Here Are Some Winter-Defying Sports Cars

Porsche 911 snow drifting 15 photos
Photo: Porsche
Audi R8Audi R8Audi TT RSAudi TT RSNissan GT-RBMW M240i xDriveBMW M240i xDriveHonda NSXHonda NSXJaguar F-TypeJaguar F-TypeNissan GT-RPorsche 911 Carrera 4Porsche 911 Carrera 4
Most people who own a sports car (as a second car) usually stow them away for the winter, and don’t drive them until it’s sunny and bright outside again.
This is a safe way to ensure you don’t spin out and crash on an icy road, since most sports cars are rear-wheel drive and tend to have friskier handling than your average daily driver. But this doesn’t apply to all sports cars, and nowadays there are plenty of models you can keep driving all year round, because they have decent ride height and all-wheel drive.

So if you live in a colder climate where it snows a lot, or if you’re from an area with really harsh winters, you might be interested to read about which sporty models are the most suitable for these situations. We also tried to keep the selection of models fairly attainable - you won’t see any million-dollar hypercars on this list.

One of the first cars that spring to mind when it comes to blending unrivaled handling, practicality and usability is the Porsche 911 Carrera 4, the cheapest all-wheel-drive 911 you can get. It has a turbocharged 3-liter boxer-six, with 385 horsepower and 450 Nm (331 pound-feet) of torque, as well as a claimed naught to 100 km/h (62 mph) sprint time of 4.2 seconds and a top speed of 291 km/h (180 mph).

Porsche 911 Carrera 4
Photo: Porsche
Staying in the VW group, we have the Audi R8, a proper mid-engined supercar with lots of cool factor and character. It’s one of the coolest Audis ever made and in its latest incarnation it sports standard all-wheel drive, a 5.2-liter V10 with 540 horsepower and 540 Nm (398 pound-feet) of torque, a benchmark sprint time to 100 km/h (62 mph) of 3.7 seconds and a top speed of 324 km/h (201. mph).

If the R8’s hefty price tag is too much a stretch, but you still want an Audi, then there’s also the TT RS. It may share its underpinnings with the humble Golf, but with a 2.5-liter five-cylinder turbo under the hood and all-wheel drive (as well as an aggressive exterior makeover that sets it apart from lesser TTs) it’s a force to be reckoned with. It’s down on power compared to the R8, with 400 hp and 480 Nm (354 pound-feet), but it’s just as quick to sprint, although its top speed is pegged back at 250 km/h (155 mph).

BMW M240i xDrive
Photo: BMW
The last German car in this company is the BMW M240i, which has to be one of the best BMWs in recent years. It can be had with optional xDrive all-wheel-drive which helps it put its 340 horsepower and 500 Nm (368 pound-feet) down with remarkable ease - it sprints to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.4 seconds and on to 250 km/h (155 mph). It also happens to have a superbly balanced chassis and one of the best sounding straight-six engines ever put in a production car.

Although the Jaguar F-Type didn’t have all-wheel-drive from the start, it was added later on and it made the British muscle coupe far more enticing for those living in places with cold weather. All-wheel drive can be specced on both V8 versions, but it’s really the more powerful 575 horsepower and 700 Nm (516 pound-feet) version that you want, with its blistering benchmark sprint time of 3.7 seconds and 300 km/h (186 mph) top speed; oh, and it has one of the most intoxicating V8 exhaust notes in the business.

If you’re into Japanese cars that fit the criteria for this article, then you can rejoice in knowing there are two available models. One is the Honda/Acura NSX, the only hybrid that made our list, which combines the output of a 3.5-liter V6 with three electric motors to make a grand total of 581 horsepower and 645 Nm (475 pound-feet) of torque, good enough to send it to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.3 seconds and on to 319 km/h (198 mph).

Nissan GT\-R
And last, but certainly not least, is the Nissan GT-R, a vehicle that many lust after for a few very good reasons. With its 3.8-liter twin-turbo V6 putting out 600 horsepower and 652 Nm (480 pound-feet), it sprints to 100 km/h (62 mph ) in 2.8 seconds and its top speed is 315 km/h (195 mph). But aside from its crazy straight line pace, the GT-R is also renowned for the almost unbelievable grip it can provide through the corners, thanks to its sophisticated all-wheel drive system that sometimes appears to defy the laws of physics.
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