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Old 30.12.2019, 20:48
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Sports car on a budget

Here's a thread for the financially savvy - the sports car of your life on a budget, a.k.a. have your cake and still eat it.

I love cars and driving but I hate the financial liability and depreciation attached to them. But I need a midlife car next year as everything I had so far was "reasonable" - low value, low depreciation... low fun.

My plan is to get a nice sports car, drive most of the Swiss Passes and visit some track days and then sell the car again after the season is over. It's a finite budget for a finite amount of fun - this way I'll have my cake and can eat it too. Please tell me if is doesn't work like this and I'm running into a trap

Advice would be welcome from the petrol-head of you to find something suitable, or better said, to avoid the lemons that are unsellable afterwards.

Requirements:
- must be an absolute driver's car (=RWD, 200+ HP). Doesn't need 400-700 BHP as chances of losing one's license is relatively high already.
- budget around 10k (purchase minus resale value). Purchase limit ~40k CHF.
- time limit 1 season (April to October)
- must be able to seat an 1-yr-old in the back and the missus in the front. I understand that they probably don't want ride along 90% of the time, but it's one less argument if they could.
- sports auto gearbox with paddles
- fairly recent chassic (2010 upwards)

I've put these things into AutoScout and it gave me 48 pages of results :-)

My shortlist so far:
- Mazda MX5 Miata: I test-drove a brand new full-spec RF last year and it was fabulous. You can floor it in 2nd gear uphill and you feel like being super fast at 80kph. Lot of fun, hardly any fuel consumption. Doesn't fit 4, though.
- Porsche's - There's so many flavors I need a week of reading to find out which is the one I need. Any guidance from here?
- BMW series - 135i, M235i, 33x Coupé/Cabrio, 435. How about non-M models?
- Mercedes doesn't hit me as a "drivers' car"
- US brands (Camaro, Challenger, Mustang)?

What about not buying?
- Does SIXT and Co. have any sports car for a reasonable price for 4 months?
- What about Carvolution/Galaxus?
- What about sports car leasing companies if you know any?

Any advice would be welcome.
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Old 30.12.2019, 21:30
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Re: Sports car on a budget

Subaru BRZ, Lotus Elise, Smart Roadster

Edit: read the criteria again and none of them matches��

What about a Civic Type R?

Last edited by k_and_e; 30.12.2019 at 21:46.
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Old 30.12.2019, 22:24
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Re: Sports car on a budget

1. US cars are great... on US roads. They suck at cornering and few places have better corners than Switzerland.


2. Porsche: to save you all the research: Caymans and Boxster dont have back seats. So the only drivers car left is the 911. I would argue that 50k is sort of the sweet spot for a used one. 40k is pushing it.


3. BMW: I bought an e89 z4 sdrive 35i with a paddle shift box and so far has it been brilliant. Not as perfect in any way as the Cayman I originally wanted, but a lot of fun. 300ps in a rear wheel drive roadster that costs used half as much as a comparable Porsche. But: obviously no back seat.


Long story short: Your list is pushing it a bit in every direction. I would:
a) either scrap the back seat requirement and get the mentioned Z4.
b) or scrap the 2010 requirement and get a 996 generation Porsche 911 - they dont just not depreciate anymore, but appreciate at the moment! (yes, thats the ugly ones with the "runny egg headlights"...). However, aim for a manual...
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Old 30.12.2019, 22:27
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Re: Sports car on a budget

The unusual Lexus IS-F.
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Old 30.12.2019, 22:56
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Re: Sports car on a budget

If you’re feeling brave, or mechanically minded then an old school M3 could be had from 12k and up. 4 seats, maybe a convertible although it’s likely to have been to the moon and back.
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Old 31.12.2019, 07:59
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Re: Sports car on a budget

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Here's a thread for the financially savvy - the sports car of your life on a budget, a.k.a. have your cake and still eat it.

I love cars and driving but I hate the financial liability and depreciation attached to them. But I need a midlife car next year as everything I had so far was "reasonable" - low value, low depreciation... low fun.

My plan is to get a nice sports car, drive most of the Swiss Passes and visit some track days and then sell the car again after the season is over. It's a finite budget for a finite amount of fun - this way I'll have my cake and can eat it too. Please tell me if is doesn't work like this and I'm running into a trap

Advice would be welcome from the petrol-head of you to find something suitable, or better said, to avoid the lemons that are unsellable afterwards.

