It’s time to reap the rewards of the mistakes of others, as we tally among the fastest-falling performance cars of the past three years.
The rule is simple: no later than 2012 model. Let us be clear from the beginning – these depreciation disasters may not yet have plateaued. Some automotive oddities or orphans could still have a lot to lose. Keep them, because we won’t select them unless they’re first good, fast cars.
Citroen DS3 D Sport
This three-door Frenchie is definitely on the spicier side of warm-hatch. With a manual transmission, 1.6-litre turbo producing 240Nm and petite, light body, the Citroen also has genuine driver appeal for around $13K, or $5K less than the average auto-only Polo GTI and less the half the original $30K sticker.
Holden VE Commodore SS
The VE was when entry-level sports Commodores really became great cars, and a Series II from 2012 will leave you slight change from $20,000 (enough for a much needed brake upgrade). Incredible value for a 530Nm, 6.0-litre V8 manual or auto that started life at $47,790 plus on-roads.
Volkswagen Passat V6 FSI
Myriad Golf GTI models from 2012 flood the market between $23,000 and $28,000 – why not belt all of them with the Passat V6 FSI for $25K, which dropped the 220kW 3.6-litre V6 from the pre-2012 R36 into a luxe-grade stealth model. It cost $55,990 and claims 0-100km/h in 5.5 seconds.
Lexus IS F/Volvo S60 Polestar
We can’t separate Japan and Sweden here. Where a 2012 M3, C63 or RS4 refuse to duck beneath $90K, you can get the IS F that debuted with a 505Nm 5.0-litre V8, sub-5.0sec 0-100km/h and $127K pricetag, now for $60K.
Even more astonishingly, a two-year-old S60 Polestar that has a 500Nm 3.0-litre turbo six, 4.9sec 0-100km/h and wore a $110K pricetag new, can now also be purchased for under $60K.
Audi A8 4.2 TDI quattro
Not traditional MOTOR fare, perhaps, but what you can get for just $85K (before bargaining) is an 800Nm, 5.5sec 0-100km/h, 4.2-litre V8 turbo-diesel Audi A8 with just 21,000km on the clock. This limousine retailed at $234,500 just three years ago – and that’s why it’s here.