Ultimate winter sports cars(Photo: Porsche)

What does it take to make a sports car great for winter? Aside from a fresh set of performance winter tires, it helps to have all-wheel drive. Sending power to all four wheels helps put power to the ground, improving acceleration and cornering. It's also a key tool in creating those magnificent four-wheel drifts - you know, the ones with all four tires spitting out snow like snow blowers on overdrive.

However, we're not just looking for a bunch of all-wheel-drive vehicles with tons and tons of horsepower. One of the most overlooked aspects of winter performance is balance. Certainly, this is something you want in all weather conditions, but when traction is reduced as drastically as it is in winter, balance plays an important role in changing direction and stopping. A balanced setup is also crucial in maintaining stability and staying in control. Of course, safety systems like traction and stability control are a big help, but the bottom line is we're looking for a car that has this basic framework covered.

Now that we've got our criteria laid out, here are our picks for the ultimate winter sports cars.