Requirements:
- must be an absolute driver's car (=RWD, 200+ HP). Doesn't need 400-700 BHP as chances of losing one's license is relatively high already.
- budget around 10k (purchase minus resale value). Purchase limit ~40k CHF.
- time limit 1 season (April to October)
- must be able to seat an 1-yr-old in the back and the missus in the front. I understand that they probably don't want ride along 90% of the time, but it's one less argument if they could.
- sports auto gearbox with paddles
- fairly recent chassic (2010 upwards)

I've put these things into AutoScout and it gave me 48 pages of results :-)

My shortlist so far:
- Mazda MX5 Miata: I test-drove a brand new full-spec RF last year and it was fabulous. You can floor it in 2nd gear uphill and you feel like being super fast at 80kph. Lot of fun, hardly any fuel consumption. Doesn't fit 4, though.
- Porsche's - There's so many flavors I need a week of reading to find out which is the one I need. Any guidance from here?
- BMW series - 135i, M235i, 33x Coupé/Cabrio, 435. How about non-M models?
- Mercedes doesn't hit me as a "drivers' car"
- US brands (Camaro, Challenger, Mustang)?

What about not buying?
- Does SIXT and Co. have any sports car for a reasonable price for 4 months?
- What about Carvolution/Galaxus?
- What about sports car leasing companies if you know any?

Any advice would be welcome.
"But I need a midlife car ( crisis ) next year". Good luck
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Old 31.12.2019, 08:34
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Re: Sports car on a budget

Mountain passes while sitting in a tin-can car and being envious of all the motorbikes?
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Old 31.12.2019, 08:51
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Re: Sports car on a budget

What an absurd idea of having a fun sports car short term and cheap at the same time. They don’t come together. Is this one of those mid-life crisis things or a blissful new year resolution?
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Old 31.12.2019, 08:51
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Re: Sports car on a budget

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"But I need a midlife car ( crisis ) next year". Good luck



Bit like your Mustang then ?
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Old 31.12.2019, 09:14
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Re: Sports car on a budget

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What an absurd idea of having a fun sports car short term and cheap at the same time. They don’t come together. Is this one of those mid-life crisis things or a blissful new year resolution?
Not so absurd. But OP wrote automatic.
Which basically defeats the whole gist of having a sports car.
Otherwise I would recommend an Impreza, with 4 seats, like this one:
https://en.comparis.ch/carfinder/mar.../show/25739871
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Old 31.12.2019, 09:34
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Re: Sports car on a budget

You‘re going to habe to make some compromises:
4 seats/automatic/price/age

What about a now classic Porsche 944, 944S or 944 Turbo? 4 seat (just) and available as soft-top and you should be able to sell it for what you paid for it. By today‘s standards a GTI will out run you. But you sit low with feet out in front of you. It‘s a classic sports car - I had one in the UK in the 1980s...
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Old 31.12.2019, 10:22
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Re: Sports car on a budget

Firstly, 2 full back seats makes it quite tricky. M3 is the only that would reasonably fit the bill. 2+2 could kinda work with something like a 911 or maybe an older Evora, but for 2+2 would not necessarily fit all child seats.

A manual would most definitely be a much better bet also. To really enjoy paddles you realistically need a dual clutch transmission and that would probably cost you. Older single clutches are just annoying most of the time, and prone to stupid failures. Normal automatics (torque converter etc.) are just not that sporty, regardless of how good they've become in going through the gears.

I'd personally tell you to look at the following:
  • E92 M3 - way under your budget, so even if it needs bearings you have lots of room to do the service with CH prices
  • Z4M Coupe or Roadster
  • Lotus Evora - but it's kind of a waste to go for an older one when the new GT410/430 are such good cars - unfortunately they're also out of budget
  • 1 //M or a used M2 but I don't know how if they fit in the budget
  • Cayman S/GTS
  • maybe Alfa Romeo 4C if it fits in the budget?

Turbo Z4 is nice (35s drive only), but it needs suspension and a limited slip differential to make it into something worthwile.

I wouldn't look at the US stuff. Mustang GT350 is one of the greats but it's too much money, and Camaro 1LE is mighty capable and fun but don't know of availability or cost. Everything else is a fun hotrod but couldn't see how it would be properly enjoyable on the mountains.

Put a limit on 1600-1700Kgs of weight and stay away from heavy stuff like cabrio 3-series, IS-F, etc. They're lovely cars, but the weight just kills the experience. If it's truly a weekend car, you don't really need it to be an all-rounder, so try to get something more focused. Since I got a comfier 4-door I've been missing something from my BMW M4, while I remain perfectly content with my S2000. The M4 was perfect all-rounder when it was my main car, but I kinda feel I'd like something more special and I wouldn't care much if it were slower.


