The 10 Best Used Daily Performance Heroes for 2022 Car News


Looking for something quick but usable? We have what you need

Large trunk, rear seats, muscular engine – it’s still an attractive package for the modern car enthusiast with limited parking spaces. Here are 10 authentic sports cars you could drive to the Nürburgring – via the advice…

Ford Focus ST 170 Break

£1,250 to £2,500: Hard to find but worth it and not expensive. The ST170 has always played understudy to the wild Ford Focus RS, but in many ways it’s the smoother steering, despite the lackluster 171bhp engine. It’s the chassis that shines, with a balance and agility unheard of at the time for this kind of car, and a lot of precision in the steering. The interior is strongly dated, but the exterior remains clean. Real under-the-radar appeal.

One we found: 2003 Ford Focus ST170 Estate, 150,000 miles, £1,500

Audi RS6 Avant, 2004-2004

£11,000 to £18,000: The first RS6 evolves into something of a cult car and the only reason you can get good ones from low five-figure sums is because they’re potentially ruinous to run. The Quattro transmission is sophisticated enough, but so is the hydraulic damping system, not to mention the 444 hp 4.2 biturbo V8, developed with Cosworth. How to be wrong. However, they are beautiful, fast and versatile cars.

One we found: 2003 Audi RS6 Avant, 100,000 miles, £14,895

Mitsubishi Evo VIII FQ-300, 2004-2005

£15,000 to £25,000: The fastest Evo VIII officially brought to British shores, the FQ-300 boasted 305bhp and not much mass, so there was no doubt what the initials unofficially stood for. These cars are powerful in terms of cross-country traction and speed, but they’re also surprisingly adept once you’re dialed in to how the center differential handles. Future classic status surely awaits.

One we found: 2004 Mitsubishi Evo VIII FQ-300, 32k, £23,750

Porsche 911 Carrera 4S, 2001-2004

£16,500 to £40,000: With 911s from the 996 era, the temptation is now to find a good Turbo because prices have settled for this generation and the ballistic flagship is not that much more expensive than some lower models. However, the naturally aspirated 4S looks more racy and it doesn’t advertise its performance quite so overtly. An enviable and usable all-rounder.

One we found: 2004 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S, 72,000km, £27,950

Mercedes-Benz 500E, 1991-1994

£20,000 to £25,000: In 1988, Mercedes commissioned Porsche to help develop and build an uber-E-Class with the SL’s 5.0-liter V8 shoehorned into its nose. The very rare, very thin and extremely understated 500E was the result, and the production was ridiculously forgiving by modern standards. The body parts first flowed from Sindelfingen to Zuffenhausen, where the car was assembled. She then returned to Sindelfingen for painting, before finally returning to Zuffenhausen for final assembly and engine installation. The process took nearly three weeks for each car.

Seated 56mm wider and 23mm lower than the donor E-Class, the 500E “only catches the eye at second glance”, said one of the project engineers, and the work of Porsche on the chassis gave it both handling panache and exceptional highway driving. Steps. The perfect super-sedan? Perhaps, although it lacks a center rear seat due to the size of the beastly differential case.

One we found: Mercedes-Benz 500E, 151,000 miles, £33,995

Alpine A610 Turbo, 1991-1995

£20,000 to £45,000: The brilliance of the Alpine A110 has brought this French name back into fashion, sparking renewed interest in the marque’s back catalog. We’d consider the six-cylinder, four-seat A610, which was Alpine’s answer to the 964-generation Porsche 911 Carrera, but had more deft handling and nicer cruising manners. Fabulous steering, too, despite the electric assist.

One we found: 1995 Alpine A610 Turbo, 68,000 miles, £24,000

Jaguar XFR-S Sportbrake, 2014-2015

£29,000 to £45,000: Jaguar’s first (and, cruelly, last) stab at a fire-breathing V8 estate is a rare but worthy alternative to the world’s Mercedes-Benz E63 and Audi RS6. It could only be had in top-spec XFR-S form, which meant 542 hp and 502 lb-ft of a gas-guzzling 5.0-liter supercharged monster, for 0-62 mph in 4.6 seconds. and a top speed of 186 mph. The prices aren’t horrible, but Jaguar only ever planned to sell around 100 examples, so finding one is the problem.

One we found: 2015 Jaguar XFR-S Sportbrake, 12,000 miles, £44,000

BMW M3 CS, 2005-2006

£29,950 to £40,000: An E46 generation M3? How predictable. But for a very good reason. The archetypal sports coupe is the right size, weight and shape, and it has one of the best road car engines of all time under the hood of the naturally aspirated S54 3.2 inline-six liters, as well as a balance of effortless maneuverability. Oh manipulation. Go for the CS. It borrowed the CSL’s (now very expensive) brakes, faster steering rack, coil springs and wheel styling. However, unlike the SMG-only CSL, the CS came…

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This notice was published: 2022-06-03 23:01:22

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