A used sports car can often be better than a brand-new one.
The all-new 992 generation Porsche 911 has finally arrived and we cannot wait to get behind the wheel. Porsche has only revealed the Carrera S and Carrera 4S versions, both of which are powered by a 3.0-liter twin-turbo flat-six producing 443 horsepower (a 23 hp gain over the outgoing model). A seven-speed manual transmission will be offered down the line but for now, an eight-speed PDK is the only transmission choice.
This new 911 is certainly quick, with 0-60 mph coming in just 3.5 seconds with rear-wheel-drive or 3.4 seconds with all-wheel-drive. Unfortunately, this performance won't come cheap with prices starting at $114,250 for the Carrera S and $121,650 for the Carrera 4S - and that's before delving into the crazy world of the Porsche options list. So if this price is a bit steep for you, we have compiled a list of seven cheaper used sports cars, including three from Porsche itself.
It is hard to imagine buying a Porsche with even greater performance than the all-new 992 Carrera S for less than $100,000. Most 911 models hold their value extremely well, though the top-range Turbo and Turbo S models have been known to depreciate quite drastically. We were able to find plenty of 991.1 generation used 911 Turbo and Turbo S models for under $100,000.
The Turbo S is powered by a 3.8-liter twin-turbo flat-six producing 552 hp. Power is sent to all four wheels via a seven-speed PDK, resulting in a 0-60 mph time of just 3.1 seconds according to Porsche, although there have been countless records of the Turbo S hitting 60 mph in less than three seconds.
As a sign of how expensive new cars have become, the new 911 Carerra S is more expensive in 2018 than the 911 GT3 was back in 2007. Although the new turbocharged car will likely be faster than even the race-focused GT3, we still love the feel of the older car. Unlike the new 911, which will depreciate like any other new car, the GT3 should hold its value.
The 997 generation GT3 was produced from 2007 to 2011, with only 917 units of the 997.1 and only 65 units of the 997.2 sold in the US. The 997.1 GT3 features a 3.6-liter flat-six producing 415 hp while the 997.2 was upped to 3.8-liters and 435 hp. Both cars send power to the rear through a six-speed manual transmission.
Most Porsche enthusiasts will argue that the Cayman is only for people who simply can't afford a 911. While in this case we are arguing the virtues of the Cayman because it is cheaper than the 911, we actually prefer the Cayman in certain respects. We have included the used Cayman GT4 on this list because it is the most hardcore Cayman ever created. Its 3.8-liter flat-six produces a healthy 385 hp sent to the tarmac via a six-speed manual transmission. Though it isn't as powerful as a new 911, the GT4's 2,955-pound curb weight makes it a track monster. We found used examples starting in the low $80,000 range and we expect prices to hold steady because it is a specialty Porsche model.
Fans of hardcore 911s will have to wait a while for the more potent 992s to arrive. In the meantime, may we suggest buying the most powerful car in the Jaguar range, the F-Type SVR? This potent sports car packs a 5.0-liter supercharged V8 producing a whopping 575 hp going out to AWD through an eight-speed automatic. A new example costs a bit more than a new Carrera S, though we found 2017 used F-Type SVR models starting in the low $90,000 range.
To true car enthusiasts, a new 911 is a very special car - to the average onlooker, it is just another Porsche. If you'd like to stand out a bit more, you should look at a used BMW i8. Used i8 prices have plummeted recently and they can now be had for less than half of their original asking price - we found plenty of examples in the low $60,000 range. The i8 is powered by a 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder paired with an electric motor driving the front wheels for a total output of 369 hp. Not only do the doors open upwards, but you'll also be able to drive 22 miles on electric power alone, saving money on fuel, while looking cool in the process.
Some people have criticized Porsche for the sound of its new turbocharged flat-six engines. These new motors don't sound as visceral as the old naturally aspirated flat-sixes and they certainly don't sound as good as our next choice. For less than $100,000, you can now buy an Aston Martin V12 Vantage S. This incredible sports car is powered by a lovely 5.9-liter V12 engine producing 565 hp. Unfortunately, the models in the price range have the seven-speed automatic rather than the later seven-speed manual option.
Let's get one thing straight - when it comes to luxury and material quality, the Porsche 911 trounces the Chevrolet Corvette. However, the Corvette is a performance bargain compared to the 911. Even a brand-new Corvette ZR1 with 755 hp costs less than a base Carrera 4S. While it is possible to get a used ZR1 for less than the price of a new 911, we recommend buying an even greater bargain, a used Z06. We found used examples of the C7 Z06 for less than $60,000. Even though it is no longer the most powerful Vette, the Z06 still producing a whopping 650 hp from a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 going out through a seven-speed manual or eight-speed automatic.