The idea of purchasing a sports car for the first time is quite an exciting one. Although, this can be hindered due to many reasons. The biggest of which seems to be, like many other things, the price. Sports cars are by no measurement ‘cheap,’ but some can be found for an affordable rate.
These cars are, obviously, not the same quality as multi-million dollar hypercars. However, they serve to be great entry-level vehicles for soon-to-be adrenaline junkies. Manufacturers from around the world have vehicles exactly like these; sold for the exact purpose of being a cost-effective track toy. Even though there are thousands of examples, these ten appear to be the best currently available…
10BMW Z4 – $49,000
Since 1989, BMW has been producing the high-selling Z4. The Z4 is unlike any other of BMW’s lineup, as it has a larger focus on a roadster look rather than a standard sedan or saloon.
One of the Z4’s characteristics is it’s small, lightweight, and powerful. As a result, BMW used the Z4 for multiple GT racing series (and still does). With this history of performance and relatively low price, the BMW Z4 is an excellent starter car for anyone looking to get into the automotive world.
9AUDI TT – $44,000
Like the Z4, the Audi TT is (once again) very different from the standard Audi. Similar to how BMW focuses on luxury sports cars, so does Audi, although the release of the Audi TT certainly shook things up a bit.
The Audi TT is a small, two-door, sports car designed for cruising during long stretches on the highway and winning races around the globe. So far, Audi has produced three generations of the TT; all of which are affordable with varying degrees of power output and overall speed.
8ALFA ROMEO GIULIA – $38,000
In the past, Alfa Romeo had a bad wrap. To specify, Alfa Romeo’s cars weren’t well known for their reliability or design. Especially since those aspects were virtually nonexistent in their previous models. Now, though, the Alfa Romeo Giulia looks to fix that.
With the success of Alfa’s 8C and 4C sports cars, the board of directors decided to shape the company as one that focuses on both sports cars and family sedans. Consequently, the Giulia was born: A quick saloon car that can not only take the kids to school but also hit the track.
7SUBARU BRZ/SCION FRS – $22,000
Before the upcoming Toyota Supra was even a twinkle in the eye of car lovers, companies like Subaru, Scion, and Toyota came together to create something that would fill the gap. It was the Subaru BRZ, which was basically identical to the Scion FRS and Toyota GT86.
The Subaru BRZ (and subsequent FRS and GT86) serve as great entry cars into the sporting world. They offer a low enough power output, as to not overwhelm newcomers and solid build quality. Some even debate that the BRZ/FRS is an amazing car for 16-year-olds who just got their license.
There is also plenty of room to modify, tweak, and tune the BRZ to your heart’s content.
62020 TOYOTA SUPRA – $49,000
To the joy of J.D.M. fans around the world, Toyota recently released the upcoming 2020 Supra. It’s begun production and has sold many models already. Though it doesn’t have a crazy 2JZ-GTE style inline six-cylinder, the Supra was still designed with the help of BMW.
Some fans of the older generation Supra’s don’t particularly like the new Mark V. They argue that the model has lost its soul; with no crazy engineering or wildly unique design. Regardless of what you may think about this, there is virtually no denying that the Supra, itself, is a good sports car.
Though the possibility for it to be even better is always there, the current one has just about anything a new car enthusiast could want for a reasonable price.
5PORSCHE BOXSTER – $35,000
German engineering is debated to be the best in the entire world and for good reason. Amazing brands like Volkswagen, Audi, and Mercedes have all come from the same country; each with outstanding design and reliability. Of all of these brands though, Porsche appears to take the top spot.
Since after World War Two, Porsche has endeavored to make the perfect sports car. Some argue that they’ve already achieved it. Citing vehicles like the original 911 and the Boxster. The Boxster was a step away from the standard 911 body style to help the company branch out into new markets. It’s sold very well since and served as a perfect “starter Porsche” for those without incredibly deep pockets.
4FORD MUSTANG – $25,000
Ford almost always seems to be at the forefront of innovation. Whether its the creation of the assembly line or the victories at Le Mans, they frequently come out on top. One such example where Ford seems to have captured lightning-in-a-bottle is with their Ford Mustang.
During the ’60s when the Mustang was first launched, it blew away the automotive world with its design, speed, and affordability. Since then, Ford has tried to keep up the tradition of a modestly priced sports car that can look good and perform even better.
Thankfully, Ford has been triumphant in this pursuit. Especially with the creation of EcoBoost: A 4-cylinder turbocharged version of the Mustang that saves money on fuel, but still gets up and goes!
3NISSAN 370Z – $25,000
Before Nissan was Nissan, they were known as Datsun. During Datsun’s lifetime, they began the Z-series. A set of low-profile sports cars that could serve the purpose of both daily driving and racing whenever they needed. Their first model was the 240Z, later becoming what we now know as the 370Z.
The 370Z is a dream for many Japanese car lovers who see the new Z as a future classic; up there with the likes of the Supra and R34 GTR. Whether this is true or not, the 370Z is certainly a capable sports car. It’s fast – like it should be – and also was partly inspired by Nissan’s racing department, Nismo. Nissan even offers a 370Z Nismo Edition, but be ready to write a slightly larger check for that beast.
2CHEVROLET CORVETTE – $60,000
Like the Ford Mustang, the Chevrolet Corvette has an extensive history of race victories, over-the-top sales figures, and countless models. Throughout the decades, Chevy has used the Corvette as an all-around weapon. Using it to win championships, compete with Ford, and be their flagship sports car.
Unlike other companies, though, Chevrolet doesn’t charge an arm and a leg for their flagship vehicle. In fact, the Corvette is often hailed as the world’s most affordable sports car. This accusation would sound ridiculous if the Corvette wasn’t putting up a fight against giants like Ferrari, Ford, Porsche, and Lamborghini. However, that’s exactly what they’re doing.
1MAZDA MIATA – $20,000
The epitome of affordable sports cars: The Mazda Miata. For fans of the S.C.C.A. (Sports Car Club of America), you know all too well how popular and victorious the Miata is. Also known as the MX-5, the Miata is the ideal car for those seeking an affordable racing experience.
The MX-5 resembles more of a go-kart than a car in all actuality. It’s very very small and only has a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine (in the older models). This may not sound like a lot, but due to the Miata’s incredibly low weight, the tiny four-banger is more than enough to get it up to speed.
Add to this its price range that can be as low as a couple of thousand dollars for their oldest versions, it becomes easy to see why so many aspiring racers choose the Miata for their first real race car.