Any of these companies would be capable of building a great sports car.
As enthusiasts, we wish that every manufacturer would do nothing but build great driving sports cars. However, carmakers are in the business of making money and sports cars aren't exactly selling well right now. Even the sportiest marques in the business have been forced to focus on SUVs. Still, we think that sports cars have a place in the market to attract people to a brand. There are still several manufacturers that don't have a single sports car in the lineup and we came up with five companies in particular that we think need to build one.
Despite not being the biggest fans of the Cadillac XLR, we think that GM has the potential to make a sports car that could be a world beater. The Ford GT has proved that an American company can build a supercar that is actually more expensive than European competitors. For Cadillac, we would love to see a mid engined supercar with V8 LS power, but would also be satisfied with something front-engined and RWD akin to the Lexus LC500 or Aston Martin DB11. Unlike the Corvette, this car should have a softer character that is more grand tourer than race car. That would differentiate it from the Corvette without taking away sales.
Keeping with the theme of American luxury automakers building sports cars, we have our eyes pinned on Buick. We have been on Buick's case to build the beautiful Avista Concept, but the company says that it wouldn't sell well to the Chinese market. Buick hasn't built anything that could really be called sporty since the Grand National in the 1980s, but GM now has the perfect engine to revive it. The 464-hp twin-turbo V6 from the ATS-V would sit perfectly in a RWD Buick coupe, and the Grand National name could make a big comeback. Now that GM has sold Vauxhall and Opel, Buick needs to find a different way to build awesome cars in the future.
Oh Honda, why do you make us suffer? Our feelings are so mixed about Honda and it's luxury division Acura, that we have a tough time keeping our emotions straight. Acura and Honda have built some of the nicest driving cars that are also incredibly practical and reliable. The NSX and S2000 are some of the greatest driving cars of all time, without being as finicky as an Italian exotic. However, the S2000 has yet to be replaced and in our minds, the AWD hybrid that is currently on sale is hardly a worthy successor to the original NSX. What Honda and Acura need is a back-to-basics sports car that reminds everyone why the company was once known as the brains behind some of the sweetest sports cars of all time.
Avid readers should be well aware of the Genesis brand, but some people may still be in the dark. The Genesis is no longer a single Hyundai model. Genesis is now its own luxury brand like Lexus is to Toyota or Acura is to Honda. Currently, the brand only has two models, the G90 (which was the old Equus) and the G80 (which was the old Genesis). Confusing right? We know that the Genesis brand is planning a BMW 3 Series-sized sedan and two SUVs, but the sports car is what has us the most intrigued. This will be the successor to the old Genesis Coupe, although we doubt that the two cars will be very similar. We hope that this new car will get the 365-hp V6 turbo engine, or the 420-hp V8.
Volkswagen has built sporty cars like the GTI for years, but it has rarely forayed into the realm of a true sports car. After Dieselgate, the company really can't afford to invest heavily in a low-volume sports car, but this doesn't mean it wouldn't be an awesome if it did. We always wish that Porsche would revive the 914 as a back-to-basics sports car below the 718 Boxster and Cayman. However, a cheaper model could dilute the Porsche brand. A great alternative to this could be a lightweight Volkswagen sports car with the same 2.0-liter turbocharged engine as the GTI. This would be a great replacement for the aging Beetle, as well as a great competitor to the Mazda MX5 and Toyota 86.