Coffee Brake: Find A $15k Flappy Paddle Weekend Toy

As car guys we routinely get asked for car recommendations.  Typically those recommendations are instantly dismissed by the guy who was just going to buy a brand new Ford C-Max anyway, because most folks are just looking for a painless way to get into a new car and drive it till the warranty expires…rinse and repeat.  Fortunately, this site isn’t meant for them, this site is for the wackos, weirdos, hackers, nuts, guys who do their own dental work and anybody who would consider driving a 40 year old Lancia every day of the week.  (Hey, that would make a nice mission statement for DT…).  Anyway, today’s request comes from the friend of a friend, who is looking for a weekend toy – something like a Nissan GTR for the common man.  List of requirements here:

– paddle shift if possible, else manual, no auto

– $15k-ish

– no BMW, just because

– nothing crazy to fix

– relatively modern, mid-80s earliest

– RWD, or +$5k for AWD

– no convertibles

– no projects

This is a tricky list of requirements to fill, mostly because cars equipped with DSG gearboxes have only come out in the past few years, so finding one depreciated to these levels is tricky…but never discount the discount you can get on a used Audi.  This 2009 Audi TT Quattro offered for $21,700 in SF Bay Area is equipped with the 2.0T FSI engine that is good for 200 horsepower stock, but the seller of this one has it tuned and claims 296 hp (but it is probably closer to 250.)  Performance with the chipped engine and DSG gearbox should be in Boxster territory and this generation of TT is said to handle much better than the previous Golf Mk IV based version which was an understeering pig.

If the modified Audi with salvage title isn’t your thing, then you’ll need to go up considerably in odometer reading to hit the price target, but still..nothing depreciates like an Audi.  This 2008 Audi TT 3.2FSI Quattro is offered for $17,922 in Fishers, IN  via craigslist.  The 3.2 liter engine was taken directly from the 2nd gen Golf R32 and puts out 250 horsepower into a DSG flappy paddle gearbox.

Perhaps the Mk2 Audi TT isn’t the most visceral car available for the cash, but it does offer a fun driving experience and a decent level of performance for a fair price.

What would you recommend for a $15k flappy paddle weekend toy?  Comments below.