Finding high performance cars for under $100,000 is no easy task, but that’s no longer an issue because we’ve done the hard work for you. Looking back over the past year we’ve compiled a list of rides that would definitely be in the garage if we were Jay Leno on a budget. So fasten your seat-belts, friends, and take a ride with us in the Top 31 Cars Under $100,000. Let’s get started!
31. 2014 Mercedes S550
The S550 has a large grill and a curvaceous body. Its interior offers uniquely tailored comforts like reclining back seats and an elegant wood trim. The car is gorgeous and imposing and that’s before you even get to the performance. But before taking that step, a bit more on the bells and whistles: it features a navigation system, night vision, an entertainment system, and heated/cooled upholders. It’s basically like driving a luxury car and flying first class at the same time. The S550 engine has a 4.7-liter turbo V8 good for 455 horsepower and 0 to 60 in 4.7 seconds. Price: $92,900.
30. 2015 Subaru WRX STi
Plan on taking a stretch of winding road? If so, then you might want to pick up the STi, which boasts a 2.5-liter, turbocharged, 305 horsepower engine. At 3,400 pounds, the symmetrical all-wheel drive system squeezes every last bit of power out from under the hood and transplants it equally to all four wheels. It’s a stiffer car with excellent braking and suspension and the boxer engine has some surprising low-end torque to pull you out of those turns with ease. Price: $34,495.
29. 2014 Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid
We didn’t expect to see so many Porsches turn up on a list celebrating the under-$100k car, but the company is surprisingly cost-friendly when it comes to supercars as you will discover. With the Panamera S E-Hybrid, the first Porsche selection on our list, you get the gas-mileage benefits of a hybrid car — 50 miles per gallon in this case — without sacrificing speed and performance. The combustion engine produces 333 horsepower while the electric motor adds another 95hp. Total output is 416hp at 5,500 RPM. In 0 to 60 terms, the Panamera makes the jump in 5.2 seconds and reaches a top track speed of 167mph. Price: $99,000.
28. 2014 Chevy SS Sports Sedan
Powered by a LS3 6.2-liter V8 engine, this top-shelf sedan is one of understated beauty. While the black and chrome you see in the pic give it a nice look, there is nothing too overbearing about the appearance, meaning this car likes to let performance do most of its talking. The one exception comes by way of its dual-tip exhaust, which has it purring like a kitten — the 400-pound, King of the Jungle kind. Available only in a six-speed automatic transmission (with paddle shifters!), the car produces 415 horsepower and 415 lb.-ft. of torque, and goes from 0 to 60 in about five seconds. Perhaps most important of all it is comfortably priced at $45,770.
27. 2014 Nissan 370Z Nismo
The 370Z Nismo is a barebones ride built with the driver in mind. It isn’t a car that you want to sputter around town in; nor is it a car where you’re going to be overwhelmed with modern tech and special features. Rather it’s a car you take onto the open road just to enjoy the day. It has a 3.7-liter V6 engine with 350 horsepower and 276 lb.-ft. of torque. Going 0 to 60 in this slightly higher than 1.5-ton vehicle will take a flat five seconds. Price: $43,020.
26. 2014 Nissan 370Z
Like its slightly more advanced Nismo brethren above, the 370Z packs in a classic 3.7-liter V6 engine with 330 horsepower and 270 lb.-ft. of torque allowing it to push the 0 to 60 stretch in roughly the same amount of time (5.0 seconds). The roughly 19-inch rims are especially worth mentioning here because of just how stunning they are to look at while other features fail to disappoint. Where this car really usurps the 370z Nismo for us is price. You can pick up a 370Z for $35,200 — almost $10k cheaper.http://youtu.be/ZD3HI4tif8o
25. 2014 Hyundai Genesis 5.0 R-Spec
With an automatic transmission, rear-wheel drive, and a 5.0-liter, 8-cylinder engine, the 2014 Hyundai Genesis 5.0 R-Spec is a stable, safe, and powerful ride that just beats the $50k mark in price, provided you stick with the starting point of $47,400. It also gets decent gas mileage (18 city / 27 highway) while delivering formidable horsepower as well as sport-tuned suspension and 19-inch premium machine-finish alloy wheels for maximum road grip.
24. 2014 Audi S7
The S7 boasts a muscular and distinctive coupe-like exterior and a V8 engine that produces 420 horsepower. You’ll also get Audi’s adaptive air suspension and an optimized version of the Quattro with sport differential. While it doesn’t do gas mileage so well, it does manage 17 in the city and 27 on the highway. What it lacks there, however, it makes up for in acceleration, hitting 60 from standing in just 4.5 seconds. Last but not least, it boasts a top track speed of 155 miles per hour, and its 406 lb.-ft. of torque make it a dream going in and out of curves.
