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When you own something that is rare or originated from a far away place, you can imagine fixing and maintaining it comes with a severe price. Imagine trying to glue back together a broken asteroid, perhaps trying to maintain your unicorn’s horn or trying to get out of taxes. So how can you own a speed demon on wheels without having to pay like you’re in hell?
We believe we have the equation to this problem: one ridiculous price tag, minus reasonable fuel consumption (for an anabolic vehicle), multiply by cheap parts, minus easy fixes and divide by a car that isn’t going to lapse into a coma if you drive it like you own a sports car.
Before we get started, it’s worth remembering that near universal perceptions have been created in the motor vehicle industry: Asian car makers (Japanese or Korean) dominate when it comes to reliability, American cars are associated with being big, spacious and powerful, and for Europeans, design and performance are central features.
3.5. Alfa Romeo Giulietta
Just kidding. This is a benchmark. Alfa is not actually going to feature here, because Alfa Romeos in South Africa are like Italian mermaids. Fixing one will test the limits of your wallet and sanity.
Don’t freak out, this as expensive as we go on this list and it is for good reason. The Nissan 370Z roadster, the younger sexier sister of the 350Z, unleashes a 3.7 liter V6 with looks that could slaughter. Setting world record in drifting, the fuel consumption is roughly 20 miles per gallon combined, which isn’t too bad considering the the useful 332 horsepower engine. A few tweaks here and there, including the Nissan Intelligent Key, which lets you tap a button on the door handle to unlock your 370Z. Combine that with the five seconds it takes you to reach 100km/h and you’ve got the most rampant sports car in our list. The 370Z makes it’s way over from Japan, where Nissan calls home and where you will get your reliable spares from.
Next we find ourselves in South Korea, where Hyundai resides and the Veloster crawled out of. A new kid on the block here in South Africa, the Veloster will set you back about R379 000 depending on what model you fancy the most. You will get about 27 miles per gallon which makes the price tag a little better to digest, which is almost completely forgotten during the 7 seconds it takes to get to 100km/k. Your money goes a lot further when you are importing car parts from South Korea, just as the Japanese parts are. The twin centered exhausts at the back can send shivers down anyone’s spine, just as the 201 horsepower engine will, in the turbo version. This is all divided by the durability of the Veloster, which is backed up by the wide availability and solid reliability of the parts.
Our next real option hails from Japan and just to let you know, Asia is a ninja at exporting. Mazda has managed to produce a roadster that truly captures the essence of a top-down, wind in you hair and not much space for passengers roadster. Looking at about R366 000 price tag, you may start to wonder if this is a good idea, but just bare with the thought. 366 000 minus 30 miles per gallon in a 45 liter fuel tank and you should notice 25% increase in efficiency since the previous model.
Multiply that by the simplistic nature of the Japanese vehicle parts, minus their wide array of availability and finding spares and replacement parts for your MX-5 is an efficient and reasonably hassle free process.