2. Vauxhall Astra VXR Nürburgring (2008)
The Astra was the epitome of British-made, sensible motoring until the 237bhp VXR came along. It was, to say the least, lively, but someone at Vauxhall decided it wasn’t lively enough.
Hence the limited-run VXR Nürburgring, of which only 835 were made, to immortalise the car’s 8min 35sec lap time around the famous circuit. Tweaks included new, super-sticky Dunlop tyres, a raspy Remus exhaust system that had been developed by the company’s BTCC team to give the car an extra 15bhp, and wider tracks.
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The changes worked; the car had a fluid ride and plenty of grip and traction.
To get a piece of Nürburgring action, be prepared to part with £9000.
3. Renault Clio RS Silverstone GP (2005-2006)
One glance through the Renault hatchback history is all it takes: the company has a rich heritage in hot hatches and clearly knows how to make the humdrum special.
It’s no different here, with this slightly more hardcore version of the 2006-2012 197bhp Clio RS, which Renault claimed was “made to grace Silverstone”.
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To do so, the Clio sits on a lowered Cup chassis fitted with stiffer springs and dampers, plus 17in black alloy wheels and Renault Sport Recaro front seats. Search carefully and you’ll find decent examples available from £6800.
For those on a more modest budget, Renault built 50 Twingo versions, which can be had for around £4795.
4. BMW M3 Edition (2009-2013)
The BMW M3 was getting rave reviews, but fans were pining for a hardcore version in the vein of the previousgeneration M3 CSL. The M3 Edition was the answer.
Up front, the glorious naturally aspirated 420bhp 4.0-litre V8 engine remained, and was attached to a quickshifting seven-speed DCT gearbox.
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In addition, the ride height was lowered by 10mm and each Edition model was fitted with 19in alloys. Race-inspired colours included Monte Carlo Blue, Dakar Yellow and Alpine White. Owners were also treated to a blacked-out grille, wing mirrors and exhaust.
To buy one of these Edition M3s, expect to pay at least £18,500.
5. Jaguar XFR Stratstone Le Mans (2010)
The Stratstone Le Mans was a special-edition Jaguar saloon built to celebrate the company’s successes around the famous La Sarthe circuit.
It was based on the 503bhp 5.0-litre supercharged V8 Jaguar XFR, which had more than enough spice to entice anyone with unleaded in their veins.
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Only 50 Stratstone Le Mans XFRs were made, available in Polaris White or Midnight Black, and Jaguar gave £5000 to the Royal British Legion from the sales of the limited-edition model.
To get your hands on this extremely exclusive model, you’ll need to shell out at least £22,000.