3 Nov 2012

Help me buy a supercar for £9,000

Speedmonkey's editor and chief contributor, Matt Hubbard, is looking for a new car.  The budget is £9,000 and it's got to have lots of power. 

I am now in the lucky position of being over 40 and, therefore, insurance costs don't matter when looking for a new car.  As previously mentioned I normally own cars for less than 12 months but have loved the Golf V6 4Motion so much I've hung on to it for over 2 years.

But soon the time will come to purchase a new set of wheels.  As an Autotrader, eBay and Sunday Times Driving addict I know exactly what's out there and have a very long shortlist.  The budget is £9,000 and it's got to be powerful with, if possible, a V8.  I've had enough of cars that handle but don't have enough poke to really get going.  I don't care about economy as I don't have a daily commute so it'll only be used a few miles a day with the occasional long trip.  I prefer four wheel drive to rear wheel drive - and front wheel drive is out all together.  Oh, and we've got 3 dogs so, if the car I buy doesn't have a boot, I'll need to keep the Golf.  But that's OK.

This is my shortlist, in alphabetical order.  Let me know what you think via the comments section below, twitter or facebook.  If you think I have missed any contenders then please tell me.  Remember, the budget is £9,000.  I look forward to hearing what you have to say about these cars.

2004 Audi S4 Quattro Avant

The S4 ticks all the boxes.  Practical estate, lots of space and powered by a 4.2 litre V8 with 344bhp.  It does 0-60mph in 5.8 seconds and has four wheel drive.  The only downside to the S4 is that it is a bit clinical.

2001 Audi RS4 Quattro Avant

Bonkers fast.  Powered by a 2.7 litre twin turbo with 380bhp.  The RS4 will do 0-60 in 4.9 seconds.  But, for the budget, it's older than the S4.  In fact an affordable RS4 goes back another generation to the B5.  It has a heavy clutch and immediate engine response - is it too raw for use as a daily driver.

2003 Audi RS6 Quattro Avant

Combines the best of the S4 and RS4 but, due to massive depreciation, they are affordable.  Twin turbo V8 pushing out 450bhp and 0-60 in 4.7 seconds.  I drove one of these some time back and was mightily impressed.  However, if anything goes wrong it'll cost.  Fuel consumption will be in single figures most of the time.

2004 BMW M3 Coupe

The first of the selection that would mean I'd have to keep the Golf.  343bhp from a naturally aspirated 3.2 litre engine means it's quite stressed and they have been known to dump all their oil and terminally implode.  0-60 in 5.2 seconds means an M3 would bring performance and handling together.

2006 Mercedes-Benz C 55 AMG

At the moment I can find only saloons on the market for under £9,000.  However, estate or saloon, the C 55 AMG represents everything that Mercedes do well - a capable and refined chassis mated to a massive 5.4 litre V8.  0-60 is achieved in 5.2 seconds and it's got 367bhp.  What is there not to like about a C 55 AMG?

2002 Mercedes-Benz SL 500

A gentlemen's sports car with a 5 litre V8 pushing out 306bhp and dashing to 60mph in 6.3 seconds.  This is a heart ruling the head car.  The SL is one of the most beautiful modern cars Mercedes have made.  It also sounds fantastic.

1998 Porsche 996 (911) Carrera 

The maligned 996 is actually a great car.  A 3.4 litre, flat six, laid over the rear axle produces 300bhp and jumps from 0-60 in 6 seconds.  But a Porsche 911 isn't purely about power - it's the overall package.  A daily driver with supreme handling and feedback.  However, a 1998 911 may come with a whole host of hidden problems.

2004 Porsche Boxster 2.7

Is it worth buying a newer Boxster rather than an older 911 purely because it's newer and therefore less likely to cost a fortune to keep on the road?  The Boxster comes with 228bhp and does 0-60 in 7.3 seconds - so it's not all that fast.  However, does the Porsche cachet over-rule something like, say, a Mercedes SL 500?

1999 TVR Chimaera 4.0

The only car here faster than the RS4.  The Chimaera has that vast 4 litre V8 (the same as in our Land Rover Discovery V8).  It only produces 235bhp but, because it is so light, does 0-60mph in 4.8 seconds.  It has the best soundtrack of almost any car on the road - but are TVRs just too unreliable to use as a daily driver?  Handles and drives like a dream - when it's not broken.

2007 Vauxhall Monaro

An out and out V8 supercar disguised as a family sized coupe.  333bhp from it's 5.7 litre V8 and 0-60 in 6 seconds.  It's loud and brutal.  It will be reliable and won't cost a huge amount to keep on the road.  A sensible supercar but is it better than a C 55 AMG?

2003 Vauxhall VX220

The most hardcore of all the cars on this list.  Essentially a Lotus Elise in Vauxhall clothes, and cheaper for it.  It produces 147bhp from it's 2.2 litre inline 4 engine but, because it only weighs 900kg, does 0-60mph in 5.6 seconds.  Reliable, cheap to run, fast and the best handling - but immensely impractical.

All photos courtesy of Autotrader