#Affordable #sports #cars #2017
Affordable sports cars 2017
Best new sports coupes and convertibles for under $35,000
Credit Fiat’s merger with Chrysler for the resurrection of the Fiat 124 for the 2017 model year more than three decades after the Sp >(Webb Bland)
Italian sports cars are no longer a luxury to be enjoyed by the business elite, glitterati and other 1-percenters. Fiat will be resurrect its famed roadster this summer and sell it a reasonable price.
With the base model available for less than $25,000, the Fiat 124 Spider will be the everyman’s (sorta-) Italian sports car.
Well, if we’re being literal, the 2017 124 Spider, which is based heavily on the current generation MX-5 Miata, will be assembled in Mazda’s Hiroshima Plant in Japan, making the reborn roadster something of a spaghetti eastern.
Regardless of where it’s built, the exterior styling and the turbocharged 1.4-liter inline-four cylinder engine are both as Italian as grandma’s home cooking (not my grandma, per se, but you know what I mean).
In honor of this victory for the workingman, we’ve assembled a list of the top affordable sports cars on the new car market today. This list includes performance-oriented coupes and convertibles (sorry hot hatch fans) that are available with an manufacturer suggested retail price of $35,000 or less.
2016 Chevrolet Camaro
Leading off our (alphabetically-ordered) list is an American muscle >(Chevrolet)
A reborn classic from the 1960s, the 2016 Camaro is a mix of old school muscle and modern styling. The sixth generation Camaro shares a platform with the Cadillac ATS and CTS that makes it stiffer, lighter, smaller and more aerodynamic that the previous generation.
Chevrolet has a 640-horsepower Camaro ZL1 on the way for the 2017 model year (which we got a look at during the New York Auto Show) but there’s no word on price for that mean machine. So, for now, we’ll leave you with the perfectly qualified 2016 Camaro, which starts at $25,700.
2016 Dodge Challenger R/T Plus
Another >(Jim Frenak – FPI Studios)
Another reboot from the golden age of muscle cars, the Dodge Challenger was born in the 60s, temporarily discontinued, then brought back bigger and badder than ever around the turn of the 21 st century. Featuring Dodge’s signature HEMI engine, the Challenger is a force to be reckoned with in the sports coupe world.
The Challenger comes in a variety of engine styles, ranging all the way up to the SRT Hellcat, which pumps out an astonishing 707 horsepower. However, for this list, the way to go is the R/T Plus, which will get you a 5.7-liter, 375-horsepower HEMI along with 20-inch polished aluminum wheels, a body color rear spoiler and some other styling goodies all for $34,995 (the regular R/T will get you the same engine in a slightly less fancy package for $31,995).
2016 Ford Mustang GT Fastback
The Mustang stands as the longest continuously produced sports car line in America, tracing its roots back to 1964. The coupe’s long-hood, short rear-end layout would become the standard for sports cars such as the Chevrolet Camaro, Dodge Challenger and others that have not withstood the test of time.
This is the granddaddy of the modern sports coupe and the namesake for the successors of the muscle cars, which came to be known as the pony cars. The Mustang GT Fastback features a 5.0-liter V8 engine that can get up to 435 horsepower and 400 lb.-ft. of torque.
Inside you’ll find a leather-wrapped steering wheel and parking break, as well as cloth bucket seats or, for a little extra dough, manually adjustable sports seats. This hunk of modern muscle will cost you $32,395.
2016 Hyundai Genesis Coupe
With a nimble, performance-tuned suspension suited for the sharpest of turns and a powerful 3.8-liter V6 engine that can make 348-horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque, this little coupe belongs in a >(Hyundai)
Perhaps overshadowed by its luxury sedan brother, the Genesis Coupe is a surprisingly fun and capable sports car in its own right. For starters, it’s got a 3.8-liter V6 engine that can make 348 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque and hit a top speed of 149 mph; its finely tuned suspension allows it to hug even the sharpest curve and a dual cat-back exhaust produces a sweet, sporty purr.
There’s even enough room in the back for a pair of stubby-legged passengers or, with the rear seats folded down, 10 cubic-feet of cargo space, which is pretty damn good for a coupe. With a base MSRP of $26,950, it ranks high on the bang-for-your-buck-o-meter.
2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata
Always a fan-favorite, the MX-5 Miata is light, tight and mighty fast, with a 155 horsepower behind the coupe’s 2,332 pounds of curb weight.
Of course, we couldn’t leave off the golden child of the sports coupe/convertible world, the MX-5 Miata. For those that have recently taken residence beneath rock, Mazda has been red-hot this past year, churning out quality car after quality car, and the MX-5 is no exception to that trend. Its 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine makes just 155 horsepower, but that’s more than enough for a car that weighs 2,332 pounds.
The fourth-generation Miata is lighter, has a lower center of gravity and more headroom, but it still maintains the exuberance that defined the first three generations. For a very reasonable $24,915, this memory-making machine could be all yours.
2016 Nissan 370Z
With a base weight of about 3,300 pounds, the 370Z is heavier than the Miata, but its 3.7-liter DOHC 24-valve V6 engine, which makes 332-horsepower, certainly makes up for the added lbs.
Not as hot of seller as the previous cars on this list, but the reigning Z-car has as much history behind it as just about any of its competitors, with a tradition dating back to the late 1960s. With a 3.7-liter V6 that can produce up to 332 horsepower, the Nissan 370Z is among the most powerful roadsters money (at least $35,000-worth of money) can buy from Japan.
The base and Sport trims of the 2016 370Z are both available for under $35,000, but the convertible version starts at $41,820, so it can go drop its top somewhere other than this list.
2016 Scion FR-S
Don’t get used to seeing the Scion badge on this money-wise sport coupe, as the FR-S looks to join the Toyota brand for the 2017 model year.
Consider the inclusion of the FR-S on this list a parting gift to Scion, although it is certainly a well deserved recognition. The FR-S was by far the best thing the soon-to-be-defunct brand did during its 13-year existence, which is why it will wear the Toyota badge while most of its siblings go to auto heaven (at least I hope that’s where they end up).
The FR-S, which will be rebranded as the Toyota 86, is powered by a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder Boxer-type engine that produces a peppy 200 horsepower and as much fun as just about any other car on this list. Pick up the standard FR-S for $27,200 or the premium-trim RS 2.0 for $31,405 and let the good times roll (right into a collectors item once the Scion brand goes bye bye).
2016 Subaru BRZ
Last but not least we have the Subaru BRZ, which is often an after thought in the world of sporting coupes (again, this gallery alphabetical, so no offense meant, Subaru).
The BRZ is not exactly Subaru’s most popular car, but that really is a shame because this sleek, stylish coupe embodies Subaru’s values in sports car form: reliable, fun and fuel efficient. The BRZ gets 25 mpg in the city and 34 on the highway, both impressive amidst these tiny gas-guzzling coupes.
Like most Subarus, the automotive media generally enjoys the BRZ but that doesn’t trickle down to the populace, which is a shame. Unless the populace doesn’t enjoy front-engine, rear-wheel-drive sports coupes with 200 horsepower and 151 lb.-ft. of torque that can hug the curves of the road while saving coin at the gas pump. If you do like that kinda stuff, consider the $25,395 BRZ before the secret gets out.
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