Car shoppers eager to get their hands on a brand-new high-performance car may be rebuffed by asking prices that can quickly edge toward six figures. Fortunately, certified pre-owned programs offered by many automakers help alleviate high prices. These deals combine a comprehensive manufacturer-backed warranty with a recent model that includes a powerful engine and modern amenities. We've rounded up some of our favorite high-performance cars that offer just that for a mere half of their original value.
2008 Audi S6
Although they're not easy to find, certified pre-owned examples of Audi's strikingly subtle S6 are available in the low $40,000 range-compare that to the high-performance sedan's original cost of nearly $80,000. It's not the latest body style, but even the 2008 S6 provides buyers with a highly contemporary interior, Audi's traditional minimalist design and a generous list of equipment-plus Audi's comprehensive two-year, 50,000-mile certified pre-owned warranty. But to true enthusiasts, the main attraction is under the hood. Borrowed from the Lamborghini Gallardo and later used in the Audi R8, the S6's 5.2-liter V10 produces 435 horsepower and propels the sedan to 60 miles per hour from a standing stop in around five seconds.
2007 BMW M6
Given that it appears in less than five listings on AutoTrader.com, you can bet that a certified pre-owned 2006 or 2007 M6 is a rare sight at BMW dealerships. But buyers who are lucky enough to find one will be rewarded by the large coupe's contemporary styling, its impressive interior and its wild 500-horsepower V10-all for around $45,000. And while BMW's certified pre-owned warranty is valid for just six years and 100,000 miles from a vehicle's original date of sale, any 2007 model is likely to come with at least a year of comprehensive warranty coverage-not bad considering the amount of money shoppers will save compared with buying it new.
2008 Jaguar XJR
Priced from more than $80,000 when new, Jaguar's supercharged XJR luxury sedan is now easily available for around $40,000 with the automaker's comprehensive certified pre-owned warranty. In addition to providing bumper-to-bumper coverage for up to six years or 100,000 miles, the warranty also includes roadside assistance that can dispatch help to change a flat tire, unlock a vehicle or provide fuel. But the high-performance XJR offers more benefits than just Jaguar's warranty, thanks to a 400-horsepower supercharged V8, all-aluminum construction and a desirable list of standard equipment that includes a navigation system, cooled front seats, lamb's-wool floor mats and even adaptive cruise control.
2007 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG
If you're okay with owning the previous body style of Mercedes' brawny E63 AMG, then you should have no trouble finding a 2007 model for around $45,000, half of what it cost new just five years ago. Although the E63 AMG is notoriously expensive to own, potential buyers can relieve their anxiety by purchasing a certified pre-owned example, which is covered by a comprehensive one-year warranty from Mercedes. Indeed, the only thing owners will have to worry about is speeding tickets-a real possibility considering the sedan's normally aspirated 507-horsepower 6.2-liter V8 that propels it to 60 miles per hour from a standing stop in around 4.2 seconds.
2005 Porsche 911 Carrera
With the latest incarnation of Porsche's iconic 911 now available at dealerships, values of the sports car's previous generation are declining. That's good news for shoppers interested in a used car. Indeed, nearly a dozen 2005 and 2006 models with certified pre-owned warranties are currently available on AutoTrader.com for under $50,000. When new, their prices could easily top $100,000 with options. Many buyers shy away from Porsche for fear of potentially high running costs, but the automaker's fully comprehensive certified pre-owned warranty provides two years of worry-free coverage, allowing buyers to enjoy their new 911 without worrying about expensive repairs.
What it means to you: Many lightly used performance cars with full manufacturer-backed warranties are available for half their original prices.