Credit it to the mid-life crisis or a genuine lust for excitement, but sports cars have always been some of the most coveted vehicles available. While a crossover craze comes and goes every once in a blue moon, the sports cars remain. Whether on the cover of a magazine or a wall poster (both of which are endangered species these days, by the way), the sports cars keep reminding us of their genuine appeal.
Another reason they’ve been so popular over the years is the fact some of them have been thoroughly excellent in almost every conceivable way. Most of them still are, and despite their market share being rather marginal compared to some other, more popular segments, there’s no reason to fear for them. The sports cars have overcome even the biggest of obstacles and they’ll continue doing so in future as well. Here are some of the best 2020 sports cars that are heading our way.
08. 2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata
The iconic Mazda Miata is currently enjoying life in its fourth-generation. Available since the Spring of 2015, the fourth-gen MX-5 ND hasn’t yet received a styling makeover. And why should it?! The 2-door roadster or retractable fastback (fancy name for a power-folding targa top) both look stunning for a compact sports car that’s starting from just north of $25,000 or $32,000 respectively.
It also performs in a corresponding manner, offering its owners the ultimate handling in what’s arguably one of the most fun packages currently available on the market. The 2020 Mazda Miata only continues treading on a cemented path its predecessors have so admirably established.
However, as of MY 2019, the Miata does feature one or two all-new bits – most notably the first-ever telescoping steering column in a Miata. The new models also sport a revised exhaust system to better channel the upgraded engine’s output.
Speaking of which, the latest MX-5 Miatas now crank out 181 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of twist which is 26 horsepower and 3 lb-ft more than what the 2018-year and models prior to that had offered. The Miata’s 2.0L inline-four engine remains unchanged on paper, but in truth it was heavily reworked in order to deliver the extra juice. It has a new low-inertia dual-mass flywheel instead of a single-mass unit, 18-percent larger intake valves, larger exhaust valves and ports, lighter pistons, and many more upgrades.
All this hasn’t only resulted in increased power, but in a higher redline as well. The outgoing models maxed out at 6,800 rpm, whereas the new Miata redlines at 7,500 rpm. Not only that, it actually thrives at a higher rpm, and that’s one of the biggest reasons it’s so popular.
The fact it’s always been available with a proper 6-speed stick has been a helpful factor as well. Of course, an optional 6-speed automatic is also available but it’ll cost you between $600 and $1,250 depending on the chosen trim level.
07. 2020 Porsche 911
It’s the archetype sports car and one of the most coveted vehicles in history. It’s the one and only Porsche 911. The German automaker’s defining car has remained virtually unchanged from a design standpoint for 55 years and is finally ready for the next-generation, code-named 992. The 2020 Porsche 911 shares the same platform with its 991-gen predecessor, but not without changes.
A largely modified platform was expected to help the new car lose some weight, but the opposite happened. The new models are some 160 pounds heavier than their predecessors. The 2020 Porsche 911 also sports a uni-light LED taillight borrowed from the new Cayenne and a similarly revised interior with a number of new tech features.
Also, for the very first time, the 911 features a full-sized cup holder that likely aims to satisfy the U.S. market buyers. The new models are already here and their prices are ranging from between $114,500 and $122,000. That’s without counting the entry-level, special ultra-luxury Exclusive Series, and track-focused GT RS models which will arrive at a later date. Only the Carrera models are available at the moment.
The initial 2020 Porsche 911 Carrera models feature an uptuned version of the current 3.0L twin-turbo flat-six engine that’s now making 443 horses and 390 pound-feet of torque.
The coveted 911 Turbo models are still a mystery in that regard as it’s still uncertain whether their current 3.8L twin-turbo flat-six will also make the next-gen transition. Regardless of what happens, the 911 Turbos should also pack more punch than they do at this particular moment.
Finally, all or at least most new 911’s should adopt a new 48-volt mild-hybrid setup that’s started appearing across, not only Porsche, but almost every major automakers’ range as of late. The Stuttgart-based luxury car manufacturer is currently adopting electrification at high speed, but the iconic 911 will likely be the last of their models to go fully electric.
06. 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray (mid-engined)
The mid-engined Chevrolet Corvette rumors have been circulating around for so long that it’s practically impossible to discern their origin now. It was the “father of the Corvette” Zora Arkus-Duntov’s dream to create one ever since he started transforming the original docile ‘Vette into the high-performance sports car that it is today. However, his dream car has never materialized despite the fact he’d created the mid-engined XP-882 concept in 1969 – one that would later adopt the Aerovette name.
50 years after the Aerovette and almost 25 years after Arkus-Duntov’s death, the mid-engined Corvette Stingray is finally upon us. It made its official debut on July 18, 2019 at a charity event in New York City honoring firefighters and first responders killed during 9/11, and starts from just under $60,000. Even this early, however, the 3LT convertible models require almost $80,000 to begin with.
