The Jaguar XJR featured here previously proved a star buy for the vast majority of you, combining muscular straight-six power and refinement with an affordable price tag.

In fact the Jaguar proved so appealing that it sold promptly after the article went live, removing that all-too-tempting chance to own a subtle super-saloon.

Hesitating to pick up the phone and dial suggests that the 155mph XJR wasn't quite super enough for you, however. Perhaps you're looking for something that's more of a weekend toy. A car with some presence and the performance to match, without necessarily entailing the crippling bills associated with similarly performing exotica.

If there's one car that's always offered up looks and power combined with reliability and affordable running costs, it's the Chevrolet Corvette. Early versions can set you back a significant amount though, and more affordable emissions-constricted later variants of the C3 generation are a little lacking in the speed department. So much so, in fact, that a standard '81 C3 would be beaten by over a second in the 0-60mph sprint by a Ford Fiesta ST.

Things started to head back in the right direction with the C4 Corvette, however. Chevrolet launched the C4 in 1984 and many praised it for its modern design and technology. Its 16-valve, cam-in-block 5.7-litre V8 still had its design roots in the 1950s, mind, and America's only sports car looked soon to be outgunned by its European and Japanese rivals.