Few vehicles make enough impact to last a lifetime. As styles evolve and consumer opinions transition like changing seasons, the more conventional models tend to fade into the background. Little by little, they leave imprints in our memories as newer or better models come onto the scene. With that said, our list of performance cars are anything but a distant memory. Collectors, racers, and enthusiasts alike rally around these high-performance beauties no matter the time or year. And we’ve got to admit, we totally understand why!
Here are the classic models that every gearhead should drive at least once in their lifetime.
The best performance cars to drive
A true gearhead knows there are multiple components that comprise a performance car. Beyond what’s under the hood (although that’s the most important) there needs to be a cohesive balance between design, driving dynamics, and practicality. For example, tight and responsive steering and seats that comfort your body. These are just some of the features that signify a car built to perform. While there are hundreds of performance vehicles on the market, the following timeless models continually offer one of the best driving experiences:
Dodge Charger R/T 1969
The Dodge Charger R/T is easily the most iconic muscle car to date, whether you’re a fan of Mopar cars or not. Scroll through ClassicCars.com and you’ll see its value is far beyond others. With a 440 cubic-inch V8 engine with up to 375hp and 4-speed transmission, this model quickly captured the hearts of speed enthusiasts back in 1969. From NASCAR to Dukes of Hazard, the Dodge Charge R/T had its best year around this golden era of production. It’s a time that collectors still reminisce about today. If you haven’t gotten behind the wheel of this high performance car, what are you waiting for?!
Porsche 911 GT2 RS
Since its introduction to the market in 1964, the 911 series has debuted a number of variations that carry the true essence of Porsche manufacturing: high-performance. Although we’ll confess it seems impossible to narrow down the best one, we’d encourage any gearhead to get a feel for the 2019 GT2 RS. This remarkable 911 model has risen to the top of Porsche’s performance ranking in recent years. Moreover, it can outrace some of the highest performance cars on the automotive market thanks to its 3.8L flat-six engine. In fact, it is Porsche’s most powerful 911 engine to ever exist. For these reasons, a drive in the GT2 RS is surely memorable.
Renault Clio Williams 1993
Fans of Formula 1 might remember the legacy of the Renault Clio. This 1993 model was the foundation for speed during a period of homologation. Under the hood sits a 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder engine with speeds up to 148hp. Now we know this doesn’t compare to some of the big timers on this list. But for its time, drivers could reach 60mph in under 8 seconds. This offered plenty of fun for the everyday driver who was looking for a bit of thrill in their life. Overall, this model was unique and didn’t make its mark on American soil, but it’s nonetheless a fun drive that all gear heads would enjoy even for a moment or two.
Chevrolet Corvette L88
Back in the 1960s, General Motors had every intention of building a model that was designed for racing. However, around this time enforced homologation required automakers to design a road version equivalent to any racing model. This was ultimately how select models became eligible for competitive racing. Enter: the Chevrolet Corvette L88. This high-speed supercar racked up a reported 550hp and packed a powerful punch. The funny thing is GM advertised this model so poorly that consumer interest was seemingly lackluster during the golden era. . All in all, the Chevrolet Corvette L88 tops our list of best performance cars because it’s a rarity to find and drive nowadays.
A look back at the best performance cars
The performance cars on this list are the quintessence of automotive production. A vehicle that is responsive, fun to drive, and equipped with a humming engine sound thats like music to your ears. Any time one of these makes or models comes roaring down the roadway, you’ll find a gearhead perched up from his/her seat. The question is: have you driven one of these high performance cars? Tell us about your experience below! We also know there are too many performance vehicles to mention in one post. Comment or share your favorite. We’d love to know!