In 2021 there are ten incredible performance cars on sale that are better than all the rest and today we break them down one by one.
In 2021, performance cars are still a major factor for many brands across the globe. That’s great news for enthusiasts who are hearing more and more about the near-future of driverless cars and less engaging driving experiences. Still, with so many options to choose from, it can be easy to be overwhelmed by the dilemma of choice. With that in mind, we’re breaking down the best performance cars on sale in 2021. To keep things more approachable, we’re using a self-imposed budget of $100,000 and will feature some performance cars for as low as $30,000!
For the person on a budget that needs practicality but also wants something sincerely fun and fast, there’s not a single car on this list that is a better balance than this, the Hyundai Veloster N. Not only is it fitted with an incredible ten-year powertrain warranty, but Hyundai also covers the first three years of maintenance. At the heart of the Veloster N is a 275 horsepower turbocharged engine that is utterly sublime. Both transmission options are great too and the Veloster has a party trick too. That trick is something called Anti-lag which keeps the turbo spooled up between shifts and creates melodious pops and bangs from the exhaust.
The only other car that matches the Hyundai in terms of warranty and maintenance coverage is the Stinger. No matter which trim level you pick that will be the case, but we highly recommend the GT2. While it’s more expensive than we’d like, it’s also one of the most dynamic and capable sports sedans available. In addition, we expect it to hold its value for decades, because it might be the best sports sedan Korea has ever built. With 365 horsepower, it’s fast enough to hit 60 from a stop in just 4.7 seconds. It fits five adults comfortably, looks fantastic, and handles hard cornering with aplomb.
As the only EV on our list, the Model 3 Performance finds an outstanding balance between practical EV cars like the standard Model Y and the bonkers Model S Plaid. At $55,000, it’s a bit more than the Stinger, but it’s also faster. 0-60 happens in just 3.1 seconds and for those that want an EV that’s fast, trust us, that will be fast enough for almost anyone. It’s actually quicker than almost every other car on our list. Its strong overall performance doesn’t stop when the Model 3 finds a bend or two either.
If the Tesla Model 3 Performance is the practical eco-conscious persons choice, the Jaguar F-Type is its antithesis. It’s not that it’s horrible for the environment, that’s not what we mean. What we love about the F-Type is that it’s all about the driver. This Jaguar focuses its attention on the person behind the wheel and fulfills that persons desire for a unique and fulfilling experience every time they drive. From the way it looks as you walk up to it to the way it feels as you slip into the seat and on to the way it sounds when you wake it up, everything about the F-Type inspires. While we would recommend the supercharged V6 (the V8 is beyond $100k for a 2021 model), even the base 4-cylinder is fun to drive and perhaps the most pure of the three.
The Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio takes that passionate attitude about driving and delivers it in a four-door package. The twin-turbocharged engine is closely related to Ferrari and it’s quite simply the best sports sedan on the planet for the money. That’s in large part due to the combination of a smaller frame than most others, a far more charming powertrain than most others, and looks to die for. With some 505 horsepower, it can reach a top-speed of 191 miles per hour, faster than almost anything else here and it carries four people.
No list of performance cars can be finished off without the Mazda MX-5. We tried to think of good reasons to leave it off, but it’s just too good. It’s inexpensive, reliable, and so well balanced as a proper sports car. While some will bemoan the more aggressive looks of this latest generation, nobody questions how much fun it is to drive and how capable it really is when pushed towards its limits. 181 horsepower isn’t much, but for one of the most aggressively lightweight cars in 2021, it’s more than enough. Almost all drivers will enjoy finding out if they or the Miata itself is the limiting factor of speed and performance.
Why not the BMW Z4 that the GR Supra is largely base on? Three reasons. First, the Z4 isn’t as good to drive. Second, it’s some $10,000 more expensive. Third, we think that the Toyota GR Supra will hold its value far better than the Z4. For $50,000, it will be incredibly hard to find a vehicle that’s as nice to sit in and as pleasurable to drive as the GR Supra 3.0. Its turn-in and ability to hold a tight turn at speed is better than ever and with nearly 400 horsepower on tap, drivers should never feel like the Supra is inadequate. It’s also important that we don’t overlook the styling that gently harkens back to one of the most important sports cars Toyota has ever built. This car provides a whole new way to feed the need for speed.
Love technology but still want a hardcore old-school muscle car? There’s nothing better on the market today than the Ford Mustang GT500. Sure it has some 760 horsepower, but it’s actually capable of managing that power in a way that usually only supercars do. Steering, suspension, and braking are all more than up to the task of maintaining complete control of this wild pony. At the same time, this car has the extreme and brutal sound and look of muscle cars’ heyday.
How about an old-school muscle car with tons of power and a bit less pretention than the Mustang? The Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody combines that with a bit more practicality in the form of four doors. It’s nearly as fast in a straight line as the Mustang, but carries two more people. It can also be driven every day more easily than the Ford. It’s actually the most powerful sedan on the planet and that’s pretty incredible considering its price and competition.
The draw of the Chevrolet Corvette has always been that it democratized speed for the common man. That’s never been more true than it is in 2021. As a mid-engined car with nearly 500 horsepower, it’s already starting off with good bones, but beyond that the DNA only gets stronger. It’s as fast to 60 as the 789 horsepower Ferrari 812 Superfast. Unlike so many cars that are as capable as the Corvette, it’s approachable, just as nice inside, and so much more satisfying to drive because it’s a giant killer.