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9 Crazy-Fast Rides for the Price of a New Mondeo

January 1, 2014

Ford Mondeo

A Ford Mondeo – the ideal family car – will set you back anywhere from £15,995 to £19,995 with optional extras. So instead of picking that perfect family run-around, how about 9 insanely awesome cars you can buy for under 20k? If that sounds good to you, take a look at our rundown of the best badass boy racers you can buy for less than the price of a new Mondeo.

Ariel Atom 2 £20,000

Ariel Atom 2

Original image by docmonstereyes

The Ariel Atom 2 is a car that weighs just 600kg and keeps you so close to the ground you’ll feel like you’re driving a rocket-fuelled go-kart. Forget 0-60 in 6 seconds – not that it’s unachievable, we’d just prefer to tell you about the 0-100 time of 6.86 seconds. This is the third fastest accelerating car in the world, beaten only by the £1,000,000 Bugatti Veron and the Ultima GTR. The supercharged General Motors Ecotec engine pushes out 205 or 300bhp, depending on whether you opt for the 2.2L or 2.4L – which doesn’t seem all that much but, considering the size of this thing, it’s a recipe for nothing but speed. You can buy a barely used Atom 2 for around £20,000. But if you want it out of the box new, you’ll be forking out almost £50,000.

Fiat 500 Abarth 1.4 16v Turbo T-jet £14,000

Fiat 500 Abarth

Original image by julien haler

The Fiat 500 Abarth is nothing like its stock counterpart, the 500 – it features a 1.4L 16V Turbocharged engine, each model personally tuned by Fiat’s in-house tuning company Abarth before being sent out to the customer.

Caterham Seven 160 £14,995

Caterham Seven

Original image by Brian Snelson

Modelled on the Lotus 7, the Seven is a self-assembly kit car and, if you’re willing to put in the effort (about 70 hours’ work to someone competent with mechanics), this can be such an enjoyable car to drive. As with the Atom, the Seven has a very low ride height, giving it that go-kart feel, as well as having a very high power to weight ratio. The turbocharged 660cc Suzuki 3-cylinder engine only pushes out 80bhp. But in a car that weighs only 490kg, that equals a 0-60 time of 6.5 seconds – hitting speeds of up to 100mph with ease.

Mountune Ford Fiesta ST £16,995

Mountune Ford Fiesta ST

Original image by Tino Rossini

This isn’t a joke. A brand new Fiesta ST costs only £16,995, and will rev up to 6,500rpm, throwing down 180bhp all the way to the top of the 1.6L engine’s rev range. But this number is actually higher, as you can activate the overboost function which will provide 17bhp more for a maximum of 15 seconds. And since it’ll hit 60 in less than 7, you’ll be well illegal before you get anywhere near your 15 seconds. If you fancy a bit more power, you can head down to a Mountune Ford-approved dealer and get a kit containing an ECU upgrade, new airbox, filter and hose for just £599. This Mountune kit will boost your power to 212bhp, and you’ll feel the extra torque constantly – not just at the top of the range. This is, guaranteed, the most fun you can get for a new car under £20 grand. And even Richard Hammond from Top Gear agrees with us.

2001 Porsche 911 Carrera £8,000

Porsche 911 Carrera

Original image by RL GNZLZ

Yeah, you read that right – a 911 Carrera for £8k. What more could you want? You’ll have to go as old as a 2001 model for this low price, but Porsche owners take very good care of their cars and you’ll probably not notice its age at all. Although 14 years old now, this model 911 has a 3.6L 6-cylinder double overhead camshaft naturally aspirated engine and produces 315bhp @ 6,800rpmn, with a top speed of 177mph, 0-60 in 3.7 seconds! Not to mention how cool you’ll feel driving around in your very own 911.

2000-03 Honda S2000 £5,000

Honda S2000

Original image by you_only_live_twice

An old favourite with racers and tuners everywhere, the S2000 has always been a popular choice, due to the fact that this tiny vehicle kicks out 236bhp @ 8,300 rpm and can hit speeds of almost 150mph as stock. Lots of people like to modify and upgrade this car, as it’s such a beast to begin with. Even minor upgrades make so much difference when you have that much power in such a small car. The soft top is always a nice addition too, so that you can really make the most of that one week of sun we get each July.

2005-07 Subaru Impreza WRX £5,000-8,000

Subaru Impreza WRX

Original image by JamesHenry

Yep, that’s a less than 10 year old rally car for a quarter of the price of a family sedan. This is our favourite ride of choice in this entire list – you just can’t go wrong with a WRX STi.  You won’t be at all bothered by our numbers because, even though the 4-cylinder 276bhp engine with multipoint injection fuel system will take this monster to 158mph, you’ll never have a chance to hit anywhere near that when you’re trying to learn how to perform a Scandinavian flick in your local woods. This is the best value machine of the day! No exceptions.

2005-07 Ford Mustang 4.0 £10,000

Ford Mustang

Original image by Zsolt Kristaly

Remember when you first laid your eyes on the Ford Mustang, falling instantly in love, and almost simultaneously accepted the fact that you’d never own one of your own. Well, we’ve got some good news. There are plenty of Mustang 4.0s out there for sale, all of them for around £10,000 – some as low as £4,000. But be wary – anyone who’s okay with missing out on a potential extra £6,000 for his pride and joy probably has something to hide.

2003 Nissan 350z £5,000

Nissan 350z GT

Original image by Robin Corps

Or, for an extra 6 or 7 thousand you could go as new as a 2008 model – but we’re all about affordability, and there’s no better value than an ‘03/’04 350z. As soon as you see this car, you can see it’s a race car disguised as a road car – from its smooth, sleek curves to the rugged body kit they lead into, this car is beautiful to look at and beautiful to drive. It’s 3.5L V6 double overhead cam (just like the 911 Carrera) will pull you from 0-60 in just 5.5 seconds, and will hit 160mph if you let it. Try and find one with the wide body kit already installed for an extra few hundred on the price – it makes you look at least 7 times more hardcore by our calculations.

Ready to trade in your Mondeo?

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About The Author

Jon Le Roux is co-founder and company director of The Car Loan Warehouse. Being a mad engineering and motorsport enthusiast, I spend more hours than is healthy, watching, reading or talking about cars, boats, motorbikes…..basically anything with an engine.