Suggestions: Sports Cars Under € 3.000!

Buying a proper Sports Car for less than €3.000,-
Is it possible ?


Some may think that to buy a proper sports car you need to be a  NBA-er or  a Rock-Star… and spend lots of money.  To be honest the right way to do it, is that. Having a bank account with dozens of digits  and buying a Ferrari 599GTO, a Porsche GT3 RS or a Nissan GTR R35But, because life is unfair and not every one of us can afford $100.000+ for a car, or maybe even $30.000 for a decent  new car, there is the second (or even 3rd or 4th) hand market.

This article is about great used Sports Cars for less than € 3.000 (euros or dollars, pretty much the same).  This cars doesn’t cost a fortune, doesn’t have  500+hp or make the 0-62 mph in less than 4 secs, but that does not mean that they can’t put a smile on a driver’s face. A car that can make me smile must be able to go fast around a corner, must  offer a lot of grip and can have to go sideways. So my picks for a Sports Car under 3.000 are based on that criteria.

Ford Focus RS 2003  going Sideways
Ford Focus RS going sideways… No, unfortunately is not under € 3k

Definitely a  car with drive on the rear wheel is more proper sports car and more fun to drive, than a front wheel drive car, which doesn’t mean that FWD cars can’t be fun. So, most of the cars here are RWD (in Greece we call them on the “Right” Wheel Drive). Most of them are  from Japan  because  Japanese Market is the only that was offering great RWD drivers cars, such as AE86, Silvia S13 – S14, MX-5, RX-7. Though, still you can find some FWD  cars and a few picks from Europe.

As said above my criteria for a sports car are based on the cornering and the fun-to-drive, so few of the cars are weak (in horse power).  The weakest is the Peugeot 106 Rallye 1.6 16v with only 118 hp and the most powerful is the Nissan 300ZX (Z32) with a twin-turbo engine that produce 280 hp.
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Sports Cars Under € 3.000
The List

1986 Porsche 944  Turbo

1990 Nissan 300ZX  Twin-Turbo

1990 Nissan 240SX / Silvia S13

1990 Volkswagen Corrado G60

1990 Mazda RX-7 FC

1992 Honda Civic EG6 VTi

1992 Toyota MR2 

1992 Reanult Clio 16V

1993 Mazda MX-5

1995 Honda/Acura Integra Type-R

1996 BWM 318is E36

1997 Peugeot Rallye/GTi 1.6 16V

1997 Subaru Impreza 2.0 Turbo GT 4WD

You can scroll down by clicking on the links

Which is yours favorite? Leave a Reply…


Porsche 944  Turbo


The oldest one  of our list, with low budget sportscars,  is a car made by Porsche -a manufacteur that produce only expensive sportscars. The 944 turbo has a 2.5lt in-line 4-cylinder engine with a big turbo by KKK and it’s producing 220 bhp, which means that this one performs very well.  How well?  From 0-100 km/h  6.2 sec and  top speed 244km/h (152mph). Besides the  strong engine, this car has great weight ballance, due to the placement of the gearbox in the back, and a very accurate  steering. So, you do the math, accurate steering plus good weight ballance makes a great handling car, add to that the good performance and we have a great sportscar. The only question with a 1986 car is… for how long?


Nissan Fairlady 300ZX  Twin Turbo (Z32)


The 300ZX  Z32 was introduced in 1989 and was an instant hit. Motor Trend named it the imported “car of the year”, while Car and Driver named it “one of the worlds 10 best cars“. The 300ZX mates a powerful engine with excellent road holding qualities. Power is provided by twin turbochargers, which require much less spool-up time that comparably powerful single-turbo set ups. The 300ZX also features  4 wheel steering. Probably the best sportscar of this list, definitely the most powerful and i think  the most beautiful. It could be my favourite but it is not.


This one goesn’t need anything, but if you  want to spend some money there is almost anything possible even 600-700 bhp.


Nissan 240SX / Silvia S13


If we want a car that can put a smile on a driver’s face, we need a car that can  go sideway – a car that can drift. The Nissan’s 200SX/240SX/S13, call it as you prefer, is  the most prefered driftcar by drifters all around the world (if we count-in s13, s14 & s15). The Nissan’s Drift-Machine has a good weight balance 55%-45% Front – Rear and weights 1.150 kg. The K’s (Kings) versions had standard limited-slip-differentials   and were offerd optional with 4 wheel steering.  The best engine, in the rage of the S13, is the turbocharged  SR20DET that produce 205bhp (27,5 kgm torque).  Conclusion: The best car if you want to look at the world from the side windows.


Whatever you will need  to build  the best drift car ever, because this is the best base for the driftcar project,  and first of all… A good pair of hands!


Volkswagen Corrado G60


Launched in late 1988, was the succecor of the VW Scirocco. All Corrados were front-wheel drive and featured petrol engines.  a supercharged 1.8 litre, eight-valve inline-four, marketed as the G60, and delivering 160 bhp. The G60 is named for the G-Lader with which it is equipped, a scroll supercharger whose interior resembles the letter “G”. The G60 goes from 0-100 km/h in 8.5 sec and has a top speed of 225 km/h. When it came out it was one of the best front-wheel drive cars.


Mazda RX-7 FC


Mazda’s flagship sports car, the RX-7 had been around since 1978.  The Rx-7   FC3S (FC for short), which is the chassis code was made from 1986 to 1992, Rx-7’s made from ’86 to ’88 were known as Series 4 or S4 while ones from ’89 to ’92 where S5. The main differences between the two series were the introduction of VDI on the S5, redesigned taillights and front bumper, an increase in horsepower and torque, and a larger gas tank. The turbo model of the Rx-7, called Turbo II, was introduced in 1987 and was equipped with a top mount intercooler and a water cooled turbocharger putting out 182 horsepower on an S4 and 200 on an S5. Of corse we are talking here about the Turbo II editions.


