If you want to get the most horsepower for the money, there's a tried and true segment of the automotive industry that will never let you down: muscle cars. Simply put, muscle machines provide you with the biggest bang for the buck - in a straight line - of any car on the market, every single time. What you might not have known, however, is that you don't have to opt for the V-8 option in the majority of these rough and tumble coupes to stretch your dollar, as in many cases the entry-level V-6 or (dare we say it?) turbo four-cylinder motors will give you an even greater return on your investment. Let's take a quick look at the top 10 cars with the most horsepower for the money for 2016.
The 2016 Ford Mustang GT coupe's combination of affordable pricing and rambunctious eight-cylinder engine give it the most horsepower for the money of any car available for the current model year. The Ford Mustang GT will set you back $32,395, but it softens the blow somewhat by way of the 435 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque produced by its 5.0-liter V-8. This motor is matched with a six-speed manual transmission in base form, and a standard launch control feature allows the Mustang GT to reach 60-mph from a standing start in just 4.7 seconds.
The 2016 Hyundai Genesis Coupe is a surprising number two on our list of the cars with the most horsepower for the money, as it doesn't have the same muscle-bound image as the more traditional fare streaming out of Detroit. Nevertheless, the Hyundai Genesis Coupe's standard 348 horsepower, 3.8-liter V-6 (also good for 295 lb-ft of torque), combined with its MSRP of $26,750 to finish just a couple dollars above the Mustang GT by our dollars-per-horsepower metric. Like the Ford, a six-speed manual gearbox is included free of charge, and 60-mph arrives about a half-second slower than it does for the Mustang.
The 2016 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack doesn't just give you a couple tons of metal for your money - you also get a heaping helping of horsepower. The Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack is outfitted with a 6.4-liter naturally aspirated V-8 that can be relied on to produce 485 horsepower and 475 lb-ft of torque, which is harnessed by a six-speed manual transmission. At $37,995, it's hard to argue with the absurd horsepower-to-dollars ration offered by this mega-coupe, which is also roomy enough to make a legitimate case for hauling five passengers in relative comfort.
Another Mustang? You better believe it: the most affordable version of the 2016 Ford Mustang, the V6 coupe, also happens to provide buyers with a hearty helping of horsepower under the hood. Equipped with a 3.7-liter V-6, the base Ford Mustang delivers 300 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque, and despite the lack of fanfare surrounding its presence in the Blue Oval's lineup, when equipped with a manual transmission its MSRP of just $23,985 makes it a strong contender in the value sweepstakes. This is especially true when you consider that it offers 28-mpg in highway driving to go with its respectable output figures.
The 2016 Chevrolet Camaro SS coupe has been completely redesigned for the current model year, bringing with it a slew of upgraded engine options. As with its Ford counterpart, it's the Chevrolet Camaro's eight-cylinder model, the SS, that gives you the most horsepower return for your money. Wearing a price tag of $36,300, the Camaro SS guarantees 455 horses and 455 lb-ft of torque, shifted via a six-speed manual transmission. Not only does this make the new Camaro the most powerful SS in history, but it also rockets it to 60-mph in a quick 4.0 seconds.
Hot on the heels of its V-8 sibling - in value, if not performance - is the six-cylinder edition of the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro. The Chevrolet Camaro V6 coupe is now the middle child of the muscle car's line-up, and, as a result, has seen its price balloon somewhat to $27,185. Still, with 335 ponies and 284 lb-ft of torque on tap from a 3.6-liter V-6 engine that now offers direct fuel injection (coupled with a six-speed manual transmission), the six-cylinder Camaro remains an appealing option when measuring by horsepower for the money.
The 2016 Ford Mustang EcoBoost is the final Ford entry on our list of cars with the most horsepower for the money - we promise - and despite offering a bit more grunt than the V-6 Mustang the extra cost of ownership drops it down a few rungs in comparison. The Ford Mustang EcoBoost is priced at $25,395 in coupe form, and its 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder promises 310 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque when whipped into a frenzy by its six-speed manual transmission. Fuel mileage is even better with the small-displacement Mustang, checking in at 32-mpg on the highway.
The 2016 Dodge Challenger R/T makes its second appearance in our horsepower per dollar round-up, minus its Scat Pack engine this time but still plenty hairy for muscle enthusiasts. The Dodge Challenger R/T's 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 grinds out 372 horses and 410 lb-ft of torque, numbers that are somewhat overmatched by its hefty curb weight (5.8 seconds in the race to 60-mph) but which keep things relatively interesting once off the line. A six-speed manual gearbox comes hand-in-hand with the base Challenger R/T, which retails for the very reasonable MSRP of $31,995.
Photo by Dodge
Batting clean-up for the 2016 Dodge Challenger is the eye-popping SRT Hellcat model, which throws down an enormous 707 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque. This ridiculous level of production from its supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 is enough to overcome the car's $65,490 starting price (which has grown since the model was first introduced last year). A six-speed manual strains to control the mighty SRT Hellcat's acceleration, which under perfect conditions rockets the coupe to 60-mph in well under five seconds. On the street, be prepared for more smoky burnout sessions than stoplight glories, unless you fit a set of drag radials under the car.
The 2016 Chrysler 200 Limited 3.6 is somewhat of an outlier on this list - no muscle car heritage, no real performance credibility, and yet still a significant amount of horsepower for the money. The secret is the Chrysler 200 Limited's 3.6-liter V-6 engine, which produces a respectable 295 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque and which is mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission. With a surprisingly low price of $26,485, the 200 Limited 3.6 posts an ask of $89.77 per horsepower, slipping just under the $90 mark and joining some fairly exclusive company.