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.
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.
1ST PLACE: 2012 NISSAN GT-R PREMIUM
Quickest drag racer, fastest road racer — the jump-in-and-go supercar, suitable for both amateurs and pros.
2ND PLACE: 2011 CHEVROLET CORVETTE Z06
Stealthy, beastly, and the most rewarding, but only if you don race suits and helmets every Sunday.
3RD PLACE: 2011 FORD MUSTANG SHELBY GT500
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?