Exotic cars for less than $80k? Here's what we'd buy
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With $80,000 in hand, what sort of car would you be buying? Considering that it's almost what a new Hyundai Santa Fe goes for, we can imagine most would be going for a family-friendly SUV of some sort.
But what if your taste was a little kookier than that? What if you were looking for the most exotic car that you could get your hands on for the money?
We've put together a few options that are currently listed on DRIVEN, so have a browse, and see if any of these tickle your fancy.
Also, don't forget to vote for your favourite at the bottom of the page!
Andrew: 2002 Renault Sport Clio V6
Front-engined, turbocharged, front-wheel drive has been the proven formula for hot hatches for decades now. And while the odd manufacturer will throw an all-wheel drive system into the mix, it still does come close to this Renault on the quirky factor.
That's because Renault Sport took inspiration from the iconic R5 Turbo when creating the quirky little Clio V6, and replaced the rear seats with the biggest engine possible.
The French brand didn't settle for any old engine either, deciding to cram a 3.0-litre V6 behind the front seats, but still leaving space behind it for those all-important shopping runs.
In this Mk1, the V6 makes 171kW and 300Nm. It's worth remembering that this is in a hatchback that weighs just over 1300kg, meaning that it would hit 100km/h in just over six seconds.
Not only did this quasi-coupe benefit from a big V6 engine, but it also featured a rear-wheel drive powertrain, meaning that it couldn't have been further from the standard Clio hatch.
Just over 1,500 of these Mk1 Clio V6s were produced, making them quite a hot commodity in the car collecting world.
This example that's listed on DRIVEN has come over from America, so is in a left-hand drive configuration, but has only covered 57,000km since new.
David: 2002 Ford Focus RS
The first-generation Ford Focus was a really special machine – one of the best-to-drive mainstream cars ever made.
The RS version of that model, therefore, is an even more special machine. It marked the return of the Rallye Sport badge to a new Ford after a lengthy absence and the company went all-out: 70 per cent of the car was new compared with the humble hatch it was based on.
The first-gen Focus RS is now a rare car: just 4500 were made. But this 2002 car is one of the rarest of all: Ford development car #0000. It’s one of only two such surviving examples (#0001 is owned by Ford in the UK) and a genuine collector’s car – which does explain the rather large $79,990 pricetag.
It’s an enthusiast’s dream: front-drive (which is what hot hatches are supposed to be), manual, Sparco seats. This also now stands as the very first in a model line that’s just been discontinued, with Ford having confirmed it’s not planning another Focus RS. So never mind the money… this is a real investment.
Dean: 1991 Nissan Pulsar GTI-R
When Nissan built the 15,000 or so Pulsar/Sunny GTI-Rs to go WRC racing in 1990-1992, it had to build a run of homologation models designed for motorsport, and called these the RB. They had wind up windows, vinyl seats, no AC and a close ration gearbox. And when this RB appeared in DRIVEN recently, I let out a very girly squeal. Maybe.
This is not just an RB model, but one with all the Nismo motorsport accessories of the time, and looks exactly like the catalogue cover car: including the red and blue stripes, the roll cage, the seats, steering wheel and gearknob, plus a front-mounted intercooler, its only major nod against authenticity but towards performance. It’s listed for $60,000, which given current asking prices of mint ‘RA’ road cars, isn’t too excessive. And $20k under our budget. Would I? Abso-damn-lutely!