Before we even get into the top list of sportscar for 2011, we think it would be best to clear something up: the new Porsche 911 would have definitely made the list if it wasn’t for the fact that it won’t be hitting Stateside until 2013.
That being said, we have a few top hitters for 2011 that we would be foolish not to take notice of. It was a battle trying to choose between the plethora of options provided in the sports car segment, but what we ended up with was a range of 450 HP to 560 HP, 0-60 mph sprint times between 4.6 seconds and 3.7 seconds, and speeds topping out between 186 mph and 198 mph.
Hit the jump to check out each of these scintillating sports cars in detail.
Although we haven’t specified the number one spot on any of our "Best of 2011" lists, we think it’s pretty safe to say that the Jaguar XK R-S is the very best car to come out of 2011, hands down. Its sleek and scorching hot exterior design is to die for and its luxurious interior is nice on the eyes and soft to the touch. Set aesthetics to the side for the moment and you’ll notice an AJ-V8 all-aluminum powerhouse with twin-vortex Roots-type supercharger that delivers a total of 550 HP and 501 lb/ft of torque, making the XKR-S’ engine the most powerful Jaguar road engine ever made. With this amount of power, the sports coupe will get to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds and will go up to a top speed of 186 mph.
The Jaguar XKR-S has the look and feel of a thunderous sports car and there’s no other vehicle to come out of 2011 that has its mass appeal.
gallery: Jaguar XKR-S
It seems that with the new M5 , BMW tried to repair all the damages made by the 5-Series. Where the standard sedan failed to impress, the M version does exactly the opposite. It comes with dynamic proportions and stylishly authoritative appearance that has been further enhanced by the addition of M-specific design features.
The high-revving 4.4 liter V8 unit with M TwinPower Turbo technology found in the M5 delivers a total of 560 HP at 6,000 – 7,000 rpm and a peak torque of 502 lb-ft between 1,500 and 5,750 rpm. With this impressive output under the hood, the new M5 will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in in 4.4 seconds, to 124 mph in 13.0 seconds, while top speed is limited to 155 mph. But once you have removed the limiter you will enjoy a speed of up to 190 mph.
gallery: BMW M5
The Chevrolet Corvette – GM’s little performance savior. This car has meant everything to Chevrolet for one simple reason; because it used to be the only car with some style. It was the only model that made anyone feel emotional about driving a Chevrolet and its history is second to none.
With the 2011 model year, Chevrolet opted for a host of improvements, including two new packages: the Z07 and CFZ. The CFZ package is akin to the Carbon Edition by providing rocker extensions, front splitter, and a rear spoiler. The Z07 package ups the ante with carbon-ceramic brakes provided by Brembo and Michelin Sport PS2 tires surrounding 20-spoke wheels.
The Z06 model is quite the competitor even when compared to its mighty ZR1 sibling. The 7.0-liter LS7 V8 is nothing short of fantastic when put to the test. It produces 505hp at 6,300rpm and 470 lb-ft of torque at 4,800rpm, which is more than sufficient to spin the rear tires into oblivion. All of this power under the hood in conjunction with the lightweight components, get the Z06 Carbon Edition to sprint from 0-60mph in 3.7 seconds and slaughter the quarter-mile in 11.6 seconds.
gallery: Chevrolet Corvette Z06
Maserati may err on the side of of caution when choosing between luxury and speed, but eventually speed-loving fanatics have no choice but to reveal their road-gripping, fire-breathing side. Alas, we now have evidence of Maserati’s wild side with the new GranTurismo MC Stradale.
Inspired by the Trofeo GranTurismo MC and the race-winning GT4 motorsport models, the Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale special edition has been tweaked and modified as a direct result of the lessons learned from Maserati’s three racing programs. But what makes this vehicle even better is that it’s road legal.
Under the hood of the new GranTurismo MC Stradale, Maserati has placed a 4.7 liter V8 engine that delivers 450 HP and 376 lbs-ft of torque at 4750rpm. Most of the improvements have come from the Friction Reduction Program, which involved the redesign of the oil sump’s fluid dynamics and Diamond-Like Coating of the tappets and the camshaft lobes. The MC Stradale will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds and will hit a top speed of 186 mph.