Cheap is a relative term, of course.
Due to the cost of developing doors that lift up and out rather than outward to one side, as most people want and expect, butterfly doors are expensive to implement, and add a sizeable sum to the end price of the car. Mostly, you'll find them on more exotic supercars. Over the decades, some companies have tried to make them affordable, but, as you'll see lower down this list, those models are few and far between. Still, if you are on a budget, it can be done. If you're on a healthy budget, there are some good options.
There are plenty of cars with doors that go up rather than out, bu butterfly doors are a particular style and different to scissor or gullwing doors. Scissor car doors open upward and forward, while butterfly doors angle out when they're up. The difference becomes clear looking at the car with the doors open directly from the front. Gullwing doors open outward and up, making the car look like it has wings from the front.
Below, you can see an example of each on a McLaren (butterfly), Lamborghini (scissor), and Mercedes-Benz (gullwing).
So what are the cheapest cars with butterfly doors you can buy?
If you want a cheap car with butterfly doors that a previous owner didn't retrofit, you have to consider the Toyota Cera. The Japanese automaker built the Cera between 1990 and 1996 exclusively for the Japanese market, but they do come up for sale in other countries. The most expensive one we could find in recent years sold for $18,150, and the cheapest went for $4,566.
While not commanding crazy collector prices, it is a collector's piece. It came from a period when Japan's automakers were in a financial bubble and had crazy money to spend on developing and building cars. It was a small coupe that was largely forgettable except for its glass roof and butterfly doors. Unlike anything else you can find with butterfly doors, it was powered by a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine like most economy-based Toyotas of its time. If you want to wow people at a Redwood event, this is one of the less expensive ways - if you can find one.
The BMW i8 appeared in 2014 as the company's attempt at pioneering plug-in hybrid technology into a sports car. Relatively speaking, it is now a cheap car because of a steep depreciation curve from new. Not relatively speaking, it's the only BMW with butterfly doors. The MSRP on the i8, which BMW sold new until 2020, was $147,500. Now, you can find them for half of that easily, with the lowest we've seen on a quick search being $55,950. It's powered by a turbocharged three-cylinder engine and a hybrid synchronous electric motor. They combined to make a total of 369 horsepower in 2020, but the i8 could also drive in pure electric mode, with the engine only kicking in to act as a generator to charge the batteries. Its styling was dramatic and topped off by the exotic butterfly doors, and it still turns heads on the road.
The MC20 is Maserati's first full-blooded sports car in decades, and it's audacious in style and content. The styling is heavy and unmistakably Maserati, and the MC20 is topped off with a set of butterfly doors. It's not the cheapest car you can buy with butterfly doors, but it's the least expensive to buy new at $212,000. It's also fast as hell with its mid-mounted twin-turbo V6 making 621 hp. Of course, you also get Maserati's reputation for reliability, and we've already seen one at the side of the road with steam pouring out of the engine bay.
McLaren's latest addition to its stable is its most affordable supercar at around $233,000. It's not McLaren's most eye-catching car, but it has butterfly doors as part of its design. The McLaren Artura is the second cheapest car you can buy new with butterfly doors. It's a hybrid supercar with a 3.0-liter V6 engine and a plug-in system that adds up to a total of 671 hp and 593 lb-ft of torque. It's bordering on the entry/mid-level of supercars in price, but it certainly isn't a step-down for McLaren in terms of performance and technology.
Mercedes and McLaren built the SLR together from 2003 to 2009. It's a masterclass in grand touring style and luxury, including a beautiful pair of butterfly doors. It'll cost you more than a new McLaren Artura, and you'll have to wait until one of the 2,157 units comes up for sale, but because the numbers weren't strictly limited, they still pop-up for sale between $300,000 and $400,000, although you can pay over half a million. While far from the cheapest car with butterfly doors, it's surprisingly not appreciated to astronomical prices for a great example. Yet. It is the only Mercedes with butterfly doors, though, as the original SLR and the more modern AMG SLR both have gullwing doors.
If you want a Ferrari with butterfly doors, you have two choices, and neither is cheap. Ferrari tends to let the rest of the car do the talking and leave the doors that open up to Lamborghini, but the legendary Ferrari Enzo and LaFerrari models both come with doors that open upward and outward. It might change in the future, but if you have several million dollars to spend, you're more likely to get the older Ferrari Enzo for less cash. It was made from 2002 to 2004, featuring technology banned from Formula 1 race cars and packing a V12 engine producing around 650 hp. The Enzo below is the only white one that left the factory and is set to go for crazy money.