2010 has been quite a year for the auto industry’s sports car segment. With auto brands becoming more and more aggressive in their pursuit of power, speed, and consumer preference, sports cars have become about as popular in 2010 as Justin Bieber’s hairdo.

So with all these choices, one can just imagine the painstaking labor we went through in determining our choices for the 2010 Sports Car of the Year. Of all the categories, this one was, without question, the hardest to agree on, especially when the multitude of choices available are considered.

In the end, we did find a common ground in selecting the five best sports cars of the year, despite the fact that there were some arguments along the way. Of the five that we chose - one of them is a one-off sports car - four of them came from Europe whereas the only non-European sports car on the list calls the Land of the Rising Sun as its home.

Head over to the list after the jump.

5. New Lancia Stratos

2010 Lancia Stratos Exterior
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The New Lancia Stratos is the only one-off sports car to make it on our list so that in itself is an achievement in its own right. Commissioned by Michael Stoscheck, the new Stratos shares a lot of its underpinnings with the Ferrari 430 Scuderia, making it a pretty powerful machine. The New Stratos is powered by a 4.3-liter V8 engine that produces 540 horsepower and 500 Nm of torque with a 0-62 mph time of 3.3 seconds and a top speed of around 200 mph. While some people might argue that the New Stratos’ exclusivity should have it higher on the list, we think that the car’s one-off status goes both ways considering that only one person is going to enjoy the car.

4. Audi R8 Spyder

2010 Audi R8 Spyder 5.2 FSI quattro
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Just when you thought that Audi had squeezed just about everything there is to squeeze with the Audi R8, the company outdid themselves once more with the Audi R8 Spyder 5.2 FSI Quattro. Powered by a 5.2-liter FSI V10 that delivers a maximum output of 525 horsepower at 8,000 RPM, the R8 Spyder is capable of bursting out of the block to 60 mph in under 4.1 seconds while reaching speeds of just a shade under 200 mph. You know you’ve had a good year when you make yet another appearance at another Hollywood blockbuster for 2010. Yep, there’s a reason Tony Stark – a.k.a. Iron Man – loves him some R8 Spyder.

3. Aston Martin DB9

2011 Aston Martin DB9 Exterior
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In a year that has been dominated by over-the-top sports cars that promise a whole lot more than they deliver, this British aristocratic sports car came to the party dressed like a sure-fire winner. As the newest DB9 model to come out of the UK, the 2011 Aston Martin DB9 is the epitome of a finely-tailored thoroughbred with some serious power hiding underneath its classy exterior. The new DB9 is powered by a 6.0-liter V12 engine delivering an unchanged 470bhp and 442lb ft of torque with a 0 to 60 mph time of 4.6 seconds and a top speed of 190 mph. More than the impressive numbers, the new DB9 brought a style and panache in a segment where power and speed are considered religion.

2. Porsche GT2 RS

2011 Porsche 911 GT2 RS High Resolution Exterior
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Of all the Porsche sports cars released this year, the Porsche GT2 RS stood out from the rest for a number of reasons. Lighter and more powerful than the standard GT2, the RS version shaved 154 lbs off of its weight while also increasing its engine output by 90 horsepower up to 620 HP. That spike in ponies translates to a 0-62 mph time of 3.5 seconds and a top speed of 205 mph. More to that, the GT2 RS reportedly ran an entire lap of the Nurburgring in just seven minutes and 18 seconds, which is quite a feat for a Stuttgart-born Porsche. Finally, there’s also something to be said for a car that only comes in 500 units and already sold out all 500 models even before the car hit dealerships.

1. Nissan GT-R

2012 Nissan GT-R High Resolution Exterior
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A lot of impressive American and European sports cars were released this year, but as far as we’re concerned, the king of the sports car mountain for 2010 resides on the other side of the world in Japan. Staking its claim as our 2010 Sports Car of the Year is the fire-breathing monster that’s affectionately called ‘Godzilla’ by auto enthusiasts from here to Osaka, Japan: the Nissan GT-R.

The all-new GT-R made its debut later in the year at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show. But despite the late reveal, the car still made quite an impression on all of us, not only because of what it’s capable of – how does 530 horsepower and 612 Nm of torque sound to you? - but also because of the cheaper price tag compared to just about every car on the top five. Of all the sports cars on this list, the new Nissan GT-R is the only one that you can buy without crossing the six-digit threshold. With a combination of stunning good looks, high-grade power, and a cheaper-than-most price tag, the new Nissan GT-R is our winner for 2010 Sports Car of the Year.

Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
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Show Comments


  (374) posted on 08.12.2011

Oh! I just remember the customized the version of this car that was tested in the Nurburgring track! Hell, the power output of the car almost reached up to 1000 hp!

  (256) posted on 08.12.2011

haha. So the GTR was listed as a sportscar. The speed performance of the Nissan GTR has an impressive performance.

  (570) posted on 03.24.2011

Looking back on how the GTR started and now. Nissan really makes the GTR as the beast of the road. No doubt that it was awarded as the best sportscar.

  (762) posted on 03.11.2011

Due to AWD and horsepower rating the GT1 fall into GT1 ALMS. American fans has totally blown up while seeing the GT1 car race.

  (409) posted on 01.5.2011

well it’s just a v6 playing turbo inside the bonnet. GT-R is quite a performer though it has beaten many super cars like the Audi r8 and that was a v10 engine.

  (453) posted on 01.5.2011

well BMW GTs was beaten by the nissan GT-R and not once but twice. actually there are many competing with the GT-R even the high end but still they cannot compete with it.

  (341) posted on 01.4.2011

are you sure about that dude? well it can’t even beaten the Nissan GT-R so why making it a number one?

  (461) posted on 01.4.2011

for me Audi R8, because it was considered the most complete vehicle with the hottest body in the sports segment and, despite being a newcomer, displayed no serious weaknesses.

  (46) posted on 01.4.2011

The new Lancia should of been removed from the list for the simple fact that 20 years ago it still would of been a ugly car. Now is just terrible! smiley

  (65) posted on 01.4.2011

I’ve seen the R8 in the sedans as well... is that right?

  (329) posted on 01.3.2011

what you said is true but they pick this on top because of the number of votes, reviews and sales.

  (504) posted on 01.3.2011

I guess the lists is great but honestly I haven’t seen the Cadillac perform on track and on road. but for sure rating it a top 3 is very reasonable.

  (367) posted on 01.2.2011

IMO the GT-R don’t deserve the number one sport it should be the M3 GTS Coupe. yes the gt-r is fast and menacing but its already 5 years old. people want something new and different.

  (392) posted on 01.2.2011

good thing that the GT-R made it on top, well honestly I can’t see a thing that will stop the GT-R on the top one list. we all know how the GT-R perform it even out run the menacing audi r8 V10.

  (14) posted on 01.1.2011

My list is:
1.Lamborghini Gallardo LP570 Superleggera 2011
2.Nissan GT-R V-Spec 2009
3.Aston Martin DB9 2010
4.Porshe 911 GT2 RS 2011
5.Lancia Stratos 2010

  (868) posted on 12.31.2010

If these are the "best sports cars of 2010," then why was the winner a 2012 model?

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