Sometimes my mates and I play a little game. From a theoretical pile of cash -- of course it's theoretical, I'm never going to have half a million bucks -- pick a couple of cars within a certain set of criteria. Today's rules? A maximum of three cars, $500K, anything you don't spend is wasted. What would you buy?
This was actually a pretty easy one for me. I knew I'd want a fun daily driver, a big (but still a bit fun) weekend family car and a sporty tourer that I could maybe thrash a bit on the track if I was feeling keen. Simple, right? So, without further ado, here's my -- current -- perfect three-car garage:
Audi S1 Sportback, $55k: I'm lazy and I drive to work most days. That isn't going to change just because I have three cars instead of one. I need a small car that I can park wherever I want in the city, but it still has to be fun -- like my current Polo GTI, but on steroids. Enter the Audi S1 Sportback: a skinny little turbo two-litre four, all-wheel drive, and a snickety six-speed manual that makes shifting fun.
Tesla Model X 100D, $170k: I am in love with the idea of Tesla's all-electric cars. Recharging for a couple of bucks to cover 500km? Yes please. Throw in the Model X's crazy falcon wing doors and comfortable seating for seven adults, and you've got the perfect road trip car. As long as you're road tripping between Superchargers or heading out to a destination charger for the weekend...
Porsche 911 Carrera S, $270k: I have always wanted a 911. They're so gorgeous. I've been lucky enough to drive a lot of my dream cars, but not this one. Probably a PDK for those quick shifts, that GT silver, all-leather interior: the perfect weekender, that I can also take down to Wakefield and fling around a bit if I'm feeling keen.
Total: $495K. I'll use that extra $5k for a flash tune on the S1 to give it a butt-load more peak torque and horsepower; I already drive a peaky laggy turbo four to work so I'm used to it.
Tesla Model X P100D, $330k: Honestly, if I could choose to spend $500,000 on an ultra-luxury version of the Model X, I would. What a car. It's big: you can fit your whole family or all your mates in there with no trouble. It's fast: Like, 0-100 in 3.2 seconds-fast. It's high-tech: the whole thing literally can drive itself (more or less), and runs off some solar panels the roof of your garage if you like. And finally, despite its size, it still turns heads. It's large, fully charged and gorgeous and I'd live in it if I could.
Caterham Seven-620R, $84k: Seeing as how I actually do have money left to spend after getting a top-spec Model X, why not go the opposite end of the spectrum and get something stripped back, low tech and high fun? You can't get more connected to the road than strapping yourself into a low-slung kit car like a Caterham. Grab your helmet and never have another boring weekend.
2017 Ford Focus RS, $55k: Of course, sometimes you need something you can just go to the shops in. The Ford Focus RS is dollar-for-dollar one of the best hot hatches out there. Practical consumer advice: if you don't have unlimited money to buy a car, and still want something weaponised and fun, grab this car. Or grab its equally fun little brother, the Ford Fiesta ST.
Total: $469k. (Luke has left $31k on the table here, which is a huge waste. Come on, guy. -- Cam)
Basically, I’ve slotted my picks into 3 categories -- the daily driver, the track day warrior and the family car. I know the GT4 is almost impossible to buy at that price anymore, but hey, the rules are new at RRP:
Ford Fiesta ST, $30k: No other car I’ve ever driven has been so perfectly built to make commuting fun. The power band from that feisty little turbo 4-pot is perfect, and allows you to slingshot yourself every time you stamp the throttle. The gearbox is easy, the seats are incredibly comfortable and you can fit a couple of people in the back.
Audi RS6 Avant Performance, $245k: I’ve never understood people who buy SUVs when fun, fast station wagons exist -- and the Audi RS6 is the mother of all of them. It has a 445kW twin turbo V8 that sounds incredible, is as comfortable as any grand tourer and can easily fit your whole family and luggage. What more do you need?
Porsche Cayman GT4, $210k: There isn’t another car that’s as balanced as a Porsche Cayman, and the GT4 is that on steroids. Easy enough to drive that you don’t have to be a pro to get lots of out of it, but enough of a challenge to make sure you’re still always on your toes. Its communicative, fast, and always on your side. The GT4 is the perfect track car.
Total = $485k. And I can spend that spare $15k on all my track days and tires for the GT4.
What Would You Buy?
Let us know in the comments below. Your rules are pretty simple! You've got $500,000 to play with, all your choices have to be at the Aussie RRPs, and you can only buy three cars maximum. Want to blow all your cash on one or two? Sweet. Any cash you don't use, though, is wasted. I mean, it can maybe go to tyres and petrol and servicing, but you can't just buy yourself a Barina and pocket $485,000. Have fun!