Cheap supercars | Six of the Best

Well, comparatively cheap in a scarily expensive world

By PH Staff / Saturday, 29 October 2022 / Loading comments

Audi R8 RWS, 2018, 22k, £83,500

The new run-out GT might be the most exciting R8 ever, but its origins are to be found in the RWS. It was a most unexpected move from Audi, perhaps even more so than the GT is now. A manufacturer famous for its four-wheel drive systems removed the front driveshafts from its famously usable Quattro supercar. And made just 999 of them. The RWS wasn’t quite the GT3 rival some were hoping for, but it was the best second-gen R8 to drive at the time – even with just the 540hp from the non-Performance version of the 5.2 V10. Now the limited edition holds additional appeal with the later RWD making series production and the R8 bowing out in rear-drive format. This one certainly does supercar drama alright – check out that leather! – and is yours for £83,500 with 22k miles.

Ferrari 599 GTB, 2007, 40k, £79,990

Though a 599 will cost as much to run as an aircraft carrier, it’s not hard to see the value in an Enzo-engined Ferrari – with as much horsepower as a new Roma – for the price of a new BMW M3. Look at what values for its predecessors – the 550 Maranello and 575 – have done in recent times, especially for the most desirable specs. The 599 was an enormous step on from both those cars in performance, technology, and driveability, which is why cars like this can be found with 40k on them – practically unheard of for the older V12s. But with the ability to reach 100mph in less than eight seconds and scream to 8,500rpm, the Maranello supercar drama is undoubtedly intact. An F1 gearbox might limit the appeal for some, yes, though good luck getting a manual – the last we saw was half a million.

McLaren 570S, 2016, 18k, £82,995

While the concept of a relatively affordable McLaren is no longer anything new, it still has the power to surprise. This 570S is perfect proof. You couldn’t wish for a more dramatic supercar – V8 in the middle, carbon tub, doors that go up at a silly angle – and this will be the fastest car here, what with the featherweight construction and mighty twin-turbocharged torque. Yet in a cool spec with some optional carbon and Vermillion Red paint, this 570S is for sale at £82,995 with 18,000 miles. Hardly a car to swap the Elise for, but not an awful lot of money for a bonafide (and brilliant) 200mph supercar. The infotainment won’t have aged well and the Sports Series hasn’t been without reliability concerns, but everything so admired about the 570 ought to be intact as well. And that’s more important.

Lamborghini Gallardo, 2005, 48k, £74,995

Alright, we get it: for some people, a supercar isn’t a proper supercar without an engine that revs to the high heavens and an open-gated manual gearbox to get the best from it. We’ve ticked off the first of those demands in all the cars here, but the latter has been missing – not in the Gallardo. Sat proudly ahead of that Audi dash is a six-speed to click and clack to your heart’s delight, which promises to be quite the experience when mated to the iconic 500hp V10. Ideally, this car would be the later two-wheel drive manual Gallardo, but they’re both rare and expensive. Never mind: for old-school supercar thrills in a package that still looks great, the original baby Lambo still has it. This one has fewer than 50,000 miles, and is for sale at £74,995.

Aston Martin DB9 manual, 2007, 28k, £47,850

Now, securing a great V12 for the price of a base 911 is good, but we can do better than that. This Aston Martin DB9, with the legendary 5.9-litre engine and the very rare manual gearbox, is available for £47,850 – or about what a new BMW M240i might cost. This isn’t some high mileage, risky buy, either – even if an amount of caution is advised for any 15-year-old V12. It’s done just 28,000 miles, is being sold (and has just been serviced by) a marque specialist, and comes in a suave spec of Meteorite Grey over Kestrel Tan. Almost 20 years after it was first seen, the DB9 undoubtedly still cuts a dash, and you don’t need us to explain why the pairing of this engine and gearbox might appeal. Aston’s recent and most special V12s – think Victor and V600 – didn’t have automatics now, did they…

Noble M12 GTO, 2002, 66k, £41,995

Half the price of some on this list and yet undoubtedly near the top when it comes to sheer thrills, it’s hard to overstate the impact of the M12 at the turn of the century. From almost nowhere, Lee Noble made a mid-engined car that outhandled and outperformed absolutely everything at the money – and plenty that cost a lot more, too. That won’t be any different today, at only a little more than £40k as well. In the best British giant-killing tradition, the M12’s ingredients were humble – right down to the Mondeo V6 – but the execution was world-class, with uncanny ability and feedback. This GTO is even more interesting than most, with a six-speed gearbox added later in life – said to be one of just two with it – and a host of factory upgrades fitted as one of the first produced. The M12 may not have a glamorous supercar badge, or the most beautiful styling, but there remains little to match it as a driving experience. 

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