It can definitely be done I think. Budgeting for depreciation of 10k is quite manageable, most cars mentioned above you could get in and out for even money if you're careful with selection - maintenance + insurance and tax would be your only costs.
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Old 31.12.2019, 10:25
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Re: Sports car on a budget

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Mountain passes while sitting in a tin-can car and being envious of all the motorbikes?
I already had that one
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Old 31.12.2019, 10:37
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Re: Sports car on a budget

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Subaru BRZ, Lotus Elise, Smart Roadster

Edit: read the criteria again and none of them matches��

What about a Civic Type R?
A GT86/BRZ is not a bad thing, it actually fits some child seats in the back

The CTR is my old time fav but it's a FWD.
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Old 31.12.2019, 10:38
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Re: Sports car on a budget

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What an absurd idea of having a fun sports car short term and cheap at the same time. They don’t come together. Is this one of those mid-life crisis things or a blissful new year resolution?
it's a thinking that might not make sense at all - hence the thread for the experienced ones to tell me!
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Old 31.12.2019, 10:44
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Re: Sports car on a budget

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it's a thinking that might not make sense at all - hence the thread for the experienced ones to tell me!



We all know it makes bugger all sense, but then when did that get in the way of fun ?
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Old 31.12.2019, 11:01
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Re: Sports car on a budget

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Firstly, 2 full back seats makes it quite tricky. M3 is the only that would reasonably fit the bill. 2+2 could kinda work with something like a 911 or maybe an older Evora, but for 2+2 would not necessarily fit all child seats.
I can get another child seat if needed

Quote:
A manual would most definitely be a much better bet also.
I wanted to go for a sports automatic with paddles that one can drive in manual. PDK is probably out of reach, but I can use my regular DSG in our VW in sport mode. The MX5 I tried was also automatic with paddles. I think I'm too old for heal-and-toe braking. :-)

An M3 class would probably be okay in 2nd or 3rd gear on any pass, though, so if needed I can let this requirement go.

Quote:
I'd personally tell you to look at the following:
  • E92 M3 - way under your budget, so even if it needs bearings you have lots of room to do the service with CH prices
  • Z4M Coupe or Roadster
  • Lotus Evora - but it's kind of a waste to go for an older one when the new GT410/430 are such good cars - unfortunately they're also out of budget
  • 1 //M or a used M2 but I don't know how if they fit in the budget
  • Cayman S/GTS
  • maybe Alfa Romeo 4C if it fits in the budget?
Thanks for this list. The 4C is probably the best driver's car, but a tad out of reach.

Quote:
Put a limit on 1600-1700Kgs of weight and stay away from heavy stuff like cabrio 3-series, IS-F, etc. They're lovely cars, but the weight just kills the experience. If it's truly a weekend car, you don't really need it to be an all-rounder, so try to get something more focused. Since I got a comfier 4-door I've been missing something from my BMW M4, while I remain perfectly content with my S2000. The M4 was perfect all-rounder when it was my main car, but I kinda feel I'd like something more special and I wouldn't care much if it were slower.
Fair point for the weight. It's just another compromise like the back seat. I'd be happy with an M4, just need enough grippy tires. The S2000 is a dream, but they are rare (and expensive) find in Switzerland.

I think I'll start on the lighter versions like GT86/MX5/4C/S2000 (GT86, really), maybe Cayman GTS, and if that don't work one needs to up the weight and power (and tyre and accident risk) towards the M3s and IS-F's and the cabrios for getting more sun.
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Old 31.12.2019, 11:07
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Re: Sports car on a budget

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Not so absurd. But OP wrote automatic.
Which basically defeats the whole gist of having a sports car.
Otherwise I would recommend an Impreza, with 4 seats, like this one:
https://en.comparis.ch/carfinder/mar.../show/25739871
That's a sweet find if it can do another 10-20k kms. If not, it's still within budget. Not the old 2.2 Impreza anymore, but a WRX nevertheless.
Any chance you know the owner?
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Old 31.12.2019, 11:15
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Re: Sports car on a budget

I think that you may be able to get into a BMW M2 for your budget, give or take... it fits all your requirements, but much more than your suggested 200hp. I’ve read that the M2 is the best M car that BMW makes, or has made for many years.
I own one and can attest to it being monumental fun. (I had the choice to get an M3 or M4, but based on all the reviews went for the M2. Staff at the dealership said that I made the right decision)
The only thing that I can’t guarantee is the depreciation.
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Old 31.12.2019, 11:15
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Re: Sports car on a budget

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That's a sweet find if it can do another 10-20k kms. If not, it's still within budget. Not the old 2.2 Impreza anymore, but a WRX nevertheless.
Any chance you know the owner?
Nope. Just found it listed on Comparis.
Looks like a garage.
Might want to call and check it out before they close.
Dealers love doing end of year deals.
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