3 Hot Sports Cars

by : Matthew C. Keegan

The muscle car era of old is long gone, but in its place are apack of "modern marvels" that can tear up any track! TheMercedes SLR McLaren, Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet, and theNissan Z350, are all hot performers in their own right. Thefirst two will cost you a mint, the Nissan is more in reach.Time to compare the models and let your imagination run wild.

I believe it is the Kia Rio that retails for just under 10K. Ifyou were to buy 45 Rios you would just begin to match the priceof the Mercedes SLR McLaren. With an MSRP of $452,750, even aBentley becomes a bargain. It is quite likely, however, if youcan afford this car you'll not be worrying about price. Instead,the V8 engine pushes out 671 horses, 208 mph top speed, and 3.8seconds of zero to 60 acceleration...certain to excite you. Ifthat is not enough, try gull wing doors, bi-Xenon headlamps,sidepipe exhaust, turbine wheels, carbon fiber bucket seatscovered in leather, a 7 speaker Bose sound system, and lotsmore. If that still isn't enough there must be some you can order!

If you want performance but you are also looking for "value"than another German automaker, Porsche, may have what you want.With an MSRP of "only" $141,200 the 911 Turbo S Cabriolet doesnot quite live up to the SLR, but it is a speed demonnevertheless. Horses kick out at 444, you can get to 190 mphwith this baby, and reach 100 kmh [62 mph] in just 4.3 seconds.Not bad! Automatically deployed rear spoiler, awesome lookingtwin exhausts, digital radio with CD, telephone module, leathereverywhere, and a V6 engine are some of the more notablefeatures. Go to a store if you find that something you want ismissing.

For the proletariat -- a/k/a the average car buying consumer --the purchase options are much greater. Besides cars like theChevy Corvette, Cadillac XLR, Dodge Viper, and BMW M3, Nissan isoffering a competitive model under the famed "Z" nameplate. WithMSRP starting at $26,800, the base V6 powered and 6 speed manualtranny throws out 287 hp and will rocket you to 60 from a deadstop in just under 6 seconds. Along with the manual tranny, the"Z" comes equipped with ABS, 3.5L 24-valve V6, CD, etc. The basemodel is pretty basic, but you can get more horses and moreoptions, including a convertible for about 10 grand more. Checkaround for after market that you can get for your "Z" too.

Yes, the first two cars will only find their way into selectdriveways, while the "Z" is more within reach of you and me. All3 sports car are "hot" and certain to be crowd pleasers.