Chevy Corvette Z06 vs. Ford Shelby GT500 vs. Nissan GT-R

We tend to catch quite a bit of flack on this blog for writing about cars that no one but Paris Hilton’s boyfriend could afford to actually buy.

We contend that while such cars fuel a passion for automobiles in general, they are also delightful to write, read and dream about. That, however, is not my point today. Today we’re talking about budget supercars; the ones that offer tantalizing performance but come in at under $100,000. Still a major stretch of the pocketbook for most of us, but at least somewhat attainable with a strict lifelong budget and savings plan.

The good people at Motor Trend took it upon themselves to find out the best budget supercar, and tested the 2012 Nissan GT-R, the 2011 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 and the 2011 Ford Shelby GT500.

For about the price of all three of those cars, you could become the proud owner of a nicely equipped Ferrari 458 Italia. So if you harbor supercar desires but are working with a slightly more realistic budget, this comparo could be for you!

The 2012 Nissan GT-R is the only V6 of the group, developing 530 horsepower from its twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter mill. The Americans prefer beefier V8 power, with the supercharged 5.4-liter GT500 producing 550 horses and the 7.0-liter Z06 pumping out a pack-trailing 505.

The Shelby GT500 easily has the cheapest dollar-per-horsepower ratio, coming in with a $55,330 as-tested price. The more expensive Z06 ($98,010 as-tested) and GT-R ($90,950) offer seriously appealing performance at a bargain when compared to cars costing two or three times as much.

Motor Trend took all three super coupes to the drag strip and let them loose. It’s not too difficult to predict the winner here, so I’ll quote MT’s final findings:

Quickest drag racer, fastest road racer — the jump-in-and-go supercar, suitable for both amateurs and pros.

Stealthy, beastly, and the most rewarding, but only if you don race suits and helmets every Sunday.

At just over $55,000, an unbeatable supercar. At under six figures, there are two better.

I’d be perfectly happy taking home the 3rd place winner and living a long, happy life together. What about you?


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Used Chevrolet Corvette
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