Buyer’s Guide: All of the New Sports Cars for 2021

When it comes to sports cars, not many of them are a one-size-fits-all affair. Whether you’re looking for a comfortable cruiser like a BMW Z4 or a raucous roadster like a Ferrari F8 Spyder, there are plenty of choices in the market to appease any Goldilocks-type shoppers. However, it can be hard to pick the right one for you and your need for speed. In case you need a little help, here is a buyer’s guide of all of the new sports cars for 2021.

2021 Chevrolet Camaro

Chevrolet camaro
The 2021 Camaro ZL1 1LE | Chevrolet
  • Starting price: $26,195
  • Seating: 4

Whether you enjoy the sound of a rumbling V8 engine or the silent-but-deadly nature of a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, the Chevrolet Camaro has you covered. The Camaro comes with a choice of three engines – a turbo-four, a V6, or a V8 – and provides the type of well-sorted handling and driving characteristics you would expect from an American muscle car.

This pony car also comes as either a two-door coupe or convertible and offers a multitude of configurations and performance options. A six-speed manual or automatic transmission is available and if you need your Camaro to feel more racecar-like, then you can opt for the 1LE package in any trim level.

Model:2021 Chevrolet Camaro
Horsepower:455
Torque:455
Transmission:10-speed automatic
Vehicle type:Front-engine, rear-drive

2021 Ford Mustang

2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 driving on a track
The all-new Mustang Mach 1 fastback coupe. | Ford
  • Starting price: $27,205
  • Seating: 4

When you think of a sports car, especially a muscle car, the Ford Mustang most likely comes to mind. Its legendary history includes many different iterations and transformations of the iconic sports car, however, we would argue that the latest model is the best. In addition to a choice of engines – a turbo-four or a V8 – the Mustang now comes with an independent rear suspension that allows for better cornering and road comfort.

Just like the Camaro, the Mustang also comes in either coupe or convertible form and it has a practical interior that can seat up to four passengers. Trunk space is adequate at 14 cubic feet and it should be able to hold a couple of carry-on bags.

Model:2021 Ford Mustang
Horsepower:310 (2.3-liter), 460 (5.0-liter)
Torque:350 (2.3-liter), 450 (5.0-liter)
Transmission:Six-speed manual, six-speed automatic
Vehicle type:Front-engine, rear-drive

2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata

2021 Mazda Miata MX-5 in the sunset
An orange 2021 Mazda Miata MX-5 in the sunset | Mazda
  • Base Price: $27,825
  • Seating: 2

The Mazda MX-5 Miata has been in the automotive scene for over 30 years and has won over the hearts of millions, literally. Back in 2016, the Japanese automaker produced its 1,000,000th Miata, which is a huge milestone, especially for a sports car. But what makes this car so great?

If you’re looking for a small sports car that’s all about balance and precision as opposed to all-out power, then the Mazda MX-5 is the answer. The MX-5 has a near-50:50 weight distribution (52:48) and at 2,400 pounds, it’s one of the lightest cars that you can buy.

Couple those attributes with a spunky 181-hp engine that can be connected to either a quick-shifting six-speed automatic or slick-shifting manual transmission, and you have yourself a surprisingly zippy little sports car.

What makes the MX-5 an even more viable choice is that it’s available as either a soft-top convertible or with a retractable hardtop roof. Just note that the MX-5’s interior may feel tight for some passengers over six feet tall and its trunk space can accommodate a little more than one carry-on bag. Otherwise, with the Mazda MX-5, you’ll be smiling for miles every time you drive it.

