Looking for a bit of the RWD fun? Here are ten affordable ways into the world of sideways motoring
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True, the Jaguar XKR doesn't come with a manual gearbox, but don’t let that dissuade you from what is a very muscular 370bhp super coupe. Combining Jaguar’s traditionally compliant ride with some real grunt makes for the perfect cruiser, and now one can be yours for the price of a new Jag’s carbon ceramic brake discs. Its looks have aged particularly well, and while there may be quicker ways to get from A-to-B, in either convertible or coupe form the supercharged XKR remains one of the most stylish. Good ones are around the £8000 mark, which will get you a well-maintained 2002 car.
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Now in its fourth generation, and staying steadfastly true to its original formula, the Mazda MX-5 is the perfect convertible for those on a budget. Prices for the Mk1 and Mk2 models start from less than £1000, however even the third generation models, with no corrosion issues, can be had from as little as £3500. Facelifted post-2006 2.0-litre Sport models, with standard LSD, are closer to £6000. Mint condition first generation cars are now going up in value – with a premium paid for completely original examples. The MX-5 also enjoys a thriving tuning scene, with companies such as BBR offering various tuning packages – transforming a relatively mild road car into a fire-breathing turbocharged monster for a modest outlay.
When Colin Chapman designed a car, the fundamentals generally had lasting appeal. Case in point: the Lotus Seven. After years of tinkering, the chassis blueprints were sold to Caterham in the early ‘70s, and the sports car company hasn’t looked back since. The tubular steel frame and exposed suspension quarters have helped the Seven become the track-day car of choice, and with engines from the likes of Ford and Vauxhall all making appearances, the only real choice for buyers is, ‘how much performance can I handle?’ Values generally stay very strong, so one in good condition with a decent amount of performance can be found from about £12,000.
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