PMW's top pick for supercars this year

PMW's top pick for supercars this year

PMW's top pick for supercars this year

Top 4 supercars for 2021

What defines a supercar? Is it power output? Price? Mechanical layout? Truth is, none of the above. At least, not officially, and the demarcations between sports, GT, super and hypercars have become increasingly blurred over the years. But we’ve got to have some sort of rules so, for the purposes of this list, we’ll define a supercar as nothing super limited production, handbuilt to order or in the seven-figure league of rarity. Something you might – just – use properly on the road or occasional track day rather than tucking away under a fitted car cover in your collection. Sound fair? Here are the best of the modern crop…

McLaren 720S

McLaren 720S
McLaren 720S

Accepting the criteria laid down in our intro pretty much the whole McLaren range this side of its Ultimate Series hypercars fits the supercar definition, there being no fewer than 10 different models built on derivations of a carbon-fibre tub and twin-turbocharged V8 engine. The Super Series is McLaren’s core product though, the 720S expressing brand values of immense performance combined with incredible tech and surprising usability. For a 212mph, 720PS (530kW) car capable of hitting 0-124mph in just 7.8 seconds the thing that first strikes you is how refined and easy it is to drive, though its wild side is never far away. A car of huge breadth, the 720S is arguably the definitive modern supercar.

Ferrari F8 Tributo

Ferrari F8 Tributo
Ferrari F8 Tributo

Traditional Ferrari road cars use front-mounted V12s and the latest 812 Superfast is a brazen modern expression of this long history, blurring the lines between supercar and GT. But mid-engined V8s are also a staple of the range and the models that spring to mind when you think ‘Italian supercar’. The F8 Tributo may be the third spin on the 458 Italia platform but, given the esteem that car is still held in, that’s no bad thing and, via the 488 GTB, Ferrari has successfully navigated the tricky transition into the turbo era. The F8 Tributo’s core job is to flatter egos and make anyone feel like a driving god, letting the driver think they’re doing the work rather than the clever tech beneath them. And in that respect, it’s a masterclass.

Lamborghini Aventador SVJ

Lamborghini Aventador SVJ
Lamborghini Aventador SVJ

The Huracan is arguably Lamborghini’s core model. But we can’t ignore the Aventador, even if it arguably bridges the gap between super- and hypercar. With its monstrous, naturally-aspirated V12 engine, deliberately clunky transmission and unapologetically brutal demeanour the Aventador is likely the last of the ‘true’ supercars, which is kind of appropriate given Lamborghini is widely credited with inventing the genre with the Miura back in the ‘70s. And although it’s old-tech in many ways the Aventador can still do the blood’n’guts performance thing, the SVJ version’s sub-7 minute Nürburgring lap proof the attention-seeking is backed up with pace to keep the young whippersnappers on their toes. If you’re going to buy a supercar… buy a supercar.

Aston Martin DBS Superleggera

Aston Martin DBS Superleggera
Aston Martin DBS Superleggera

OK, we narrowly defined supercars as generally mid-engined coupes. But every rule needs an exception and, in this case, the Aston Martin DBS Superleggera does a pretty convincing job of blasting away our convictions. An arch blend of traditional Aston Martin values, the DBS Superleggera combines thuggish elegance, an evocative badge with long associations in the sports car world and an unapologetically thumping hit of raw performance from its 725PS (533kW), twin-turbo V12. There’s nothing especially ground-breaking or technologically revolutionary about it. Far from it, in fact. But true supercars should always be capable of causing a bit of a scene and for its defiantly flicked vees, we love this bruiser of a car, in all its voluptuous glory.

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PMW's top pick for supercars this year