Used car deals of the week
This week we’ve found the ultimate GT, a JDM WRX STI and more
While we seem to be out from under the worst of the pandemic, its lingering effect on the global supply chain and wider automotive manufacturing means bargain second hand performance cars aren’t really a thing any more.
This is something that’s been exacerbated by the world’s transition to electric cars, stoking demand for performance cars both in the new and used markets, leaving many short of either cash or supply.
What hasn’t changed, though, is the satisfaction of perusing the classifieds for all the most interesting used high performance cars on sale right now. This week we’ve dug up everything from a Nissan 370Z Nismo to the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren.
Nissan 370Z (2018)
If you’re as disappointed as we are that Nissan won’t bring the new Z to Europe, it’s worth remembering the previous 370Z was on sale for years, and few of the used models now populating the market are more exciting than the last-of-the-line Nismos. In period, it’s true that they were a little outclassed by European rivals like the Porsche Cayman and more recently the Alpine A110, but the brawny V6 engine and aggressive dynamics have never had more appeal, especially in our turbocharged era.
While the £26,990 price tag of this example is strong, its low mileage (19,000 miles) means it’s probably about as close to new as you’ll find out there, and when you consider that a contemporary Fiesta ST costs the same sort of money in 2022, something with so much panache and performance certainly has its appeal.
Alfa Romeo 147 GTA (2004)
Speaking of cars that weren’t universally admired from new, the Alfa Romeo 147 GTA certainly had its critics, but read from the spec sheet today, its attractive styling, fabulous detailing and that Busso 3.2-litre V6 engine are like something from a dream.
Against contemporary high-end hot hatchbacks like the Ford Focus RS, or even the Mk4 Volkswagen Golf R32, the Alfa was properly outclassed in terms of its driving dynamics, but now sits on the second hand market as a relative bargain. This example does have high mileage, but also comes with uprated Brembo brakes and 18-inch alloy wheels borrowed from the GT coupe. And while you do have to give up on the telephone dial wheels, the stunning needle-spoke alloy wheel design nearly makes up for it.
Subaru Impreza WRX STI JDM (2006)
Finding the perfect Subaru Impreza Turbo is a total minefield, just ask Dep Ed Adam Towler, but when you find one that ticks the boxes, it can be one of the most exciting and involving experiences on four wheels. This MY06 ‘Hawkeye’ WRX STI might not initially look like anything out of the ordinary, but this Japanese Domestic Market import has one key difference – the EJ20.
The smaller EJ20 motor used in JDM models was in place of the larger EJ25 found in UK-spec STIs of this generation. It has less torque, but a much higher redline, and comes with a propensity to rev and respond with far more enthusiasm and alacrity than the lazier 25. This example also comes with an active centre differential, a water jet-cooled intercooler and the twin-scroll turbo, and is unadorned with mods for that ultimate JDM sleeper look.
Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren (2008)
If there’s such a thing as a forgotten McLaren, it’s probably the SLR. Comprehensively outshone by the Enzo and Carrera GT in period, its appeal was as a super GT rather than a highly-strung carbonfibre supercar. This notion is confirmed in the specification; its supercharged 5.4-litre V8 is mounted ahead of the driver (albeit, behind the front axle), attached to a 5-speed automatic transmission mounted at the rear.
It had plenty of very high-end technology on board, such as carbon ceramic brakes and various forms of active aero, but the real talent behind the Mercedes McLaren creation was the level of engineering that went into its development. It wasn’t pure like an Enzo, or a spin-off from a motorsport exercise like the Porsche, but it was the ultimate expression of a GT car with supercar performance. It’s also one-tenth the price of a leggy Enzo – true hypercar stuff for supercar money.
Ford Fiesta ST-3 (Mk8, 2018)
Despite fierce competition from Korea, the current-generation Ford Fiesta ST remains a class leader in 2022 with an entertaining chassis and a power plant to match. 197bhp and 214lb ft of torque come from its 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder, enough for a competitive 6.5sec 0-62mph time and 144mph top speed.
Following its recent facelift, you’ll now need from £26,595 for a brand new example, but after 26,367 miles on the road this one can be yours for almost £10,000 less. Though it lacks the upgrades of the new car, an 8-inch infotainment display with Apple CarPlay is included, with the range-topping ST-3 package bringing a handful of additional upgrades to the hot hatch.
Aston Martin DB11 AMR (2018)
Though far from the track-focused car we thought it might be, the DB11 AMR fixed many of the issues of its standard counterpart with sharpened dynamics and an additional 30bhp from its 5.2-litre twin-turbocharged V12. A 3.7sec 0-62mph time from its 630bhp and 516lb ft is still plenty of performance for what is ostensibly a GT, though, even if its figures are outshone elsewhere in the class.
