Every man (or woman) dreams of owning and driving a sports car. While the latest Aventador or Porsche 911 might be out of your price range, the good news is that there are plenty of cheap alternatives if you are willing to go second-hand. Maybe you wonâ€™t get the latest in terms of technology or fuel economy, but you will get speed and lots of it. And thatâ€™s what driving a sports car is really about, isnâ€™t it?Â
Here are the top 5 sports cars you can buy on a budget:
If you want a cheap Porsche, you canâ€™t do much better than the 944. A favourite of its time, the 944 was produced from 1982-1991 with several improvements over the years. The earlier models feature a 2.5 litre engine with horsepower ranging between 150 and 165. Our personal favourite is the 1991 S2 model with its 3 litre 4-valve engine and an output of 211 hp. If you are really lucky, you might even be able to find a year-1991 944 Turbo Cabriolet.
The best thing about the 944 is that it handles amazingly well for an older sports car and is easy to maintain. The smooth, accurate steering and ergonomics are a plus. Also, if you are a true car enthusiast and love the sound of a roaring engine above anything else, the 944 wonâ€™t disappoint.
Chevrolet Corvette C5
The Chevrolet Corvette C5 is one of the most revolutionary cars of its time. The C4 before it was quite popular but the aluminium- black LS engine of the C5 proved to be a game changer. You can probably get a C4 at dirt cheap prices these days, but they donâ€™t quite hold up today. The C5 is a much better option in terms of aesthetics as well as performance.
Although the C5 was last produced over a decade ago, it still has that current, modern, chic look that will make onlookers go â€œwowâ€. Go for the Z06 model with the exceptional LS6 engine which produces an amazing 385 hp. The shorter body gives it a better centre of gravity, making it more aerodynamic at higher speeds. It really is the perfect combination of style and substance. Â Â Â
Lotus Elise 111-R
The Elise is one of those sports cars that have been around for over 20 years and still going strong. The 111R version is a Series 2 model and is widely regarded as the best Elise of all time. We recommend going for a 2004-2006 111R. It has the 189 hp, 1.8L Toyota engine while retaining the variable valve timing of earlier models. What this means is that you can expect unmatched acceleration. In fact, it is known to hit 60 miles/hr in under 5 seconds.Â Â Â
The best thing going for 111R is that it is a simplistic sports car with the focus solely on the driving experience. There arenâ€™t many complex features involved. It is just a lightweight, two-seater that manoeuvres really well and makes for a fun driving experience.
Mazda MX-5 / Miata
The Mazda MX-5 or Miata as known in Asia is one of the most widely available used cars youâ€™ll find. In production since 1989, you can find a Miata for any budget. We recommend going for the original, first generation models.
These classics boasted off some of the finest features youâ€™ll find anywhere. Be it the dual overhead cam inline four cylinder engine with the output of 115 hp, the 5-speed transmission, a top speed of 126 mph, its lightweight stylish body or the pop-up headlights, the first-gen MX-5 perform as well as anything else in the market today.Â
Not many of you associate Honda with sports cars but the S2000 is worth a punt. If maintenance is especially a big deal for you, the S2000 is what you should get. Itâ€™s not as cheap as some of the other cars on this list, but it makes up for it by providing reliability in abundance.
The 1,997 cc, four-cylinder engine delivers 247 hp of power. If that doesnâ€™t impress you, its eye-catching design surely will. See if you can find a 2004 model. This was the year when the second generation was launched with enhancements in the performance including shock absorbers, wheels and the gear box, as well as improvements in the interior and exterior.