There are some excellent sports coupes on the market at the moment, defying the notion that sports cars are dying. However, they’re also quite expensive, as costs keep going up and up, in all markets, as sales figures do go down. So it’s not always affordable for most customers to own a shiny new sports car. Which is why it’s often best to buy a used sports car. Three of the best used sports coupes (or roadsters) to buy are the second-gen Audi TT RS, the first-gen Porsche Cayman and the second-gen BMW Z4. But the real question is: which is best?
In this new video from Fifth Gear, we get to see which of those three cars is the better buy. We get to see how they drive, how much they cost and what sort of maintenance they’ll need over the years.
The Audi TT RS in this video is actually the first generation TT RS but it’s based on the second-gen TT because the first-gen TT never had an RS variant. Despite being about ten years old now, the second-gen Audi TT RS is a fantastic performance machine. It was powered by a 2.5 liter turbocharged five-cylinder engine, similar to the one used today but with an iron block, rather than the all-aluminum one in the current car.
That older turbo five-pot made 335 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque. While that’s quite a bit down on power compared to the current car’s 400 hp and 354 lb-ft, the older Audi TT RS has an advantage over the current car — a six-speed manual gearbox. Sure, the new car’s seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox makes the car much quicker, thanks to its lightning fast shifts, but the older row-your-own ‘box is so much more fun.
However, it has some really tough competition in this test. The first-gen Porsche Cayman is an excellent sports car and one that could still show some new performance cars a thing or two. Plus, it’s mid-engine, so it has an inherent balance advantage. The BMW Z4 is a cool car and one that comes with a naturally-aspirated I6 with a six-speed manual and looks very good. But it’s not as sharp as the other two.
In the end, the Porsche Cayman wins the test and it’s hard to argue that. The first-gen Cayman is one of the best bang-for-your-buck sports cars on the used market.