Supercars That Will Still Put a Big Dent in Your Wallet but Not Drain It

If you fell asleep beneath a Lamborghini Countach poster on your bedroom wall or thought Thomas Magnum’s red Ferrari 308 GTS was the best part of the original “Magnum P.I.,” there’s good news: You might be able to afford a new supercar.

And you might find it sharing showroom space with a family crossover.

Modern engineering and materials have given automakers the ability to create performance vehicles with capabilities unheard-of 20 years ago. In today’s dollars, that circa-1985 Countach would start at $325,000. A car that’s infinitely more capable and better engineered can be had for half of that — obviously not inexpensive, but down from the stratosphere. A lot has changed since your mom tore down the Lambo poster and made your old room her office.

Walk into an Acura dealership and a brand-new NSX can be yours for $159,300, excluding those pesky taxes and licensing fees. It fully looks the part of a supercar, with aluminum and composite body panels draped alluringly over a chassis composed of aluminum, carbon fiber and ultra-high-strength steel. A dynamic duo of twin electric motors in front and a twin-turbocharged V6 nestled behind the driver’s seat make it an all-wheel-drive hybrid. With 573 horsepower and 476 pound-feet of torque, dream on, Prius owners.

The two-passenger NSX was engineered and is manufactured in Marysville, Ohio. Those electric motors actively and instantly vector torque to either of the front wheels for supernatural cornering. In fact, one of the few complaints leveled at the NSX is that it makes driving at jailworthy speeds far too laissez-faire. Active suspension dampers provide this mid-engine machine with the ride quality of a docile daily driver.

Its supercharged 6.2-liter V8 pumps out an astonishing 755 horsepower and 715 pound-feet of torque. A special hood with a carbon fiber halo allows the V8 to peek out and sneer at would-be competitors. Aerodynamic aids are swiped from racing Vettes, and magnetic ride control dampers guarantee that every centimeter of the available summer performance tires bites the road. Zero to 60 happens in three seconds flat, according to Car and Driver magazine. And in the magazine’s Lightning Lap benchmark, it is among the fastest. Price no object.

Available in coupe or convertible models, the ZR1 even offers standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay (that’s $4,219.00 in a Ferrari). A reminder: Spy shots suggest Chevrolet will soon replace the front-engine Vette with a mid-engine design. Stay tuned.

Porsche’s 911 is such a classic you may overlook it. Don’t, though I recommend holding your horses. The 911’s turbo flat six will produce 443 of them when the all-new 2020 Carrera S arrives on our shores this summer. It’s available in both coupe and cabriolet models, starting at $114,450 and $127,350 respectively.

The teardrop shape is instantly recognizable, but this Porsche is no fossil. New technology includes “Wet Mode,” which senses damp pavement and adjusts performance parameters to make sure your brilliant new toy stays shiny side up.

The new base 911 provides performance similar to the outgoing GTS model, so buyers get something for that extra coin. Live near Atlanta or Los Angeles? Take delivery at a Porsche Experience Center and a pro driver can school you on wringing the most out of it.

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