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buying advice

How to buy a practical car that still has serious engine power - plus 3 models to consider first

Get the horsepower of a sports car without the soft top roof.

SO YOU WANT the performance, but don’t necessarily want to draw too much attention on yourself. That might rule out a bright red two-seater sports car, but there are still plenty of more discreet solutions that won’t disappoint in the horsepower stakes.

Here’s a sample of just some of the potential candidates to consider, which can be picked up on the used market from a fraction of what they originally cost….

1. BMW 650i

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Due to its popularity during the Celtic Tiger years, there are now plenty of used examples of the BMW 6 Series on the used market.

The BMW 650i wore the same tasteful exterior as the smaller-engined models out there, but utilised a 4.8-litre V8 petrol engine, good enough for a 0-100km/h time of just over five seconds. One of these, de-badged, would make for a lovely car these days, providing you’re willing to stump up for the significant yearly motor tax and fuel bills.

2. Mercedes-AMG C63

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To people that don’t take much of an interest in cars, this looks just like any other Mercedes-Benz saloon. Those in the know are sure to spot the quad exhausts, bulging wheel arches and that little badge on the wing that confirms this is far from regular.

The C63 has a 6.2-litre V8 producing 457hp and sounds fantastic. Adding to that potency is the fact that there is 600Nm of torque, giving it tremendous pulling power all while being packaged in a regular four-door saloon body. It remains subtle… at least until it’s fired up.

3. Jaguar S-Type R

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These days most Jaguar saloons are more modest things with smaller capacity engines, most of which are diesel to help keep emissions lower and prolong driving ranges. However, not everyone is as concerned about how frequently they need to stop and refuel their car.

One such Jaguar fitting that bill, and now going for a fraction of what it once cost when new, is this S-Type, quick enough to hit 250km/h if you could find somewhere to do it legally.

These days they’re about as cheap used as they’ll ever be, so finding the right one and running it for a year or two is a nice short-term plan that won’t leave you broke in road taxes and fuel costs.

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