Thanks to the constant development of turbocharging, most cars now have engines with power ratings hovering around 200 horsepower. However, 300 horses is still an impressive number and cars that produce that much power are usually more costly. Thankfully, there are a lot of affordable second-hand cars with power ratings of 300 horses or more. Also, there are some which can be bumped to 300 with nothing but a remap.

Audi S4 B5

With the B5 being the third generation of Audis S4, this souped-up version of the A4 sedan was one of the quickest, most attractive compact sedans when it was introduced in 2003. It was built for one year only, and it had a 4.2 litre V8 from the flagship A8. The engine was thoroughly reworked, producing 344 horsepower. That’s a formidable number even by today’s standards, and when you pair it up with Quattro all-wheel drive in a compact sedan, you’ll easily get an amazing performer for less than $10,000. Some repairs can be costly and the gas mileage isn’t that great, but this car is an investment piece you should hold onto.

BMW E39 540i

Apart from being the last classic BMW 5 Series, the E39 generation is currently one of the best used midsize sedans you can find. If you want to go for some real power without breaking the bank for an M-car, the 540i is a solid choice. The venerable 4.4 litre V8 has 282 horses in stock guise but it has a lot of tuning potential. A light remap should easily push it over the 300 horsepower mark. The car itself can be found for as low as $5,000, but expect to find better examples around the $8,000 mark.

Audi A8 4.2

Audi’s flagship sedan is among the finest, most reliable European land barges, and the real fun starts with its famous 4.2 litre V8 engine. The all-aluminium powerhouse produced over 300 horsepower since the first generation 4.2 saw the light of day in 1996 in the S8. So, there are a lot of Audis to choose from, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised to hear that they cost from $6,000 upwards.

Mercedes-Benz S600

The V12 powered Mercedes-Benz S Class debuted with the W140 generation in the nineties, and it continued to this day. Two of the most affordable cars from this exclusive lineage are the W140 and its successor the W220 S600 versions, which have 394 and 362 horses respectively. You’ll want to look for the post-2003 W220, as the S-Class got a twin-turbo 5.5 litre V12 with 493 horses. You can find some of these cars for as low as $5,000, but the best ones can go over the $12,000 mark.

Volvo V70 T5

Volvo V70 T5 is the epitome of a sleeper car. An unassuming wagon from a brand known to be loved by the elderly, this car made many sports car owners blush at the stoplights. The secret behind this phenomenal performer was its turbocharged inline-fiver. You should look for the 2.3-litre version which produces 240 horsepower in stock form but is easily tuneable to over 300. These Swedish Q-Cars are true bargains with prices hardly breaking the $6,000 mark.

Chevrolet Camaro Z28

Muscle cars had a rough time during the seventies and the eighties, but the nineties were marked by a revival of undiluted V8 power for affordable sums. This means that 90s muscle cars are affordable today, and we chose the fourth generation Camaro in Z28 trim to represent them in the 300 horsepower club. This American legend started with a 5.7 litre LT1 V8 with 275 horses which had some revisions up to 310 horsepower in 2001. Even the pre-2001 cars can be tuned easily, and prices for the Z28 start below $5,000.

Cadillac Seville STS

Trademark American V8 power came in all sorts of packages, one of which was the Cadillac Seville STS. This stylish sedan started its life with a 4.9 liter 200 horsepower engine, but in 1993, it got a 4.6 liter Northstar V8 producing 295 horsepower. A year later, a slight bump in power gave it exactly 300 horses. This stylish cruiser is another fine American machine from the 90s, and its power comes with a glorious rumble too.