Now, I know supercars don’t represent the typical waffle and bunk on PetrolBlog, but making the impossible, or at least unlikely happen and going to great lengths to achieve something on the automotive front certainly are. Therefore I’d like to take some time and talk about affordable supercars. If such a thing exists…
Even though both ‘affordable’ and ‘supercar’ are highly subjective terms, I would like to take a moment and think about what cars would possibly be awarded the dubious title of being a true Affordable Supercar. So just what is a supercar? People with membership cards for their local Halfords most likely have a different views on this than I, and perhaps most PetrolBlog readers, so it’s probably wise to outline a few characteristics. Things that I think a supercar should have.
First of all, it should score rather high on the PetrolBlog Score’s “You don’t see many of those”. Its looks should be intimidating, or at the very least out of the ordinary. To be called a supercar, an automobile should have a certain boldness to it. Think Lamborghini Countach versus Audi RS6. I didn’t look up the facts, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all if, in pretty much any match you’d throw at the pair, the RS6 would be fastest. Yet the Lambo is a supercar and the Audi isn’t. You’ll get my train of thought, hopefully…
Despite speed not being the ultimate measure, a supercar does need to be fast. But more importantly it needs to be loud. Preferably a supercar shouts, not only visually but perhaps even more so aurally. To complete the list, it should be pretty uncomfortable and try to kill you at least twice on every drive.
Now for the affordable part. This is where things get a bit more complicated. Anything dirt cheap usually lacks at least a couple of the aforementioned requirements. Uniqueness being amongst them. So, to find our ‘affordable’ supercar, we need at least a considerable amount. Let’s just say we don’t buy a brand new Vauxhall Insignia 2.0CDTi saloon (the UK’s ninth most selling car in 2012), but spend the £26,000 elsewhere instead.
Right, now that we’ve got some guidelines to work with, let’s look at some possible contenders.
Aston Martin DB7 Vantage
A V12 engine with 420 horsepower. Stunning looks, albeit a bit subdued for a potential supercar. The Aston Martin DB7 Vantage is probably more of fast, luxurious GT. In its defence, it does make the right noises and is a relatively uncommon sight. Not quite convinced it is worthy of the supercar title. Let’s continue searching.
Porsche 911 (996) Turbo
Though some may call it nothing more than a souped-up Beetle, I personally believe that if you can find one of these in a shouting speed yellow colour, coupled with the X50 upgrade with 450 horsepower (instead of the stock 420) and a sub 4 seconds 0-62 time, we may have a bit of an affordable supercar. Of course, 911s on the whole are hardly a rarity, but with so much performance and quality, it’s not all that terrible to accept the low score on exclusivity. Or is it?
Roush 427R Mustang
Now, I do realise calling a Mustang a supercar is as far of a stretch as calling colour offerings on German saloons exciting. That being said, this particular example is vulgar (quite a quality for a supercar), has lots and lots of raw power, is rather exclusive and quite frankly it must be rubbish to drive. This car would score highly on the “will try to kill you” ranking. On top of that, it also blesses the future owner (and possibly the rest of the country) with a lot of noise. Cheesy vanity plates included for free. Go, have a L@@K!
Noble M12 GTO-3R
What Wikipedia describes as a “low-production British sports car company”, I’d rather describe as built in a shed. Which is nice. Seriously fast, seriously exclusive. Acceleration and handling are pretty far out of the ordinary realm of affordable cars. The standard sprint takes 3.3 seconds, the quarter-mile is over in just 11.8 seconds. Or, to put that number in perspective, just a tad slower than the Porsche Carrera GT of the same era.
The next contender wears a bright yellow coat of paint. Its engine makes your ears bleed. It will fall into pieces every other drive. It might even catch fire when you look the other way. It does not have any modern guardian angels like ESP or ABS, and as a consequence it probably will kill you. It is not, however, a Lamborghini Diablo. Which you already knew, of course, given our 26k-ish budget. So what is it?
Having looked at several possible candidates, I would like to invite you to let us know what you think. Even if you personally prefer rusty old Renault 4s or tree hugging Amperas. Are these suggestions any good? Did I miss any potential candidates? Thoughts. Ideas. Waffle. Bunk. Bring. It. On.
Follow Ton Dumans on twitter @tonsty.
Photos © Aston Martin, Wikipedia, TVR