Model:2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata
Horsepower:181
Torque:151
Transmission:Six-speed manual or automatic
Vehicle type:Front-engine, rear-drive

2021 Toyota Supra

2021 toyota Supra in white
2021 Toyota Supra | Toyota
  • Base price: $44,215
  • Seating: 2

If you have researched anything about the Toyota Supra, then you are likely aware of its ties to BMW. In fact, the car’s engine options, interior, and some suspension bits were taken from the BMW Z4, but once you drive a Supra, you won’t really care. The car’s rear-drive architecture and superior handling dynamics make it easy to manage through corners at a hurried pace. And when pushed in a straight line, the Supra pushes the passengers back in their seats with a wave of power through the latter part of the RPM range.

How much of a push depends on which engine you choose. There are two different engines to choose from – a turbo 2.0 four-cylinder or a turbo 3.0 six-cylinder – both of which are mated to a smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission. Its cabin area provides adequate space for two occupants and its smooth ride makes the car comfortable enough for a long road trip. And while it is on the small side, the Supra’s cargo area is large enough for a couple of carry-on bags.

Model:2021 Toyota Supra
Horsepower:382 (3.0-liter), 205 (2.0-liter)
Torque:368 (3.0-liter), 295 (2.0-liter)
Transmission:Eight-speed automatic
Vehicle type:Front-engine, rear-drive

2021 BMW M2

A BMW M2 during the Parco Valentino car show, They host cars from worldwide manufacturers.
A BMW M2 during the Parco Valentino car show, They host cars from worldwide manufacturers. | Marco Destefanis/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images
  • Starting Price: $59,895
  • Seating: 4

The BMW M2 is a gussied-up version of the brand’s 2-Series coupe, however, its talent goes further than its aggressive aero parts and wider rear fenders. Beneath its hood lies a twin-turbo, inline-six engine that pumps out 405 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque, which is impressive in such a small car that weighs around 3,500 pounds. To top things off, that mill can be connected to either a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, depending on how much driving engagement you want.

No matter which transmission you choose, the M2 provides the snappy acceleration and ferocity that you would expect from a street-worthy race car. Both you and your three passengers – yes, a cramped backseat is included – will get a kick out of the M2’s power and handling characteristics when pushed to the limit, be it on the street or at the track.

Model:2021 BMW M2
Horsepower:405
Torque:406
Transmission:Six-speed manual, Seven-speed dual-clutch
Vehicle type:Front-engine, rear-drive

2022 Porsche 718 Cayman

2021 Porsche Cayman
The Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 in Chigwell, Essex. This was one of many cars attending the reopening of the popular Melin Restaurant in Chigwell. | Martyn Lucy/Getty Images
  • Starting price: $60,500
  • Seating: 2

If you want your sports car to feel like it’s an extension of every one of your driving inputs, then it’s hard to beat a Porsche 718 Cayman. The Cayman’s balanced chassis and dynamic suspension make it engaging to drive and its 300-hp, turbocharged Boxer 4 engine is strong enough to rocket it to 60 mph in just 4.9 seconds, according to Porsche.

That power is transmitted to the rear wheels via an automatic or manual transmission, and if you need more power, then you can opt for a Cayman S. This sportier trim level comes with a 350-hp engine and can get to 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds.

Model:2022 Porsche 718 Cayman
Horsepower:300
Torque:280
Transmission:Six-speed manual, Seven-speed dual-clutch
Vehicle type:Mid-engine, rear-drive

2021 Chevrolet Corvette

2023 Chevy Corvette Z06
2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 | Chevrolet
  • Base Price: $60,900
  • Seats: 2

There’s no denying that the Chevrolet Corvette is an icon among sportscars and its status was elevated last year. For 2021, the C8 Corvette carries a mid-engine architecture that completely changed the public’s perception of the nameplate, but in a good way. Under the hood is a large 6.2-liter V8 engine that pumps out 490 hp and 465 lb-ft of torque, but those power figures can be upgraded to 490 and 470 lb-ft, respectively, with the Z51 performance package.

The C8 Corvette also comes as either a coupe or convertible and, according to Car and Driver, its trunk has enough space for golf clubs and its frunk has enough space for a carry-on bag. Additionally, GM recently debuted the 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 which, in addition to upgraded aerodynamics, is powered by a 5.5-liter V8 that produces 670 hp and can spin up to 8600 rpm thanks to its flat-plane crank.

