With the world’s one percent getting richer year-on-year, supercars aren’t getting any cheaper. The question is, do we even need them? Technology has improved so much in the last twenty years that some of today’s most reliable used cars have performance considered otherworldly in the 20th century. Further to that, the sports cars in this list have an enduring charm that in these transformative times proves to be more important than going a million miles an hour.
Let’s take a look at our top 10 reliable sports cars that we would love to own instead of expensive supercars.
10 2014 Porsche Cayman S – $35,000
The internet is a great place to spoil your appetite. The GT department will forever live in the headlines while ‘lesser’ trimmed models collect dust, wallowing in the inattention stolen from its starred sibling. The 981 Cayman S may not have all the weight loss trimmings of the same model GT4, but it does have a 321 hp atmospheric 3.4-liter flat-six, under-the-radar sports car styling, and a manual option. With a few aftermarket bits from Porsche specialists like BBi and Dundon, you’ll have a tongue-in-cheek middle finger to those that sit above at an absolute bargain.
9 2019 Ford Shelby GT350 – $60,000
The ‘not a real Shelby,’ Shelby GT350 is really Ford Performance sweetheart sports car. After SVTs production car tenure ended in 2013 with Carroll Shelby’s signature GT500, the newly appointed Ford Performance brand took charge, envisioning a track-focused future for its lineup. The GT350 enlisted the expertise of exotic engineering to develop a flat-plane, high-revving V8 motor dubbed the Voodoo.
8 2016 Cadillac ATS-V – $35,000
Near enough looks to the braggadocios to the CTS-V super sedan, the ATS-V offered a subtler performance option, swapping out as many cylinders as doors for a driving experience somewhat confusing for the Cadillac brand. We mean that of course in the best way possible. Cadillac’s once boat-like persona has been swapped out in its mid-2010 V-Series leaning on the racing chassis developments of GM, and the ATS-V is a twin-turbo six-cylinder take on an SS 1LE.
7 2016 Corvette Grand Sport – $59,000
Arguably the best-looking Corvette of the modern era, the Grand Sport is the middle child of the C7 Corvette range. Conforming Z06 looks to a naturally aspirated V8 power plant, the Grand Sport is an exercise in balance, favoring chassis competence over flat-out speed.
6 2016 BMW M2 Competition – $55,000
The M2 Competition isn’t a trim-up M2, as you might expect. It’s a West-world reimagination of the original M2 with more than just a facelift. While the cheekbones and love handles bask in their aggressively chiseled redesigns, the entire temperament is different.
The ineffectual N55 motor, (a single turbo inline-six from the original M2), has been swapped out for the M3’s S55 twin-turbo six, bumping horsepower up to 405 hp. There are also two transmission options. The unfailing seven-speed DCT offered in the M3/M4 to BMW’s ever-vague manual gearbox. If it were us, the dual-clutch is the one to go for. Hidden under the body lies a few chassis tweaks, with revised suspension and bigger brakes headlining the list.
5 2017 Audi TTRS – $56,000
Brawny little thing, isn’t it? The TTRS truly is a halved R8, with double the fun. Running a 2.5-liter five-pot, it’s exactly half the cylinders of the R8 and almost half of the R8’s 5.2-liter displacement. Power is potent at 400 hp driven through Audi’s distinguished Quattro all-wheel drive system, shifted in part through a seven-speed dual-clutch, a gearbox that generally bodes well for the performance branch of the Lord of the Rings yet comes mildly affected by the higher torque spread of the RS.
4 Lexus LC 500 V8 – $65,000
An absolute steal at $65,000 on the used market, an almost 50% haircut off the retail price, this Japanese super coupe is more sporty than you think. Armed with learnings from the RCF and GSF, the LC 500 boasts a naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8 with more grumble than most American pony cars. The long hooded front engine grand tourer is a better bang for your buck than Aston Martin’s doubly expensive DB11.
3 2009 BMW 1M – $60,400
Winner winner chicken dinner. The 1M is the happiest of meals, serving a low-calorie, highly nutritious dish designed to shred tires and look pleased with itself while doing it. The naturally aspirated inline-six is a screeching power plant sorely missed by the forced induction BMWs of today, representing the very best package of high-performance metal in a bite-sized frame.
2 2020 Toyota Supra – $45,000
Competition to the R35 GTR, the newest Supra takes the sliding synergy of the GR86, adds a bit of weight, and some luxury trimmings to deliver one of the most sports car experiences on sale. Although the Supra may be the butt of most jokes for basically being a BMW Z4, it’s an undeniably good deal to get German innards at a Japanese price.
1 2014 Nissan GTR – $65,000
Can any list of sporting alternatives to the supercar syndrome ever be complete without the Nissan GTR? Like the monster from which its name is derived, Godzilla needs a few nuclear upgrades to kick the all-wheel-drive beast into gear, but considering its Japanese stock holding, those parts will find a way to 1,000 hp well before reaching a hundred grand. On its own four feet, though, the GTR can sprint to sixty faster than a Lamborghini Huracan.