All-wheel drive is often seen as the hallmark of a good all-terrain vehicle, but there is more to it than simply being able to overcome mud or snow. Fast cars with AWD benefit from added traction and improved handling, which also makes for quicker acceleration. In fact, AWD sports cars are quite common these days, especially from premium performance brands like BMW, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi, but even American muscle cars are departing from the RWD-only mentality. To give you an idea of how widespread this acceptance is, here is our list of the best all-wheel-drive sports cars of 2022.
While there are plenty of vehicles with AWD, sports cars are a slightly different breed. They have their own unique qualities that set them apart from rough-and-tumble SUVs or all-terrain pickup trucks. These include:
Design: There are certainly some sporty crossovers out there, but for a genuinely athletic driving experience, you can’t settle for less than a sedan or coupe. Size doesn’t matter as much, though small cars are often seen as more nimble and cossetting. Larger vehicles can support better engines, however, and they have more of a balanced focus between performance and comfort.
Performance: Speaking for engines and performance, the best AWD sports cars are seldom lacking when it comes to sheer power. There aren’t as many V6 or V8 options as there once were, but a good turbocharged four-cylinder still delivers bucket loads of fun. Automatic transmissions are the norm, too, but a few automakers still offer the option of an engaging manual.
Budget: You normally pay more for the sheer indulgence of sports cars, and new AWD variants are generally even more expensive. This is because the drivetrain is more complex; it also means the added weight has a negative impact on fuel economy. There are still some relatively cheap choices out there, but the top sports cars in the USA are going to cost you.
What to Consider When Buying a Sports Car with AWD
Most automakers do their best to supply buyers with a well-rounded vehicle that has more strengths than weaknesses. However, sometimes cars are so single-minded in their focus that they neglect certain areas. So, before you run out and buy a car that can sprint to 60 mph in a couple of seconds, make sure it ticks the right boxes for you.
Extremely high levels of performance
AWD often improves acceleration times
Great traction and handling - improved driver confidence
Enhanced tractions helps with adverse weather conditions
Engaging and fun to drive
Extra weight can affect handling dynamics
Costs even more than regular sports cars
Higher fuel consumption figures
Overconfidence from the driver can be dangerous
What are the best AWD sports cars?
Some of the fastest cars have AWD, but among those specifically designed for driving pleasure, the best options include:
Audi TT RS
BMW M859i xDrive
Jaguar F-Type R-Dynamic
Porsche 911 Carrera 4S
Are AWD cars safer?
While safety isn’t usually fore of thought for drivers of high-speed performance vehicles, all-wheel drive indeed offers slightly better safety standards. Improved traction on slippery surfaces is a boon. However, this will depend on the driver’s abilities since AWD only really improves how much control they have over the car. A good driver can, therefore, more easily avoid potential accidents.
Do AWD cars use more gas?
Generally speaking, yes. An all-wheel-drive system is heavier than a regular two-wheel setup, which means it takes more power to get the car moving. This, in turn, affects overall fuel consumption and mpg.