When it comes to powerful acceleration but lithe and agile performance, there are two cars that stand out head and shoulders above the rest. The new Toyota GR Supra is coming after the Porsche 718 Cayman S (it's intended target before it was ever built), and both cars present remarkable rear-wheel drive turbocharged performance that will astound far more than any powerful crossover ever could. The low center of gravity and balance both cars exhibit are clearly focused on enthusiast drivers. We show you both vehicles at two different prices (a delta of almost $20,000).

Porsche 718 Cayman S

porsche 718 cayman

The Cayman S is the mid-pack performer in the Cayman series, slotting above the base Cayman coupe and below the pricey GT4. The S presents the best option for those who want exotic levels of performance without breaking into exotic pricing territory. The turbocharged four-cylinder is linear and smooth, while its standard 6-speed manual transmission is one of the sweetest around. The fact that it's engine is mounted just before the rear axle means it's got excellent balance for those perfect apex turns and switchbacks.

The driver-focused cockpit makes easy work of providing the driver with key information at a glance, and the sport bucket seats keep you planted when you're nailing those turns. Just watch out for the options list that can rack up the charges. Keep things bare bones, and you'll still be pleased as punch to helm this thing each and every day.

  • Price: $69,300 base MSRP
  • Engine: Turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder 
  • Horsepower/Torque: 350 / 309 lb-ft
  • Transmission: 6-speed manual  / 7-speed dual-clutch automatic with paddle shifters
  • Drivetrain: Rear-wheel drive
  • Performance: 0-60 mph in 4.4seconds (automatic), 177 mph top speed
  • EPA Mileage Rating: 21 mpg city / 28 mpg highway / 24 combined (automatic)

Toyota GR Supra

toyota gr supra

Toyota revived the Supra name in a big way with this long-awaited sports car. Partnering with the BMW Z4 convertible in its creation, the Supra is more track-focused and gnarly than its German counterpart, though it's a tad slower ("slow" isn't in the Supra's vernacular, though). With two more cylinders than the 718 Cayman S, it's slightly down on horsepower (by 15) but up on torque (by 56). The result is quicker acceleration, and it's willingness to drift like a pro. Like the Porsche, the Supra's steering is near telepathic and well-weighted, ready to take on the most challenging of tracks. Really, our only lament is the fact that you can't get it with a stick shift, something the last Supra Turbo had in its arsenal.

You'll be smart to note that the Supra's interior is sporty and similar to BMW's Z4, though less luxurious. It's also down on space compared to the Cayman S with less headroom and overall space, but it's still a great place to conduct the finer points of autocrossing and track duties. Though not nearly as pricey as the Cayman S, the level of thrills delivered should be on par, if not better than the Cayman S, so it presents a serious option for the sports car enthusiast, albeit in a less mature appearance.

  • Price: $49,990 base MSRP
  • Engine: Turbocharged 3.0-liter V6
  • Horsepower/Torque: 335 / 365 lb-ft
  • Transmission: 8-speed dual-clutch automatic with paddle shifters
  • Drivetrain: Rear-wheel drive
  • Performance: 0-60 mph in 4.1 seconds, 155 mph top speed
  • EPA Mileage Rating: 24 mpg city / 31 mpg highway / 26 combined