In the not-too-distant past, if you wanted a car with 500 or more horsepower, your only choice was an exotic supercar, and cars with top speeds of anywhere near 200 miles per hour were part of a very exclusive club. Today you can get a car with over 500 horsepower for just over $50,000, and hit 200 mph for less than $75,000. While not exactly cheap, they are much less expensive than a Ferrari or Lamborghini, and all of the cars on our list manage to extract at least 20 miles per gallon on the highway (something a true exotic would struggle to accomplish). If you’re on a budget and in the market for lots of power, take a look at our list of 10 of the least expensive cars with 500 horsepower.
10 Affordable Cars with 500 Horsepower
Photo Credit: Nissan
10) Nissan GT-R
Nissan GT-R – $109,990
565 HP = $194.67/HP
The Nissan GT-R is the closest thing to a supercar on our list, and it’s priced accordingly. Updated for 2017, the 2-door sports coupe features four seats (though the rear seats can be a tight fit) and a reasonably-sized trunk. Power comes from a 565-horsepower turbocharged 3.8-liter V6 that seems to punch above its weight. A 6-speed paddle-shifted dual-clutch transmission directs the horses to all four wheels via a sophisticated all-wheel drive system that seems to be able to find more grip than you ever thought was available. Despite a 0-60 time of under three seconds and a top speed just shy of 200 mph, the GT-R is rated at 22 miles per gallon on the highway; the GT-R is an incredibly usable car with more than 500 horsepower.
Photo Credit: Jaguar Land Rover
9) Jaguar F-Type R
Jaguar F-TYPE R Coupe – $105,400
550 HP = $191.64/HP
Jaguar F-Type R Convertible – $108,250
550 HP = $196.82/HP
The F-Type R is a 2-seat sports car that is available as both a coupe and a convertible. Aluminum-intensive construction helps keep weight down, making even base versions of the F-Type quick, but with the R’s 550-horsepower supercharged 5.0-liter V8 there’s more than ample oomph to spare. An 8-speed QuickShift ZF automatic transmits power to all four wheels, helping the Jag sprint from 0-60 in 3.9 seconds on its way to a top speed of 186 mph. Assuming you’re driving at a more reasonable speed, the F-Type R’s fuel economy is rated at 23 miles per gallon on the highway. The coupe is significantly stiffer than the convertible, but both are entertaining drives that makes our list of the 10 cheapest cars with 500 horsepower.
Photo Credit: BMW
8) BMW M5
BMW M5 – $94,10
560 HP = $168.04/HP
The BMW M5 is a high-performance midsize 4-door luxury car powered by a 560-horsepower turbocharged 4.4-liter V8, backed by either a 6-speed manual or 7-speed double-clutch transmission that sends power to the rear wheels. The manual is the slightly more economical of the two, with a highway fuel economy rating of 22 miles per gallon, though the double-clutch is a bit quicker, completing the run to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds. Despite the power, the M5’s top speed is limited to 155 miles per hour (which, while slower than some of the other cars on the list, is more than enough to get you into trouble). The current version is a superb highway machine, though not quite as nimble as previous generations or some of its competition; a new version should appear sometime in 2017.
Photo Credit: Cadillac
7) Cadillac CTS-V
Cadillac CTS-V – $85,595
640 HP = $133.74/HP
The Cadillac CTS-V is a 4-door midsize luxury car which, thanks to its 640-horsepower supercharged 6.2-liter V8, can complete the sprint to 60 miles per hour in 3.7 seconds before hitting a top speed of 200 mph. The only transmission option is an 8-speed automatic, though it does have steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters in case you want to take control. Fuel economy is rated at 21 miles per gallon on the highway, which isn’t terrible for such a roomy car with such a powerful engine. The CTS-V isn’t exactly a lightweight, but thanks to its magnetorheological dampers and huge Brembo brakes, it does a remarkably good job through the corners (or even on a track). If you’re looking for a practical car with more than 500 horsepower, the CTS-V might fit the bill.
Photo Credit: General Motors
6) Chevrolet Corvette Z06
Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Coupe – $79,400
650 HP = $122.15/HP
Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Convertible – $83,400
650 HP = $128.31/HP
The Chevrolet Corvette is a 2-door rear-wheel drive sports car that is available as both a coupe and a convertible. The Z06 version adds a 650-horsepower supercharged 6.2-liter V8 backed by either a 7-speed manual or an 8-speed paddle shift automatic transmission. The sprint from 0-60 miles per hour is completed in less than three seconds (an impressive feat for a car without all-wheel drive) and top speed is north of 200 mph. Fuel economy on the highway is more frugal with the automatic, at a downright reasonable 23 miles per gallon, though the manual is more economical in the city. The Corvette is not only one of the most affordable cars with more than 500 horsepower, but also one of the best.
