Now usually there are two or three cars that rival each other in the supercar category and one time, but looking at all of the cars I can think of at least six cars in the mix. So, Ferrari replaced the 458 will the 488 GTB but is the crown still with Ferrari, is it even in Italy? (FYI Koenigsegg and Pagani are not in this category because they are in the over £500,000 category) Let's take a look.
Let's take a look.
Ferrari 488 gtb
We start with the presumed favourite of the bunch, the Ferrari 488 GTB. From looking at the pictures, I think we can all say that the 488 does look magnificent. Some people would say it looks kinda similar to the 458, but Ferrari have made some small improvements in the bodywork to make it more aerodynamic and look better. In terms of price, the Ferrari is around the £184,000 mark, which is pretty much neck-a-neck with the Lamborghini Huracan. For the engine, Ferrari have taken away the special V8 in the 458 and has replaced it with 3.9L twin-turbocharged V8, something I thought Ferrari would never have the balls to do, put a turbocharger in one of their own cars. Thanks to the two turbochargers it produces a whopping 661bhp and 560lb ft of torque!
Its chassis is sublime, melding unexpected levels of comfort with unflappable control and crystal-clear communication as the pace quickens and you start to build up to exploiting the phenomenal performance on offer. Thanks to incredible and relentless performance from the turbocharged V8 it nails the 0-62mph sprint in three seconds flat. Thanks to all of this it can go 205mph, nothing special, but enough. Overall the 488 is an attractive car and packs clever aerodynamic tech below its clean lines but I think it is way over-rated and not as good as when the 458 Italia came out.
In terms of Ferrari's mind, their main rival is Lamborghini with their Huracan. Starting at £181,000, it is just three thousand pounds less than the Ferrari - still something! In my personal opinion I could not decide whether the Lamborghini or the Ferrari looked better. On one hand the Ferrari looks more slick and aerodynamic but on the other hand the Lamborghini looks like a Lamborghini! Onto the specs.
In terms of the engine Lamborghini are sticking with their German uncles with the 5.2L V10. From the naturally-aspirated engine it produces just over the 600 mark with 602bhp, nearly 100 less than it's big brother the Aventador. The 0-60 is 3.3 seconds with a top speed of 202mph, all very slightly less than the Ferrari.
This is one of the newer newcomers, the replacement for the 650S, the 720S. Starting at around £210,000, this is nearly £30,000 more than the 488GTB, so why is it worth more? Well the engine is quite similar to the one in the Ferrari. It is 4L twin-turbocharged V8. But here comes the exciting parts! It produces a whopping 710 bhp, 20 more than a Lamborghini Aventador and 30 less than a Ferrari F12! From 0-60 it can do it in 2.8 seconds! The same as it's big brother the P1 and can go 212mph! This 1.42-tonne, two-seat 720S will outrun, outbrake and outlap a hybrid P1, previously the toast of hypercars.
The new 720S is a more dynamically competent than its predecessor, although whether it could be genuinely described as “all-new” is debatable. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but certainly the Italian rivals are better looking and for our money, the cheaper and only marginally slower 570 cars are a better compromise between road and track.
aston martin vanquish s
This is the other competitor from the U.K. that can take on Italy, the stunning Aston Martin Vanquish S. Starting at £200,000, this car is slightly less expensive than the McLaren but more expensive than the competition from Italy, so why does it deserve a spot? Well with Aston Martin's 6.0L Naturally-Aspirated V12 it produces 592bhp, closest to the Lamborghini Huracan. With those 592 horses it can go from 0-60 in 3.4 seconds and it has a top speed of 202mph, almost identical to the Huracan.
One thing the Vanquish has that the Huracan may not have is that you could drive the Vanquish from London to Lake Como and it would be a smooth, peaceful and elegant journey. I'm not sure whether it could take the crown, but it certainly would come close.
Whether the Ford is a supercar or not in your eyes for the purpose of this article it is. However this car comes at a gigantic price tag: £320,000! That's more than a £100,000 more than the Ferrari 488 GTB. The Ford is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.5L V6 that produces 636bhp, beating the Huracan and the Vanquish but nowhere near the 720S. From those horses however it can do 0-60 in 3.2 seconds (unofficially) and it has a top speed of 216mph, the highest top speed of all the cars we've looked at yet. Not bad.
