50 Shades of Sports Car: Five cars to get your motor running

Apart from perhaps the new Star Wars, there’s literally no more highly-anticipated film this year than Fifty Shades of Grey.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you’ll probably be vaguely aware of the best-selling series. If you haven’t read the books (and we don’t really blame you all that much if you haven’t), the trilogy follows the, er, romantic exploits of protagonist Anastasia Steele and her endlessly mysterious paramour, Christian Grey.

Not content with just dominating best-sellers lists for years, a spanking-new film adaptation is now due to dwarf the box office this Valentine’s Day weekend.

Strangely, for a romance novel of its type, cars actually make an appearance in the books almost as much as the ropes and other things. There’s just one thing though; all the cars featured in the books tend to be just a little bit, well, boring.

It doesn’t make sense, surely, that for such a risqué series of novels, that all the cars used by the characters are just kinda run-of-the-mill and same-y.

In the spirit of it all, here’s our suggestions for some ‘racier’ cars to really get your motor running this Valentine’s weekend. E.L. James, if you’re listening…

Jaguar E-Type

It makes sense to start off with a real classic, doesn’t it? Britain’s most desirable car has been turning heads for well over half a century now, clambering its way into a well-earned spot in the British public’s heart thanks to its good looks, amazing performance and competitive pricing.

Despite being 54 years old, it’s only gotten better-looking with age we reckon, and it seems others agree. As recently as 2008, the E-Type took the top spot in a Daily Telegraph poll of the 100 Most Beautiful Cars of All Time.

Even the legendary Enzo Ferrari was a fan, famously saying that the Jaguar E-Type was “the most beautiful car ever made”.

It’s so good, in fact, that Jaguar recently released a highly limited edition reproduction of six of the iconic models, each built by hand by Jaguar’s Special Operations Heritage team to the exact specifications of the originals.

Just one look at it and it’s hard not to see how the E-Type featured on the bedroom walls of more teenagers in the 60s than Brigitte Bardot. Stuff your finely-tailored suits, Mr Grey, if you want class you need an E-Type.

Hyundai Genesis

“Effortlessly smooth and serene”. Nope, that’s not one of Anastasia’s descriptions of Christian Grey, it’s actually how Hyundai is billing its all-new Genesis luxury saloon.

Designed as Hyundai’s answer to the sorts of German executive cars that feature in the novels, the Genesis isn’t so much a sports car as it is an opulent hotel room on wheels.

Available with a range of lavish colours (including grey), it’s fitted with a range of kit that would be more at home in the Apple store than in your average car. It also comes with plenty of high-quality leather upholstery, if leather is the sort of thing you’re into.

As it turns out, it’s also rather pretty to look at as well, with strong, swooping lines and a prominent nose that’s a million miles away from your average Hyundai hatchback, while a big V6 engine means that it has plenty of power where it matters most.

1967 Ford Mustang Fastback

If domination is your thing, it’s hard to argue with the Ford Mustang, which has indisputably dominated drag races, the film industry and the hearts and minds of generations for 50 years.

The most successful muscle car of all time, the most liked car on Facebook ever and one of the most enduring names in automotive pop culture, the Mustang mixes pure sex appeal with raw power in a way that no other car has been able to match since.

A wealth of different versions have been in production over the years, from the very first models produced in 1964, right up to the insane Shelby GTs of today. The pick of the bunch, we think, is the ’67 Fastback, which had a starring role as Eleanor in the 2000 version of Gone in 60 Seconds.

This was also the model which starred in Steve McQueen’s seminal Bullitt, which features the iconic scene where the Mustang is chased through the streets of San Francisco by hitmen in Dodge Chargers.

It looks every bit as menacing and powerful as a good Mustang should, with its distinctive nose and sleek, sloping roof.

Powered almost exclusively by large V8 engines, the biggest production version of which had a mental 7.0-litre displacement, the ’67 Fastback was every bit as thrilling on the road as it is to look at.

Half a century on, and the Mustang name still lives in the all-new 2015 Mustang, which was made available to order last month, priced from £28,995 and with the option of a traditional 5.0-litre V8.

Alfa Romeo Giulia Spider

There’s just something about an Alfa Romeo that causes car fans to get all dewy-eyed and hot underneath the collar.

Perhaps it’s that classic Italian styling. Perhaps it’s their mix of great power and great sound. For the masochists among us, perhaps it’s the older models’ propensity to need constant repair…

Whatever it is, it’s no secret that the Alfa Romeo brand still commands an enviable command over car fans across the globe, and there are few models as perfectly Alfa as the Giulia Spider.

Ticking every box, the original Giulia Spider was confident, sophisticated, elegant and dignified, but it also knew how to perform when you put the foot down, courtesy of an uprated 1.6-litre engine. With its beautiful looks and retractable roof, the Giulia Spider is possibly the ultimate in the romantic driver’s dream.

Jaguar F-TYPE

From classics to future classics, the F-TYPE is the modern-day culmination of all Jaguar’s efforts with its previous successes like the E-Type and the D-Type racer before it.

There’s not much remains to be said about the F-TYPE that hasn’t already been said; absolutely drop-dead gorgeous to look at, it’s a real beast on the road as well courtesy of a range of powerful engines and a rear-wheel drive setup that just dares you to spank it through the corners.

Like any classic, the F-TYPE continues to just get better as it gets older. For those who like it hot, Jaguar has produced a super high-performance version in the F-TYPE Project 7, the most powerful production road car the marque has ever made.

For drivers who like a little more control, Jaguar has also created a new all-wheel drive version of the F-TYPE, which debuted late last year and makes the alluring sports car even more desirable than ever.

A range of exterior and interior colours, ranging from jet black to a hot red, along with some really nifty kit and plush upholstery makes the F-TYPE possibly one of the best sports cars on the market at the moment.

Whether or not Fifty Shades goes on to become a classic, well, that remains to be seen…

There’s plenty of time yet to get a late Valentine’s Day present, so to get your hands on an F-TYPE, or any other car that Perrys offers as part of our extensive range, why not check out our website or get in touch with your local dealership?