The sports car market isn’t the largest, but it’s full of things that many car enthusiasts crave. Think vehicles that feel great to drive and are fast, with designs that stand out from the crowd.
But, as with many premium products, prices are quite steep for the very best models. So it could be worthwhile looking on the used market for the car you’re after. Although many will have been looked after, you can use the AA’s Inspection Service to see whether the car you want is up to scratch.
If you’re after a sports car, but need a bit of inspiration, here are 5 of the best used models you can get.
Considered by many to be the best driver’s car around, the Porsche 911 is well established after 56 years on sale. Apart from switching the 6-cylinder engine from air-cooled to water-cooled, the design hasn’t changed much. But the sports car still get a petrolhead’s pulses racing.
On the AA Cars Marketplace, you can find used options starting from the 996 generation, introduced in 1998. New models introduced in the first half of 2019 are priced well over £90,000. But with fantastic-sounding older versions for as little as £11,940, customers should be on the lookout for a bargain.
Nicknamed ‘Godzilla’, the latest version of the Nissan GT-R was introduced in Europe in 2009. Due to its rather ridiculous performance, it can definitely be considered a game changer. Previous generations of the Skyline GT-R were among some of the best sports cars of the 90s and early 2000s. So when Nissan revealed this tech-filled version for the modern age, Japanese car enthusiasts finally had a new model to aim for.
The GT-R is fitted with a 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V6 engine capable of producing upwards of 473bhp. It also comes with 4-wheel drive and a 6-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. With that combination, it can go from 0-60mph in just 3.2 seconds. Used options on the AA Cars Marketplace are priced from £35,990.
Now in its second generation, the R8 has been with us since 2006 and continues to be the flagship for the Audi line-up. Based on the same platform as the Lamborghini Gallardo and later Huracan, the underpinnings of the R8 have some serious pedigree. And with either a 4.2-litre V8 or a 5.2-litre V10 on board, this is a serious piece of kit.
As time has gone on, the first generation’s curvier styling has become sharper, but the original model still looks excellent. With quattro 4-wheel drive as well, this is an all-weather sports car that never fails to impress. Convertible Spyder options are also available on the used market if you want an open-air experience. Used options are on offer from £32,500.
The XK was the top option in Jaguar line-up until the F-Type replaced it back in 2014. The XK’s original V8 engine offered excellent performance and it also produced some superb noises from its sports exhaust. The grand tourer came with 4 seats and was capable of 0-60mph in 4 seconds flat in the XKR-S guise. The normal XK was still able to get from a standstill to 60mph in 5.4 seconds.
The sleek design of the XK helped the Jaguar stand out from most cars on the road. Plus, the soft-top convertible version can give customers the option of open-air driving. The XK8 was a good sports car in its own right but the second generation XK is the standout option due to its sharper styling and better overall performance. Used options are available from £9,995.
Although the M5 is the daddy of the sporty saloon world, the M3 can claim to be the more exciting option to drive. Older models were fitted with a 4.0-litre V8 engine. The latest version’s smaller 6-cylinder engine with twin turbochargers produced the same performance, but the original was an exhilarating drive.
Many of the used options available are the boxier models from the 90s and early 2000s, which aren’t the most attractive M3s. But they still provide sports car performance in an executive car body. Pre-owned M3s are available from just £7,940 on the AA Cars Marketplace. Buying one may be the smart choice, as BMW won’t be releasing the next M3 until 2020, which will likely come with a high asking price.