This feature may be reaching you a little later than planned, but don’t hold it against us. When you see the sort of super-fast metal you can pick up in the classifieds for less than £10,000, your work rate might slow down a bit too…
Inspired by our stunning E55 AMG find this week, we broadened our minds and asked the question: what else could you buy for less than five figures that will crack the benchmark 0-62mph sprint in less than five seconds? That’s asking a lot, and there are only a few models that cross this magic price/performance threshold, so we’ve catalogued them here.
We love a good Lancer Evo, but only when they’re sensibly priced. Like this one. Freshly shipped from Japan, this Evo VII GSR is a desirable special edition that featured a five-speed manual gearbox, additional gauges, Active Yaw Control, Recaro seats throughout, Brembo stoppers and a Momo steering wheel. Lovely stuff. Imported and given an MOT in March, it looks muscular in white on its black alloy wheels.
Priced at £9999, this is quite a rare way to get your speed fix. It ‘only’ has around 270bhp but with a second gear that stretches past 62mph its traffic light getaway is rapid. They say you’re either a WRX STI guy or an Evo man, and if the latter ticks your boxes, this is huge value – and speed – for the money.
A twin-turbo V8, a big boot and timeless good looks await the buyers of C5-era Audi RS6 Avants. That biturbo 4.2 under the bonnet was good for a very healthy 444bhp between 5700rpm and 6400rpm, while peak torque of 428lb ft was thrust through quattro drive all the way from 1950rpm to 5600rpm. Meaty.
We found this 14-year-old one and had to sit down to calm ourselves. It has a brand new MOT certificate, a full service history and four heated seats, and not even the 156,000 miles on the clock is particularly off-putting if the maintenance has been carried out to spec. The price for this astonishingly tempting old estate? Just £7950. Sign us up.
Hold the phones and remember to breathe: it’s a genuine, bona-fide E63 for exactly £10,000. Haggle just a pound off and we’re still playing exactly by the rules of the game. It’s the newest car on our list and it’s also the most powerful, with this particular German uber-saloon breathing 507bhp of fire through the rear wheels, courtesy of a 6.2-litre V8 that has to go down in history as one of the best V8s ever made.
For your ten grand you get a car with two new rear Michelins, recent discs and pads at each corner and a fresh service. There’s a service history, full black leather upholstery, 12 months breakdown cover and the peace of mind that the dealer is an AA-registered trader, so the car should have had a full inspection top to bottom. Honestly, if we had the money, we’d have already placed a deposit and scheduled a viewing.
If the normally-aspirated E63 isn’t your bag, how about the sleeker, cooler, classier CLS55? Blessed with a 469bhp supercharged 5.4-litre V8, it was incredibly long-legged and would sit at 150mph all week without missing a beat. It has also aged just about perfectly; we think it looks better now than it did 12 years ago. There are a good few around for less than £10,000, but we love the colour and general spec of this one.
Black leather sports seats get us off to a great start. There’s sat-nav, heated electric seats, keyless entry, push-button start, parking sensors at both ends, dual-zone climate control and even a DVD player. Proper. Priced at just £8950, presumably reflecting its 148,000 miles of service, it’s the sort of car you can park on your drive to make your neighbours think you’ve won the lottery.
This, on the other hand, is exactly the sort of car your neighbours will hate you for. With 301bhp on tap and – natch – a big, loud exhaust already fitted, this Impreza WRX STI is a car you buy to enjoy by yourself and terrify passengers with; not to make friends with the old couple next door. Perfect styling, a very reasonable 70,000 miles on the clock and four tyres with only around 2000 miles of wear are all good reasons to have a closer look.
This model marked the upping of Subaru’s game to keep pace with – at the time – much faster Mitsubishis. It has the Driver-Controlled Centre Differential that allows you to switch between 50:50 and 35:65 front-rear torque split. You can rev it beyond 7000rpm, it will embarrass just about anything along a wet B-road and it’s yours for a be-still-my-beating-heart £8750.
Although this big old Jag doesn’t quite make the sub-five-second cut, we couldn’t let this feature slide without giving the XJR a mention. A 4.2-litre supercharged V8, all the bells and whistles you could wish for, a full service history and face-numbing comfort are all part of the package, and this one we found will cost you just £5489. That is staggering value more than worthy of a nod.
Which of these bargain rocket ships would be your choice? The CT office is divided (mine’s the E63, please). Let us know what you think!