Top performance car investments part two: $25K-$50K

Affordable Performance Cars

So you have read Part One of our affordable performance car investment piece and have decided that you have more than $25,000 to splash. Well done. Good on you, big spender.

Part One tallied the first half of our 10 affordable sports car nominations, with the Mazda NA MX-5, Peugeot 205 GTI, original Subaru WRX, Honda Integra DC2 Type-R and – deep breath, be still our beating hearts – Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI Tommi Makinen Edition all currently costing less than $25,000. For the second five nominations, we look at performance car investments costing between $25,000 and $50,000.

2001 Holden V2 Monaro

2001-Holden-V2-Monaro.jpgPunters were swept off their feet when the cloak was swept off the Commodore Coupe Concept at the 1998 Sydney motor show, and what became 2001’s Monaro was always going to have leggy longevity. We spotted a CV8 – 5.7-litre Gen III V8 and six-speed manual transmission, the ideal combo – with 13,000km on the clock for $39,990. If that sounds a lot for a 16-year-old VX-based two-door Commodore, then it is. But you’re unlikely to lose a jot.

2001 BMW E46 M3


Finding a soaring 3.2-litre straight six-cylinder matched with a manual transmission will be as difficult as finding sobriety at Oktoberfest, but it’s worth it over the single-clutch auto. Prices for a good E46 are now starting to overlap that of the following (also brilliant) 4.0-litre V8-engined E92 at around the $35,000 to $45,000 mark – which is a good sign that they’re on the ascent. We spotted a 2001 manual with 90,000km on the clock for $39,990.

2002 Mazda RX-7 Spirit-R

2002-Mazda-RX-7-Spirit-R.jpgThe grand finale of a rotary-era icon, patchy reliability of the following RX-8 only further makes the last of the 1300cc, 13B twin-turbocharged FD-generation more in demand. Likewise its motorsport successes, both in Australia and abroad. To a degree these have already taken off price-wise, with immaculate examples of the special import model now trending above $50,000. Best get in quick if quick-spinning Japanese coupes are your thing.

2007 Audi RS4 Avant

2007-Audi-RS4-Avant.jpgThere are three reasons this RennSport-tuned B7-generation Audi should become a future classic – it teams an 8000rpm-redlined 4.2-litre naturally aspirated V8 with a six-speed manual only, and is available in a wagon bodystyle. Prices have sunk for RS4 sedan and convertible bodystyles, but the Avant has stabilised in the $40,000 to $50,000 bracket. The engine from an Audi R8 in a five-door family car should absolutely hold fort, too.

Last of the Ford Performance Vehicles (FPV)

FPV-Falcon-XR6-Sprint.jpgChoosing a Falcon XR6 Sprint and XR8 Sprint might be an obvious ‘keeper’ option. Shared with the latter Falcon, however, was the Boss 5.0-litre supercharged V8 engine that can be had in a 2011 FPV GS 315 for $30,000 with under 100,000km on the clock, or a last-of-the-line 2014 FPV GT 335 for $40,000 with about the same kays. Sure they had 315kW and 335kW, where the Sprint had 345kW, but in the real world skids really don’t give a damn.

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