Born to Misbehave
People marvel at “everyday” sports cars that feel relatively comfortable on the road and can hold plenty of gear (think the Chevy Corvette). But most sports cars fall into the category of “rough around the edges,” just as you’d expect and want in such a vehicle.
Then there are a handful of cars that were born to misbehave. Check out the list below for seven supercars that are too hot to handle.
The Viper has a history of besting even some of the most skilled drivers. Mechanical issues, including brake problems, and tricky handling once relegated the Viper to the position of “the super car you’d be crazy to get.” For 2016, Dodge unleashed the Viper ACR, which gains control without losing its ferocity. In fact, it’s so good we said it would “send the [Corvette] Z07 back to the garage for updates” in a previous review. The big, bad bully has two-way 10-click adjustable competition coil-over Bilstein shocks and greatly increased spring rates, helping its performance on the track. Oh yeah, and its naturally aspirated, 8.4-liter V-10 pumps out 645 hp.
Dodge Challenger Hellcat
Part land yacht and part cruise missile, the Hellcat is really in a category of its own. Although its interior is perfectly comfortable and spacious, it’s difficult maneuvering this 4,449-pound (2,018 kg) beast around town. Fortunately, the Hellcat isn’t about handling finesse; it’s about enjoying its raw 707 hp and hitting 60 mph in 3.7 seconds. And creating big, smoky burnouts.
The NSX is billed as an “everyday supercar,” but it throws some unexpected curveballs that suggest otherwise. This turbocharged sports coupe acts like it’s naturally aspirated, and its three-motor/V-6 plug-in hybrid system produces an impressive 573 hp. But the prototype model we drove suffered from numb steering unless you select Track mode, which made the vehicle anything but an everyday sports car. Instead, it got loud and unruly.
Porsche 911 R
It’s not as flashy as a Lamborghini or Ferrari or even the 911 GT3 RS, but don’t let that or its mere 500-hp rating deceive you. This supercar is as wild as it gets, defying the gizmo-overkill, nanny-driven automotive society we live in today. With an exhaust note to kill and almost no sound deadening to protect your ears from the outside elements, you’re subjected to a deafening but enjoyable experience. “The journey to the 911 R’s 8,500-rpm limiter is a living, breathing climax of buzzes, harmonics, and resonances that you won’t soon forget,” we wrote in our recent First Drive. Its 4.0-liter engine pairs with a six-speed manual gearbox as the only transmission option, and top speed is 200 mph.
The Cadillac CTS-V borrows its supercharged, 6.2-liter V-8 engine from the Corvette and can hit 60 mph in 3.8 seconds. The CTS-V has tons of power and torque, rated at 640 hp and 630 lb-ft. All bets are off when traction and stability controls are shut down, but beware that the back tires are prone to spinning. The CTS-V doesn’t look as threatening as the Corvette, and perhaps that’s its most dangerous trait.
“To truly love a Lotus is to love its faults as much as its strengths,” we wrote after testing a 2012 Evora with a rather clunky new six-speed automatic. Lotus cars demonstrate some of the best traits that lightweight engineering has to offer, but they’re often plagued by reliability and ride quality issues. On the track, the Lotus Evora can be quite rewarding if you’re careful. When testing a 2011 Evora S, we noted it requires a lot of involvement from the driver. “It rewards a driver who’s got good car control,” race car driver Randy Pobst noted at the time. “It will punish a driver who does not. This is a car where the owner should leave the stability control on until they’ve done Skip Barber’s Car Control Clinic at least twice, because it’s so free on the way in.”
Tesla Model S P90D
OK, so it’s not a fancy sports coupe. But when you turn on Ludicrous mode and hit 60 mph in 2.6 seconds, you won’t care. After making its debut last year, it became the quickest four-door car in the world, and it boasts 762 hp from its all-electric powertrain.