For many driving enthusiasts, a rear-wheel drive sports car is the purists dream.
Of course, many so-called purists insist upon having manual transmissions with clutches too. However, just as the new dual-clutch direct-shift gearboxes are better than manual transmissions; all-wheel drive (AWD) is superior in high performance situations to rear-wheel drive. The fact of the matter is well-driven AWD sports cars will always be faster around any given course than their rear-drive counterparts.
All-wheel drive offers superior traction in cornering maneuvers, plus it lets you put more power down to the ground earlier in a corner than rear drive will. Yes, all-wheel drive sports cars have more weight and complexity, but in truly powerful cars the weight issue is somewhat moot. The superior traction afforded by an all-wheel drive powertrain will typically overcome the weight deficit.
As for the complexity, yes all-wheel drive systems have more moving parts than rear-drive systems and thus more potential for maintenance issues and failure. And yes, added weight means higher fuel consumption. But for people who genuinely enjoy driving, those tradeoffs are a reasonable price to pay for the performance advantages offered by the best all-wheel drive sports cars.
What follows is a listing of the best 2012 AWD sports cars.