It takes a special kind of personality to shop for a two seater car. Two seater cars essentially tell the world that you are willing to sacrifice the practicality of second row of passenger accommodations for style, performance, and a passion for driving. Most - but not all - 2 seater cars fall into the sporty segment of the market for exactly this reason, as they are able to make the emotional connection with a buyer that is necessary to throw 'common sense' to the wind and enjoy an automobile that is out-of-step with the realities of the daily grind.
Rest assured, there are a few exceptions to this rule, and we'll point them out below when we take a quick look at 10 two seater cars that are worth a test drive.
The 2012 Honda CR-Z is not the first two seater hybrid built by the Japanese brand - that particular honor belongs to the first-generation Honda Insight. The Honda CR-Z does, however, represent the most fun-to-drive battery-assisted automobile in the company's lineup. Although horsepower checks in at a somewhat low 122 ponies from its 1.5-liter, four-cylinder engine / electric motor combo, the CR-Z has been given responsive suspension tuning, offers a relatively light curb weight, and can be had with a six-speed manual transmission if desired. All together, it presents a winning formula for a fun, urban roundabout for buyers who simply don't need to lug around a back seat.
2 Seater Cars - 02. 2012 Chevrolet Corvette
The 2012 Chevrolet Corvette is the ultimate people's performance car, a fiberglass-bodied 2 seater car whose base model is motivated by a 430 horsepower, 6.2-liter V-8 that allows the coupe (or convertible) to leap to 60-mph in well under five seconds. Not quick enough? Consider the Chevrolet Corvette Z06, which steps up to a 7.0-liter, 505 horsepower V-8 that helps knock its 0-60 time down to 3.9 seconds, or the Corvette ZR1 that makes use of a supercharged, 6.2-liter eight-cylinder to grind out a frightening 638 horses and 604 lb-ft of torque. The entry-level Corvette can be had with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission, while the Z06 and ZR1 are backed exclusively by the six-speed, row-your-own gearbox.
2 Seater Cars - 03. 2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata
If the Corvette is the people's performance car, then the 2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata 2 seater is the people's sports car. The extremely affordable Mazda MX-5 Miata is one of the lightest and best-balanced roadsters on the market, and driving one quickly demonstrates why on any given weekend there are more Mazdas participating in motorsports in America than any other single brand. The Miata's 167 horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine loves to be pushed up to the redline, and although a six-speed automatic transmission (and a power retractable hardtop) are available with the car, it is best enjoyed with its classic soft top and either one of its manual transmissions (five or six-speed).
2 Seater Cars - 04. 2012 Nissan 370Z
The 2012 Nissan 370Z is available in both coupe and roadster editions, and each model is a dedicated two seater. The Nissan 370Z definitely looks every inch the part of the sports car that continues the automaker's proud Z car tradition. The 370Z is also able to back up its appearance with strong performance, thanks to a stiff suspension system, a 332 horsepower, 3.7-liter V-6, and the availability of either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed automatic transmission (both of which can be had with automatic rev-matching during downshifts). A special NISMO edition of the car adds even tauter handling to the equation for those who intend to take their Z car to the track.
2 Seater Cars - 05. 2012 Smart Fortwo
The 2012 Smart fortwo might seem a little bit out of place on this list of corner carvers, but it has gathered significant attention as a 2 seater ever since it was introduced to American buyers just a few short years ago. The Smart Fortwo is aimed at those who might just as soon buy a bicycle as a car, providing ultra-compact proportions and the ability to haul a single passenger and a decent amount of cargo. It also turns in decent fuel economy from its 70 horsepower, 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine. For many city dwellers, this kind of easy-to-park mini-car is exactly what they are looking for.
2 Seater Cars - 06. 2012 BMW Z4
The 2012 BMW Z4 is a roadster that has become the go-to choice for many fans of two seater cars looking to balance both sport and luxury under the same roof (or lack thereof). The BMW Z4 provides a retractable hardtop, plush interior amenities, and the choice between either a 240 horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, or a 3.0-liter, turbocharged inline six-cylinder motor that develops 300 horses. Transmission choices for the convertible include a six-speed manual, an eight-speed automatic (four-cylinder) and a seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual (six-cylinder). Able to accelerate to 60-mpg in 5.2 seconds with the latter mill under its hood, the BMW Z4 is quick enough that one would never want to weigh it down with more than two occupants.
2 Seater Cars - 07. 2012 Audi TT Roadster
The 2012 Audi TT Roadster lops off the vestigial rear seats found in its coupe sibling and provides a stylish open air driving experience that offers more than a few thrills for drivers interested in testing the limits of the compact luxury car. The Audi TT roadster is often held up as one of the most beautifully styled of all two seater cars currently available, and it derives its thrust from a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine that pushes out 211 horsepower. A six-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission sends that grunt to all four wheels via Audi's quattro all-wheel drive system, giving the TT phenomenal grip that goes a long way towards enhancing its cornering ability.
2 Seater Cars - 08. 2012 Porsche 911 GT2 RS
The 2012 Porsche 911 GT2 RS is a scary, scary entry onto this list of 2 seater cars, a vehicle that intended for track-savvy drivers who are well aware of what they are getting into when they fire up this coupe's 620 horsepower, 3.6-liter twin-turbo six-cylinder engine. The ultimate high performance Porsche, the 911 GT2 RS offers just two seats, a six-speed manual transmission, and a rock hard suspension system that is intended to be enjoyed while flogging the two-door during hot lap after hot lap at the local road course. A 0-60-mph time that hovers near the three second mark further drives home the fact that this 911 is serious about speed.
2 Seater Cars - 09. 2012 Ferrari 458
What would a discussion of two seater cars be like without the inclusion of at least one Ferrari? The 2012 Ferrari 458 is the current standard-bearer in the Italian exotic brand's lineup, and when the full 562 horsepower produced by its 4.5-liter V-8 engine are unleashed it can reach 60-mph in a cheetah-like 3.4 seconds on its way to a top speed of 196-mph. A seven-speed, dual-clutch automated manual transmission is charged with making sure that the motor's output makes to the rear wheels as efficiently as possible, and an extensive range of customized options can be added to the car in order to improve its appearance - and performance - even further.
2 Seater Cars - 10. 2012 Ford Transit Connect
The 2012 Ford Transit Connect wraps up this list of 2 seater cars and shows us that vans are perhaps the most overlooked double-passenger automobiles on the market. When equipped to haul cargo and not people the Ford Transit Connect features only two forward seating positions. The rest of its interior space is given over to managing its payload, which can weigh as much as 1,600 lbs and displace 135 cubic feet. A four-speed automatic transmission is standard, and the Transit Connect's 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine generates 136 horsepower and offers an excellent 21-mpg in city driving.