Photo Credit: Benjamin Hunting
These days, you do not have to shell out $100k plus to own a nice sports car. Yes, we all dream of owning and driving high-end sports cars like a Lamborghini or Ferrari. But there are a ton of cheap sports cars on the market for the 2015 model year and these vehicles can provide lots of tire-shredding fun. Take, for instance, a middle-of-the-road muscle car or a base model Corvette; these cars can accelerate as fast as many exotic cars at a fraction of the price.
The sports car line has become increasingly blurred over the past decade. In the past, the term “sports car” usually meant a rear-wheel drive vehicle with two seats. Now, there are big V-8 muscle cars, turbocharged sedans, and even some front-wheel drive automobiles that are considered sports cars. And 400 horsepower is still fun, no matter the shape, size, number of seats, or engine configuration. So sit back and strap on your seat belts as we take a look at some of the cheapest sports cars on the market.
10) 2015 Honda Civic Si - $22,890
Believe it or not, the Honda Civic Si goes way back to the mid 1980s. But the 2015 Honda Civic Si is light years ahead of the old models of yesterday. Honda has continued to stick with what has worked over the years; a small lightweight chassis with a high-revving 4-cylinder engine. The Civic Si engine is a 2.4L 4-cylinder motor featuring 205 horsepower and 174 lb-ft of torque, with a 0-60 time in the high 6-second range. What makes the Si so enjoyable as a cheap sports car is the fact that you can take the car all the way to redline. Fuel economy for the Civic Si is 22 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. The 2015 Honda Civic Si might be some of the most fun you can have for around $23k.
Photo Credit: Hyundai
9) 2015 Hyundai Genesis Coupe - $26,750
The 2015 Hyundai Genesis Coupe comes with a 3.8-liter V-6 engine, good for 308 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque. The power is put down to the pavement through the rear wheels via a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic gearbox. The Genesis Coupe features a track-tuned suspension consisting of stiffer spring and dampener rates, and the R-Spec and Ultimate trim levels include Brembo brakes. The 2015 Genesis Coupe boasts an athletic profile that suits the car’s sportiness, although it may still offer a few surprises.
Photo Credit: Megan Green
8) 2015 Nissan 370Z - $29,990
The 2015 Nissan 370Z has a couple of things going for it. First, the Z has a very storied and prestigious history, spanning all the way back to 1969. The Datsun 240Z was a cheap sports car that is still a real favorite among many enthusiasts. Many different iterations of the Z have spanned a couple of decades, all culminating in the 370Z model. The second major factor the 370Z has in its corner is the technology that Nissan possesses. The Nissan GTR is considered one of the ultimate sports cars in the world and plays the role of big brother to the 370Z. This Japanese sports car is powered by a 3.7-liter V-6 engine that provides 332 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic transmission can be had. The exterior of the car is something different with the arrow style lights and the severe slope on the roofline. Overall, the 2015 Nissan 370Z makes a bold visual statement.
7) 2015 Chevrolet Camaro SS - $33,505
The 2015 Chevrolet Camaro SS is the epitome of an inexpensive muscle car. Jumping right into the heart of the matter, the 2015 Chevrolet Camaro SS is motivated by a V-8 engine that displaces 6.2 liters and is good for 426 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque when equipped with a manual transmission. Heck, even the base model V-6 Camaro can muster over 300 horsepower. But it is the classic SS model that is the real gem of the Chevrolet lineup. Fuel economy marks are 16 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway… but you do not buy a Camaro SS to commute to and from work. You buy a Camaro because you want a cheap sports car that can rip up the drag strip or run a few laps around the track at triple-digit speeds.
6) 2015 Audi TT - $40,350
The Audi TT has been around since 1998 and has remained relatively unchanged since then. Sure, there have been performance updates and technological upgrades over the past 10+ years. But why would Audi mess with a good thing? The 2015 Audi TT is a very capable and cheap sports car. The look of the Audi TT speaks volumes in regards to its performance heritage. Beneath the modern design of the exterior lurks Audi’s famous quattro all-wheel drive system. The motor is a small 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. While this may not sound very sports car-like, the Audi TT benefits from turbo power. Total power output is 211 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. The small engine helps the 2015 Audi TT get 22 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. The Audi TT is not only a skilled handling automobile but it is also quite luxurious on the inside.
5) 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT - $45,395
Practically every sports car or muscle car comparison out there has the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT as one of the contenders in the mix. This car not only looks the part; it has the firepower to back it up. The Challenger SRT is the pride and joy of Dodge’s Street and Racing Technology division and these guys have delivered one strong muscle car. The vehicle is motivated by a 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 engine that produces 485 horsepower and 475 lb-ft of torque. The Challenger gets 14 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway.
4) 2015 Ford Mustang Shelby GT 500 - $55,935
Take one part Mustang, one part supercharger, one part madness, and blend them together. The result is a cheap sports car that produces a mind-boggling 662 horsepower and 631 lb-ft of torque. Performance-wise, the 2015 Ford Shelby GT500 ranks among some of the fastest sports cars with a 0-60 mph time of 3.5 seconds. Ford has packed all their technological wizardry into the GT 500 and you will get everything from the famous SYNC system to traction and stability control. Fuel economy ratings are mediocre, with the GT 500 getting 15 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway. But who cares about fuel economy when you have 662 horses prancing around under the hood?
3) 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray - $55,000
Ah, the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette, a cheap sports car that is the pride and joy of America. The first generation Corvette debuted way back in the 1950s and there have been many iconic vehicles along the way. Now, the base model 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray comes with a 6.2-liter V-8 engine that produces 455 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. Rest assured, the Corvette Stingray is a dyed-in-the-wool sports car. Everything about the 2015 Corvette speaks to its performance and history. Oh, and the fuel economy numbers are not half bad, at 17 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. If you feel frisky, there are other models, such as the Z51 and Z06, but these are all much more expensive.
Photo Credit: Volkswagen of America
2) 2015 Porsche Cayman - $52,600
In a sea of Porsche sports cars that include the 911, Boxster, and Panamera, the Cayman seems to often get ignored. But the 2015 Porsche Cayman is a cheap sports car that offers incredible performance coupled with great looks. Power in the base version comes via the flat-six boxer engine that Porsche is famous for. This 2.7-liter six-cylinder engine produces 275 horsepower and 213 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy checks in at 22 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway. The power numbers may be some of the lowest on the list but the Cayman features a lightweight chassis that is more at home on the track than on the road, nimble and with lightning-quick reflexes.
1) 2015 BMW M3 - $62,000
The 2015 BMW M3 is priced at the upper end of the cheap sports car scale, but the amount of performance that comes from the M3 coupe is extraordinary. Power comes from a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 engine that produces 425 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque, paired to a dual clutch seven-speed transmission. The M3 gets 17 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. Beyond the performance of the M3, you can enjoy tons of comfort, convenience, and technology all rolled into one modern cheap sports car.