Two wheels are good, as George Orwell wrote, four wheels are better. Four-wheel drive is every sports car driver’s dream, allowing power to be easily transferred from a large engine to a road, whatever the conditions. More than that, the ability to four wheels, which these days usually includes the intervention of high-end electronics, means cornering is quick and sure. Ultrafast acceleration? easy. The truth is that all-wheel drive tempts every driver, whatever your skill level. We’ve come up with 10 of the best AWD sports cars. Even some of our picks may surprise you.
The best sports SUV
Audi TT RS quattro
Audi was the first to try all-wheel drive on a rally car: the now legendary original Audi quattro in the 1980s, which dominated and transformed the World Rally Championship, to the point where all serious contenders today put power at every wheel. The descendant of the current Quattro is the latest generation of the stylish Audi TT Coupe, and the best-known of the Quattro looks, the high-performance RS version hits 60 mph in a stylish 3.9 seconds.
Jaguar F-Type R Convertible
The roar of the F-Type R’s V8 engine is the ultimate under the hood, with a trip into the hills around the Nürburgring ahead, and more than a few corners waiting for you, just right to experience the road-holding power of this sensory all-wheel drive vehicle. Jaguar’s spiritual heir to the E-Type is redefining what a Jaguar sports car should be, and arguably one of the greatest British sports cars of all time. Better than 911? Only it is possible.
The monster they call “Godzilla” needs four-wheel drive just to stay in a straight line. Nissan’s intelligent all-wheel drive system transfers power to the wheels that need it most, which is easy given the 600 horsepower produced by the 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8. Combined with an impressive array of electronic aids, this means that, given the right buttons are pressed and pressed firmly, you’ll be propelled to 60 mph in 2.5 seconds, with a top speed of over 205 mph. Wild.
Volkswagen Golf R
hatchback? The Golf has been a sports car since the first game-changing GTi in the 1980s. The latest Golf R adds VW’s standard 4-Motion all-wheel drive to create a pocket rocket that looks a lot like a sports car. Pack passengers and baggage in the back if necessary, but the Golf R is at its best, heading toward the horizon – coming 60 mph in less than five seconds – through some delicious curves and possibly with the R’s Drift mode also on its way to a top speed of 155 mph. the hour
Porsche 911 Carrera 4
The 911 is perhaps the ultimate sports car of our time, in many versions made since the original that dazzled the world in 1964. Right from the start, the rear-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive could make your 911 just a little tailgating when cornering, which wasn’t perfect. Porsche Traction Management, which pioneered the company’s Paris-Dakar win in the 1980s, solved it by adding a “4” to the 911’s name and sending power to all four wheels. Now every Porsche pilot can be confident that they are unlikely to end up hedges. Best 911 ever? Take a long – very long, advised – driving test to decide.
Tesla Model S Blade
Well, it is equipped not only with all-wheel drive but with four doors, which you might not expect from a sports car. Now take a look at the acceleration available to share with your three passengers, then tell Elon Musk that his electric SUV, the Model S Plaid, isn’t a sports car: 60 mph was reached in two seconds on the way to a top speed of 200 mph, courtesy of The three electric motors are in the Plaid, with carbon a key component. Still doubt? Your right foot has 1,020 horsepower, or about as much as a Bugatti Veyron. Case closed.
The NSX aims to be the 200-mph mid-engine machine that’s also Honda. That means the brand’s effortless reliability is built in, and it’s here allied with an all-wheel drive system ready to help you through corners and during inclement weather. Ayrton Senna is best known for the original and the latest version of it is no less impressive. It might be polite in the supermarket, but the NSX will roar when prompted, with its 3.5-liter V6 capable of a 2.9-second dash to 60 mph and – reliable – a 191 mph top speed.
BMW M850i xDrive
BMW’s xDrive system is as much about smooth, quiet progress in the most luxurious coupes as it is about performance, meaning that concerned passengers will hardly notice how fast they hit 60 mph – 3.7 seconds – or are now traveling more than 150 mph. On their way to a Michelin-starred dinner in some remote town. The luxurious cabin is the last word in BMW luxury featuring your choice of supple leather surrounds. The most civilized four-wheel drive sports car.
Mercedes AMG E53 Coupe 4MATIC +
The AMG E53 Coupe doesn’t look like a savage. There is enough space for 4 people, and a suitcase big enough for their luggage too. But the AMG badge always offers something unmistakable, and here allied to Mercedes-Benz’s 4Matic+ system, that means 429 horsepower of hybrid all-wheel drive that, when you need it, will be more than enough to push you into a hug. Beautifully upholstered chairs at E53. Subtle enough for a yacht club too.
Toyota GR Yaris
Looking like a deceptive supermarket hatch, it’s actually a sporty SUV loaded with custom carbon fiber. The GR Yaris is an uncompromising version of Toyota’s World Rally Championship winner and is more efficient for not looking exactly the part. The GR-Four all-wheel drive system allows drivers to fully explore this little car’s explosive performance in most b-road tests, when it takes the long — very long — road home from the monthly store. Just awesome.
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