Top 10: Performance Cars

Want to grab yourself a slice of performance motoring, but don't know what to buy? Well, you're in luck, because the range of models available has never been better. Here are the top 10 as decided by you.

Can't decide what to buy? Let our unique Car Chooser help you

1

Porsche 718 Boxster

Whisper it, but there are plenty of people who reckon the 718 upstages the quicker and more expensive 911 when it comes to driving fun. It’s certainly one of our favourite performance cars and you don't have to break the bank to afford one either.

While it may have lost some of its character in the switch from six-cylinder to four-cylinder turbocharged engines, it handles better than ever and is still a joy to drive. Build quality is superb and while adding options can get very pricey, the 718 Boxster is simply brilliant.

Read the full Porsche 718 Boxster review

Contract hire from £578.39 per month
2

Telsa Model S

It may seem odd having an electric vehicle in this list and while it's true that the Tesla may not have the noise and drama of some of the cars here, it's nonetheless a bona fide performance car. Top models can cover 0-62mph in just 2.5 seconds - quicker than a Ferrari 458 GTB.

You can genuinely go on long journeys with the Model S, too. The different variants have differing battery capacities, but realistically more than 200 miles is perfectly achievable on a full charge.  

Read the full Tesla Model S review

Contract hire from £889.19 per month
3

Jaguar F-Type

Jaguar's F-Type is one of our favourite performance cars, in no small part down to the sound it makes. One of these at full acceleration sounds amazing. Yet it's comfortable and refined too, meaning it's a sports car you can easily live with day to day.

A new 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine was added to the range in 2017 and despite the smaller size, works really well in the F-Type. But if it's outright performance you want, the SVR with its 575PS 5.0-litre supercharged V8 is the one to go for.

Read the full Jaguar F-Type review

List Price from £52,310
Buy new from £46,712
Contract hire from £512.47 per month
4

Lexus RC F

While Lexus is usually associated with hybrids, it does occasionally go rogue and bestow upon us a performance F model, with a great big engine. Just like the RC F.  It gets a naturally aspirated 5.0-litre with 477PS and 530Nm of torque, which is all fed to the rear-wheels.

On paper the V8 will propel the RC F to 62mph in less than five seconds, before reaching its peak at an electronically limited 168mph. Sadly, while it's quick it's not without its flaws, not least the indecisive eight-speed automatic gearbox.

Read the full Lexus RC review

List Price from £38,805
Buy new from £34,639
Contract hire from £420.52 per month
5

BMW i8

If you thought that being green had to be boring, it’s time to think again. The i8 employs a turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine and an electric motor to produce 362PS and a stump-pulling 570Nm of torque, figures that will get the stylish coupe to 60mph in just 4.4 seconds. 

Weighing less than 1500kg thanks to lightweight carbon-fibre construction, the stunning looks are guaranteed to draw a crowd, especially when you flip open the dramatic butterfly doors, and the driving experience is pretty special too with vivid acceleration and superb grip. And on top of all that BMW claims 135mpg and 49g/km of CO2 so it’s super-efficient too. 

Read the full BMW i8 review

List Price from £106,310
Buy new from £82,696
Contract hire from £1,097.54 per month
6

BMW M2

BMW always suggested it wouldn't launch a proper M version of the 2 Series, instead going for a halfway house in the form of the M235i (which was latterly upgraded to the M240i). But eventually, the proper M2 arrived and it was well worth the wait.

The engine is a 3.0-litre straight six, but with one turbocharger instead of the two in the bigger M3, giving it a 0-62mph time of just 4.5 seconds. Yet it's perhaps its agile nature and nimble roadholding that make the M2 such a joy to drive.

Read the full BMW M2 review

List Price from £35,920
Buy new from £31,121
Contract hire from £293.84 per month
7

Audi RS6

If you want a big and monstrously fast estate then look no further. The RS6 only comes as an Avant - unlike the competition from BMW and Mercedes-Benz, there's no saloon. And powering that estate along is a hefty 4.0 V8 TFSI with no less than 605PS if you go for the Performance model. Because, 560PS is just not enough clearly.

As you'd expect given all that power, it has quattro four-wheel drive as standard to improve traction and it's no surprise that acceleration is positively thunderous.

Read the full Audi RS6 review

8

Porsche 911

It may not be as exclusive as other performance coupes, but there's a reason you see so many Porsche 911s on the road - it remains the definitive sports car. True, it may not get the same admiring glances as a Mercedes AMG GT or an Audi R8 - but when you're behind the wheel you soon realise why the 911 is so good.

It's a car that your granny could happily drive around town - it even rides comfortably - yet still manages to handles superbly accompanied by that trademark Porsche sound. The standard Carrera does all you'd want, but the GTS is a bit special...

Read the full Porsche 911 review

Contract hire from £978.46 per month
9

Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe

If you want your Mercedes-Benz to be uber luxurious then look no further than the S-Class Coupe. Prices start at a mere £100k while the top AMG S 65 model is no less than £189,000. That gets you a lot of Bentley Continental GT. In fact that gets a lot of most things, apart from perhaps luxury yachts.

It's an effortless way to get around and the 'standard' S 500 version has more than enough performance with 455PS on tap, meaning you can waft along in smug serenity.

Read the full Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe review

List Price from £68,380
Buy new from £45,463
Contract hire from £578.39 per month
10

Maserati Gran Turismo

While Maserati may have launched into new territory of late with the Ghibli and its first SUV, the Levante, it's heritage has always been with GT cars. Wgile the Gran Turismo is starting to show its age - in fact it looks positively dated compared to much of the competition - it is nonetheless a great sports car.

Powered by a Ferrari-sourced V8 engine with 460PS it sounds absolutely wonderful and while it's not without its flaws, the Gran Turismo is still a very special GT. 

Read the full Maserati Gran Turismo review

List Price from £83,925
Buy new from £79,380
Contract hire from £1,227.78 per month