The Fiat 124 Spider is an affordable fun weekend sports car
6 of the Best Two-Seater Sports Cars Currently Available
With the popularity of SUVs and crossovers taking over the automotive industry, it’s become more difficult than ever to find sports cars. As a result of this trend, people have become a little loose with the term “sports car.” Just to clarify, a Subaru WRX isn’t one, and neither is a Porsche 911. In order to clear up the dust, we put together this list of our top six best sports cars.
The only vehicles considered for this list feature two seats. They can carve up the road or track, and were built primarily for performance, with comfort and convenience as secondary designs. Climb behind the wheel of any of these modern sports cars and you’ll quickly realize what you’ve been missing.
The Best Two Seat Sports Cars:
Fiat 124 Spider
The old saying is that the answer is always Miata. Well, in this case it isn’t. You may or may not be aware that this little Italian roadster isn’t actually Italian, but is actually Japanese. More specifically, it’s a rebadged Mazda Miata. Surprised? You should be. The 124 Spider looks better and has a nicer interior, without losing the sporting spirit of the Miata, which is why it made our list of one of the best sports cars.
Speaking of sporting, Mazda engineers obsessed over its handling dynamics. The car has a nearly-perfect 50:50 front-to-rear weight distribution. The suspension is stiff without being punishing. The Fiat 124 Spider Abarth has a Bilstein Performance Suspension, and a front tower brace and rear stabilizer bar to stiffen everything up further, if you really want to flog your ride.
Fiat didn’t stick with the Mazda Skyactiv-G engine, but instead put in one from the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles lineup. The 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo is more powerful, pumping out 160 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque. All that goes to the rear wheels, making for a proper sports car experience. If you opt for the Abarth version of the car, the engine mates up to a six-speed manual transmission for even more fun. If not, the six-speed automatic is okay, for an automatic.
Italians know how to make a nice vehicle interior, and you can get plenty of nice touches in the 124 Spider. Some of the smallest details ooze quality, like the stitching on the parking brake lever. Abarth models come with heated leather and microfiber sports seats, plus red accent stitching for good measure. The Abarth also adds appropriate aluminum accents to the pedals. If you’re an audiophile, you’ll appreciate the Bose sound system. It features nine speakers crammed in a small space, including two in each headrest, so you can still listen to tunes with the top down on the freeway.
Chevrolet Corvette ZO6
Chevrolet’s only sports car line is the Corvette, because the Camaro has a backseat. Some refer to this as “America’s Sports Car” and for the most part the ‘Vette has lived up to that reputation. While the new ZR1 is impressive, it’s a little pricey with a starting MSRP of $121,000. You can pick up a regular Stingray for $55,495, but the ZO6 offers so much more for $89,495 that has arguably the best value in the lineup. Admittedly, the Grand Sport is a close second, so if you can’t swing the ZO6’s price, go for that.
In case you didn’t see all the fanfare when the C7 ZO6 launched, it was developed alongside the C7.R race car, a fact that shows throughout its design. One of the big highlights is the supercharged 6.2-liter V-8. It squeezes out a mighty 650 horsepower and 650 lb.0ft. of torque. It’s acceleration goes from 0 to 60 is under three seconds. Like any proper racer, the car also has a dry-sump oil system, because you’re going to be whipping around turns in a fury.
With so much power comes great aero, at least with the Corvette ZO6. There are three aero packages, the first including the carbon fiber hood and vent, front splitter, and a rear spoiler. Upgrade to the Carbon Fiber Aero Package and the various aero parts are made of, you guessed it, carbon fiber. The front splitter gains end plates, while the rear spoiler is bigger and has a fixed wickerbill for more downforce. If you really want to get crazy, the ZO7 Performance Package slaps bigger end plates on the front splitter, plus it adds an adjustable and transparent wickerbill to the rear spoiler.
Even more performance chops come with the Michelin Pilot Super Sport ZP tires, or the upgraded Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires. You can also add Brembo carbon ceramic brake rotors for greater control. Magnetic Selective Ride Control is available for damping response every millisecond, which works quite well.
You can get the ZO6 as a convertible, if you like the topless experience. It doesn’t compromise aerodynamics, plus the top if fully electronic.
If you still think of Chevrolet interiors as cut-rate, you really need to take a look at the ZO6’s cabin. It’s nice but not over-the-top, with clean designs and quality materials throughout. The instrumentation isn’t overly complex, so you can concentrate on keeping control of this beast. You and your passenger will love the seats, making this one of the best sports cars you could take on a road trip.