News

Cheap thrills: The best rides for autocross on a budget

Cheap thrills: The best rides for autocross on a budget
Autos
Sometimes, the desire to partake in motorized thrills from the helm of a sporty ride itches like a low-budget bathrobe—and for many Canadians, there’s a compelling way to scratch the itch: autocross.

Challenging driver and vehicle in a rapid-fire motoring environment, autocross usually involves a highly technical course, marked off by road cones, that’s handled at low to moderate speeds.

You won’t hit an enormous terminal velocity, but you will give yourself and your vehicle a serious workout, learn plenty of car-control skills, and likely have a blast.

That’s especially true if you’ve got a great ride for the job—and that’s where we come in. Below? We’ll highlight some noteworthy sub-$10,000 used models that are worthy of your consideration.

Also, since we care about you, we’ll provide some useful test-drive tips and checks for each.

With a pleasing power-to-weight ratio, psychotically amusing handling, and sports-car-from-the-get-go engineering built in, the MX-5 handles and performs in a way that a sports-tuned commuter-car just can’t. Designed from the ground up with lightweight handling and performance as top priorities, this one’s also a highly-thrifty two-seat drop-top that’s ready for weekend road trips with that special someone.

Before You Buy

Honda’s go-fast hatch packed a rev-happy 160-horsepower engine, manual transmission, and plenty of space for your gear and supplies. The dash-mounted gear lever keeps both steering and shifting close at hand, and fuel mileage is highly rated by many owners.

Before You Buy

The original ‘new’ Mini Cooper S’ small size, frisky reflexes and fuel-efficient fun make it an ideal autocrosser for many. Fast steering, tidy handling and supercharged power make it a joy to drive—on or off the course. The R53 Cooper S is also flexible and versatile enough for daily use.

Before You Buy

With turbocharged power, a sports-tuned front-drive chassis, and an available paddle-shift transmission, this high-agility hatch served up 200 horsepower and nearly as much torque. Owners say they love the thrifty punch, entertaining handling, and every-day ease of use.

Before You Buy

Solid-looking reliability, excellent handling and almost unfairly-low resale values make this go-fast Cobalt a compelling pick. A boosted four-cylinder made 205 or 260 horsepower (depending on the year) and no-lift-shift functionality enabled lightning-fast upshifts. This American-built compact performed better than most import enthusiasts like to admit.

Before You Buy

The MR2’s engine displaced 1.8 litres and generated 140 horsepower. Also, it was bolted to the middle of the car, because handling. Light weight, fast steering and a convertible top were part of the package. Though not as punchy as earlier MR2s, this one can still be spotted regularly at autocross events across the country.

Before You Buy

With rear-wheel drive, available Brembo brakes and an available six-speed stick, the Genesis Coupe was built to perform. Look for a turbo four, or a punchy V6. Authentic performance moves and plenty of bang-for-the-buck help round out the package. Keeping to our sub-$10,000 price limit, you’re likely looking for a Genesis Coupe 2.0T—though some V6 models are available at this price point, too.

Before You Buy
Read more on driving.ca
News Topics :
RELATED STORIES :
Autos
There’s nothing quite like horsepower until you don’t have any. A recent test of the European Skoda Fabia S hatchback and its diminutive 1.0 litre three cylinder engine drove the point home....
Autos
We told you last week about the refreshed and more powerful 2020 Audi S6 . Well, it’s now the four door coupe’s turn to get a series of updates for the...
Autos
EUGENE, Oregon—For years, we’ve heard how the colossal success of the Porsche Cayenne gave the company the financial resources to develop its prestigious and pricey sports cars, so it was...
Autos
So, you want the finest handling Dodge Challenger ever. Well, then you definitely need the new Scat Pack 392 Widebody. Along with the de rigeueur muscle car 6.4 litres of 485 horsepower Hemi...
Autos
Vaughan Johnny, are you crazy Coming off the motorcycle, you suggest two little sports cars I get it then the new Genesis that was at the Toronto auto...