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Front engine, rear drive still king of the cheap sports cars

By Barry Park, 07 Jan 2016 Industry

Front engine, rear drive still king of the cheap sports cars

Toyota’s 86 led the cheap performance race in 2015, sales data for the year shows, but several up-and-coming sports stars are eyeing the title

AUSSIES appear to want front-mounted engines and rear drive when it comes to the nation’s most affordable two-door sports cars.

The hot hatch segment appears yet to ignite buyers, with the front-wheel-drive Holden Astra GTC – launched mid-way through last year – ranking only fourth among the top five bestsellers.

Despite losing significant ground last year compared with 2014, the $29,990 Toyota 86, which received a mild facelift last year ahead of significant suspension and engine changes slated for this year, held onto the top spot in the sub $80K performance sandpit.

Top 5 Sports Cars Sub $80K

A run-out of the old model ahead of the introduction of the fourth-generation MX-5 late last year helped push the two-seat soft-top, priced from $31,990, into third spot behind BMW’s strong-selling 2 Series coupe and convertible range, priced from $51,000.

Rounding out the top five are the Astra GTC Sport, priced from $26,990, and the latest entry to the Australian market that is yet to have its first full month of sales, the Ford Mustang priced from $44,490 for the turbo four-cylinder model.

If the Mustang’s strong sales performance has you thinking about buying one, remember, there’s already a year-long waiting list for the pony car.