GT cars (acronym for 'Grand Tourer') have created a rich legacy throughout the automotive world because of their inherent ability to devour hundreds of miles while the driver enjoys copious levels of luxury and performance.
With the increasing capability of public transport allowing for rapid travel across Europe, you would be mistaken for believing that GT cars would be in decline. Thankfully, the reality is polar opposite, with manufacturers continuing to release some truly intoxicating Grand Tourers, which boast more luxury alongside scintillating levels of performance.
There are a number of excellent GT cars to choose from, but which are the best? Keep reading to find out.
Aston Martin DBS Superleggera
Tradition dictates that a GT car should be a sleek coupe with a gargantuan engine up front that sends its power straight to the rear wheels. And as one of the founding fathers of the Grand Tourer, it is only natural that Aston Martin continue to offer one of the best options on the market in the form of the breathtaking DBS Superleggera.
Aston Martin certainly have the large engine requirement firmly checked, because beneath the bonnet lies a 5.2-litre V12 engine that has been complemented by two turbochargers. With 715 bhp on tap, you will not be surprised to learn that the DBS Superleggera is unrelenting in its acceleration.
The cabin of the DBS can only be described as timeless in its appearance, with meticulous attention to detail having been paid to ensuring every journey is an experience like no other. It seems appropriate to mention that the DBS is available as a convertible, which is guaranteed to enhance any long distance adventure.
Another fabled name badge from a British car maker, only this time it is a Jaguar that sits on the front grille. The F-TYPE was conceived in 2013 and takes inspiration from the illustrious E-Type, with the traditional front-engine, rear-wheel drive layout taking centre-stage alongside a jaw-dropping silhouette.
There are a number of engines to choose from, meaning the F-TYPE offers a pleasingly flexible alternative to some of the other vehicles on this list. The 5.0-litre V8 is truly astonishing in its power delivery, while the smaller 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine provides a welcome blend of performance and palatable running costs.
Beautifully designed throughout, the interior is a special place to spend time over long distances. Coupling this with the impressive levels of refinement and you have a Grand Tourer that is worthy of the badge it wears.
Porsche have amassed quite the cult following thanks to the 911, which is one of the best everyday sports cars available. In its latest iteration, it continues to excel as a driving experience that is capable of racking up big mileage without hesitation.
The engine in the rear of the 911 is always going to be the talking point; the flat-six engine, after all, is the legacy on which the 911 has built its reputation. Even the base 'Carrera' specification has a substantial 380 bhp at its disposal, which is good for a 0-62 mph time of 4.2 seconds.
Despite the incredible performance available, the 911 offers serene driving manners over longer distances because noise intrusion is kept to an absolute minimum. The beautifully refined ride is enhanced by the quality of the cabin, which is among the best at this price-point.
BMW 8 Series
BMW allowed their BMW M Motorsport and production engineers to collaborate directly during the creation of the 8 Series, which turned out to be a brilliant decision because this coupé (also available as a convertible) is utterly sublime.
Interestingly, the 8 Series is available as a diesel, which doesn't fit in with the long-established tradition of having a big petrol engine upfront. However, with a 0-62 mph time of 4.9 seconds and the ability to return up to 40 mpg on a run, this engine choice captures the essence of what a GT car should offer. Naturally, a thumping 340 bhp petrol engine can be selected for those who prefer the time-honoured way of doing things.
The cabin is typical of the Bavarian giants, with every switch and control having been carefully placed to promote a sense of instant familiarity. On top of this, the 8 Series soaks up just about every imperfection on the road with conviction, making it a fine companion on a road trip.
Many of you may not realise this, but the S-Class is responsible for a wide number of technological features that can be found on modern cars. It was the first production car to feature ABS (anti-locking brakes), seat belt pre-tensioners and front airbags, which is only scratching the surface of what Mercedes-Benz have brought to the automotive industry with the S-Class' advanced technology.
Unsurprisingly, this flagship model is astonishing on cross-country escapades because of the sheer commitment that has been shown towards comfort and refinement. For example, the twin-section panoramic sunroof changes from dark to translucent in seconds, allowing for a brighter interior that is complemented by features such as the floating digital dashboard and ambient lighting.
Discussing engines and 0-60 mph times seems vulgar where an S-Class is concerned, that is why we will simply tell you that the engine choices are silky-smooth and unnoticeable when driving; as it should be in a car such as this.
There are some incredible GT cars available at the moment, all of which have their own independent characteristics that mean you are guaranteed to find a vehicle that suits your personality. After all, if you're going to be racking up the miles behind the wheel of a car, it needs to be one you bond with.