Five supercars for supermini money
Every car nut would love the bragging rights supercar ownership offers - but they're too expensive, right? Wrong. In fact for the price of a supermini you could have a spine-tingling performance monster on your drive.
Ok, so you'd be taking a bigger risk than shelling out on a £10,000 Ford Ka with three-year warranty, but think of the fun you'd have! Before we hunted down our supercars we set a few ground rules: Cost about £10,000, a 0-60mph time of around six seconds but most importantly a desirable badge. Here's what Autoblog found after a few hours spent trawling the classified websites.
Lotus Esprit Turbo
It was the car that found fame as James Bond's submarine in The Spy Who Loved Me – but hopefully you won't get a sinking feeling after shelling out for one! On our budget we found a number of the later S4 models that produced 300bhp from a 2.2-litre turbo-charged unit. It cracked 60mph in 4.6 seconds and they cost from as little as £8,500 these days.
It was built in Modena, Italy, has stunning looks and a V8 engine – all essential ingredients for a supercar. Ok, so this isn't a Ferrari, but the Maserati 3200GT is still worth a look. Under the bonnet was a 3.2-litre, twin turbo V8 block that produced 370bhp and an incredible sound. The dash to 60mph was despatched in five seconds. We found loads from just £8,000.
Every scare story you've ever heard about TVRs is true. Well almost. We know of one national car magazine that never tested a TVR that didn't break down - and these were models specially prepared for the press... That said, a Cerbera is one mighty car and gorgeous to look at. For our budget you're looking at the 4.2-litre V8 engine, which sounds incredible. It punts out 360bhp and cracks 60mph in just 4.4 seconds. We found them for around £9,500.
Stuttgart's finest and one of the most recognisable supercars ever could actually be on your drive for less than £10,000. For that money you'll be looking at a 1980's 964 model, but that's still good for 0-60mph in 5.6 seconds and a top speed of 150mph. Old Porsches are solidly built, but in this price range look for lots service history and signs it's been well cared for.
Stretch your budget a little and you really could be the proud owner of a Ferrari! For around £12,000 you can pick up 1985 model with about 70,000 miles. Styled by Pininfarina, the Mondial had a 2.9-litre, 214bhp V8 engine capable of catapulting the supercar to 60mph in just over six seconds. Just be prepared for huge bills to keep it in tip-top condition.
It has to be said that although all these cars can be bought for supermini money, don't expect supermini running costs. Fuel bills will be horrendous, servicing costs would sink Greece and you don't even want to think about repairs bills when they break – which most of them will at some stage (especially the TVR).
It's worth getting any potential purchase inspected by the RAC or similar before shelling out and get an HPI Check to look for hidden history. That all being said, go into it with your eyes wide open and you could have a lot of car for not a lot of money!