BRZ/GT86s would be on the roads with a price nearer £20K? Will Peugeot regret pricing the 208 GTI significantly higher than the Fiesta ST? And is an M135i still a performance bargain when it's been specced-up to £37K?
Vauxhall asked a similar question to enthusiasts in 2011 when it launched the Corsa VXR Nurburgring: though ostensibly based on a sub-£10K supermini, the Nurburgring cost £22,295. Could a Corsa, even a significantly upgraded one, ever be worth that? This nearly-new VXR Nurburgring would suggest not. A 13-plate car with just 121 miles, it's for sale at a Vauxhall main dealer in Beverley for just £17,250. Tempting, no?
The biggest hindrance to the success of all Corsa VXRs was of course the Renaultsport Clio. Whether in 197 guise or as a 200 from 2009, it simply proved the more engaging driver's car. Whilst the VXR was decent, it lacked the Clio's freakish ability and effervescent nature.
However, there was still that price to overcome. The Nurburgring wasn't even a better car the Clio, let alone one worth £6,000 more. But a fortunate repercussion of buyers' reluctance to accept the VXR's price is used examples such as the car featured here.
Before this start to sound like a eulogy, there are other nearly-new pocket rockets to choose from, even if they don't represent quite such conspicuous value as the Corsa. This Polo GTI is around £2,500 below list, although will struggle to match the VXR for thrills. A Mini? The only JCW for less than the Corsa is a 2011 car with 20,000 miles and is being sold privately.
Let's hope the next Corsa VXR is just as much fun as the Nurburgring out of the box. But maybe a little cheaper...
Vauxhall Corsa VXR Nurburgring
Engine: 1,598cc four-cylinder turbo
Transmission: Six-speed manual
Power (hp): 205@5,750rpm
Torque (lb ft): 207lb ft@2,250-5,500rpm (on overboost)
First registered: 2013
Recorded mileage: 121
Price new: £22,295
Yours for: £17,290
See the original advert here