What is the one type of car that every enthusiast seems to yearn for and mourn their deaths? OK, except for the brown manual gearbox? Che sports cars and sporty coupes, especially those with rear-wheel drive. They seem to have steadily disappeared since the 1980s and 1990s. Celicas, 240SXs, RX-7s and no turbo Supras or even small British sports cars and all kinds of American performance coupes if you go further back. But (in the voice of Morpheus “The Matrix “) What if I told you that there are two excellent sports cars that start under $ 30,000, have manual transmissions, and have slightly modified four-cylinder engines? That you see the whole time. These are the Ford Mustang and the Chevy Camaro.
There’s probably a good part of you who’ll say, “No, there’s no point in getting yourself one like this, you have to get the V8. “And guess what, if you have the cash you should probably get the V8 The V8 Mustang starts at over $ 37,000 and the V8 Camaro starts at around $ 35,000, and everyone costs about $ 9,000 more than their four-cylinder counterparts, so they’re not exactly comparable in price, except for the fact that they share the same model name.
To put it another way, you can buy even more impressive V8 versions of these cars, like the Camaro ZL1 and the Mustang GT350 and GT500. they are path more powerful and much better handling than just the simple Mustang GT and Camaro LT1. So why bother owning one of the regular V8 cars? Well, because not everyone can afford the superversions. The regular ones are also still good, which brings me to the other point: The four-cylinder are rightly good sports cars for the money.
They each offer solid horsepower numbers. The Camaro puts out 275 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, which equals or exceeds the new Subaru WRX, Hyundai Veloster N, and the Volkswagen GTI (also the new one). The Mustang EcoBoost (not even the special performance package) makes 310 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. That surpasses the even more expensive Honda Civic Type R and Volkswagen Golf R. And both cars can be made more powerful with your typical turbo engine upgrades like tuning, intake, exhaust and so on. Ford even has an official calibration that is 50 state legal and guaranteed if installed by a dealer that adds 35 horsepower and 76 pound-feet of torque.
But it’s not just the performance, it’s also the handling. Both cars share most of their chassis with their equally enjoyable V8 models and are therefore still responsive and eager to corner. In fact, they are the lightest versions of the cars and therefore arguably more playful in the corners. The Mustang is particularly quick when turning in without the huge twin-cam V8 sitting on its nose. Another cool bonus, both models are coming default with limited slip differential. Great for cornering and drifting when you’re feeling playful.
Now if you just prefer a hot hatch, or your sports car desires are closer to a Miata or 86 / BRZ, that’s perfectly fine. But what I’m trying to do here is make sure these basic pony cars shouldn’t be missed just because they’ve been wrongly smeared as sub-par rental food with a small number of cylinders. The fact is, they’re a great way to get a fun sports car for not too much money, and with ways to grow with you as your budget and skills allow.