There is a modern obsession with horsepower, as more powerful cars are considered more desirable. It’s great to have a fun car to drive, but that doesn’t mean one should go broke getting one.
Get pace at right price
For drivers looking at upgrading to a premium performance model car, there are some that cost too much in proportion to gains in performance. None of this is to say these aren’t great cars. It’s just that some upgrades seem to offer less bang as there should be for the bucks.
M’s the word
BMW’s M division puts jaw-dropping power in BMW’s luxury cars, though at a price. The cheapest model is the M1 Coupe, the M-tuned version of the 1 series. It comes with 335 horsepower and starts at $46,135.
The 135i coupe, though, has 300 horsepower, starts at $39,300 and is less than half a second slower getting from 0 to 60 miles per hour. The M1 only has 35 more horsepower, is only a little quicker and costs an extra $6,000.
Mercedes’ AMG division makes luxury cruisers with terrifying power, some of which are worth the price. However, the S65 AMG costs more than $50,000 more than the S600. It has 111 more horsepower, but can only get from 0 to 60 miles per hour 0.3 seconds faster.
Audi your mind
Just like its counterparts, Audi charges more for cars tuned by its S division. The TTS is a splendid and racy sports coupe. However, it would make more sense to buy the regular TT. The TTS has the same engine, Quattro all-wheel-drive, gets the same gas mileage, but is tuned up to get 265 horsepower, compared to the base TT’s 211. The difference in the 0 to 60 time is only 0.4 seconds, but the difference in price is $8,700.
Get my Tokyo drift
The Mistubishi Lancer EVO is one of the best sports cars for the price, period. It starts at $34,495 and to buy a car equal in handling ability, one has to look to Porsche or Lotus. However, for those that can’t quite afford the EVO, there is the Lancer Ralliart.
The Ralliart starts at $27,995, has all-wheel-drive and a turbocharged engine, just like the EVO. It is slightly less powerful, at 237 horsepower compared the 291 for the EVO. The car gets from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 5.5 seconds, according to MotorTrend. The EVO, according to InsideLine, manages it in 5.2 seconds.