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Having 500 under the hood no longer means driving exclusive sports cars or spending a fortune on mods.
It wasn't all that long ago that owning a sports car with a V8 or 500 horsepower under the hood meant you belonged to a relatively elite group of car enthusiasts, those with enough money to own an exotic supercar the likes of Ferrari or Lamborghini. However, V8 engines and even bigger ones have become more widely available across the market in recent years. And then, car manufacturers began to hone in on their technology, drawing more and more power from their engines. In the not-too-distant past, 400 horsepower, while available, was reserved for the highest-end cars in the market, top-of-the-line Mercedes-Benzes, BMWs, et cetera. Then, it went to 500 horsepower.
Updated February 2022: Many auto manufacturers have pushed the boundaries on the amount of power produced by their engines and numbers such as 500 horsepower can be seen in relatively affordable cars. Even more astounding, the rise of electric cars has allowed power to become more accessible and more readily available. We've updated this list to reflect the current used market including a few more recent used cars capable of 500 horsepower for selling for less than $50,000.
If you had a hundred grand to spend on a luxury car, 500 horsepower was within your reach; otherwise, it was a pipe dream. Even today, 500 horsepower is pretty unheard of, reserved for only the fastest and most expensive of cars—or so you might think. Over the past few years, the market has seen a vast number of sports cars with over 500 horsepower become available, especially in the last decade. While it might not even seem possible, you can find a pretty large number of insanely fast and powerful 500-plus-horsepower-engine sports cars on a budget. It used to be a dream reserved only for the wealthy, but now, you can find 500 horses on the cheap. Here's a look at 15 cars with 500-plus horsepower that you can pick up for less than $50,000.
The Giulia is an underrated car, and the super version is even more unknown, but this affordable car pushes some actual speed! Twin-turbos attached to a V6 engine push the Quadrifoglio to 505 horsepower. Additionally, the Giulia Quadrifoglio is fitted with an 8-speed automatic for silky-smooth shifting. As one of the newer cars on this list, it also features some rather lovely luxury features like dual-zone climate control, carbon fiber, and driver-assisted tech.
The Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, further, has seating for five comfortably and archives relatively modest MPG ratings despite the powerful engine. Picking one of these beautifully designed cars will bring a smile to your face, and your wallet, as they average at $50,000!
Often overlooked in favor of Aston Martin, Jaguar is no stranger to powerful sports sedans. The F-Type R is an excellent example of what 550 horsepower looks like. Further, the F-Type R sends 502 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels. These specs make it good enough for 3.7 seconds to 60. The large 5.0L V8 engine is supercharged to provide speed and aggressive notes of ecstasy. It's every car-lovers dream!
Curiously enough, it seems that the F-Type R stands up against the likes of the Porsche 911 Carrera S and comes out on top with more horsepower and more fun! Better still, the Jaguar F-Type R comes in at $50,000 on average!
One usually doesn't think of a Land Rover having 500 horsepower, but that's exactly what the Range Rover Sport Supercharged puts out. It actually puts out up to 550 horsepower and tows up to 7,700 lbs! The Land Rover is a beast, especially when considering a 5.0L supercharged V8 sits under the hood!
While a 2022 model will run closer to $90,000, the 2016 is priced at around $50,000 for similar tech and performance, making it an excellent option for a vehicle that has more than 500 horsepower.
The Cadillac CTS-V is one of the many affordable options you have when you want to get your hands on a sports car with 500 horses. You can buy a used one of these for anywhere between $8,000-$10,000, which was virtually unheard of even just ten years ago.
The Cadillac CTS-V is a great choice, too, with 556 horsepower—well above the 500 mark—and a 6-speed manual transmission. Sounds to me like a dangerous amount of fun for an even more dangerous price.
The 2016 Mustang GT350 is another massive hunk of American muscle you can have as your own for less than 50 grand. You can buy this car used for between $45-50,000, and it'll get you 526 bona fide American-made horses and some serious style to boot.
The Mustang isn't a car you want to mess with; it means serious business, especially these newer models that came out when Ford started to take performance quite seriously. The fact that this virtually new car is within reach if you have 50 grand to spend is quite unreal.
One thing you'll learn from this article, if anything, is that depreciation can be your very best friend or your absolute worst enemy. It all depends on when you're buying, for no car company is this truer than Mercedes-Benz.
When you're looking for a 500-horsepower car for less than $50,000, this is a good starting place. The S65 AMG from 2008 can be bought for $19-$24,000 used, and it'll give you an incredible 604 horsepower, more than enough for anyone looking to get 600 horses for less than 50k.
Another great option, especially if you're a fan of luxury, all things European, and 500+ horsepower, is this 2009 BMW M5. You can walk away with the title to this car in your hand for $15-25,000, although we suspect you'd want to drive away with it because this car packs a serious punch.
The BMW M5 harnesses a sublime 500 horses beneath the hood in the form of a spectacularly engineered 5.0-liter V10 engine. Depending on what you want from a car, it comes standard with either a 7-speed automatic or a six-speed manual.
Coming around the corner, we've got another slew of American muscle, all yours for less than 50 grand. And we'll start with this: a 2014 Mustang Shelby GT500. It's all yours for between $40-45,000, and this one's insane, a step above the last Mustang, the GT350.
Your relatively small amount of money will get you a 5.8-liter V8 engine tuned to produce a truly stunning 662 horsepower. It'll take you to 60 in a lightning 3.5 seconds. Talk about a beast, a speed demon with incredible power. And it's finished with a surprisingly affordable price tag.
The Camaro is an American motoring staple, a longstanding legend, and one of America's worryingly few motoring icons for speed and performance.
Despite the lack of choices for high-speed sports cars, the biggest draw for American performance cars is their price tag. They're always cheap, cheaper than European performance cars almost always. But that's good for anyone looking to buy on the cheap, the one looking for 500 horsepower with only 50k in his pocket. The good news is that you can get this ZL1 for $37,000.
The Charger Hellcat truly is a cat straight out of hell. This thing is a monster, with an engine tuned to the maximum and with only one thing in mind: speed—speed, speed, and more speed. And some power. The 2016 Charger Hellcat will run you anywhere from 47-51,000 bucks, so it comes in at the very top end of our budget.
What you get in horsepower is unheard of. That 50k will get you 707 horsepower. That's right, not a typo, no mistake—707 American horses waiting underneath your right foot, eager to rip your face off with speed and G-forces.
We've got another cat from hell on this list of cheap horsepower, and it's in the form of the 2016 Dodge Challenger Hellcat. This is a pretty wicked sweet hot rod, too, a classic example of American muscle and one of the tragically few true sports cars that America produces. Nowadays, you can find it used for somewhere in the neighborhood between $48,000-52,000.
This relatively small sum of money will get you a lot of power—something like 707 hp. Yes, just like the Charger Hellcat, you can have the genuinely legendary horsepower for cheap.
The Chevy Corvette is a bit of a legend, you might say, about the ideal American sports car. It has a rich history; it's fast, it's brash, it's bold, it's powerful (at least nowadays), and above all, it's iconic. If you're looking for 500 of the most iconic horses you can buy, this is the place to look: the 2008 Corvette Z06, which you can find anywhere from 30-40 grand.
What you get under the hood is a massive V8 exploding with 505 raw horsepower. Now, almost anyone can own a 500-horsepower Corvette and not break the bank.
This Grand Cherokee is a mean, temperamental, track-loving SUV monster. If you don't want a sports car, a muscle car, or a luxury sedan, you can still get this. It'll cost you between $35-45,000, but you'll get one hell of a machine. The engine is a massive 6.4-liter Hemi pushing out 470 horsepower.
Now, that's not an even 500, but it's pretty darn close, and if you want an SUV with over 500 hp on any budget, you'll be hard-pressed to find it. So, we'll just round up because this is an incredible SUV and totally worth it.
Even Audi, a pretty expensive luxury brand that holds its aftermarket value quite well, has got its place on this list with the 2016 Audi A8 L, a luxury saloon from the German automaker. Owned by Volkswagen, Audi is, in many ways, merely the luxury brand of VW.
But they've got some serious heavyweights in their lineup, and this is one of them. You can buy it for $45-50,000, and apart from the endless luxury, safety, and comfort, you'll get a 6.3-liter W12 engine that cranks out a golden 500 horses. Have fun in style with this one.
To finish out this list of wondrous 500-horsepower cars you can own for 50,000 bucks or less, we'll talk about another Mercedes-Benz. Seriously, the best bang for your buck is Mercedes. It's one of the only car companies where it's possible to buy a $150,000 car for less than 10.
This S600 will cost you $30-40,000 dollars used, and it's got a great 5.5-liter V12 giving you 510 horsepower. The best part about Mercedes-Benz is that their top-of-the-line cars tend to be about ten years ahead of their time, with safety, comfort, technology etc., so this car is basically new.
Sources: trucktrend.com, auto-types.com, carpixel.net
15 Cars With Over 500 Horsepower You Can Buy For Under $50,000 – HotCars
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