23. 2014 Jaguar XFR-S
The XFR-S is supercharged and ready to be let loose on the nearest unsuspecting track. With this horsepower behemoth you’ll be producing 550hp and hitting 60 from 0 in just 4.4 seconds with a top speed of 186 miles per hour. The EPA highway estimate is 23 miles per gallon. The XFR-S handles well with 502 lb.-ft. of torque ensuring that you enter and leave turns with absolute control and it just makes the cut for this list with a MSRP of $99,000.
22. 2014 Mercedes C63 AMG
The C63 AMG utilizes a 6.3-liter V8 engine capable of 451 horsepower and 0 to 60 acceleration in just 4.4 seconds. In this car Mercedes is forgoing fuel economy for performance, delivering just 13mpg in the city and 19mpg on the highway, but once you get a look at the interior you’ll probably forget all about that. That’s because of the cockpit styling, the sport seats with integrated head restraints, the heated front seats, split-folding rear seats, 14-way power driver seat with memory, and 4-way lumbar driver support. You’ll also have access to a crystal clear Harman/Kardon LOGIC7 sound system with USB support, hands-free Bluetooth streaming and interface, and a central controller for navigating from points A to B. Price: $62,750.
21. 2014 Lexus IS F
Last of its kind! Lexus is retiring their second generation chassis with this version of the IS F. The car’s 5.0-liter V8 engine packs a whopping 416 horsepower and 371 lb.-ft. of torque. Fuel efficiency clocks in at 16 miles per gallon in the city and 23 mpg on the highway. If you really want to open it up and fly then you’ll probably only get around 10. But that’s not why you buy this car. You buy it for performance, and as far as that goes, IS F will do 0 to 60 miles per hour in just 4.6 seconds and maxes out at a top speed of 170mph. You can pick one up for $63,300.
20. 2014 Porsche Cayman S
The Cayman S has just been redesigned and retooled with a little more horsepower and torque than previous incarnations. This time around you’ll have access to 325hp and 272 lb.-ft. of torque. That translates to a racy-feeling ride that boasts 0 to 60 duty in around 4.7 seconds. It has aggressive shifts and good stability in and out of turns. Once you get it on the track — or certain non-speed-trap locations — you can open it up and hit a top speed of around 175 miles per hour. Average fuel consumption is a respectable 20 miles per gallon in the city and 28 on the highway. The manual MSRP is just $63,800.
19. 2014 Porsche Panamera S
If the Panamera S E-Hybrid doesn’t do it for you, not to worry. You can still get in on the Panamera fun with the S version, which utilizes the PDK transmission and boasts 420 horsepower. Zero to 60 acceleration can be achieved in just 4.9 seconds or as low as 4.6 with the Sport Chrono version. It also hits a top track speed of around 178.3mph, which is 11.3 faster than the hybrid version. Of course, you don’t get the same level of gas mileage in this conventional version. The S will only hit 17 miles per gallon in the city and 27 on the highway. MSRP is $93,200, which is cheaper than the Hybrid, though we’re pretty certain that difference would be made up on fuel purchases over time.
18. 2014 Tesla Model S Performance
Tesla Motors’ Model S Performance car features a respectable 416 horsepower with 0 to 60 capabilities in 4.2 seconds. As an electric performance car, this is one of the very best, at least in the 85 kWh battery model. It boasts a quarter-mile time of 12.6 seconds and a top speed of 130mph. Peak motor torque is 443 lb.-ft. for strong handling in and out of turns. The EPA 5-Cycle Certified Range is 265 miles. All that and it comes with everything you need to plug in to the most common 240- and 120-volt outlets as well as any available public stations. Price: $69,900.
17. 2014 Lotus Evora S
The 2014 Lotus Evora comes in three different styles, each varying in the degree of power under the hood. You can start on the low end with the baseline Evora and it’ll only cost you around $68k; but if you really want to see what this baby can do bump it up to the S 2+2 Manual or Automatic. The S 2+2 produces around 345 horsepower and does 0 to 60 in an impressive 4.4 seconds. They regularly run for $83,745 or even cheaper if you can manage to negotiate a better deal.
16. 2014 Porsche 911 Carrera S
With the 911 Carrera S you can keep prices under $100,000, but you’ll need to be conservative and forgo most of the add-on features. Fortunately, the base package is quite nice. You’ve got a touchscreen navigation system and Bose sound system with 12 speakers. It features a 7-speed dual clutch transmission and produces 400 horsepower with 325 lb.-ft. torque, meaning that in the standard version you should be able to pull 0 to 60 in about 4.3 seconds. Fuel efficiency is pretty good considering all of that, with a 20 mpg performance in the city and 27 on the highway. One of these will run you roughly $98,900.
