Top 7 AWD Sports Cars
Looking for All Wheel Drive Sports Cars? These are just 7 of the best!
Updated October 3, 2018
Some people will tell you that an AWD sports car is really only for when the weather takes a turn for the worse, while others will tell you that any AWD sports car is the thing to have for maximizing performance come rain, snow or, ‘shine.
Honestly, as much as we love the big power slides that are easily done in a traditional rear-wheel drive, we’d have to agree that all-wheel drive generally makes for a faster car. If speed is your thing, we’d say that an AWD sports car is for you.
So with that in mind, here’s our take on the top 5 best AWD sports cars from around the world.
Porsche 911 Turbo S
The legend that is the Porsche 911.
Porsche has been producing the 911 since 1963 – that’s around 55 (yes, FIFTY-FIVE) years of solid production for this one model. Of course, the latest incarnation of the 911 is a little different from early models, but the lines, shape, and heritage are all plainly there.
The 911 Turbo S is one of the only 2-door AWD sports cars in its class that has four seats and usable cargo space. Chances are, you’ll want to be able to carry more than a fanny pack if you’re planning on using the car for anything more than a sunny Sunday driver.
The Turbo S has a 3.8-liter twin-turbo V6 which produces around 580 horsepower and returns between 19 – 24 mpg (city/highway). Although, we’d take a guess that fuel economy isn’t high on the list of most people seriously considering this car. Zero to sixty happens in just 2.6 seconds (that’s superbike fast) and official dealer prices start just under $190,000.
When Porsche first introduced the 911, and for many years after, it was considered tail-happy – you could quite easily pick your desired spot of greenery and head through it backward as the tail stepped out, flinging you through the corner. Ever since the vehicle evolved to an AWD layout, however, the handling has been tamed, making the 911 Turbo S one of the finest ‘driver’s cars’ out there.
Do you want speed, handling, reliability, and Japanese build quality? The Nissan GT-R is perhaps one of the best AWD sports cars currently available.
The GT-R comes from the Skyline family which, back in the day, could be tuned to well over 1,000+ horsepower. We know the car has a great pedigree, and now Nissan has taken the idea and made it better.
$110,000 sounds like a lot for a Nissan, but consider this – the Porsche 911 Turbo S lapped the legendary Nurburgring in 7.37.90, while the GT-R did it in 7.24.22. AND it’s nearly $80,000 cheaper. That GTR is looking pretty affordable now, isn’t it?
Engine specifications are similar to the 911 as well – a hand-built 3.8 liter twin-turbo V6 making 565 horsepower hides under the hood; it’s no wonder they call it Godzilla – it’s a monster! Surely, this has to be the ultimate performance AWD sports car?
The looks are all ‘mean & moody’, but Nissan knows that aerodynamics plays such a big part in the handling and performance that they’ve sculpted the GT-R to perform at the maximum, and it works very, very well.
Tesla Model S P100D
You know that Tesla had to be here somewhere – Elon and his buddies are turning the automotive world upside down with all the new innovations. The Model S has taken the automotive world by storm, and this particular version of the Model S happens to be a perfect AWD sports car also.
Forget ridiculously short mileage, speeds that would make a golf cart seem fast, or even styling that’s been designed to eek out every last bit of performance; the Model S is definitely the future.
There are a number of features that make the Model S P100D quite so spectacular – the battery is a 100-kWh pack (as an example, the best selling Nissan Leaf uses a 30-kWh battery). All of the weight that comes from the batteries and running gear is centered low down, meaning that handling has been boosted thanks to a low center-of-gravity. And of course, it has all the latest toys and tricks, too.
The P100D is capable of a zero to sixty dash in just 2.5 seconds (quicker even than the benchmark 911 Turbo S), has autonomous driving and enough technology to satisfy … well, anyone, really.
The weakest feature of the P100D is the $134,500 price tag, though it is said that range is around 315 miles per charge. Of course, if you start spanking that acceleration, that range will diminish pretty quickly.
