overhauled for the Black Series with a bigger intercooler and bigger turbos, plus new exhaust manifolds and camshafts. Here it produces 720bhp, and is capable of surpassing 62mph in just 3.2 seconds on the way to a 202mph top speed. Carbon-ceramic brakes ensure that, even at that speed, you can haul it in quickly.
You can buy a standard AMG GT for just over £100,000, but the Black Series is over three times as expensive at £335,000.
9. Aston Martin DBS Superleggera
At the heart of the Aston Martin DBS Superleggera lies a 5.2-litre twin-turbo V12, the same one utilized by the DB11. It provides a fitting soundtrack for Aston’s super-GT, as well as incredible performance.
715bhp and 900Nm of torque are the headline figures, resulting in a 0-62 figure of 3.4 seconds and a top speed of 211mph: not bad for a car designed to take on continents rather than racetracks.
That’s not to say the DBS suffers while cornering: in fact, fast corners are where it comes alive. 180kg of downforce provides stability at speed, and on smooth asphalt at least, the DBS feels compliant.
This is good news for those inclined to drive long distances, but be warned: you might find yourself driving past your destination just to enjoy a few more miles behind the wheel.
10. Lamborghini Aventador SVJ
The SVJ is the last hurrah for the decade-old Aventador, and when the car is discontinued the naturally aspirated V12 engine will be too. Despite its advancing years, the big Lambo has made giant gains in terms of performance, and subtle updates to the styling have kept it looking good.
The SVJ is the ultimate Aventador, providing huge amounts of drama, theatrics and speed. The 6.5-litre V12 pumps out 760bhp, which is good for ‘over’ 217mph and a 0-62mph time of just 2.8 seconds. For a short while, the SVJ was also the fastest production car to lap the Nurburgring.
The boffins at Lamborghini claim that the addition of the four-wheel steering system has the same effect as taking half a metre off the wheelbase, and given the opportunity to throw one around some corner, it’s clear they’re not wrong. The icing on the cake is the steering, which has gone from being a bit of a let down in the old car to having fantastic fluidity, weight and feel to it.
Now take a look at the best sports cars or read more of our best car recommendations...