We already rounded up the cheapest 300 and 400 hp cars on the market for you. But what if you’ve got the need for speed and nothing short of 500 horsepower will satisfy it? Well, here’s hoping you can cough up somewhere between $55,000 and $100,000, because that kind of power doesn’t come for Honda Accord money.
Still, we were able to find a few deals among the list of cars that make 500 horsepower or more. Most require eight cylinders and forced induction to make the cut, but there are a few surprises under the hood. Let’s dive in:
2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500: 662 hp, $55,445
Give Ford credit for two things: first, it’s the undisputed king of cheap speed in all three of our lists. Second, the cheapest car on this list is also the most powerful: the Shelby GT500 slays all nine of its list-mates with a 5.8-liter supercharged V-8 engine making 662 hp. That’s enough to make the Shelby’s engine the most powerful series-production V-8 on the planet, according to Ford. Ford’s magnum-opus Mustang has enough power to hit the magic 200 mph mark, another exclusive for this list (while the AMG cars are reportedly able to hit that speed, they’re electronically limited to 155 mph).
2013 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1: 570 hp, $56,550
Chevrolet’s Camaro comes in second for the third time in a row, but don’t count the Camaro ZL1 out as merely second best. The GT500 might have more power, but the ZL1 has more control. You can thank the ZL1’s trick magnetorheological dampers for that, which iron out pavement imperfections in comfort mode and keep the big boy flat in the corners in sport mode. The ZL1 is scary fast, yes, but Chevrolet’s myriad upgrades to the car make it a bit less scary to drive than Ford’s big bruiser.
2013 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe, Sedan, or Sport Wagon: 556 hp, $65,410
Cadillac’s pricing strategy with the CTS-V is an interesting one: for the (relatively) low price of $65,410 you can buy a Cadillac with 556 horsepower and a coupe, wagon, or sedan body. Cadillac will even let you choose a transmission–a six-speed Tremec manual or six-speed automatic–without adding anything to the price. That transmission, by the way, is bolted to a 6.2-liter, supercharged V-8 engine pumping out 556 horsepower, and sends power to the rear wheels. Impressive.
2013 Chevrolet Corvette Z06: 505 hp, $77,590
The Corvette Z06 is part of a rare breed: the naturally aspirated sports car. Sure, plenty of cars with less than 500 horsepower do it without turbo- or superchargers, but nine of the ten cars on this list have some sort of forced induction. Not the Corvette Z06: it uses a 7.0-liter V-8 engine to produce its 505-hp rating. The Corvette is famously lightweight, too, so the Z06 is a seriously quick car. What we don’t know, however, is if the 7.0-liter V-8 will make it into the upcoming C7 Corvette–we can only confirm that the 6.2-liter LT1 V-8 will be used in base cars at this point.