Considering how people have always held high expectations for it, some of them might be disappointed by the final product. Mid-engined or not, the ‘Vette will always be a relatively attainable sports car, and not a composite-material-made supercar. However, the C8 Corvette now has an entirely new platform to build upon and within few years might just tackle a few of them.
The initial 2020 mid-engined Corvettes are powered by a version of the 6.2L LT1 V8 engine tied to an 8-speed dual-clutch Tremec automatic transmission with paddle shifters (dubbed LT2). Good enough for 490 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque, these initial mid-engined ‘Vettes are a lot faster than their current counterparts.
It’s further down the road that’s even more interesting, however. The future mid-engined Corvettes have a very good chance of actually becoming a true supercar. Especially after the electrification process takes full swing and GM decides to allow the ‘Vette to go hybrid. The combination of a small-block V8 and an electric motor or two should help the mid-engined Corvette reach its full potential and become the most powerful ‘Vette to date.
But that’s still some ways down the road. For now, we should be glad that Zora Arkus-Duntov’s mid-engined Corvette dream has finally become a reality.
05. 2020 Tesla Roadster
The Tesla Roadster take 2 is slowly but steadily nearing the beginning of production which, in California-based company’s typical fashion, will be pinpointed by anything but an exact date. Yet again, in their typical style, Tesla has showcased its upcoming electric sports car in Basel, Switzerland during 2018, but there’s a catch. It was only a mockup without the much-anticipated electric powertrain behind its white body panels.
The company has, however, presented a running prototype a few times now, but this doesn’t instill confidence the final product will be ready in time. Especially after all of Model 3 delivery and financial issues they’ve experienced last year. When the initial Tesla Roadster Mk2 units do finally arrive, their state-of-the-art sports car should become the fastest production vehicle money can buy.
And you’ll need plenty of it, apparently. The 2020 Tesla Roadster will cost north of $200,000 with a deposit in excess of $50,000 due within 10 days of signing a contract. The first 1,000 Founder’s Series units cost around $250,000, however, and require the entire sum up front.
The 2020 Tesla Roadster promises to deliver up to 620 miles of range on a single charge. If driven carefully, that is. Its powertrain consists of a humongous 200 kWh battery pack and three electric motors whose net power output hasn’t been revealed yet. Considering the Roadster should be able to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 1.9 seconds and max out at around 250 mph given perfect conditions, its total output will likely be extreme for today’s standards.
There’s nothing left to do but sit back and wait for further news from Palo Alto. If everything goes according to plan, we have no doubts the second-generation Tesla Roadster will be one of the best 2020 sports cars around. As it’s usually the case with Tesla, however, there’s a big “if” looming over the Roadster like the Sword of Damocles ready to fall down and strike.
04. 2020 Polestar 1
After years of catching up, Volvo is finally on terms with its competitors – at least when it comes to flagship models like the S90 sedan or the XC90 SUV. Their next moves are to create a spin-off division and push into the hybrid and EV markets, and they’ll kill two birds with one stone thanks to the Polestar 1 plug-in hybrid sports coupe.
The newly-separated Polestar brand will continue dabbling in performance cars, only, exclusively in electric and hybrid ones from now on. Their very first model, aptly named Polestar 1, is based on the Volvo Concept Coupe from 2013, and it’s more expensive than anything the Swedish manufacturer has ever built thus far.
With the price starting at a staggering $155,000 the Polestar 1 sports hybrid coupe was expected to be a tough sell, hence the Swedes decided to limit its production to 500 units, 200 of which were imported into the U.S. At least initially. However, the entire allocation has long since been sold out and the next year stock is already close to depletion.
What’s more, the Polestar sub-division will be devoid of traditional dealerships and will instead feature Polestar Spaces owned by franchises, where you’ll be able to buy your desired model just like you would buy a phone or a laptop. It’s a new retail model in which Volvo brass aims to target younger audiences and everyone else who doesn’t necessarily believe they have to own a car in order to drive it. Polestar vehicles will almost exclusively be offered through a subscription-based plan which includes insurance and maintenance.
The 2020 Polestar 1 sports coupe is powered by a proven 2.0L turbocharged and supercharged 4-cylinder engine Volvo is using all across their lineup. Being a plug-in hybrid, however, it also features dual electric motors powering the rear wheels and a large 34 kWh battery comprised of two different packs. This setup doesn’t only allow the Polestar 1 to generate a whopping 591 horsepower and 738 lb-ft of torque, but to also offer up to 93 miles of all-electric range (albeit according to a rather lax European NEDC cycle).
The thing is – however enticing it might sound – you won’t be able to get hands on one. Not in its first production year, anyway, as all 200 U.S.-bound models have already been spoken for, apparently. Better luck next year.
