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Top 10: Power for peanuts

If you’re on a tight budget, you might think that a classic with more than 200bhp on offer is beyond your reach. But that’s not necessarily the case. In fact, you can get your hands on a car with a couple of hundred horsepower (or more) from just a few hundred pounds.

Whether it’s a coupe, a roadster or a touch of luxury you fancy, there’s something in this high-powered line-up that’s sure to appeal – assuming you’ve got somewhere between £500 and £5000 to spend. Which one gets your ‘power for peanuts’ vote?

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Mazda RX-8 – 231bhp

Launched in 2003, the innovative RX-8 saw Mazda’s latest development of the Wankel-style rotary engine. Its 1.3-litre powerplant was available in two states of tune, offering either 192 or 231bhp; no RX-8 was exactly a slouch, but that most powerful version was a seriously rapid machine. There was more to the RX-8’s quirkiness than rotary power, however, for this was a rakish looking four-door coupe with rear-hinged back doors for easier entry and exit. UK sales ceased in 2010, and these days an early RX-8 can be yours from as little as £1000.

Read our Mazda RX-8 review here


Captain-Cretin    on 25 August 2018

I drove a few of those V6 Omegas; some in police trim, while working for Vauxhall Fleet; they were awesomely good fun.

In contrast, the V6 Calibra was a bag of poo due to the awful gearbox and clutch.

shush    on 28 April 2021

heyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy babe, does ur car run on vodka?

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