This sector throws up a whole host of temptation, but don’t believe the old chestnut you can drive an older supercar for the same outlay as something more prosaic. It’s not true. But sporty and rear/mid-engined, you say? Stylish, interesting and with a name you can happily drop during car-heavy conversations? RWD and tipped heavily towards a smile that might split your head clean in two? We might have an answer for that…
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New vs Used: Alpine A110 vs Porsche 911 Carrera S
Here are two options: new, French and superb or old, German and superb
New Renault Alpine A110 – £46,500–£52,000
Good: Super-light, looks great, goes like stink, remarkably good at the boring stuff
Bad: Little luggage space to speak of, punchy new price
A brand-new 250bhp Renault Alpine A110 lists at around £46.5k for the Pure, so make that £50,000 with a couple of options. It’s light but not stripped-out – making it an absolute poster child for the benefits of light weight – comes with plenty of character and handles like a dream; the kind of slick wits that you get from a Lotus, but without the feeling of fragility. Even the semi-auto ’box is impressive, and you don’t miss a manual all that much once you get used to which mode does what. It’s very new, attracts much attention, is the current darling of the motoring press – it won Top Gear’s Performance Car of the Year trophy – has a cute and non-aggressive blend of retro-futurism going on, and makes all the right noises. It’s an enthusiast car that doesn’t feel like a hair shirt. There’s also a lot to be said for a car that sips fuel, and goes easy on tyres and brakes.
Pre-loved Porsche 911 Carrera S – £30,000+
Good: Iconic, ridiculously practical for the sector, an absolute hoot to drive
Bad: Everyone’s got one, insurance… er…not much else
So nearly £50,000, eh? For that, you can manage the obvious rivals (like a Porsche Cayman or TT RS, etc), but how about looking at something more prestigious with a few miles under its belt? The bigger, already iconic Porsche 911, for instance. There are plenty of 997 911s available for under £50k, and even a cursory search of Porsche’s UK-wide approved used website reveals decent choice with under 30k on the clock. How about a 385bhp grey metallic 911 Carrera S with PDK and Sport Chrono Package Plus, and just 28,000 miles, including a couple of years left to run on a Porsche warranty? It might not have the ‘new’ appeal of the really rather wonderful Alpine, but you’re getting a lot of car for the money, and one with a broader day-to-day reach than the committed little A110, which only really has space for a few pairs of pants and a briefcase.