We all know that gas prices have been going northward recently, it’s rare of course for them to ever go south, but when they rise it’s not normally cause for concern.
But with gasoline above $4 per gallon and continuing to rise you might be wondering if it’s possible to combine power with as much economy as possible.
EVs like the Tesla Model 3 or cheaper ones like the Hyundai Kona Electric have high MPG ratings, but we’re talking about regular, good old gasoline here.
Let’s compare the economy ratings for various sports cars and see briefly if we can find a way to maximize power or speed while also minimizing fuel consumption.
Turbos Are The Way Forward For Now
For power, BMW’s 2020 M3 or M4 are up there, with 480 hp on tap and 4.2 seconds to 60 mph but only a 19 MPG combined rating, it’s a little too thirsty for this exercise.
The M2, also from BMW uses a similar 3-liter 6-cylinder engine with around 360 hp, but the economy is still at 19 MPG combined – so for a premium sports car with more economy, you need to look to smaller displacements.
Porsche has you covered with the 2-liter turbocharged Boxster that offers 22 MPG for the manual version which is a small improvement nonetheless - the 0-60 mph time goes up to 5 seconds from the 4.2 seconds of the BMW M3.
The answer might be in the form of the Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA45 4Matic, which offers 4.1 seconds to 60 mph while earning an EPA-rated 23 MPG combined, from its 2-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine.
To round off the obvious 2-liter sports cars, we should mention the Toyota Supra which, although it takes a longer 5.2 seconds to reach 60 mph has a 28 MPG rating – this could be the best ratio of EPA-rated economy figure and acceleration.
For The Best 0-60 MPH Time And The Best Fuel Economy, Try A Miata
The classic option for the working man or woman who seeks thrills on a budget – is the Mazda Mx-5 – or Miata as it’s known over here in the states.
This car comes from the factory with two distinct units under the hood, a 1.5-liter with 130 hp and a 2-liter with 184 hp: the bigger engined car can reach 60 mph in 6.5 seconds and offer an economy of 29 MPG – a new record.
Fiat released the 124 Spider around 2016 as part of a joint venture with Mazda but utilized a 1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder instead of the naturally-aspirated unit in the Miata; despite having more torque than the Mazda the EPA economy rating and acceleration times are similar.
With a 1.6-liter engine, the GR Yaris has an official rating of 34 MPG and a 0-60 mph time of 5.2 seconds.
With an increase of 11 MPG over the BMW M3 but only 1.5 seconds more in the dash to 60 mph, this car would take the crown, but unfortunately, it’s not for sale in the US.
That means we end up at the BMW i8 – a car you can find on AutoTrader for as little as $60,000, a car which offers an EPA-rated 70 MPG and 4.2 seconds to 60 mph – the most frugal and quick car that isn’t a full EV and only half a second slower than a BMW M3.
In addition, you get butterfly doors and no other car on this brief list can say the same or go as far on one tank of the expensive stuff.