Five of the best
You would be forgiven for believing that the notion of a luxurious sports car is an oxymoron. After all, is it really feasible for an engineer to create a vehicle that offers a tranquil driving experience without having to sacrifice the traits often associated with sports cars, such as stiff suspension and a reverberating exhaust note?
Traditionally, a manufacturer entering a similar market will choose to focus on either opulence or outright performance. Their objective is easier to achieve. And depending on the company, their efforts will come to fruition and they will be rewarded with seemingly strong sales.
However, there are manufacturers who have embarked on the challenge of creating a car that combines the aforementioned traits. The results of these endeavours have been highlighted below, and are proof that a luxurious sports car is much more than a concept.
Aston Martin DB11
It should come as no great surprise to see an Aston Martin featuring on this list, a company that is renowned for building some of the world's most luxurious sports cars.
For the sake of this article, emphasis will be placed on the DB11 because it offers a blend of performance and refinement that is beautifully tailored to UK roads. Under the bonnet there are two engines to choose from: a 4.0-litre V8 with 503bhp, and a silky-smooth 5.2-litre V12 that produces over 600bhp. Boasting three driving modes: GT, Sport and Sports Plus, the DB11's character can be altered to suit the mood.
Clad with the finest materials, the DB11's interior is unlikely to fall short of expectations. Enhancing the cockpit can be done through upgrades, such as the Bang & Olufsen BeoSound audio system and the GT heated steering wheel. Driving the DB11 is a balanced affair, with the adaptive damping ensuring each journey feels as relaxing as the last. On the flipside, the DB11 responds eagerly to sharper inputs from the driver, making for a memorable experience.Search Used Aston Martin DB11
Mercedes-Benz SL Class
Mercedes-Benz are widely recognised for the luxury that can be seen across their entire range of cars. However, the SL Class epitomises what it means to combine a lavish driving experience with effortless performance.
Climbing into the cockpit of the SL Class is guaranteed to lower the heart rate as you sink into the sumptuous leather seats, removing any stress that may have accumulated that day. An elegant retracting roof ensures every mile of the upcoming journey can be enjoyed, while the excellent wind protection and headrest heaters serve as an added bonus.
Engine highlights consist of 3.0-litre V6 and a choice of V8 options that emit a sonorous exhaust note. Regardless of the engine specified, throttle response is sharp and the performance accessible. The SL Class recruits sports suspension for the driver to enjoy on twisty roads, yet settles down over longer distances that command comfort and refinement.Search Used Mercedes-Benz SL Class
Here is one for the eco-conscious among you: the BMW i8. The Bavarian giants are no stranger to innovation, which reflects in the i8's hybrid powertrain. Emissions and fuel consumption are remarkably low, yet performance is the polar opposite.
Although BMW have utilised recycled materials throughout the interior, it is clear that the build quality and a regal finish have not been compromised. The low driving position immediately transmits a sense of drama and excitement, which is supported by the 369bhp that is made readily available by the 1.5-litre hybrid engine.
The dihedral doors (they open upwards at an angle) are complemented by perforated leather upholstery inside, combining elegance with a lavish party piece. And although a navigation system is rarely seen as luxurious, the i8's multimedia system is an exception thanks to its 8.8-inch touch control high-resolution display that blends seamlessly into the rest of the dashboard.Search Used BMW i8
You do not have to be well-versed in the world of cars to know that the Porsche 911 is one of the best sports cars to ever exist. The silhouette is timeless in its execution, and not a single soul could argue with the performance on offer. However, past models have never been described as outright opulent.
That changed with the latest generation 911. The interior is still a similarly classy affair, but the technology and materials used have taken a notable step up. Each surface is covered with a plush material, while the seats provide unparalleled levels of comfort over longer distances.
Unsurprisingly, performance is well-catered for. Ranging from 380bhp in the Carrera models up to 641bhp in the Turbo S, going fast is unlikely to be an issue. Despite the blistering performance available across the range, this generation of 911 still offers outstanding levels of refinement, which ultimately make it an excellent luxury sports car.Search Used Porsche 911
The second Brit to feature on this list, Jaguar know a thing or two about creating luxurious sports cars. After all, they have been doing it for decades. In this instance, we are looking at the stunning F-TYPE, a two-seater sports car that is available as a coupé or convertible.
Typical of the British marque, the interior design is sophisticated and will comfortably mask its age as the years go by. The seating position is beautifully well-judged, and is only enhanced by the quality of the leather used on the seats themselves. A classy steering wheel and instrument cluster add to the event of driving, which is an area where the F-TYPE excels.
Performance is strong across the range, with power ranging between 296 and 567bhp. The effortless delivery makes the F-TYPE a pleasure to drive at all speeds, while the automatic gearbox offers a smooth experience. Combined with the sharp steering and selectable driving modes, this model offers performance and splendour in abundance.Search Used Jaguar F-TYPE
Find the right car for you
There you have it, a sports car can be luxurious. The particular beauty of the models above is that they manage to combine the two traits so effortlessly, meaning owners no longer have to compromise on the qualities they desire from a car. Regardless of whether you prioritise tranquillity or back road thrills, any of the vehicles above should have you well-covered.
If none of the vehicles above are quite what you are looking for, then you can always explore our other blogs. Alternatively, you can explore our new and used car pages, where you can learn about each model.