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Author: Carter

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2003 Volkswagen GTI 1.8T

Will anyone pine over the Mk.4 GTI? I think there’s actually a chance the answer is yes. Yes, the Mk.4 GTI ushered in a more bloated body, subdued styling, increased safety, and a lot more weight. But, it also brought with it a lot more choice. While the VR6 continued over into early models largely unchanged, though a more potent 24-valve version emerged later. But the big news was the entrance of the turbocharged 1.8T into the lineup for me. More in keeping with the character of the original model, the peaky and punchy 1.8Ts grew in power over the production run, and they also offered the basis for a few special models; the European-market 25th Anniversary model, the 2002 337 Edition, and the 2003 20th Anniversary Edition.

Today’s car isn’t any of those special models, but it does have low mileage and appears to be pretty much as it left the factory. Collector status?

2003 Volkswagen GTI 1.8T on eBay:

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1994 Volkswagen Corrado SLC

When it launched in the late 1980s as a replacement to the ancient Scirocco, the Corrado was (once again) Volkswagen’s attempt to appeal to the Porsche crowd. With the supercharged G60 motor that may have been somewhat farcical, but when VW dropped the narrow-angle 2.8 liter VR6 into the nose of their 2-door coupe it became more of a reality. Though on paper it didn’t have much more power, the VR6 was better suited to the design and weight of the Corrado. Zero to 60 plummeted nearly a second and top speed went up to a then-impressive 137 mph. But it was the all-around flexibility of the motor that proved the winner; torquey at low revs yet happy to head towards the redline, the Corrado finally fulfilled the promise of being a budget P-car.

Unfortunately, there was a price to pay. The base price for a Corrado in 1992 was nearly $22,000. Add a few options in and you were paying more than you did for a Porsche 924S four years earlier. To put it into even more stark perspective, the base price of a much quicker, nicer, more efficient, better cornering, better braking, more technologically impressive, and significantly safer GTI today is only $32,000 some 32 years later; correct for inflation, and you understand how expensive these hot hatches were. As a result, Corrados and especially the SLC have always held a cult status and higher residual value than the rest of the lineup. Today’s market loves them, as well.

1994 Volkswagen Corrado SLC on eBay:

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2014 BMW i8

One could argue that the first reinvention of the 8-series moniker was a disservice to the original; I disagree. The E31 pioneered a new frontier for BMW, with electronics, a new design language and took BMW to a different market. There is no more fitting designation than the i8 in my mind. The slinky, futuristic coupe utilizes lightweight construction to keep the curb weight down; 3,200 lbs may not sound particularly lightweight, but keep in mind that the BRZ/FR-S twins were lauded for their light design and are only a few hundred pounds less without all of the heavy electric equipment and twin motors. Pushing the very aerodynamic lithe coupe are two motors that run together or separately – a 1.5 liter turbocharged inline-3 paired with a smaller version of the i3’s electric motor. The results of this combination are pretty astounding; a combined 357 horsepower results in 60 miles an hour in 3.8 seconds and a near effortless limited 155 m.p.h. top speed. Couple that with the ability to drive for around 20 miles with no assistance from the gasoline motor and return mid-40 mpgs, and the 911-like performance is truly impressive. No other car has yet come close to the combination of attributes the i8 offers.

When these cars rolled out now bordering on nine years ago, MSRP was thrown to the wind and dealer invoices rang in some $70,000 over sticker, with near $220,000 asking prices. While the i8 and i3 introduced BMW’s electric intentions, their more recent offerings like the i4 are decidedly more mainstream. For less than the price of an i4, though, you can have the original.

2014 BMW i8 on eBay:

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2008 Porsche Cayman S Sport

The 987 Cayman S occupies an interesting middle ground right now. It’s newer than the 996-generation 911s for around the same price, but mostly flies under the radar in terms of profile as a modern classic. Much like the 944 Turbo was a few generations ago, that means you get the most for your dollar – at least, in many cases. Today’s car is number 460 of the 700 limited-edition Sport models. Was the “S” not enough sport for you already? No problem, the S Sport upped the ante with a remap of the DME to 303 horsepower, some GT3-esque exterior details, and you could get them in GT3 Green, as we see here. Of course, being eye-searing green and a limited model, this one isn’t cheap.

2008 Porsche Cayman S Sport on eBay:

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1991 Audi V8 Quattro DTM Race Car

While the M3 and 190E 2.3-16 took most of the laurels, a fair amount of DTM fans forget that it was the V8 quattro – replete with wood trim – that took the 1990 (Hans-Joachim Stuck) and 1991 (Frank Biela) crowns before its flat-plane crankshaft was deemed illegal. In 1991 Audi introduced an Evolution model, which sprouted adjustable front and rear spoilers. That’s what you see here – A rare Audi Sport race chassis that was initially run by race-winner Stuck and campaigned by Schmidt Motorsport. If you have deep enough pockets and happen to be cruising through Monaco, it can be yours!

1991 Audi V8 Quattro DTM at RM Auctions Monaco:

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