Revs are addictive, chasing the top end of the tachometer and keeping a sweet atmo engine up at peaky power is addictive. But do you know what else is? Boost. Boost is. And lots of it, whether spooling immediately or gradually gathering tornado-like force.
Best hold on tight when accelerating in the below five boosty boys, all of which are available for between just $15,000 and a heady $80,000. Don’t expect much else to beat you off the line, though – or keep pulling to beyond legal … er, we mean, 110km/h, onto the freeway.
1. 2002 FPV F6 Typhoon - $15k
If the AU Falcon was the sales-proof calm before the storm, then the BA Falcon of 16 years ago (really!) emerged to sweep the barely changed VY Commodore off its perch, especially in this powered-up Barra 4.0-litre turbo six-cylinder Typhoon form.
Although it had 270kW at 5000rpm, and 550Nm from 2000rpm until 4250rpm, even those figures betray the sheer straight-line destruction this boosted Barra could cause – let’s just say, Typhoon was apt. With sharp steering, a surprisingly compliant ride, better brakes than an XR6 Turbo and colours like orange and purple, you could argue that this was the peak of post-millennium Falcs. And we will argue just that…
MOTOR features: Barra tuning guide
2. 2008 Mitsubishi Evolution X - $30k
Yes, ‘the 10’ wasn’t as hardcore as the older Evos, but most of those have fallen somewhere between modified and molested these days. And for context, the decade-old Evo X is still about the sharpest chassis you can find for this price, mated to a 2.0-litre turbo four that slowly, gathered, force, then, hit… boost. With 217kW at 6500rpm and 366Nm at 3500rpm, the 1595kg four-door Mitsu is current Golf R-fast.
However, rowing the long-throw five-speed manual was as distinctly old-school as an all-wheel drive system with a level of mechanicity and feedback that most modern cars have massaged out. Yet at the same time it doesn’t have the ropey steering and bloated body control of a Subaru WRX STI of that era. For $30K, it’s a great buy now.
Classic MOTOR: Evo X v Evo VI TME v Evo IX track comparison
3. 2011 BMW 1 Series M Coupe - $60k
BMW finally admitted what some less hype-driven journalists had long believed: the over-boosted 1M was a bit under-developed. This first generation of 1 Series coupe was snappy even in 135i form, owing to a short wheelbase and surplus turbo torque. But as a wide-tracked, beefy-guarded M it took twitchiness to a whole new level.
On paper, the 3.0-litre twin-turbo six looked much like it did today, with 250kW at 5900rpm and 500Nm from 1500rpm until 4500rpm. But it was a whole lot boostier and more aggressive in its delivery of outputs compared with today’s turbo BMWs. Even so, a 4.9sec 0-100km/h from a 1495kg coupe that looks as tough as this? Yes, it has appeal and it may be a future classic. For everyone else, there’s the superb M2...
4. 1994 Audi RS2 Avant - $70k
You could have a brand new A4 2.0 TFSI Avant quattro with 185kW and 370Nm for about this money. Or, this 25-year-old Audi and Porsche collaboration, which even back then packed 235kW at 6500rpm and 410Nm at 3000rpm from its 2.2-litre turbo petrol four-cylinder.
The RS2 Avant is tiny, like a wagon version of the new S3 sedan more than an A4, and there’s a rawness to its execution that is missing from modern Ingolstadt products. Sublime steering feedback, a Ur-quattro-based all-wheel drive system where you can feel the differentials juggling drive, a soft-enough suspension setting that allows neat slides on the throttle. Oh, and just the most edgy, hard-charging engine, with lag for days and then sheer thrust to send drivers into a daze. Or a spin.
MOTOR feature: History of the RS2 and RS4
5. 2009 Nissan R35 GT-R - $80k
Is there a quicker stock car on the planet for new BMW M240i money? Well, while it’s hard to believe the R35 GT-R is a decade old, it’s still tough to look at its figures without drooling. A 3.8-litre twin-turbo V6 with 357kW at 6400rpm, 588Nm from 3200rpm until 5200rpm, a six-speed dual-clutch auto and sub-4.0sec 0-100km/h (let’s not worry about 3sec claims way back when – they were as honest as Carlos).
Even despite a 1748kg kerb weight, and criticism of apparently being too geeky compared with previous Godzillas, this Nissan supercar still knows how to play with its driver. It’s a slingshot in a straight line, and a playful pup through corners, able to twerk the back-end out by enough to surprise. Watch the servicing costs, but on the upside examples for $80K are now available with under 50,000km showing.
Classic MOTOR: R35 v R34 v R33 v R32 GT-R comparison