At some point during the Monday slog through traffic on the way to work, every driver wishes they were behind the wheel of a gorgeous, powerful sports car with gobs of torque and a wide-open road stretching towards the horizon. Unfortunately, few people ever get to driver a legitimate sports car, though, because the best of the best tend to come with prohibitive price tags.
Plus, not all is well in the high-end world of sports cars these days, either. Even commuter cars have become more and more computerized over the years, to dubious results, but sports cars tend to employ even more electronic gadgetry in the hopes of coaxing that little bit of extra performance out of every aspect of a car’s design.
The result is that there are a ton of high-priced sports cars on the road that no one should touch with a ten-foot pole because they might not even be fit to serve as daily drivers—keep scrolling for 18 of the worst offenders.
The Audi R8 is an amazing car to look at and, especially when optioned with the V10 engine, an awesome car to drive thanks to the mid-engined layout and Quattro all-wheel drive (though a RWD version has also hit the streets).
But anyone thinking the R8 is their dream car had better come to terms with the fact that maintenance and parts are hilariously expensive, like a mechanic charger $17,000 for four new shocks and a coolant expansion tank.
17DODGE CHALLENGER DEMON
The Dodge Challenger SRT Demon wasn’t actually that insanely expensive when it debuted. Car and Driver pointed out that the $84,690 asking price and 840 horsepower seem antithetical to each other.
But the Demon is so absurdly powerful that it’s almost scary, especially given the fact that it’s a Fiat product that might break into little bits at any given moment.
The car world has finally received the Corvette everyone has always wanted, though Chevy’s claims of a 0-60 time under three seconds and a starting price under $60,000 seem a bit too good to be true.
The C8 looks great, too, but when it comes to cars, owners usually have to choose two of three things: performance, affordability, and reliability.
15MERCEDES-AMG GT C COUPE
The Mercedes-AMG GT C Coupe definitely looks like a futuristic sports car, and it even has some ties to the epic Gullwing of days gone by. Plus, Mercedes claims that their dry-sump V8 receives enough boost to put out up to 550 horses.
But the same paragraph talks about a pair of turbos located in the “hot V” between the cylinder banks, which is exactly where turbos shouldn’t go if they’re expected to last a long service life.
14PORSCHE 718 BOXSTER
The great part about the original Porsche Boxster was that it combined a mid-engined layout used in the 914 with, at the very least, a flat-six engine and a five-speed stick shift. Yet the new Boxster ditches the flat-six for a turbo-four, which may put out impressive power and respectable MPG figures, but leaves a lot to be desired in the smiles-per-gallon column.
Lamborghini’s “tame” era—if it ever truly existed—is clearly over, with models like the Aventador and its radical sibling, the Veneno, returning more to a Countach and Diablo-inspired design.
But as extreme and desirable as most cars might seem, buyers had better beware after Bloomberg reported that every single Veneno has been recalled because of fire risks.
“Ferrari makes sports cars” is a statement that never won’t be true. But the legendary Italian brand actually seems to be standing on the precipice of leaving their own legacy behind. Sure, a hatchback or SUV can be sporty—but the GTC4Lusso is front-engined, heavy, has all-wheel drive, and looks pretty iffy, to boot.
11LEXUS LC 500
Lexus represents Toyota’s luxury arm, with a little performance thrown into the mix, as well. When the IS F debuted, then the LFA, it seemed that Toyota was committed to producing some sweet sports cars. But the current LC 500 is overpriced, to say the least, and weighs way, way, way too much. When optioned in LC 500h spec, Lexus admits it tips the scales at almost 4,500 pounds!
Rossion is a little-known sports car manufacturer that, at first glance, seems to offer pretty impressive performance at a reasonable price.
However, the starting price of under $70,000 is for a kit car, and Rossion will command up to $100,000 easily to actually build the Q1. Essentially a Noble in US form, the car is a little too niche and amateurish to boost driver confidence.
Lykan’s HyperSport might be a movie star after appearing in Furious 7, but it’s also the first supercar produced in the Middle East and runs about $3.7 million. It can even be optioned with multiple kinds of jewels embedded in its headlights, plus a Ruf-built flat-six mounted amidships.
But every first-gen car has struggles, and it’s safe to assume that one with a 0-60 time under three seconds might suffer from more than its fair share.
8PORSCHE GT2 RS
Porsche has long been known for producing some wild track-tuned versions of their cars, going all the way back to highlights such as the Carrera RS version of the original 911.
The 911 is still going strong to this day, but the GT2 RS iteration currently on sale simply has too much power, too much torque, and too much angular design for a respectable driver’s car.
The original NXS hit the nail on the head and proved that Honda could be a Ferrari rival that sold for a fraction of the cost and was infinitely more reliable. But strangely, instead of going for the same recipe with the recent iteration, the designers and engineers built an overly complex hybrid supercar that starts at $159,300, according to TrueCar.
After a few solid years of sales and performance from Elon Musk’s Tesla products, there’s no doubt that electric cars represent the future of the automobile—from sports cars to economy commuters and even semi-trucks.
Rimac claims the C_Two will be “A new breed of hypercar” but anyone keeping an eye on Tesla’s mechanical problems will probably want to stay away from an EV built by a startup in Croatia.
BMW’s tagline has long been “The Ultimate Driving Machine” and, once upon a time, the company built just that. But not anymore.
Where BMW’s early M-Cars were light, nimble, engaging, and fun, the current crop is heavy, dull, and cramped inside. Case in point is the M4, which should be called the M3, and weighs almost a half-ton more than the original E30 variant, according to BMW M’s website.
4JAGUAR F-TYPE SVR
When it comes to sports cars, plenty of would-be owners don’t even consider the long-term cost of living with an exotic. Instead, they just picture rolling up to the red carpet and showing off to the world. Of course, Jaguar has been building beautiful cars for decades (though the early-2000s were a bit rough), so the looks are there—but the British brand’s reliability has always been a source of national eye-rolling in the UK.
Nissan’s GT-R may not be directly tied to the Skyline GT-R that Paul Walker made famous in the US by driving it throughout the Fast and Furious franchise, but it shares some key details such as a twin-turbocharged inline-six and all-wheel drive. The main difference is that the current GT-R doesn’t come with a stick shift—in fact, its automatic gearbox is so weak it can’t handle the GT-R’s wild torque claims and breaks down constantly.
BMW’s new Z4 is a Toyota Supra with a soft-top and slightly less futuristic exterior styling. Plus, Car and Driver dyno tested the Supra and it put out power figures far above the official estimates. Throw in that the Z4 and the Supra cost about the same and everyone should stay away from this disappointing car.
1ALFA ROMEO GIULIA QUADRIFOGLIO
Alfa Romeo’s recent foray into the US market has had its ups and downs. The 4C was a sales disaster, though the Stelvio has shown promise and the Giulia is certainly one of the best-looking sports sedans on the market. Plus, it’s got a Ferrari-built engine! But it’s hard to imagine one even lasting the length of a 36-month lease given that Car and Driver reported numerous glitches during only a short testing period. Oof.