A bit more home grown talent.
A supercharged 6.2 liter V8 sits under the hood, it makes 640 horsepower, and will reach speeds in excess of 200 mph should you have access to a racetrack long enough to do it.
There are other European models that possibly have a better pedigree (the BMW M5 for example), but the fast Caddy doesn’t disappoint as an AWD sports car and it’s around $10,000 cheaper than the Bimmer.
What’s more, the interior is luxurious; it features plenty of leather, supportive sport style seating, and even some decent tech – WiFi and a rear-view camera, for example. It has an ace up its sleeve, though, in the form of active fuel management, meaning that using it as an everyday driver is possible.
Sticker price starts at $85,995 for the base model, and you still get the big V8 under the hood. As for the style … Cadillac has made it look aggressive without being too over the top – it sits low and wide with quad exhausts poking out the back throwing down delightful pops and gurgles all day long.
Volkswagen Golf R
Not quite in the market for a $100,000+ vehicle? The Golf from Volkswagen is a contender for the practical AWD sports car market, especially when you consider the screen price of around $40,000.
Sure, when compared to a 911 (or any of the vehicles listed here) it looks a bit … plain Jane, but that’s part of the appeal! It doesn’t need to shout its presence at you and it knows it’s an understated pocket rocket – a pocket rocket with close to 300 horsepower thanks to the 2.0-liter boosted four-cylinder motor.
There are at least a few things about this car that could stand to be…upgraded, however. The four-banger may be spritely, but it doesn’t compare to the rush of a more powerful V6 or V8. Also, it looks tall and ungainly rather than squat and muscular. That said, there’s no doubting that the Golf R makes sense in the real world.
As you’d expect from VeeDub, the build quality and reliability would shame most manufacturers, as would the level (and quality) of equipment fitted as standard.
It’s never going to be a lap record holder, but this AWD sports car has enough go and is stylish enough to be included here … just at the bottom end of the market.
Re-introduced by Acura back in 2016, the NSX is made of myth and legend – perhaps the most notable being that Ayrton Senna helped to develop the car and driving dynamics.
Being so modern, it’s packed with tech and features. It’s 573 horsepower punch comes from a hybrid powertrain that includes three electric motors and a mid-engine 3.5 liter twin-turbo V6 mill – this is proper super car performance wrapped up in an AWD sports car package.
Just as impressive is the stated figures for gas economy – 21 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway – that’s not bad for a 570+ hp kick.
Price-wise, it’s coming close to the higher end of the market, with the sticker price starting at $156,000.
Not quite a sleeper, but the Audi does disguise itself pretty well – it isn’t all shouty and flamboyant – it’s another AWD sports car cloaked in sensible clothes.
If you’re looking for comfort, build quality, performance and plenty of room, this sedan is made for you. Think of it as a business suit made from Kevlar – it has all the style and sophistication, backed up with some knock-out performance.
Coming in at $70,900, the price is mid-range (at least in this list), and for that, you get plenty of leather and tech, and a 450 horsepower 4.0 liter twin-turbo motor; 0 – 60 happens in just 3.9 seconds.
You may think it’s a little down on power compared to some of the competition, which in reality it is – other manufacturers are getting around another 100hp from there FI mills, but it’s enough to ‘make progress’.
AWD Sports Cars – What You Should Know
Truth be told, the market for AWD sports cars has never been stronger, nor have the offerings from manufacturers. All of the cars listed here could be (at a stretch) considered to be practical, at least in the way of reliability and comfort.
Choosing something like the Porsche to run the family around in wouldn’t be ideal, and equally, expecting the Golf to keep up with properly fast AWD sports cars would be nonsense, but they all have their uses and own little niches. You need to understand what it is you need from a car and make your choice from there.
It seems that most of the larger manufacturers now supply an AWD sports car, and while brand loyalty can play a large role in some decisions, so do budget and styling – at the end of the day, only you know what’s right for you.
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