This picture is unbelievable! I could not ask for more from a car…Simply perferct!


Honda Civic EG6 VTi


What makes a Honda Civic Vti a proper sportscar? The anser is the engine. Where every other engine stops the B16A2 just starts (VTEC kicks in). With reds almost at 8.500 RPM it could be only compared with models from Maranello. Besides the engine, the other great thing about the Civic   is that it’s like (or other opensources), simply you can find any plugin you need-because its so popular. Plus i really love the way it looks.  On the over hand it’s the… hand-ling. It’s commonly know that the Civic’s aren’t great going around corners. But once you manage to pass the corner and you are back on a straight road   you can  focus on the performance that offers the 160bhp/7.600RPM engine. Combined  with the lightweight body  of 1080 kg the VTi goes from O-100 km/h in 7.8secs and has a top speed of 218 km/h.


Highly  recommended  is making this one able to turn. So, it’s worth spending € 1.000 more on the suspension. Firts of all putting   sway bars 24mm front and 22-24mm rear with asr brace, front and rear strut tower braces. Changing the stock spring with a good pair such as Spoon or Eibach, which are popular. With  this changes the VTi’s handling should be transformed (if someone needs more there  are full coilover kits).


Toyota MR2 


There are sports cars and there are sports cars. Where once it was easy to define what a sports car was it’s no longer as easy with cars today. Where once a sports car was a stripped down, souped-up model with the emphasis on performance and handling, it seems today a sports car is anything with a folding roof. Toyota’s MR2, however, stuck to the traditional formula. The emphasis was definitely on the on-road performance, which makes it a great car for the enthusiast driver.

The second generation MR2, the SW20 is  a pretty little two-door, mid-engined, Targa-topped coupe with well-balanced proportions that gave it an athletic stance. Based on the MR 2 looks and engine layout it was also known  as “the poor man’s Ferrari” and many Ferrari Replica’s was based on it. But it wasn’t just a pretty face. The MR2 might have been small, but it was a pocket dynamo on the road. Its mid-engined layout gave it a balance that was close to perfect. With an agility few other cars could match, coupled with brilliant steering precision, the MR2 would swallow up a winding road like few others.

In US and Japan there where available  Turbo, GT-S and GT versions  of the MR 2 with turbocharged engines that produced up to 220hp. In the european market the car was offered only in natural aspirated editions with power up to 156 Hp.


TRD2000GT full kit that was boasting the car up to 500 bhp!  Or… Maybe a Ferrari bagde…?



Reanult Clio 16V


During 1991,  Renault added  a 1.8 L 16-valve engine producing 137 hp, to the Clio engine range. The new engine  capable of propelling the car to 208 km/h (129 mph). This Clio version is known simply as the  Clio 16V. As well as having higher top speed than a regular Clio, the 16V sported wider plastic front wings, an offset bonnet vent, wider rear arches and uprated suspension and brakes, and colour-coded front mirrors and bumpers. The 16V, as almost every little French car, has great handling and is very well balanced.  And later in 1993 came the Clio Williams…! (Unfortunately is hard to find a decent one for less than €6.000-7.000)


Mazda MX-5


To be honest convertible cars are not my thing. I just don’t get them. So as you may notice in this list there is only one convertible car, Mazda’s MX5. There’s something about this little car that is enamouring. It’s not any one specific reason, and it’s more subjective than you’ll find written on a stats sheet.  I do enjoy the original MX-5 for its simplicity.

Let’s face it, if you want a great sports car the recipe is rather simple. You need a front mounted  engine with rear-wheel drive layout, a limited slip differential and lightweight construction. Add this light weight philosophy to a suspension set-up aimed at maximising the car’s intent, then it’s obvious to see how the MX-5 came to represent a side of motoring long since forgotten – a pure enjoyment in the relationship between man and machine. MX-5  is a true sportscar, built light with a great chassis, good looks and enough character to please.

The fact is that if you want a sports car, the MX-5 is perfect. Nothing on the road will give you better value. Nothing will give you so much fun.


The only Miata  criticism is the lack of power. So, a  supercharger -or a turbo-  will fit perfectly the MX-5 character.   The handling is already very keen but adding some uprated suspension can dramatically improve the handling. Add to this some front and rear braces, a roll cage,  a stiffer  anti-roll bar to the rear, a pair of good tires  and  brakes from the 1.8 model  and you have the best track day car ever!


Honda/Acura Integra Type-R



BWM 318is



Peugeot 106  Rallye/GTi 1.6 16v


This little French car  is a real go-cart.  With weight just over 900kg,  a small 1.587cc engine (TU5J4) that produce 118 bhp and a suspension adjusted by Peugeot Sport this car is one of the best handling vehicles you can buy. The performances aren’t that great, it needs 8.7sec from 0-100km/h and has a top speed  203 km/h, but around a “tight circuit” or a curvy road has no competitor.


I would love it to be super-clean. So, probably i wouldn’t make any changes, but if I had to make changes i would add the roll-cage, like in the photo above, a pair of good tires and change the intake system, as well as the exhaust.


Subaru Impreza 2.0 Turbo GT 4WD


In this post aren’t included any American cars like Mustangs or Camaros, that are affordable sportscars, because in Greece they would be much more expensive than 3.000, due to taxes on large capacity engines.  So, definitely there are much more  great cars under 3.000  around the world. In Japan,  perhaps, you can buy a  decent GT-R R32 for $4.000-5.000.  So I am waiting for your replies  and suggestions on budget Sports Cars!


The End


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