We talk a lot about how you don’t need a lot of horsepower to have fun. And we stand by that. Absolutely leaning on a low-powered car is more fun than tiptoeing around in a high-powered hypercar. And we stand by that too. But here’s a third point we stand by: you don’t even need to be wringing a low-powered car’s neck to extract proper fun. And for a lot of you, that might be a tough sell.
But what, exactly, defines ‘low-powered’? In 2020, that generally means anything less than 300bhp, but we’re from an era when that amount of horsepower was a metric boatload, so we’re definitely going to head lower than that.
Less than 200? Absolutely. Two hundred brake horsepower is the sort of shove that takes machinery like Renaultsport Clio 200s and MkV Golf GTIs to properly licence-shredding speeds. The GT86-BRZ twins come in at about 200bhp as well, which means that we’ve three perfect examples of low-ish power being fun.
But what about less than 150bhp? Modern wisdom would suggest that fun evaporates once you drop below this mark. It’s half of what you get (and apparently need) in a modern hot hatch, a quarter the power of a performance saloon and increasingly infinitesimal fractions of what you get from modern super and hypercars. Surely, Shirley, sub-150bhp is a fun-free zone.