You don't need me to tell you that putting £100,000 into the PH classified search filter and scrolling down for an all-make rummage is a peerless way of burning through daylight. For sheer absentminded moreishness, it makes an open bag of M&Ms seem easy to put down. But that's the big ticket leeway the new Lamborghini Huracan Evo offers us now its starting price has come to rest at the £206k mark.
Whether or not the latest model is worthy of that titanic sum is obviously open to question, although for what it's worth Dan P drove it last week, and liked it very much. Certainly it seems that Lamborghini has put its shoulder into the facelift effort; the Evo has gained rear-wheel steering alongside a whole boatload of other sophisticated kit, all of it aimed at making the Huracan a far more balanced, responsive prospect than it's ever been before.
Driven on the mile-wide expanse of an empty Bahrain GP circuit, the result is apparently as adjustable as an angle-poise lamp. Which is a hefty departure from the nose-led prospect the Huracan used to be, and enormously welcome. Also, the car is still powered by that 5.2-litre V10, which, no doubt about it, is as likeable an engine as is currently sold new anywhere by any manufacturer. It now outputs 640hp, which is a lot, and delivers the Evo to 62mph in 2.9 seconds, which isn't.
The latter is partly owed to the morse code like blips which are the upshifts on the seven-speed twin-clutch gearbox - but you'd be forgiven for daydreaming about what it would be like to interact with a ten-cylinder engine via a humble stick. Well, daydream no more: a decade ago the Huracan's predecessor offered just such a chance, and Gallardos now rank as one of the most 'affordable' ways into genuine supercar ownership.
We don't even have to trouble the £100,000 limit to unearth a likely candidate; this one, a limited edition SE model from 2005, is available for less than £90k, and comes with the holy trinity: V10, six-speed manual and Pearl Yellow paint.
If the whole Lamborghini thing is all a bit much (poor flower) there's always the flip side of the coin; the bigger-selling and therefore much cheaper Audi R8. For a fiver under £100k, you get an extraordinary amount of bang for your buck: this Plus version from 2017, with its own 610hp iteration of the Huracan's V10, virtually looks like it's being given away. It's only completed 9,000 miles, too, and even comes with the sensibly sized wheels which pay dividends in the ride quality department.
Too common? Well, how about a BMW M4 DTM Champion Edition? Granted, we're out of big-engine supercar territory here, but you'll be guaranteed a similarly savage sort of fun by the 500hp GTS-by-another-name, of which there are only 200 examples worldwide. This one only has 3k on the clock, and gets the same silly tyres/exhaust/water injection that helped make its sibling such a corker.
There's much more, of course. A McLaren 12C Spider perhaps? Or a Ferrari F430? Corvette Z06? Porsche 911 (991) GT3? They're all within budget, and all hugely fast, making this trade-off even more about personal preference than most.
Which brings us to the Aston Martin V12 Vantage S. No, it isn't a supercar. Nor is it as powerful or as fast or as spectacular inside as the Lamborghini (that hand-me-down steering wheel is liable to make any newcomer to the brand shudder) and, yes, the Sportshift III automated manual is to the Huracan's twin-clutch transmission what a smoothbore musket is to a shoulder-launched surface-to-air missile. But none of that matters if you're getting what you really want.
And, make no mistake, the Vantage S was the dynamic swan song of last century Aston. Brass tacks: it drove like a rear-driven dream, was powered by the honeyed rumble of a 5.9-litre V12 and looked like a million sterling, easy. This one is almost exactly halfway to the Evo's cost and while you might rightly point out that you'd prefer the much rarer version with the seven-speed dogleg manual, you're still getting an immaculate version of the definitive hard-charging, soul-stirring British sports car with a trifling amount of mileage on the clock. Cheap at twice the price.
SPECIFICATION - LAMBORGHINI HURACAN EVO
Engine: 5,204cc, V10, normally-aspirated, petrol
Transmission: 7-speed twin-clutch, all-wheel drive
Power (hp): 640@ 8,000rpm
Torque (lb ft): 443@ 6,500rpm
0-62mph: 2.9 seconds
Top speed: 202mph
Kerb weight: 1,422kg (dry)
MPG: Fuel consumption and emissions data is in the type approval stage"
SPECIFICATION - ASTON MARTIN V12 VANTAGE S
Engine: 5,935cc V12
Transmission: 7-speed automated manual, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 573@6,750rpm
Torque (lb ft): 457@5,750rpm
Top speed: 205mph
Weight: 1,740kg (with 75kg driver)
MPG: 19.2mpg (NEDC combined)