No matter their background, everyone loves the idea of increased social status. It’s practically innate to want to attain a higher social class but for gearheads, it’s even more than just clout that they care about: more money means faster cars. And not just any car will suffice, either. Supercars happen to be a favorite of just about anyone who can get their hands on one purely because of the amount of power that’s quietly enclosed beneath their lightweight bodies.
That brute force provides the ultimate rush—and not just for a car junkie, but for anyone who enjoys a good dose of speed. The only issue that prevents most people from buying a supercar is the fact that more power also means a bigger price tag. All of the glamour that surrounds exotics and supercars, in general, has a lot to do with the fact that most of these cars are perceived as unattainable. But the fact of the matter is that all vehicles depreciate excessively the second that they’re driven off of the lot, and supercars even have a tendency to drop in value even more precipitously than the average car.
While you’re not going to find any unbeatable deals—like a Lamborghini going for the same price as a Camry—there is certainly more out there than what most of us might believe. Assertive taste can go a long way in the used car world, but extensive knowledge about the cars that you’re most interested in is even better. You may just find that there is a whole world of cars out there that you never even knew was an option.
25 Acura NSX ~$49,000
Acura is the make that is often overlooked in the supercar industry. But what else do you expect when the manufacturer offers a popular lineup of affordable, everyday drivers as well. While the majority of the world knows the NSX to be owned by Honda, the partnership slapped an Acura badge on the supercar for the US. Regardless of what little chrome emblem has taken up residence on the grill, the NSX is a beautiful car with an impressive history behind it. The newer models are up in the mid-$100k range, but the early-90s models can be found for around $49k. These early models have a slightly disappointing 270 hp and top speeds of around 175 mph, but the NSX is a car geared toward the JDM fans; it capitalizes on its nostalgia.
24 Lotus Evora ~$50,000
Compared to every other Lotus on this list, the Evora is oftentimes considered to be the best option if you’re on a limited budget. It has a power range of 240-257 hp, depending on the options packages, which straight-up smokes the Elise and Esprit. While it’s not the cheapest model—in fact, it’s more expensive than the Elise—the Evora is affordable if someone is willing to delve into the used car market. A new Evora comes with a relatively hefty price of $90,000 but browsing the web will reveal that a vast array of used options— with suprisingly low mileage—are available at prices below $50,000. In other words, it may actually be smarter to buy an Evora used because of its rate of depreciation.
23 Porsche Cayman S ~$20,000
If you’re not a Porsche fanatic, then the 911 may not be your bag, but the Cayman S has something to offer for anyone desiring precise, mid-engine handling. The fault of the 911 is its rear-engine layout, which is exactly what the Cayman S corrects. Unlike its elder sibling, the Cayman S has a more balanced steering experience and even puts out 350 horses (which isn’t too shabby for a 2.5-liter four-cylinder). Did we mention that the engine is also turbocharged? The Cayman S provides an unparalleled experience for a $65,000 price tag new, but buying used offers a world of opportunities. Even a four-year-old model can be scooped up for less than $50,000, but if you’re willing to get something a little older, some Cayman S models are sold for less than $20,000.
22 Maserati GranTurismo ~$50,000
As is the case with most Maseratis, the GranTurismo has a tendency to catch the interest of any and all who happen to pass by. Although all of that flare isn’t unwarranted, the GranTurismo is rightful in its upscale design. With enough speed and power to fulfill the needs of the majority of speed-crazed buyers, the GranTurismo has a little more to offer with its refined style. It’s like The Great Gatsby of supercars, although, maybe a bit less ostentatious. The best part is that used models can be acquired for less than $50,000—they may be edging toward a decade old, but these are Maseratis, after all.
21 Lotus Esprit ~$50,000
The Esprit may not look like much—it is the notorious antique of Lotus’s lineup—but it’s actually a pretty powerful little car. For one thing, it was once a car that belonged to James Bond, so it obviously was cool, at one time. The body style is certainly outdated by today’s standards, but for anyone with a heart for vintage, the Esprit may be their very own dream. The greatest part? Many of the leftover Esprits can be purchased for under $50,000. That’s not a bad deal for a retired Bond car or an antique supercar (whichever way you want to spin it).
20 Ferrari 308 ~$40,000
As far as Ferraris go, the 308 is a bit of a baby supercar being that it’s the entry-level model in the stable, but its beautiful body style and divine interior make up for it. It’s obviously an aged name in the Ferrari family, but the legendary emblem precedes itself; you’re not getting a low-quality car even if it is an older model. Luckily, the 308 is one of those Ferraris that is relatively easy to get your hands on because of its widespread popularity during its debut. The going price of the 308 varies by the level of wear and tear—although, that tends to be minimal since it’s a supercar—but can typically be acquired for around $60,000. If you’re thrifty enough there are dozens of models that are even below $40,000 but they may require a little bit of love.
19 Jaguar XKR ~$20,000
The XKR is a notorious car in the Jaguar lineup. And it’s fully deserving of any and all recognition because it has a 510-horsepower V8 engine and can be bought for practically nothing. Of course, the power can vary depending on the model year that you purchase, but the XKR is incredibly quick on its feet and has a stunning and timeless design. The swept body is low to the ground and highly aerodynamic, allowing it to go from 0-60 mph in 4.6 seconds. However, even more surprising is the fact that the XKR can easily be purchased for less than $20,000 used—some are even listed below $10,000. Of course, the cheaper the listing, the higher the mileage and age of the model, but it’s an undeniably good deal.
18 Porsche 911 Turbo ~$50,000
For Porsche purists, the 911 is the treasured sports car of Porsche’s lineup. The 911 is iconic but it's also one of the most logical supercars to buy if you don't have exorbitant amounts of cash. And that's not to mention that driving a 911 has its perks; it’s an icon, plus it’s so popular that there’s always one you can find. The vast selection of available 911s in the used car market plays a major role in the countless aftermarket parts that are made for this legendary car, as well. Not only that, but the higher the supply, the lower the demand; which is also why the Porsche 911 happens to be one of the most affordable cars on this list, with prices even dipping below $50,000.
17 Aston Martin DB9 ~$50,000
As any Aston Martin fan well knows, the DB-Series is recognized for its high-quality cars. The DB9 received the short end of the stick compared to its sibling DB models but is still an elegant car with an impressive, 5.6-liter V12. What’s even more remarkable about that big engine that the DB9 is concealing beneath its humble appearance is that it puts out 450 horses and 420 pound-foot of torque. Those are some astonishing digits for a car that can be found for under $100,000 (and sometimes even less than $50,000 if you’re willing to buy something with a few more years on it).
16 BMW i8 ~$60,000
Now, you may be opposed to the idea of accepting the i8 into supercar status because it’s a hybrid and tends to come up short in comparison to competitors. The BMW i8 is equipped with an electric motor making it somewhat underpowered with a respectable 357 horses in total, with 129 hp coming from the motor and 228 horsepower straight from the turbocharged TwinPower 3-cylinder. But what it lacks in power is made up for in its lightweight design. The plastic body is strengthened with ultra-light carbon fiber. The i8 is sadly restricted to a 155 mph top speed but it counters that loss with its eco-friendliness and improved gas mileage. To buy a hybrid supercar may seem like a pricey endeavor, but thanks to depreciation, you can get a four-year-old model for a fraction of the original price (about $60,000).
15 Jaguar F-Type SVR ~$30,000
After Jaguar’s recent redesign of all of their luxury vehicles, they experienced the immediate gratification of a sharp jump in sales during 2016. However, this positive trend has been short-lived, with 2018 draining Jaguar’s sales. While the reliability and aesthetic of Jaguar’s vehicles have improved exponentially, the F-Type—along with four other Jaguar sports cars—only sold around 200 units per car in the US. In spite of Jaguar’s crippling past year of attempting to re-establish its reputation, the F-Type SVR happens to be an unbridled supercar with 575 horses that are thirsting for attention. Since Jag has had such a slump in sales, their cars are crazy cheap; 2014 F-Types can be purchased in the low-$30,000 range, but even SVR models are priced below $60,000. Those are deals that no one can pass up.
14 Nissan GT-R ~$50,000
The GT-R is that soft middle for anyone who has considered purchasing a supercar with insufficient funds, but who also doesn’t want to settle for that cheesy muscle car that everyone has. It’s sharp and stylish, but it’s also extremely fun with a twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V6 that’s packed with over 560 horses. Nissan has even carefully designed the GT-R’s all-wheel-drive system to be computer-controlled, allowing it to improve the grip and traction unbelievably well. And if all of its stock features aren’t enough, the GT-R has the benefit of a vast selection of aftermarket parts. Since it has a strong history, this Nissan can easily be found for less than $50,000 but if you want a model from the last 5 years, then there are options below $60,000.
13 Aston Martin Vantage GT ~$60,000
Aston Martin has built a reputation on its snazzy designs, brandishing dashing good looks to everyone on the road, and the Vantage GT does so with incredible finesse. Of course, there’s more to the Vantage GT than its attractiveness, though (it’s a supercar, after all). The design of the body plays a pivotal role in its speed, and that timeless design is not just aerodynamic but is built with an aluminum chassis enveloped in composite materials that keep it light as a feather. But the 4.7-liter V8 shouldn’t be overlooked, either. While it’s often considered to be a bit disappointing, the Vantage GT’s engine serves up 430 horses, which isn’t bad for a used, $60,000 luxury vehicle. Don’t get us wrong, this Aston Martin happens to be a bit more challenging to find but if enough research is performed, they can be sold for phenomenal prices.
12 Dodge Viper SRT ~$50,000
How could any affordable supercar list be complete without the celebrated Dodge Viper? More importantly, the Viper SRT. It’s actually amazing what the Viper has hidden beneath that sleek hood—and for an incredible price. It has a colossal, 8.4-liter V10 that puts out 645 horsepower and can reach a top speed of 206 mph. But the most compelling reason to buy a Viper for anyone who desires a flare of tradition is the supercar’s inclusion of a six-speed manual transmission. There’s nothing more gratifying than having full control of all 645 horses as you glide over the pavement. Everything about the design of the Viper is meant to improve its speed, including its carbon fiber body design and aluminum door panels. Plus, there are models out there that are in the $50,000 range.
11 Ferrari F355 Spider ~$60,000
Despite the fact that the F355 Spider dates back to the 1990s, there are a number of models that can be found with astonishingly low mileage on them. Don’t let age deceive you, the F355 Spider deserves just as much of a position on this supercar list with its impressive 375 horses. However, the main reason that the F355 is such a special car is its classic Ferrari nostalgia that’s evident in every little design feature, from the pop-up headlights to the instrument cluster. What F355 enthusiasts love most about this classic gem is the sound of its engine. Even if the 911 can drive circles around the F355, the throwback holds a deeper value to many gearheads. And what makes it even more appealing in today’s market is the fact that there are models in fabulous condition that are priced below $60,000.
10 Lotus Elise ~$50,000
Taking in the sleek body of the Elise, most assume that it costs upwards of $100,000. And there’s likely a firm debate against the Lotus Elise—what kind of ‘supercar’ has a meager 217 hp? But it’s been popularly dubbed a ‘junior Ferrari’ for its supercharged four-cylinder and lustrous style. While it’s certainly no 458 Italia, the Elise can put down some power and, better yet, comes at the most affordable price of any of the cars on the list of around $50,000 new. Despite popular belief, a one-of-a-kind vehicle doesn’t necessarily have to be the priciest one on the lot. Quite the contrary, especially in the Elise’s case, many owners claim that they receive numerous compliments and questions about the car because it is relatively unknown, since it’s not exactly a mainstream supercar.
9 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 ~$60,000
While it’s a close race between the Z06 and its sibling, the ZR1, the former offers more bang for your buck. This is particularly true if your primary desire is horsepower. Even though these supercharged Corvettes are extremely similar, the Z06 is even more affordable and it really wouldn’t take much of an investment in modifications to get it up to the same level of performance as a stock ZR1. For a brand-new Z06, the price lies anywhere from $80,000 to a little over $100,000 but a smart buyer can acquire a lightly used model for around $55-60,000. The supercharged Z06’s acceleration doesn’t quite match up to the ZR1 but it’s still a viable option for any gearhead that has an appetite for speed.
8 Alfa Romeo 4C ~$55,000
Similar to Cadillac and Jaguar, Alfa Romeo still has some shame to live out before it can reach its former level of success again. This happens to be a very beneficial factor when choosing a supercar on a budget because Alfa Romeo has no other option than to sell their vehicles for a much lower price than you’d expect. And, as bad as that may sound, the 4C isn’t a terrible ride. However, when spending less on a performance car, you also need to lower your expectations of how much power it has to offer. The Alfa Romeo 4C is one of the modest examples on this list with 237 horsepower. It’s not until you consider that it’s only $55,000 new (and even cheaper when bought used) that this car becomes even more appealing.
7 Fisker Karma Ecosport ~$50,000
Another of the luxury manufacturers that are no longer with us, Fisker Automotive built beautifully-designed cars that offer the greatest amount of efficiency without compromising power. The Fisker Karma Ecosport, in particular, has a whopping 403 horses with an average gas efficiency of 55 mpg. That’s incredible, especially considering that the technology powering this luxury supercar was a relatively new concept in the modern world. But it’s futuristic tech wasn’t well-received, leading to Fisker Automotive’s 2013 demise. The Karma is definitely state-of-the-art and is now much more affordable than ever. Some Ecosports are even going for $50,000. The only downside is the issue of part replacements on a car that is still years ahead of its time.
6 Lamborghini Gallardo ~$50,000
The Gallardo is a well-known car because of the glamorous reputation that it, along with most other Lamborghinis, has managed to maintain. However, this is certainly a more realistic option from the Lamborghini family. The Gallardo’s basic package included a 5.2-liter V10 engine that’s swimming in horses—543 to be exact. If you’re a supercar fanatic, then there are definitely a few Gallardos out there waiting to be scooped up for the savvy shopper. Depending on how old you’re willing to buy, the Gallardo can be picked up for well under $100,000 and some are even priced below $50,000. They may require a few upgrades to offset the inevitable wear and tear that it’s been through.
5 De Tomaso Pantera ~$45,000
If you’re a lover of classics, then you’re probably well aware of the risk involved when investing in one. And, to be frank, that’s the tragic flaw of the Pantera. It was once an excellent performance car but since De Tomaso has gone defunct, it’s not only challenging to find a good Pantera in respectable condition, but it’s also a bit pricey and difficult to swap out stock parts. However, there is a strong argument for buying one of these rare icons because of their 350 horses and 362 pound-feet of torque. Other than its apparent vintage glamour, collectors are drawn to the Pantera because it can cost less than $45,000; granted, it may need a few upgrades, but many of the surviving cars have been well-maintained.
4 Audi R8 ~$40,000
There’s a very compelling reason that the Audi R8 is so widely popular and it’s not just Audi’s performance. The luxury car corporation may be great at building popular sedans but they’ve also found themselves a comfortable position in the supercar industry. The R8 may be based on the same platform as the Lamborghini Gallardo and Huracan, but it is lacking in a few of the styling features that keeps its price at a fraction of the cost. In fact, if you wanted to buy an early model R8, you could easily find a used one for the same price as a brand-new sedan. Some super high-mileage examples are sold for as low as $40,000, which is nothing compared to the $400,000 Lamborghini Aventador.
3 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 ~$55,000
Not all consider the Corvette worthy of a supercar title, but how can you really argue with a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 with 638 hp? Even the 2009 model Corvette ZR1 can reach the quarter mile in 11.2 seconds. With all of that power, we can confidently claim that the ZR1 isn’t just a supercar, but an affordable one at that. The base price for a flashy, new model is $121,000 but those willing to take a dive into the used car market can find some for $55,000 or less. One refreshing feature of the ZR1 is the fact that it has a manual transmission option, unlike most modern-day supercars. Essentially, even if you get an older model, the ZR1 is just as fun—if not more—compared to every other performance car out there.
2 Bentley Continental GT ~$30,000
We can’t evaluate the most affordable luxury cars without bringing up the Bentley Continental GT. It may not have the greatest gas mileage in the world, but you probably won’t be complaining about its 6.0-liter V12 that served up over 550 horsepower for the 2005 model year, and that only increases with each new iteration. The massive attraction to the Continental GT isn’t just speed, it’s actually well-known for having a very elegant design that’s unique to Bentley. Luckily for the savvy car buyers, the Continental GT (like many luxury vehicles) experiences a lot of depreciation and can be purchased well below $50,000 these days, sometimes even less than $30,000.
1 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat ~$45,000
We know that the Challenger is technically a muscle car, but the SRT Hellcat is one of those speedy exceptions with over 707 horses cranked out of a track-tuned, 6.2-liter Hemi V8 paired to a six-speed manual gearbox. The recent 2018 SRT Hellcat Demon has broken several records as the fastest production car in the quarter mile, which is what has really brought more attention to the Challenger SRT Hellcat as a performance vehicle. It’s often downplayed, but this is one powerful car and is extremely affordable. While you won’t find any of the SRT Hellcat Demons below $100,000, a used SRT Hellcat can typically be purchased for about $47,000 if you want one in great condition—however, cheaper models are available that are below $45,000.
Sources: GearPatrol, Wikipedia, and Lamborghini.