The dream is to park a new Ferrari, Lamborghini, Mercedes-Benz, or Range Rover in the family garage. The reality is that exotic and luxury cars are horrendously expensive. But there are reasonably priced cars that ape the spirit of the higher-priced ones, and come surprisingly close in performance, luxury, or design (but not all three.) These ten imitators provide some serious bang for your buck.
So You Can't Afford: Porsche Carrera 911 S
400-hp 3.8-liter flat six
The inexpensive imitator: Chevy Corvette
Chevrolet's Corvette has been competing with the Porsche 911 since it first landed on our shores in 1964. Back in the 1960s, the Vette would smoke the Porsche on any road—as long as that road didn't twist. Today the sports car icons are much more evenly matched.
But Maybe You Can Afford: Chevrolet Corvette
430-hp, 5900-rpm 6.3-liter V-8
Both should hit 60 mph in just a tick over 4 seconds. The Porsche, with its endless new technology like the Dynamic Chassis Control, which replaces the traditional antiroll bars with active ones to get you around corners faster, would probably squeak out a quicker lap time on the track. But is the Chevy less fun? No way. In fact some would argue that with fewer driver technologies, the Vette might be the purer experience.
We're not expecting to convert any lifelong 911 fans here. Behind the wheel, the Porsche is like a luxury coupe—the interior is gorgeous. The Corvette is as it's always been: a bit down-market by comparison, especially with its thinly padded thrones. But if what you want is muscle and you don't care much about the name on the back of the car, you could get the Vette and buy some very nice seats with the $48,700 you'll save. In fact, you could almost buy another brand new Corvette.