15. 2014 Audi RS 5
The RS 5 features an aggressive design and a 4.2-liter FSI V8 engine to help it back up some of the talk. With 450 horsepower and 317 lb.-ft. of torque, it moves and handles gracefully, hitting 60 in just 4.5 seconds and reaching a top track speed of 174 miles per hour. It’s a bit more of a gas hog than some of the other Audi models, getting a combined 18mpg (23 on the highway and 16 in the city), but with more hustle to the muscle it’s probably the most fun you’ll have driving anything that bears the Audi logo below $100k. Prices start at $69,600.
14. 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe
Flirting with the top tier of the under-$100k club, the newest F-Type R Coupe from Jaguar is an easy-on-the-eyes spectacle that will get you from 0 to 60 in a jaw-dropping 4.2 seconds – though Road and Track claims an actual test time of 3.8 seconds. That’s as fast as (or faster, depending on whom you believe) any other car on the list thus far. What makes this possible is the supercharged V8 engine boasting 495 horses under the hood. In a quarter-mile distance the F-Type logs an even more impressive quarter-mile time of 12 seconds flat. Just watching this baby handle is a popcorn-worthy event. The whole shebang can be yours for $99,895.
13. 2014 Mercedes E63 AMG
For the first time, the E63 AMG gets the all-wheel drive treatment. The engine is a twin-turbo 32-valve DOHC 5.5-liter V8 producing 550 horsepower and 531 lb.-ft. of torque. The all-wheel drive system offers a fixed torque split that diverts a constant 67 percent of power to the rear wheels for less tail-wagging and more stability around the turns. Performance includes a 0 to 60 dash in an estimated 3.3 seconds and a quarter-mile run of 11.7 seconds with a top speed of 155 miles per hour. Price will run you around $92,770.
12. 2014 BMW M3
The M3 is a twin-turbo with 425 horsepower. It can reach a top track speed of 174 miles per hour with the M Driver’s package attached and 155 without. From 0 to 62mph, this car claims an impressive arrival time of 4.1 seconds, which is made doubly impressive by the fact that it boasts a combined fuel efficiency of 34 miles per gallon. Torque of 406 lb.-ft. helps the driver maintain a great deal of control while zipping around the turns. The gearbox is a 6-speed manual, but you can also get it in an optional 7-speed DCT fitted. Prices start at $60,100.
11. 2014 BMW M5 Competition
The M5 Competition comes equipped with a 4.4-liter twin-turbo DOHC 32-valve V8 engine that produces 575 horsepower and 500 lb.-ft. of torque. It utilizes a seven-speed twin-clutch auto transmission and goes from 0 to 60 in a staggering 3.7 seconds. Quarter-mile time is 11.9 seconds at a speed of 122.2 miles per hour. The horsepower performance of the Competition package is slightly better than the standard sedan, which emits 560. Also as part of this edition, there is a modified exhaust unit and specially designed suspension for max precision. Other features of the Competition Package include 20-inch M Double-spoke 601 M light alloy wheels and mixed tires, twin tailpipes, combined fuel consumption of 9.9 liters per 100 kilometers, and reduced CO2 emissions of just 232 grams per kilometer. With a base price of $93,125 this one safely makes our list, although you can upscale it into the six figures if so desired.
10. 2015 BMW M4 Coupé
Owning an M4, as with its top 10 brethren, is sort of like having your own rocket. That’s because this car really knows how to take off with its 431 horsepower, two turbochargers, and six cylinders of liftoff. Just how quick is it? It can move from 0 to 100 miles per hour in 4.1 seconds – not 0 to 60, 0 to 100! It also boasts some incredible grip potential thanks to amazing driving dynamics. There is a short braking distance for added safety, giving it the ability to handle racetrack curves at speeds that would normally send you flipping out Days of Thunder-style. The torque is around 550 newton meters, which translates to around 405 lb.-ft. Prices start at $64,200.http://youtu.be/TIWA1rIcrYs
9. 2014 Mercedes CLS63 AMG
The CLS63 AMG packs in significant power with a 5.5-liter biturbo V8 producing 550 horsepower. It’ll make the 0 to 60 jump at almost warp speed, clocking in at an estimated 3.7 seconds. The fuel economy isn’t that great with a performance of just 16mpg in the city and 22 on the highway, but given that it features semi-aniline leather upholstery, split-folding rear seats, multicolor ambient lighting, dual-zone automatic climate control, power rear-window sun shading, and much more, you’re not likely to mind. Price: $99,500.
