We would all love to go out and get a sports car without ever thinking twice about the price, but that just isn’t realistic. Price plays a role in any automotive decision and if you’re shopping for a sports car, you want to get the best one you can for your hard earned dollars. To help you make a smart decision, we’ve rounded up five of the best expensive sports cars and paired them with their affordable alternatives. Still, we leave the choice to you.
Chevrolet Corvette Z06
With a supercar-fast 0-60 time of about 3 seconds and a massive 6.2-lite V8 (650 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque), the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 (base MSRP $79,000) is one of the
Affordable Counterpart: Chevrolet Camaro 2SS
The Camaro 2SS (base MSRP $42,295) isn’t quite as raw and raucous as its sleeker brother, the Corvette Z06, but the muscle car is still one heck of a performance vehicle with a 6.2-liter V8 (455 hp and 455 lb-ft of torque) beneath its hood and a 0-60 time of around 4 seconds. While the Camaro gives up a little in terms of performance, it also gains two seats (suitable for short rides only) and a relatively spacious trunk when compared to other sports cars.
Just about anyone who wants a sports car would love to own a Porsche 911 (base MSRP $89,400). Since its beginning in 1963, the 911 has epitomized what a high-performance sports car should be and its profile and exterior styling have become synonymous with high-performance automobiles. While this iconic car is probably the car you’ve dreamed of since you were a little kid, there’s still one big roadblock in the way, price. Still, there is another venerable car in Porsche’s lineup, the Cayman
Affordable Counterpart: Porsche Cayman
The only real reason these two cars don’t have the same power and performance numbers is that the Cayman (base MSRP $52,600) is the entry level car and the 911 the iconic car. Both the Cayman and 911 are amazing sports cars, with some people claiming the Cayman is actually the better driver’s car of the two. Still, opting for the Cayman means you’re giving up two seats, 95 hp and 118 lb-ft of torque, about a second in the 0-60 sprint and 18 mph for the top speed. Pros for the Cayman are its exceptional balance, naturally aspirated mid-engine inline six-cylinder and its much lower price tag. If you want the Porsche experience without breaking the bank, go for the Cayman and don’t
Jaguar F-Type Coupe R
This supercharged V8 monster of a sports car harkens back to some of Jaguar’s most iconic and successful race cars. The Jaguar F-Type Coupe R (base MSRP $105,400) is nothing short of a monster with a 0-60 time of just 3.9 seconds and all-wheel drive and
Affordable Counterpart: Toyota 86
We know this may seem like quite a step down from the Jag, but the Toyota 86 (base MSRP $25,305) is actually an impressive coupe. Featuring a 2.0-liter naturally aspirated Boxer four-cylinder (200 hp and 151 lb-ft of torque) the Toyota 86 is a fun little coupe and can sprint from 0-60 in about 7 seconds, but that isn’t really the point of the 86. What the car is about is driving dynamics and the joy you get from throwing it around turns. The 86 isn’t nearly as interesting in terms of power as the Jaguar, but if you’re just looking for a great driver’s car there are few out there for the 86’s price.
Mercedes-Benz SL Roadster
Mercedes-Benz has made the SL Roadster since the late 1950s and while more people tend to remember the gullwing coupe from this era the roadster version of the SL is also an exceptionally beautiful and powerful sports car. The new SL Roadster (base MSRP $85,050) continues this trend by updating Merc’s top of the line drop top. You can have the SL in four different forms, all faster and more powerful than the last, and sprint to 60 mph at anywhere from 5.1 seconds to 3.9 seconds. No matter the SL Roadster model you choose, though, you’re going to pay handsomely for the experience. The base SL400 Roadster’s $85k plus price tag is just a lot of money and the top of the line model starts well over $200k. Luckily, you don’t have to fork over this kind of money to get a fun roadster. One word: Miata.
Affordable Counterpart: Mazda MX-5 Miata
The Mazda MX-5 Miata (base MSRP was redesigned for 2016 and it is better than it has ever been before. With an exterior more stylish than cars twice its price, you’ll never look out the window at the car sitting in your driveway and wish you’d ponied up the big bucks. Also, while the Miata can’t compete with the Merc’s speed, its 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine isn’t slow, and with a car that has as good of handling and steering as the Miata, you’ll likely forget about how fast you can shoot off the line. This car is about enjoying every twist and turn in the road and you’ll never be wanting for a more fun car as long as you own it.
This German-engineered mid-engine wonder is just plain amazing to look at and with a 0-60 time of 2.7 seconds, it’s a downright rocket on the road. While there’s no doubting the car’s performance or fit and finish, the Audi R8 (base MSRP $162,900) cost more than most people could ever wish to pay for a car. Luckily, there are some other options out there, even one from the same manufacturer. Sure, you won’t get the warp speed inducing 5.2-liter V10 mid-mounted engine, but you’ll still get a great sports car.
Affordable Counterparts: Audi TT Coupe or the Alfa Romeo 4C
If you feel you need to stick within the Audi family, the Audi TT Coupe (base MSRP $42,900) is a great option. It doesn’t have the
If you’re after the mid-engine layout of the R8 and more speed that the Audi TT coupe can offer, consider the Alfa Romeo 4C (base MSRP $55,900). This little Italian mid-engine stallion gives you a 0-60 time of 4.1 seconds, thanks to a 1.7-liter mid-engine four-cylinder, which produces a sexy rumble along with great power, and an extreme attention to curb weight (2,465 lbs). While the 4C might not have the smoothness of an Audi, if you’re after supercar speed at a low price, this is the car you want.