Two seater sports cars occupy a passion-laden niche in the automotive pantheon. There is something about declaring to the world that you need space for only one other passenger that indicates your level of commitment to performance. Sacrificing practicality for speed and handling isn't just the only thing that a two seat arrangement brings with it - it also allows for lower curb weights and sexier sheet metal to wrap around a smaller cockpit.
Let's take a look at nine of the best 2 seater sports cars currently available.
Even discounting models like the 505 horsepower Z06 and 638 horsepower ZR1, the 2013 Chevrolet Corvette remains an impressive two seater sports car contender due to its performance per dollar ratio. The entry-level Chevrolet Corvette's 6.2-liter V-8 is good for 430 horsepower and 424 lb-ft of torque, which is enough for 0-60-mph sprints in the 4.5 second range, and a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission can be specified with the car. The 2013 model year also makes available a number of special editions of the Corvette, including the Grand Sport and the 427, and a convertible model is additionally available.
Best 2 Seater Sports Cars - 02 - 2013 SRT Viper
How can we mention the Corvette without following it up with praise for the recently re-introduced 2013 SRT Viper? The less common, but just-as-impressive SRT Viper is a competition-inspired coupe that allows buyers to choose between the base and GTS trim levels, with the latter installing adjustable shock absorbers as well as the Viper's first-ever driver-controlled electronic stability control system. A 10-cylinder engine waits under the Viper's hood where it generates 640 horsepower and 600 lb-ft of torque, output that is sent to the vehicle's rear wheels through a six-speed manual transmission. The 0-60-mph shot takes well under four seconds behind the wheel of this startlingly powerful beast.
Best 2 Seater Sports Cars - 03 - 2013 Porsche Cayman S
The 2013 Porsche Cayman S is in many ways the car that the Porsche 911 used to be before it evolved into the GT star that it is today. The Porsche Cayman S is light, features small proportions, and can be had with either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission. The compact coupe's 3.4-liter six-cylinder engine still sits behind the driver and it now offers 325 horsepower and 272 lb-ft of torque thanks to the vehicle's recent redesign. Lithe and agile in almost every driving situation, the Cayman S can hit a top speed of 175 miles per hour and reach 60-mph from a standing start in 4.4 seconds.
Best 2 Seater Sports Cars - 04 - 2013 Mazda MX-5 Miata
The 2013 Mazda MX-5 doesn't have any gaudy horsepower numbers to show off, nor does it wear the emblem of an exotic manufacturer on its hood. What it does bring to the table is an exceptionally balanced, low-mass chassis that is amongst the most forgiving in the industry when driven at the limit. The Mazda MX-5 Miata roadster (which comes with a choice of either soft top or retractable hard top) is offered with a 167 horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that also generates 140 lb-ft of torque. It's recommended to go with either one of the vehicle's five and six-speed manual transmissions, as the six-speed automatic drops engine output by almost 10 ponies.
Best 2 Seater Sports Cars - 05 - 2013 Nissan 370Z
The 2013 Nissan 370Z carries on the Japanese brand's Z car tradition in sexy coupe form. The Nissan 370Z is a svelte performance car contender, and when ordered with the available Sport package (or in Nismo trim) the vehicle's six-speed manual transmission will automatically blip the throttle to match revs while downshifting (a seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual is also offered with the car, and turns the same trick). Most versions of the car come with a 3.7-liter V-6 that produces 332 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque, but the 370Z Nismo features a 350 horsepower version of the motor that is also good for a boost of six lb-ft of torque. The 370Z Nismo can hit 60-mph in five seconds flat.
Best 2 Seater Sports Cars - 06 - 2014 Jaguar F-Type
The 2014 Jaguar F-Type is one of the most hotly anticipated 2 seater sports cars of the year. The Jaguar F-Type is the very first compact roadster to be offered by the manufacturer in decades, and the vehicle will come with three engine options: a 340 horsepower supercharged 3.0-liter V-6, a more robust version of the same motor that will put down 395 horses, and a 495 horsepower, supercharged eight-cylinder model. The latter model will leap to 60-mph in 4.5 seconds on its way to a top speed of 186 mph, and all three versions of the car will come with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Best 2 Seater Sports Cars - 07 - 2013 BMW Z4 sDrive35is
The 2013 BMW Z4 sDrive35is (another roadster with a retractable power hardtop) is the most willing-to-dance member of the compact premium car's model lineup. The BMW Z4 sDrive35is' ponderous name is appended to a vehicle that features a tuned suspension system that includes adaptive shock absorbers. The car also comes with a 3.0-liter turbocharged V-6 engine that produces 335 horsepower and up to 369 lb-ft of torque via its overboost capacity. A seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission is the only gearbox available with the sDrive35is trim, and the BMW can rocket past 60-mph in about five seconds.
Best 2 Seater Sports Cars - 08 - 2013 Audi R8
The 2013 Audi R8 makes an splash wherever it goes due to its impossible-to-ignore design and rear-engine layout. This 2 seater sports car comes with standard all-wheel drive, and it also features an adaptive suspension system and a heavy dose of interior luxury equipment. The V-8 version of the car can rely on 430 horsepower and 317 lb-ft of torque from its 4.2-liter mill, while the V-10 model's 5.2-liter, ten-cylinder motor cranks out 525 ponies and 391 lb-ft of twist. Six-speed manual and six-speed single-clutch automated manual transmissions are on offer with the Audi R8, and the V-10 gives the coupe enough thrust to reach 60-mph in a scant 3.6 seconds.
Best 2 Seater Sports Cars - 09 - 2012 Ferrari 458 Italia
It wouldn't be a complete 2 seater sports car list if there wasn't at least one member of the Prancing Horse family included, and the 2012 Ferrari 458 Italia is it. The Ferrari 458 Italia can reach 60-mph in a startling 3.4 seconds, and beyond that its sublime suspension tuning gives it race-ready performance underneath its sultry exterior design. The Ferrari is outfitted with a mid-mounted 4.5-liter V-8 engine that produces 562 horsepower and 398 lb-ft of torque, and a seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission is the only gearbox available with the car.