Autocross is one of the most popular ways for the everyday enthusiast to get into motorsport. Autocross is low-risk, low-speed, and high-fun, but choosing the right car for the job can be overwhelming. Here are some great places to start your search for the perfect autocross machine.
Many people choose to have one car serve both daily-driver and autocross duties. If that applies to you, there are few options better than the Volkswagen GTI. It has enough space to haul everything you need on a daily basis, they are incredibly reliable, and their handling is superb. Even brand new GTIs can be had for a reasonable price, with used and older-generation models available for a steal.
The WRX has long offered great performance value for the money. With all-wheel-drive, a turbocharged boxer-engine, and enough space to fit the kids in the back – what more could you ask for? Clean examples can be had for well under $20,000.
No list of autocross cars would be complete without the icon that is the Mazda Miata. This car single-handedly saved the roadster from extinction, and features one of the most competent chassis of any production car. Couple that with timeless styling, fierce reliability, and a low price tag, and it comes as no surprise that these are found at nearly every autocross event across the country. They even have their own racing series.
Much of what makes the Mazda Miata a performance icon is shared with the Honda S2000. A finely-tuned chassis, roadster configuration, and some actual power under the hood make this car a serious contender at nearly every autocross event. They’ve held their value well, but clean examples can be had for just a shade over $10,000.
Whether you buy the base model with the “lowly” 350-horsepower LS1 engine, or the Zo6 with a healthy 405-horsepower, the fact remains that the C5-generation Corvette represents one of the most popular high-horsepower autocross cars in existence. Simple yet highly effective suspension, a low curb weight, and plenty of muscle make these Corvettes capable of some serious lap times. Examples are dropping below the $10,000 mark at this point.