Dear Top Gear,
I sold my (Porsche) Turbo for about P5M and was wondering what car I'll get. What car has comparable performance and speed? Something better suited for high-speed cruising rather than all-out track domination? Something rare and different, yet iconic that most people know what it is.
Out with the old, in with the new
Dear Out with the old, in with the new,
Here's a short list of cars to buy, both brand new and second hand that fall within your price range:
1. Corvette C6 ZO6--thundering 7-liter V8. Lightweight, track-biased yet comfortable to drive. The interior is plain cheap and horrible compared to a Porsche, the rear suspension is a leaf-spring, albeit transverse and made of composites rather than steel to help reduce weight, and the seats are like lazyboys. The chassis is also quite soft, not as stiff as a Porsche. But it is super fast, easy to drive thanks to gargantuan, wall-climbing torque and is rare, with only two ZO6's to our knowledge being here in the Philippines.
2. Mercedes Benz SL55 AMG--sounds like a WWII Messchersmit fighter plane, thundering V8 soundtrack overlaid by that mad supercharger whine. It's a Benz, so despite wearing AMG's finest add-ons, the Merc is a cruiser at heart. It's far more sophisticated, even more effortless to drive thanks to it being an automatic, and is quiet when you want it to be unlike the roaring NASCAR V8 of the ‘Vette. Chicks will dig this car. However, it weighs almost as much as a full-sized SUV at over two tons, so when the road gets really twisty, Newton will continually remind you not to mess with him.
3. Nissan GTR R35--the current IT car, nothing brand new in its price range will touch it on both road and track, is easily tuned to extract much more power, seats four people, with far more computing power than Apollo XIII. Problem is the GR6 twin-clutch tranny has a nasty habit of grenading itself when used hard.
4. Porsche 997.2 Turbo--although it's yet to be launched, Porsche's mk2 997 Turbo features a massive power hike to 493 HP and over 500lbs/ft of torque from its new DFI 3.8-liter engine with greater fuel economy. It replaces the venerable Metzger GT1 block that has real racing pedigree, with Porsche having won Le Mans with that engine in 1998 on the 911 GT1. It's also got the Porsche PDK twin-clutch tranny, equipped for the first time with paddle shifters, clever AWD like the Nissan GTR and that high-quality and absolute reliability feel. Problem is, it's going to cost probably more than twice your budget of P5 million, possibly thrice more if you get all the goodies like the PCCB carbon-ceramic brakes and high-level special leather interior trim.
5. BMW M6--Its F1 inspired V10 engine makes it unique, but it doesn't have as much panache as most other proper sports cars. It looks too much like your old man's car but, unlike the Benz, it doesn't have a party-trick folding roof. The SMG is also a cause for concern as the clutches don't last very long.
6. BMW M3 E92--looks good, but too much mixed reviews, and it will significantly be slower than all the other cars mentioned. On its own, it should be really fast but not a proper sports/supercar YET.
7. BMW 335i--twin turbo inline 6 is a great idea but it has even far less panache/street cred as cars numbered 1 to 5. It can be tuned to deliver 100hp more form its 303hp, but it's heavy too.
8. Porsche 997.2 GT3RS--in dark grey with fluorescent pink/orange script decals, the 997 GT3RS mk2 just screams boy racer. The stuff little boys' (and some old, married men's) fantasies are made of. Looks great, goes like stink, sounds like a real race car with a refined, cultured banshee wail unlike the thundering SL's V8, or the ‘Vette's roaring NASCAR soundtrack. Plus, redlining it close to 9000rpm is orgasmic. Problem is the SRP is a libido-wilting P14m thereabouts when it comes out, IF you can get one. Like the Turbo, well out of the price range. Plus the GT3RS is too track-biased, it will be tiring on a long drive to and from the track.
Enjoy your supercar shopping!
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