Model:2021 Chevrolet Corvette
Horsepower:495, 670 (Z06)
Torque:470, 460 (Z06)
Transmission:Eight-speed dual-clutch automatic
Vehicle type:Mid-engine, rear-drive

2021 BMW Z4

The new BMW Z4 will be presented at the Paris International Motor Show on the 1st press day.
The new BMW Z4 will be presented at the Paris International Motor Show on the 1st press day. | Uli Deck/picture alliance via Getty Images
  • Starting price: $64,695
  • Seating: 2

Remember the Toyota Supra that we discussed earlier? The BMW Z4 is basically the convertible version. In addition to a hard or soft-top configuration, the Z4 carries the same turbocharged four- and six-cylinder engine choices as its Supra cousin, the latter of which was able to get the car from 0-60 mph in 3.8 seconds on  Car and Driver’s test track.

The Z4’s power is routed through an eight-speed automatic transmission and out the rear wheels, and its cabin is comfortable enough for two adults. There are also plenty of convenience features that make the car suitable for daily driving.

Model:2021 BMW Z4
Horsepower:382
Torque:269
Transmission:Eight-speed automatic
Vehicle type:Front-engine, rear-drive

2021 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT

2021 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT
2021 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT | Mercedes-Benz USA

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  • Starting Price: $119,650
  • Seating: 2

The Mercedes-Benz AMG GT is the front-engine equivalent to the rear-engine Porsche 911. However, it has a lot more flare. The AMG GT’s stunning bodywork will undoubtedly turn heads and if you can look past its aesthetics, you’ll soon realize the beauty that lies underneath its handsome sheet metal. Under its hood, the GT features a hand-built twin-turbo V8 engine that produces 523 hp, but if you want more power, then you can opt for the GT C or GT R models, which produce 550 and 577 hp, respectively.

While the Mercedes AMG GT feels at home on the track, it can also be driven easily on the street thanks to its adaptive dampening suspension and seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

Model:2021 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT
Horsepower:720
Torque:590
Transmission:Seven-speed dual-clutch
Vehicle type:Front-engine, rear-drive

2021 Ferrari F8

The Ferrari F8 Tributo seen at Goodwood Festival of Speed 2021 on July 8th in Chichester, England.
The Ferrari F8 Tributo was seen at Goodwood Festival of Speed 2021 on July 8th in Chichester, England. | Martyn Lucy/Getty Images
  • Starting price: $280,000
  • Seating: 2

For well-heeled buyers that want all of the style and performance wrapped up into one package, it’s hard to go wrong with a Ferrari F8. The F8 has curvy and elegant body lines and contours that are topped off by a removable roof that provides an immersive connection to the outside world. Couple that freeing experience with the sound of a sonorous twin-turbo V8 and you’ll have the experience that can’t be replicated by any other car on this list.

That 3.9-liter V8 engine is mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission and produces a whopping 710 hp and 568 lb-ft of torque. Both the F8 Tributo and Spyder offer seating for up to two passengers and its cargo capacity measures at a low seven cubic feet. But who needs cargo space when you’re driving a Ferrari?

Model:2021 Ferrari F8
Horsepower:710
Torque:567
Transmission:Seven-speed automatic
Vehicle type:Mid-engine, rear-drive

Sports cars come in all shapes and sizes

Whether you need a large muscle car, like a Ford Mustang, or a small zippy roadster, like a Mazda MX-5, the sports car segment has you covered. For most buyers, shopping for a sports car isn’t just about the horsepower figures and engine sizes, it’s also about value for the money.

Fortunately, every sports car on this list provides plenty of value for its respective segment and presents prospective buyers with a range of amenities, performance, and comfort. Even for the most hardcore Goldilocks types out there.

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