8. 2014 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500
The 2014 Shelby GT500 is a gorgeous car to look at, but that doesn’t quite prepare you for what it’s got going on inside. Its 5.8-liter V8 engine is capable of more than 200 miles per hour and produces an astounding 662 horsepower with 631 lb.-ft. of torque for 0 to 60 times of just four seconds. Featuring a fierce quad exhaust, the GT500 emits a deep baritone when it’s on the go. As fuel economy goes, this one doesn’t do too well in the city (15mpg), but it makes up for it on the highway where you can get around 24mpg — not bad for a car of this power. Price starts at just $55,110, but that can climb into the $60’s when you start customizing.
7. 2014 Cadillac CTS-V
If your perception of Cadillac is the four-wheeled tank your grandfather used to drive then you’ve been out of the loop a long, long time. Catch up to the times with the CTS-V and you’ll see that the Caddy is one of the finest cars on the market. This classy display of American muscle is packing a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine that produces 556 horsepower and 551 lb.-ft. of torque all sent out through a six-speed gearbox. It has incredible braking, acceleration, and handling. As far as the acceleration is concerned the CTS-V blisters asphalt from 0 to 60 with a 3.9-second arrival time. Price: $64,900.
6. The 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat
Subtlety is definitely not the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat’s strong suit. The company started with a 392 HEMI and upgraded components by 90 percent for a beefy supply of torque and horsepower. It’s expected that when the full specs are finally released this overt display of American muscle will have 600-plus horsepower and 575 lb.-ft. of torque, but for now it’s a waiting game. In the meantime we can only imagine how much difficulty many of the other cars on this list would have in keeping up with it.
5. 2014 Dodge Viper SRT
The 2014 Dodge Viper SRT will really test the limits of our $100k threshold with a MSRP of $102,485, but with a little shopping around we were able to find some priced at $97,395, which is an incredible deal when you start looking at what all it can do. And by “what it can do,” we mean 0 to 60 in the low three-second range, a quarter-mile in the mid-11 second range, and a top speed of 206 miles per hour. Braking is also pretty solid with 60 to 0 deceleration in just 106 feet.
4. 2015 Camaro Z/28
If you’re obsessed with fast cars of unbelievable power, but don’t want to sacrifice maneuverability, then the Z/28 is for you. This ride features a 7.0-liter V8 engine which produces 505 horsepower and 481 lb.-ft. of torque. That makes for a respectable 0 to 60 time in the low 4s and a quarter-mile time of 11 seconds. The Z/28 maneuvers around curves nicely thanks in part to the P305/30/ZR19 Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R Tires, which grab asphalt and don’t let go. They help the car enter and exit turns faster than most of the competition. Chevy has chosen a MSRP of $75,000 and since this is the 2015 model you may have a hard time beating that.
3. 2015 Corvette Stingray C7
The C7 sacrifices a little bit of horsepower from the Z/28 above, but it still produces a dandy 460hp while blasting off from 0 to 60 in a track-tested 3.8 seconds that actually beats its beefier counterpart by a few tenths of a second. Surprisingly, the C7 also gets better fuel economy with an impressive EPA-estimated 29mpg. If you’d like to dig into the guts of this machine to know why then you’ll find the Direct Injection system to blame. This performance tech delivers fuel directly into the combustion chamber to achieve maximum thermal and combustion efficiency. The result is an impressive 11.5:1 compression ratio that accounts for torque, power, and fuel efficiency. Prices start at $53,000.
2. 2014 Nissan GT-R
The GT-R isn’t quite what you would expect from a car priced around $100k. For starters it sports a non-intimidating 3.8-liter twin-turbo V6 engine sporting less power than what you’ll see from many other cars on this list, but still impressive enough to produce one of the fastest cars on the planet. Part of that aspect of its performance is due to the design, which is built from the ground up to cut through air like a missile. That engine does a little of the heavy lifting as well, conjuring up 545 horsepower and 463 lb.-ft. of torque. What does that translate to in performance? Zero to 60 in less than three seconds and top speeds in excess of 200 miles per hour. Now you know why the base MSRP is $99,590.
1. 2015 Corvette C7 Z06
For the C7 Z06 we still don’t have an exact price, but we’re pretty certain it fits the under-$100k price point if history is any guide. Even if it broke that threshold this baby would still be worth the purchase price thanks in part to the 650 horses running under its hood. That and the 650 lb.-ft. of torque come by way of a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine. While we’re still waiting for Chevy to release the details on 0 to 60 times, past Stingray editions have us feeling like this one will clock in at anywhere from 3.2 to 3.4 seconds making it the obvious choice for the top car on this list.