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Are you looking to glow up on a budget? If you want an exclusive and exotic supercar for under $40k, you have multiple options. Here are four eye-catching sports cars from foreign brands that build high-end vehicles exclusively:

  • Lotus Elise
  • Maserati Gran Turismo
  • Alfa Romeo 4C
  • Aston Martin Vantage

Lotus Elise (1996-2021)

An orange Lotus Elise convertible supercar in a parking lot, tire marks visible all around it.
2005 Lotus Elise | Cars & Bids

For years, the Lotus Elise has been the go-to gateway into the exotic car lifestyle. The British company built this two-seat, RWD mid-engine roadster from 1996 through 2021. With its I4 engine and manual transmission, it won’t be winning many drag races. But with excellent weight distribution, it can hang with most supercars in the twisties. It is also common to find used Lotus Elises in bright colors, which give it even more exotic supercar appeal.

Even though most people haven’t seen a Lotus, later models came with a tuned Toyota powertrain which can keep maintenance costs down. So this car really can wow the crowd without breaking the bank. The most expensive Lotus Elise ever sold on Cars & Bids was a 2014 special edition that went for $53,500. The cheapest was a 1997 with 56,000 miles that moved for $23,600. But most fetch between $30k and $40k.

Maserati Gran Turismo (2007-2019)

The grille and headlights of a black Maserati Gran Turismo supercar parked in front of a modern glass building.
2013 Maserati GranTurismo Sport | Cars & Bids

Front-engine, RWD coupes are a classic luxury car configuration for good reason. From 2007 to the present, Maserati’s take on the timeless Grand Tourer formula has been called the GranTurismo. The first generation, built until 2019, featured a V8 borrowed from Ferrari. It is also available as a sporty convertible, the Gran Cabrio. Either body style has two full-size front seats and two smaller rear seats. The “Sport” trim coupe claims a 4.6-second 0-60 MPH time.

There have only been two Maserati Gran Turismos sold on Cars & Bids. A 2013 coupe with 27,400 miles went for $38,250, while a 2016 coupe with 13,500 miles bid up to $59,900 without selling.

Alfa Romeo 4C (2013-2020)

A used black Alfa Romeo 4C supercar in a parking lot, a farm with white picket fences visible in the background.
2017 Alfa Romeo 4C | Cars & Bids

You could call the Alfa Romeo 4C a Lotus Elise with exotic Italian appeal. It is also a two-seat, RWD, mid-engine sportscar. The 4C’s name comes from its I4 engine, a turbocharged version of a Fiat powerplant. Alfa Romeo kept the vehicle’s weight incredibly low by constructing it around a carbon fiber tub instead of a traditional frame. It was available as either a coupe or a convertible. As Alfa’s first vehicle sold in the U.S. market in over two decades, the 2013-2020 4C is a piece of automotive history.

The bad news is that there are fewer used Alfa Romeo 4Cs available than Lotus Elise’s, because there were fewer made. The good news is that if you find one, you’ll have an attention-grabbing Italian exotic. Most Alfa Romeo 4Cs on Cars & Bids go for between $40k and $50k. But a 2017 coupe with 110,300 miles went for just $34,850.

Find out what makes the Alfa Romeo 4C the perfect used sports car.

Aston Martin Vantage (2005-2017)

The grille of a used silver Aston Martin Vantage supercar with its doors open, cactuses visible in the background.
2007 Aston Martin V8 Vantage | Cars & Bids

A few years after the DB9 and its DBS version, Aston Martin rolled out a nimble and modern-looking Vantage. Designed to compete with the Porsche 911, the Vantage shrunk the DB9 Grand Tourer’s wheelbase by 5.4 inches by deleting the rear seat. It also enjoyed a much sportier manual transmission than the DB9’s more ponderous stickshift option. The more common Vantage V8 boasts an agile front-mid-engine layout, while the Vantage V12 version is more front-heavy. Aston Martin claims the V8 Vantages can all race to 60 MPH in under five seconds, while the V12 Vantages can all break four.

Used Aston Martin DB9s (2003-2017) are surprisingly cheap, with earlier model years often changing hads for just $60k. But the Vantage V8 is a downright bargain. Multiple examples have sold on Cars & Bids for under $40k, including a 2007 V8 coupe with a manual transmission (pictured). These cars were also available with automatic transmissions, as convertibles (the Volante configuration), and with the aforementioned V12 engine.

Next, find out what makes the Aston Martin DB9 the perfect used exotic car, or see more cheap used supercar options in the video below: