Yes, these are the automotive equivalents of flipping the bird. —Joseph Heroun
That automobiles express our individuality is both a blessing and curse. On the one hand, what’s cooler than having your very own unique, high-performance, and eye-catching ride? On the other, if you go too far—you know: overly stylish features, an army of horses under the hood, a yellow paintjob—you run the risk of looking like you’re, well, overcompensating… For something.
But let’s face it: there are some unapologetically high-performance machines out there that shouldn’t be tamed. They’re loud and they’re proud—and when your thirst for attention gets the better of you, they’re the automotive equivalent of Niagara Falls. So if you want to own the road right now, here are ten great ways to do it—and for more of our great car coverage, don’t miss our Five Great Tips for Starting a Car Collection
1. Lexus LC 500
A stunning, all-new sports GT built to change Lexus’ market perception from sleepy luxury to flat-out screamer. Drop-dead sexy, there’s nothing subtle about it—with power and performance to match its looks. Speaking of which, its Lexus brethren haven’t fared as well in the beauty lottery, resembling victims of a knife fight. The brand’s controversial spindle grille, a gaping maw on other models, looks fantastic on the LC’s classic proportions and muscular stance. You’re witnessing a future classic. Available with a 5-liter V8 engine or hybrid. And if you don’t see the car of your dreams right here, be sure to check out these The 14 Sports Cars to Buy Now.
2. Corvette Grand Sport
When an ordinary Corvette doesn’t ring your bell, you gotta dial it all the way up to the range-topping Z06. This thing is brutal, and singularly the best performance bargain in the world. It does everything right. It’s just . . . well . . . ostentatious. And you’ll probably never see anyone under 50 driving one. (You may come to your own conclusions as to why that may be). Mitigating factor: It’s engineered for the track, so do yourself a solid and unleash it there. All will be forgiven. Just don’t get the convertible.
3. BMW i8 plug-in hybrid
It’s impossible to overstate the drama of an i8—currently the sexiest green-friendly ride available—prowling the street. Imagine piling out of those cool scissor doors, smug in the satisfaction of knowing your carbon footprint report card is flawless. Not as practical as a Model S Tesla, but who cares? The world will know that since you’ve dropped $150 large for the privilege of avoiding gas stations, this isn’t the only ride in your garage. The i8’s futuristic layered surface design and extensive use of advanced lightweight carbon-fiber enhance your bragging rights. And speaking of beamers, here are The 10 Best BMWs of All Time.
4. Acura NSX
Nine years from its debut as a concept, the NSX is realized. I guess they really wanted to get it right. And for the most part they did. Though what was a hot design nearly a decade ago looks like generic supercar in 2017. Not quite as distinctive as others in its class, it possesses unquestionable street presence. Powered by a 500 horsepower twin-turbo V6 aided by three electric motors driving all four wheels. Technologically advanced and track-worthy, any valet will be happy to relieve you of it.
5. Ford GT
Superlatives can’t begin do describe it. Five hundred pre-approved customers have dibs on every one being built. So move along, nothing to see here.
Also, not sure if you can quite afford all these amazing cars? Then check out The 25 Best Wealth-Building Tips Ever.
6. Tesla Model X
How does the Model X fit in with this esteemed group? It’s green geek cred, naturally. The design is very “right now” and the optics of the Falcon wing rear doors is a sight to behold. While it marches to its own beat, it is a confident man who drives one, given its ungainly street presence. Though classified as an SUV, it’s appearance is more that of an unusually tall, gawky sedan. Like a 5th-grader held back a year, it’s conspicuous among its classmates. But then, why own a Tesla if not for that? And the fact that it’s crazy fast.
7. Ford F-150 Raptor
American full-size pickups are peerless. Massive kings of the road, they project a mix of virility, affluence, and utility. They’re compelling whether you actually need one or not. Behind the wheel of an F-150, Silverado, or Ram, you’re sporting major cajones. So while any of those fine thoroughbreds are sufficiently ostentatious, I reserve a special place for the bad boy Ford Raptor– the Special Ops, rough-and-ready version of the new aluminum-bodied F-Series. You may never tap its fearless off-road brio, though you’ll know you can go rogue when duty calls. And speaking of raw power—don’t miss our collection of the 20 Most Powerful Cars on the Road.
8. Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat
Do you really need 707 horsepower? Stupid question, of course you do. It’s deliciously excessive and sinister, which is why you want it. A snarling Detroit V8 is the perfect way to announce your arrival. And departure. Thoughtfully, the valet key defaults to a more mere 500 horsepower. The Challenger’s clean and restrained design, largely unchanged since its introduction in 2008, remains fresh . . . and menacing. It won’t go unnoticed.
9. Nissan GT-R Nismo
Affectionately referred to as Godzilla, the unlovely GT-R is a real monster. Its stealth (and appeal) lies in the very form factor that can be deceiving pulling up beside you at a light. Make no mistake, with zero to 60 times under 3 seconds, the pride of Japan is all business. Though not the bargain it once was—prices have crept up into supercar territory—it remains an engineering masterpiece. It is rare to spy a GT-R in the wild, so you can be assured of a certain exclusivity. And discerning taste is fine in automobiles. With many prettier options available for that kind of scratch (prices start around $152k), you may be called upon to defend your choice. Better to be loved? Or feared. Wish there were more convertibles on this list? Have no fear, here is our list of The 10 Best Convertibles.
10. Ferrari LaFerrari Aperta
With red piping over that sinister black, sculpted body, the LaFerrari Aperta would make the perfect Batmobile for an Adam West-era update of the original TV classic. Regardless, this ultra Ferrari would make anyone feel like a superhero. The price to own one of 499 units of the open-top LaFerrari hybrid supercar is steep, and not just because it costs $1.7 million (expected to rise to $3.5 with dealer markups). To qualify, you must be a current or former owner of at least ten Ferraris during your lifetime. And that just gets you in the conversation. Oh, yeah, it packs a 789 horsepower V12 paired with an electric motor for a combined 950 prancing horses hitting naught to 60 in under 3 seconds. Well, a Tesla Model S can do that, thank you very much. Still, it’s an impressive piece of work, in every possible sense. Where do they possibly go from here? And speaking of Ferraris, here are The 10 Greatest Ferraris of All Time.
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