Sports cars are designed to showcase outright performance and put a big smile on the face of the driver. Many of these vehicles are surprisingly practical and are usable in everyday life wherever you live on the planet. Some are even fitted with all-wheel-drive!
The sports car isn’t a new invention but manufacturing them with all-wheel-drive is quite a recent development within the automotive world. The original sports car to show promise was the Audi Ur-Quattro of the 1980s, demonstrating superior handling and grip in snowy conditions. While it was matchless off the beaten path, it was much slower on road compared to its rivals. As engineering improved and technology progressed, the all-wheel-drive systems got better and better to the point where most sports carmakers offer the option of AWD with their cars. BMW of all manufacturers even offers their xDrive system on their current M-cars. Audi persisted with their Quattro system and Mercedes-Benz developed its own system called 4MATIC. Most other companies simply call their versions AWD.
The sports car evolved into an almost supercar-rivaling vehicle where even the smallest hot hatch can outrun a supercar from a decade ago in the 0-60 mph sprint – all thanks to all-wheel-drive. Here are ten of the best AWD sports cars currently for sale on the market.
10 Audi TTS
The Audi TT was the German marque’s answer to the Mercedes-Benz SLK and BMW Z3. Over the years, it evolved into a pretty good little sports car with some contemporary motoring journalists even calling it a budget Audi R8 – especially the TTRS version fitted with the inline 5-cylinder.
Today, the TT is part of a dying breed as the current generation of both the Audi and the BMW Z4 will be the last of the models – Mercedes-Benz already killed off the SLK and SLC. The TTS model features the 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 from the VW Golf R, producing 306 hp. The power is sent to all four wheels via either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic.
9 Lexus RC350 AWD
The Lexus RC is the mid-range sporty and luxurious coupe in the Lexus line-up. Built on the same platform as the IS, the RC features the same engines including a 2.0-liter turbo inline-4, a naturally aspirated V6, and a big N/A V8 – the latter of which is tuned by Yamaha.
The mid-tier RC 350 is available in both rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive configurations, mating an 8-speed automatic to a 3.5-liter V6 producing 311 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. The RC 350 is a fantastically comfortable sports car – even if it is a bit heavy for its class.
8 Dodge Challenger GT AWD
The Dodge Challenger GT is less sports car and more budget V6 muscle car. The GT is the second-lowest trim – just above the base SXT – and features some improved interior pieces and more optional extras as standard. The exterior gets a more refined look and could be mistaken for an R/T when getting a quick glimpse.
The main interest in the Challenger GT is that it is a comfortable sporty-muscle-GT car with a bigger entry-level engine than either the Chevrolet Camaro or Ford Mustang. The 3.6-liter V6 produces 305 hp and 268 lb-ft of torque, mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. Not at all bad for the $36,000 starting price.
7 Mercedes-Benz C43 AMG
Mercedes-Benz went through a bit of a difficult time regarding their AMG models and introduced a V6-powered version with the ’43 AMG’ moniker. The smallest of the 43s was the C43 AMG Coupe – still on sale due to the delay of the new CLE-Class.
The C43 AMG is fitted with a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 producing 360 hp and 384 lb-ft of torque. Power is sent to either the rear or all four wheels via a 9-speed automatic transmission. The C43 AMG may be a pretty good car, but nothing can replace the roar of the V8 in the C63 AMG.
6 Jaguar F-Type R
The Jaguar F-Type is one of the best-looking British sports cars since the original E-Type from 1961. The F-Type is currently in its second upgrade period after its launch in 2014 and now has a front end to pull it in line with the rest of the Jaguar brand.
The great feature of the F-Type is that it is available with all-wheel-drive on most models, apart from the entry-level 2.0-liter turbo. The big supercharged V8 model gets AWD as standard, while the V6 and detuned V8 versions keep it as an option. The F-Type is a gorgeous vehicle and a fantastic sports car easily able to keep up with the likes of the Porsche 911.
Related: These Are Our Favorite Features Of The Jaguar F-Type
5 BMW M240i
The BMW M240i is an awesome car. Granted, it isn’t quite the M2 – which was recently unveiled – but it has the driving dynamics of a proper M-car. It may take some time to get used to the styling and the lack of usable rear seats, but there is no doubt that it is a much better sports car than it necessarily needs to be.
The M240i features the same B58 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 as the other 6-cylinder BMW cars but tuned to produce 370 hp and 370 lb-ft of torque. Power is sent to all four wheels via an 8-speed automatic transmission. BMW has recently made the M240i available with rear-wheel-drive, but still omitted the manual transmission – something the new M2 has.
4 Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400
Think of the Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400 as the slightly more luxurious and all-wheel-drive version of the new Nissan Z – which is essentially what it is. The Q60 RS400 is fitted with a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 producing – as you might have guessed – 400 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque.
Interestingly, the power is sent to all four wheels via a Mercedes-sourced 7-speed automatic, while the other models in the Q60 range have to do with a JATCO-built 7-speed auto. It is the same story with the new Z, which uses a modified version of Mercedes’ 9G-Tronic automatic.
3 Audi RS5
The current Audi RS5 is the best it has ever been but lacks in one major department – the engine. Instead of featuring an amazing and burbly V8 engine, it has a twin-turbocharged 2.9-liter V6. At least it was designed and built by Porsche.
The RS5 produces 444 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque and sends all the angry German horses through an 8-speed automatic transmission to all four wheels via Audi’s famous Quattro all-wheel-drive system. The RS5 is a beautiful vehicle both inside and out, but simply lacks the iconic soundtrack its predecessor had.
Related: 10 Reasons Why Every Gearhead Should Drive The Audi RS5
2 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S
The Porsche 911 is the best sports car on the market and has been for a long time – no doubt about it. As such, Porsche has designed their 911 range to suit any of its customers' needs. In addition to increasing the engine size, adding turbochargers, and even making their award-winning sports car all-wheel-drive, the German giant will introduce a hybrid version in the very near future.
Until that happens, one of the best options in the 911 range is definitely the Carrera 4S. It is fitted with a 3.0-liter twin-turbo flat-6 producing 444 hp and 391 lb-ft of torque, sending power to all four wheels. The best part? The 911 is available with either the impressive 8-speed PDK automatic or 7-speed manual transmission. How cool is that?
Related: Here Are The Fastest AWD Cars On The Market In 2022
1 BMW M4 Competition xDrive
The BMW M4 Competition is definitely one of the best sports cars on the market and may be the best of the all-wheel-drive versions out there. Sure, the M4 Comp is available as rear-drive only, but when you can easily and quickly switch between 4WD and 2WD at the click of a button, why wouldn’t you option xDrive?
The M4 Comp features the same S58 twin-turbo inline-6 as the normal M4, boosted to 503 hp and 479 lb-ft. The power goes through an 8-speed automatic transmission – sadly not a dual-clutch – to all four wheels. Thanks to BMW’s rear-biased torque split, the M4 Comp can do donuts even in 4WD mode. For anyone wanting some more fun, switch it to 2WD mode and watch the rear tires shred in true BMW hooliganism.