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Economical Sports Cars

By raccars Published

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Performance and economy rarely go hand in hand in the automotive world, but there are a few sports cars which manage to straddle that line very neatly.

If you're buying a monstrously powerful car, you know better than to expect any more than 20mpg at best. What you're often getting instead is badge prestige, accompanied by neck snapping acceleration, head turning looks and a bombastic exhaust note. While you can't expect that kind of motoring joy out of a Toyota Prius, it is possible to buy into some entertaining driving dynamics with a relatively clean environmental conscience.

Sports cars with surprising fuel consumption:

McLaren P1

The P1 is an astounding feat of automotive technology, and its twin turbo 3.8 litre V8 returns a super aggressive 727bhp. However this monstrous engine is assisted by a 176bhp electric motor capable of a seven mile electric-only range and bringing fuel economy up to about 24mpg. It also helps the P1 to a sub-three second 60mph sprint and a 217mph top speed.

Dodge Viper

American muscle cars have never been famous for their fuel efficiency - in fact rather the reverse. The Viper houses a barbarous 8.4 litre V8 under its vast bonnet for 645bhp and more torque than any other sports car without a turbo. What's surprising is that this brute returns a relatively respectable 25mpg. It's far from clean and green but it's really not bad for this sort of performance.

Rolls-Royce Wraith

It's pretty much understood that if you have to worry about fuel economy, you're not in a position to buy a Rolls-Royce. They are notoriously expensive to run, even if you pilot it yourself rather than employ a chauffeur. Rolls-Royce, as with a number of other traditional manufacturers, is aiming at a slightly younger, trendier and faster crowd these days, hence the Wraith. Not your traditional sports car but pure luxury powered by a 6.6 litre V12 with 324bhp. It's a weighty machine but can still reach 60mph in 4.4 seconds, but with the help of an eight speed automatic gearbox manages to squeeze out an unexpected 25mpg.

Maserati Gran Turismo

Few experiences can top the glamour and excitement of flying around in an Italian sports car, and the Maserati Gran Turismo is a case in point. It's ridiculously sleek and beautiful, and you can hear that elegantly ferocious exhaust over the chattering of a whole street of Roman roadside cafes. The source is a 4.7 litre Ferrari-made V8. With 454bhp to play with, you can get to 60mph in 4.5 seconds and yet still attain 25mpg.

Audi R8

The R8 is getting a bit long in the tooth but still looks and behaves like a wild beast. The entry level model is a V8, which uses a 4.2 litre engine to produce 430bhp and, with the S-tronic gearbox, manages a relatively miserly 27mpg. There's also a glorious V10 but that really will cost you at the fuel pump.

Jaguar F-Type R

One of the finest British cars on the market, the F-Type fully lives up to the weight of its Jaguar heritage, and the 'R' version tops the range. It looks, sounds and drives like a dream, with 550bhp from a 5.0 litre supercharged V8 and a sub-four second sprint to 60mph. Permanent four wheel drive is a modern touch and helps to keep all that power safely on the road where it belongs - and all for 27mpg.

Nissan GT-R Nismo

The GT-R Nismo is the stuff that legends are made of - a genuinely affordable supercar. The 600bhp twin turbo V6 can challenge anything on this list for performance but still achieves 27mpg. It displays a certain amount of boyish charm and is a hoot to drive, offering amazing acceleration and handling.

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