500 horsepower used to be the benchmark for all supercars to stretch to. Only the really special stuff got it, which would cost you dearly. Fortunately, numbers have increased and prices have plummeted to more normal levels! Here are my top 5 Cheapest Cars with 500 bhp or more.
Thanks to our good friend depreciation, the E60 M5 has dropped a staggering 80% from its new base price. Coming in at a hefty £65000 ($81,000) back in 2006, you can now pick up the Munich super saloon from just £13000 ($16,000). Pay £3000 more and you will get a rather reasonable 70,000 mile example with a warranty as well. For this you’ll get a decent stereo system, electric sports seats, SAT-NAV and plenty of other kit you never knew you wanted like the head-up display. Service history and condition will obviously be the most important factor when considering an M5, as the 507 horsepower V10 does have a tendency for drinking oil. Get one with a warranty and you will have a car that can carry 5 people in comfort and still take on supercars 5 x the price!
Bentley Continental GT
You would have needed £110,000 ($137,000) to drive one of these off the showroom floor back in 2004, yet these days you can cough up as little as $25,000 to own one. Its handsome looks and effortless pulling power made the Continental a victim of its own success, with Bentley selling so many that the depreciation proved astonishing. The Continental is stunningly crafted, with a W12 engine producing a huge 550bhp. They are not really drivers cars, early cars especially due to more of a luxury bias, although Bentley tried to improve that as each model year developed. The W12 engine is generally reliable, thanks to VW build quality, although their low prices have started to attract people who cant afford to maintain them appropriately. Having said that, find a decent one and you will have a lot of power for not really a lot of money!
Mercedes Benz E63 AMG
Despite being made slap bang in the middle of Mercedes lesser years, the E63 AMG still packs huge power for a low price. Coming in from just £15000 in the UK, that’s $18,500, you will get a whopping 6.2 litre V8 with 507 horsepower. The AMG engines are hand built as well. 0 – 60 happens in 4.5 seconds which is reasonable for such a car. All models are automatic with pretty much every electronic device you would expect from a car that cost so much brand new. You’re going to want a warranty on this one though! Rust has been known to be an issue on these cars, as well as lots of the complex electronic gadgetry going haywire. Still, 507hp will cost you a hell of a lot more than this normally and in such a sharp looking car too, you can’t complain too much.
Chevrolet Corvette Z06
The Chevrolet Corvette Z06 is hardly a svelte German autobahn muncher, however to overlook its capabilities wouldn’t make sense. Starting now from just £30,000, around the same US price, the corvette gives you supercar looks and American muscle in one package. Left hand drive examples may not be particularly suitable for the UK, however its sub 4 second 0 – 60 and 198 mph top speed is something quite special. Standard Corvettes have a 6 litre engine with only 400bhp however, the Z06 model gives you a 7 litre engine with 505bhp, amongst other upgrades such as uprated brakes, stiffened suspension and lighter wheels.
There aren’t many cars for £12,000 ($15,000) that will have a 5.5-litre bi-turbo V12 engine. Unlike its more expensive and sporty brother, the AMG version, the S600L is a relaxed cruiser relatively speaking. Arguably, the s600L is the best value car on this list. The engine stats are simply amazing, boasting a whopping 830Nm of torque and 517bhp. You also get adaptive air-suspension, Mercedes Active Body Control, TV screens and a Harman Karden sound system. 20mpg (British gallons) will be the norm in this car although for just 10% of the original asking price, gas mileage shouldn’t concern you too much.
So there you are. They’re not the fastest, but are sure to guarantee you some insane bragging rights!