Who doesn’t want a super fast car? The allure of sports cars is only matched by their high prices. But before you sell your soul in order to buy one, take a look at these somewhat reasonably priced alternatives currently available. They might not have the flash and reputation of a Ferrari or a Bugatti Veyron, but they’ll go almost as fast and have impressive acceleration.
German brands have long been associated with fine-tuning engines to perfection, and this often leads to high powered engines without the super high costs. The latest Audi S4 might look like a business car, but with a 0 to 60 in 4.7 seconds the supercharged V6 engine can compete with the big guns. Cars like this have recently become favourites of London gangs as they can outrun the police while looking inconspicuous. On the road for less than £40,000, you might even be able to convince your boss to let you get one as your next company car.
We all remember the Top Gear where Clarkson, Hammond and May took muscle cars on an American road trip. These cars might not look at home anywhere over than the American West, but they’re fast, look the part and they’re reasonably priced. For instance the Dodge Charger SRT8 achieves 0 to 60 in 4.9 seconds despite it’s gigantic size, and the front grill oozes speed – resembling an open mouth eating up the road.
If you’re willing to buy second hand then you can almost have it all: sports car looks, speedy acceleration and a price tag open to almost all budgets. A 2006 Nissan 350Z looks speedy today despite being seven years old, although the the brand lets it down somewhat. Depending on model you’ll get a 0 to 6 mph in a low as 4.5 seconds, which is impressive given you can pick one up for less than £10,000 on eBay motors and used car warehouses.
For those wanting something more business class but wanting to stick to a budget, the Germans once again don’t disappoint. A second hand Mercedes-Benz C43 might look dated, but the design is a classic and with a 4.3 litre V8 engine you’ll speed up to 60mph in less than six seconds. Plus with leather interiors you’ll feel like a king driving this. You’ll find these available for less than £5000 second hand.
If you’re looking for something cheap but want to buy new then a Ford Focus ST could be just the ticket. The car might not look fast – actually it looks like one of the cars a new driver would buy to keep their insurance premiums low – but it packs in a 0 to 60 in less than six seconds. The basic model is £21,995 on the road, but you might be able to get a discount from a local retailer.
Ford are also the manufacturers of a speedy but reasonably priced SUV – the Flex EcoBoost. With a distinctive design the car might look a little out of place on UK roads, with some commentators suggesting it looks like it’s used for funerals. Nevertheless with a 0 to 6 mph in just six seconds, you can take the whole family at speed in this beast. The car also has some eco friendly technology in it, but fundamentally it remains an SUV with a miles per gallon of around 20 in typical urban use.
With engines getting more and more refined we’re seeing greater numbers of reasonably priced cars achieving impressive speeds. Don’t be afraid to look in unexpected places next time you’re in the market for a speedy car. It might not look like you’ll be able to compete with a sports car, but with British speed limits you won’t be far behind.