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Friday, 01 February 2013 16:48

Car enthusiasts find limited options for affordable fun

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Chevrolet Code 130R Concept from 2012 NAIAS Chevrolet Code 130R Concept from 2012 NAIAS Photo: Joe Boomgaard

While the 189-mph, 560-horsepower Audi RS7 hatchback can power from a standstill to 60 mph in about 3.7 seconds, it’s a rare breed of car enthusiast that can afford to drop the expected $100,000 to buy one. 

Over the past year, the gearheads and automotive press have been fawning over the Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ twins, which sell for between $25,000 and $30,000. While a V6-powered Ford Mustang or Chevrolet Camaro is in the same ballpark, if not slightly cheaper, there really aren’t many options for enthusiasts in that entry-level space, says Marc Noordeloos, managing director of Fox Motorsports in Grand Rapids. 

But car buffs may be in luck. 

At the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, GM North American President Mark Reuss told an Australian publication that “it’s on the list” for GM to produce an inexpensive rear-wheel drive coupe, perhaps previewed by last year’s Code 130R concept, to undercut and rival the FR-S/BRZ.

Having fun-to-drive, enthusiast cars that young buyers can afford is key to attracting Millenials to the car market, Noordeloos said. 

“You need to hit the 20-grand mark for 20-somethings to be able to afford that,” he said. “I did not see a lot of cars in that range. I saw a lot of $100,000 cars.”

The price creep on enthusiast vehicles isn’t just affecting the entry-level buyers, Noordeloos said. In his conversations with executives from the BMW M performance division, he said they acknowledged “cars in the theme of the 1 Series M Coupe are in the future.” 

That admission is a nod to the fact that the BMW M3, the benchmark of the German performance cars which starts around $60,000, is getting too expensive, he said. Noordeloos said he hopes to see more performance cars like the 1 Series M Coupe in the $45,000 range to really have an impact on the market and give sporting drivers affordable options.

Read 2901 times Last modified on Monday, 04 February 2013 13:29

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