But top speed isn't the only thing the GT will be good for, as active aerodynamics, race-inspired pushrod suspension and track-honed settings, and the fast Ford should be a strong rival against models such as the Audi R8, Ferrari 488 GTB, Honda NSX and new McLaren 720S. The big question though is it worth £320,000? I'm not sure.
The only car from Asia that can rival with the cars from the U.K. and Italy. The one thing this car wins on for sure out of all the cars we've looked at so far in the article is price. The base model is priced at £140,000, less than half of what the Ford GT is. It has a similar engine to the Ford, a 3.5L twin-turbo V6 that produces 573bhp, the lowest amount yet. However from those horses the claims are that the NSX can go from 0-60 in a sub-three second time (2.9secs) and from there can go 192mph. Not bad for £140,000. For a budget supercar this rivals the Audi R8, Porsche 911, Jaguar F-Type SVR and even the Nissan GT-R, but for the main crown I don't think it could over through the top dogs.
Jaguar F-Type SVR
You can debate all you want if the F-Type is or is not a supercar, but it is. If the NSX, 911 and GT-R are a supercar than so is an F-Type. Particularly the SVR, the top of the line Jag. And at £110,000, the SVR is well valued. It's powered by a good old fashioned 5L V8 and produces 567bhp, nearly identical to the NSX. With those horses it can go from 0-60 in a respectable 3.5 seconds and has a top speed of 200mph on the dot. Perfect! Personally I would buy this over the 911 and NSX and I would say it's about neck-a-neck with the Nissan GT-R. Not to mention it looks stunning!
porsche 911 gt3 rs
At the price of £132,000, this car is £22,000 more than the Jaguar F-Type SVR and has to prove it is worth the same. Let's see. With 500bhp, this 911 has a lot less power than any other of it's rivals, yet the 0-60 is a surprising 3.3 seconds and has a top speed of 197mph, quite respectable. I have to say though, I don't this is as pretty as the Jag.
Nissan gt-r nismo
If we going to put the Nissan GT-R into contention for the first real time, we'll pick the Nissan GT-R NISMO, starting around the £140,000. That's almost identical to the NSX, a little more expensive than the 911 and now the F-Type SVR has become the new GT-R. Well with a 3.8L twin-turbo V6 it produces 600bhp, and with that it can go from 0-60 in a face-changing 2.6 seconds and has a top speed of 196mph.
Audi r8 v10 plus
The final one of them all, the Audi R8. It has a 5.2L V10 that is similar to the Lamborghini Huracan and produces 610bhp accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in as little as 3.2 seconds and reaching an astonishing available top track speed of 205 mph. All of this comes to £138,000, which is more than the Jaguar F-Type SVR and Porsche 911 GT3 RS but less than the Honda NSX and Nissan GT-R NISMO, right in the middle.
So... Which is the best?
I think that it would be stupid to give the award to one car, so I'm splitting it into two categories, the 'entry-level supercar' section and overall supercar category. These will be the categories:
Entry Level Supercar: Audi R8 V10 Plus, Jaguar F-Type SVR, Nissan GT-R NISMO, Porsche 911 GT3 RS, Honda NSX
Overall Supercar: All
entry level supercar award
Some people will not agree with my decisions but this is my opinion. I think the Porsche is still the same old same old so I don't think it will be winning this category. The NSX is exactly what Japan needed to enter the race and it should be up there with the other three. The F-Type is like the Vanquish S, it's more of a grand tourer than a supercar, but where else could we put it? Remember, all of these cars are great because they made the cut for the top 10 supercars.
1 Nissan GT-R NISMO
2 Jaguar F-Type SVR
3 Audi R8 V10+
4 Honda NSX
5 Porsche 911 GT3 RS
With 10 cars, there can be thousands of different orders but this is my order. From the top end range of supercars the Ford GT stands out to me at the bottom of that section because of it's weight and more importantly it's hefty price. I also see some cars in the 'entry-level supercar' category like the Nissan GT-R NISMO or Jaguar F-Type SVR as possible threats to the top-end supercars. Personally I think the Porsche isn't much different and is at the lower end of the field. The top 4 was extremely hard for me and it may be quite controversial. The McLaren 720S is the fastest and it looks good, but it doesn't have the grand tourer factor. So here's the order.
1 Aston Martin Vanquish S
2 Lamborghini Huracan
3 McLaren 720S
4 Ferrari 488 GTB
5 Nissan GT-R NISMO
6 Jaguar F-Type SVR
7 Audi R8 V1O+
8 Honda NSX
9 Ford GT
10 Porsche 911 GT3 RS