After 12,165 miles on the road, this striking Lightning Silver example is on the market for just shy of £120,000 – a staggering saving of over £55,000. Inside you’ll find Obsidian black leather with the optional headrest embroidery and Aston Martin branding, with an exterior black pack, technology pack, dark chrome ‘Jewellery’ pack and more coming equipped.
Mercedes-AMG E63 S (2017)
Following the V8-powered C63, the end is nigh for the W213 Mercedes-AMG E63 – to mark the occasion, we’ve found a tastefully-specced (and priced) example on the classifieds. Powered by AMG’s excellent 4-litre twin-turbocharged V8, 604bhp and 627lb ft of torque help it reach 62mph in 3.4sec and a 186mph top speed – enough to help it compete with even its most recent rivals.
Finished in tasteful Designo Hyacinth Red paint with AMG’s faux centre-lock wheels in the elusive silver diamond-cut finish, you’ll struggle to find an E63 in a better spec. An Exclusive brown Nappa leather interior is also part of the package, with optional carbon ceramic brakes, the Burmester sound system and more equipped. Though you’ll save in excess of £20,000 over a new example, this car has just a single owner on its books and has covered only 23,238 miles in its five years on the road.
McLaren GT (2021)
The McLaren GT is far from a conventional grand tourer, but there’s no doubt it’s a highly capable performance car. An output of 612bhp and 465lb ft of torque from the usual 4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 is down on the rest of McLaren’s lineup, but it’s still more than fast enough – 0-62mph happens in 3.1sec with top speed coming at a quoted 204mph.
Though its £163,000 new price might be difficult to justify given its strange position in the marketplace, a healthy dose of depreciation makes it a little more appealing. After 6000 miles and only a year since it hit the road, this Kyanos blue car is on the market for £129,950, a discount of over £30,000. A full McLaren service history, Premium and Practicality packs, Sports exhaust system, Bowers and Wilkins sound system and more all come equipped.
Subaru Impreza P1 (2000)
With values of the Impreza 22B now well into six figures and the upcoming Prodrive P25 continuation about to capitalise on its rising values, the Prodrive-developed Impreza P1 is starting to look like a real bargain by comparison. Though it lacks some of the more comprehensive modifications and bespoke bodywork of the 22B, the Prodrive One is arguably even more specialised for the UK with reworked kinematics, a 276bhp version of the famous EJ20 2-litre flat-four and an interior overhaul.
Marked as number 588 of 1000, this particular example is finished in Subaru’s trademark Sonic Blue paint with the original 17-inch Anthracite OZ wheels. Having covered 118,000 miles in its 23 years on the road, it recently received a full engine rebuild with new forged components improving longevity. Though £35,000 for a six-figure mile Subaru might seem steep, next to the 22B it looks like remarkable value.
Volkswagen Golf R32 (2003)
The Golf R32 certainly had its flaws, but a vocal 3.2-litre naturally-aspirated V6 shoehorned into a hot hatchback is something that feels quite exotic today. In this early form, a 240bhp output helped it along to a 6.6sec 0-62mph time and 153mph top speed – hardly a match for today’s hot hatches, but more than potent enough for 2003.
Our time with the R32 proved just how good it is at motorway journeys, and with 122,000 miles, it’s likely the owners of this example have done plenty. Regardless, this car appears to be in good shape, and comes with the original silver wheels. Yours for less than an Up GTI.
Ferrari FF (2012)
The V12-powered Ferrari Purosangue is just around the corner, but if you’d like your practical Ferrari V12 fix for less, look no further. The FF offered a completely unique package at the time of its launch, pairing Maranello’s incredible 6.3-litre naturally-aspirated F140 V12 with a unique form of all-wheel drive and four seats. Its performance is rather strong despite the decade since its launch, with 651bhp and 504lb ft of torque enough for a 3.7sec 0-62mph time and 208mph top speed.
After 26,000 miles on the road, this tastefully specced 2012 car is on the market for well under half its original list price. Finished in silver with a Cuoio Toscano leather interior, this car comes equipped with a suspension lift system, rear seat entertainment and plenty of optional carbonfibre trim.
Mazda RX-7 Spirit R Type A (2003)
Mazda is on a pretty curious path right now, debuting an all-new rear-wheel drive platform and six-cylinder petrol and diesel engines when everyone, literally, is treading water with their large-scale IC investment and focusing instead on electric vehicles. So while we wait to see if anything will come of it that peaks evo’s interest (for now, it’s SUVs only), let’s look back at why Mazda is such a brilliant company from its former hits.
This 2003 RX-7 Spirit R Type A is one prime example – a limited run (1500 units in all) Japanese domestic market special edition that like the GT-R V-Spec and NSX Type R were quietly being honed to near perfection exclusively for the ripe local market. This Type A is one of the later build RX-7s, and shared its hardcore disposition with those two JDM rivals, but differs with its unique handling characteristics and turbocharged rotary engine. So while £108,000 might sound a little extreme for a Mazda, it’s worth remembering that this company has far more experience with high-end sports cars than we Europeans often give it credit for.