NEW LEASE OF LIFE? We've chosen the most exciting cars you should consider owning when going through a midlife crisis. Image: iStock
Cape Town - BMW M5, Ford Mustang, Porsche 911... these are cars often dreamed about but most could never afford. That is until you reach that golden age of car ownership – your 50s aka the mid-life crisis.
The exotic sports car you idolised as a 25-year-old is now back on the cards after the kids have graduated from university and your long-term investment strategy has paid off.
From German cars to American muscle we’ve listed our top 5 mid-life crisis cars. We have included details, pictures and our reasons why should splurge your hard-earned disposable income on these hot rides instead of dubious investments. (read: timeshare).
For those privileged enough to have some spare money in their 50s, these are the cars you should consider splurging on:
2016 BMW M5
Long-revered as the ultimate super sedan, the M5 blends pace and power in a business suit. The current F10 model is powered by a 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 mustering more than 400kW’s.
What we say: Stand out of the regular 5 Series crowd with the most powerful version yet.
Impeccable track manners, clinical lines and it’ll make you feel young again. Sure it has five seats and a cavernous boot but you’ve worked too hard to use the most practical car on our list as a mom’s taxi. Take it for a spin, you’ve earned it.
Mid-life crisis car score: 8/10
Price: R1 075 605
Power/ top speed: 412kW/680Nm, 250km/h (limited)
2016 Mini Cooper S
An eternal favourite as a second ‘fun’ car, the Cooper S’ is perfect for someone who enjoys enthusiastic driving. It handles like it’s on rails and the new 2.0-litre turbo engine coupled with its light-weight chassis, provides endless fun behind the wheel.
Our only gripe is how big it’s gotten, not really a ‘Mini in the true sense of the word.
What we say: The go-kart type handling will serve as a constant reminder of your youth, though with loads of mechanical aids to keep you from completely reliving your younger days (read: slideways action). The Mini evokes fun and youthfulness and it’s relatively affordable.
Mid-life crisis car score: 7/10
Price: From R371 847
Power/top speed: 141kW/300Nm, top speed 235km/h
2007 Audi RS4 (B7)
Audi’s previous generation RS4 was the catalyst to Ingolstadt’s attack on the best in- class BMW M3 and the hairy-knuckled Mercedes-Benz C63. It’s hailed as one of the best sedans made by the company. And it’s 4.2-litre V8 has been known to strike fear into lesser mortals.
What we say: We’ve specifically chosen the B7 model because it remains the last sedan RS4 yet, even its latest incarnation is in avant guise.
The RS4 can be akin to a burly, rugged Bavarian sporting a tuxedo at a classy dinner party – sure, he’s making everyone else nervous but nobody dares tell him that.
Mid-life crisis score: 10/10
Price: Second-hand models from R200 000
Power/ top speed: 309k9W/430Nm, top speed 250km/h (limited)
2011- Present Porsche 911 Carrera cabriolet
The 911 (991 iteration) is arguably the best incarnation of Zuffenhausen’s iconic sports car. Few cars boast a rear-engined layout for optimal handling like the 911. The seductive noise of the flat-six cylinder engine and Porsche dual-clutch (PDK) gearbox make great drivers’ car.
What we say: The base model has more than enough power to enjoy a Camps Bay cruise or even a Sunday jaunt through Dullstroom. After a lifetime of driving cars with a fixed roof, the Carerra cabriolet offers open –top driving with a beautiful flax six soundtrack (now turbocharged) burbling behind your ear. It’s the Porsche you’ve always wanted and now have the means to afford. It’s so much of classic that it’s become a cliché... a sexy, topless, 272kW cliché that is.
Mid-life crisis score: 9/10
Price: R1 287 000
Power/top speed: 272kW/450Nm, 290km/h
2015 Ford Mustang
Billed as the all-American sports car, the Mustang evokes thoughts of Route 69 and the American dream. The new Mustang is a massive departure from the burbling V8s of yesteryear with its new 2.3-litre EcoBoost engines, though a V8 is available locally. It’s one of the most iconic cars around...who wouldn’t want to own one?
What we say: Can it really be a labelled as a pony car if it’s missing considerable amounts of horsepower under the hood? The 2015 Mustang for some might be missing its thoroughbred credentials... but just look at it. Look Ford is obviously reeling from strict emission policies, so we understand the need for downsizing.
Still, despite its engine-woes it certainly makes up for it in terms of design and tech (i.e. torque vectoring, Ford Sync). It’s a retro car turned modern classic and would make a great addition to any garage. Also, for the first time it’s available in RH-guise.
Midlife crisis score: 7/10
Price: From R669 900
Power/top speed:231kW/405Nm, 259km/h