Photo Credit: Mercedes-Benz
5) Mercedes-Benz AMG C63 S
Mercedes-Benz AMG C63 S – $72,800
503 HP = $144.73/HP
Mercedes-Benz AMG C63 S Coupe – $75,000
503 HP = $149.11/HP
The compact 4-door Mercedes-Benz AMG C63 S sedan and the 2-door C63 S Coupe are both relatively inexpensive ways to get into a luxurious car with lots of power. Though just making the cutoff for our list, the 4.0-liter turbocharged V8 makes 503 horsepower, which is sent to the rear wheels by a 7-speed automatic transmission. The combination is enough to propel the C63 S to 60 miles per hour in under four seconds, but unfortunately, the top speed is electronically limited to well below the fastest cars on our list (though it’s still more than fast enough for our roads). Fuel economy is rated at 24 miles per gallon on the highway, making the AMG C63 S the most frugal car on our list of affordable cars with 500 horsepower.
Photo Credit: Alfa Romeo
4) Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio
Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio – $70,000 (Estimated)
505 HP = $138.61/HP
The new Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio is a compact 4-door sedan that should be available laster this year as a 2017 model. Power for the Quadrifoglio comes from a relatively small 2.9-liter Ferrari-derived turbocharged V6 that makes an impressive 505 horsepower, which is sent to the rear wheels via a 6-speed manual transmission (an 8-speed automatic should arrive later). That much power in such a small package means a 0-60 time of 3.8 seconds and a top speed of 191 miles per hour, though it also means that there is sometimes more than a slight suggestion of turbo lag. It’s hard to beat the Giulia Quadrifoglio if you’re looking at reasonably priced Italian cars (or even European cars) with more than 500 horsepower.
Photo Credit: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
3) Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat / Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat – $64,195
707 HP = $90.80/HP
Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat – $67,645
707 HP = $95.68/HP
The 4-door Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat and 2-door Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat both use immensely powerful supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi engines that make 707 horsepower. The most powerful cars on our list, the SRT Hellcat siblings are also some of the cheapest, with the Challenger having the best price-to-horsepower ratio. Both of the Hellcats are available with 8-speed automatic transmissions, but the Challenger is also available with a 6-speed manual. On street tires, the launch to 60 miles per hour takes somewhere around 3.5 seconds (on drag tires that number should drop below the 3-second barrier) and the top speed is right around 200 mph. Despite the cars’ large size and huge power, fuel economy is a reasonable 22 MPG on the highway wih the automatic.
Photo Credit: General Motors
2) Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 – $60,000 (Estimated) / 650 HP = $92.31 / HP
The Chevrolet Camaro is a two-door sports coupe or convertible, and the upcoming ZL1 version uses the same engine as the Z06 Corvette, a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 that force feeds 650 horsepower to the rear wheels via either a six-speed manual or a ten-speed automatic transmission. The ZL1 is ready to use all that power with a Magnetic Ride suspension, large Brembo brakes and wide summer-only tires, as well as the Chevrolet Performance Data Recorder that allows you to log video of your driving sessions. Official numbers have yet to be released, but the run from zero to sixty miles per hour should take under four seconds, and top speed should be over 180 miles per hour. The ZL1 has been rated at 20 miles per gallon on the highway with the manual transmission.
Photo Credit: Ford
1) Ford Mustang Shelby GT350
Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 – $54,570
526 HP = $103.75/HP
Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R - $62,070
526 HP = $118.00/HP
The Ford Mustang GT350 is the cheapest car on our list, and just about the most affordable way to get into a car with more than 500 horsepower. For the money, you get a 526-horsepower 5.2-liter flat-plane V8 that revs all the way to 8,250 RPMs, a MagneRide suspension, 2-piece brake rotors and a host of other tweaks, all designed to make this Mustang perform on track. The sprint to sixty takes just over four seconds and top speed is right around 170 mph. Stepping up to the GT350R gets you an even more track-focused car (with upgrades including lightweight carbon fiber wheels) and lowers the 0-60 time to under four seconds. Fuel economy does suffer compared to the normal Mustangs, but remains reasonable at 21 miles per gallon on the highway.