03. 2020 Toyota Supra
The iconic Toyota Supra’s comeback was arguably one of the most anticipated events in the automotive world last year. It’s not only one of the most respected sports cars of a generation, but also one of the best vehicles ever to grace our roads. The fifth-generation Supra has finally arrived to dealerships during 2019 as a 2020-year model, after almost two decades of absence, after making its official debut at the Detroit auto show earlier.
The Supra itself was built in collaboration with BMW which got a next-gen Z4 roadster out of the deal.
The Mk5 Toyota Supra departs from its predecessors in many ways. It basically only retains the chassis layout, engine configuration, and sporty looks to some extent. Other than that, it’s mostly all-new, but that doesn’t come as a surprise considering the width of the gap that separates the last two generations.
The all-new Supra is built in Austria by Magna Steyr, and it starts from just north of $50,000 which represents yet another departure from the previous generations.
The most obvious result of the Toyota/BMW collaboration is the next-gen Supra’s powertrain. It’s practically a BMW unit, although it follows the coveted 2JZ’s turbocharged 3.0L 6-cylinder formula almost to the fullest extent. The BMW’s straight-six provides the 2020 Toyota Supra with as much as 335 horsepower which are routed to the rear via a ZF 8-speed automatic transmission. At the moment, an optional 6-speed manual transmission looks like a very distant possibility.
The Japanese obviously weren’t prepared for such a committed fan base when it comes to their views on a Supra without a manual, and they’re actually trying to rectify the situation by possibly offering a stick further down the road. At the moment, they might appear in right-hand-drive markets which immediately disqualifies the U.S. market, sadly. Never say die, however, as hope dies last. For now, however, let’s just be happy with the fact we’ve finally gotten the new Toyota Supra we’ve been waiting on for so long (even if it’s not the car most people wanted).
02. 2020 Acura NSX
The sublimely built Acura NSX was yet another one in the long list of long-anticipated Japanese sports cars. Unlike the above mentioned Toyota Supra, however, the NSX has already been available for a few years now. The Japanese have had some time to iron out its baby issues, and they’ve done so without too much fuss.
The 2020 Acura NSX builds upon its predecessor’s shortcomings and offers highly advanced everything. It’s not just the powertrain – which we’ll get to shortly – but also a state-of-the-art suspension and steering setup which helps turn the NSX into the ultimate multi-tasking sports car which is equally deadly on track and drag strips alike.
It might lack the advanced safety gear most contemporary cars offer these days, but then again, the NSX wasn’t built to be safe. For a price tag of around $160,000, however, one would expect pretty much everything there is to it on today’s market.
The second-generation Acura NSX boasts a highly advanced powertrain consisting of a 3.5L twin-turbo V6 engine, two electric motors up front, and one at the back for a combined output that’s reaching 573 horsepower and 476 lb-ft of rotational force. All that power is routed to both the front two motors and one at the back which is also tied to a 9-speed automatic gearbox. Effectively an all-wheel drive sports car, the NSX can hit 60 mph from a standing start in just 3.1 seconds.
The biggest news for MY 2020, however, may not be the conventional model, but rather a possible Type-R model. If the Japanese decide to take that particular route, the high-performance NSX should further increase the conventional models’ already high power output figures to the region of 650 ponies. It would likely also offer a more aggressive aero kit to go along with the extra punch, but let’s wait out for the official confirmation of this particular story before we delve deeper into the matter.
01. 2020 Rimac C_Two
The Croatian electric supercar company’s second production model goes way beyond the definition of a sports car. It’s not even a supercar, but a prime example of a hypercar instead. However, the upcoming Rimac C_Two doesn’t suffer from the hypercars’ almost mandatory impracticality that stems back to the days when wedge was “the thing.” The Croatian beauty offers exquisite and user-friendly design while still managing to achieve an extremely low drag coefficient of 0.28.
The hypercar also offers Level 4 autonomy, virtual intelligence, and facial recognition among the most highly advanced of features. The C_Two’s production has been capped at 150 units, most of which have already been spoken for if the Croatian company is to be trusted. They do cost $2.1 million after all, which is anything but pocket change even for the wealthiest of car enthusiasts. Atop that, the C_Two’s options list is worth a staggering $615,000 which further raises the electric sports car’s already exorbitant price tag.
The heart of the C_Two hypercar consists of four liquid-cooled electric motors – one driving each wheel – and a large 120 kWh battery pack which provides the C_Two with around 400 miles of electric range on a single charge. The measurements stem from the lax Euro-spec NEDC cycle and require conservative driving in order to be attainable. Since the Rimac C_Two generates as much as 1,888 horsepower and 1,696 lb-ft of torque, you’ll agree it’s hard to be anywhere near conservative around this otherworldly machine bent on conquest.
The company claims the C_Two is able to hit 60 mph from a standstill in just 1.85 seconds while maxing out at 256 mph. Atop of that, available fast charging is capable of filling the battery up to 80 percent in only half an hour’s time. The 2020 Rimac C_Two is truly both the beauty and the beast under one carbon fiber shell and one of the best 2020 sports cars by far.