If you don’t have $100,000 to throw down on a supercar guaranteed to blow past all competitors but still want a thrilling ride in a reasonably-priced car, what are your choices? Here we take a look at seven of the fastest cars available today for under $40,000.

2014 Dodge Challenger SRT Core – Coming in just a few hundred dollars over the $40K target, at a starting price of $40,485 the 2014 Dodge Challenger SRT Core delivers the goods, and then some. Power comes from the 6.4-liter SRT HEMI V8 engine matched with a six-speed manual transmission, delivering 470 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. A performance-tuned Bilstein suspension, Brembo brakes with black-anodized calipers, 20-inch aluminum wheels and more are other pluses.

2014 Chevrolet Camaro 1SS  – For a starting price of $34,350, the 2014 Chevrolet Camaro 1SS can provide pavement-pounding acceleration and awesome handling at bargain prices, relatively speaking. Camaro SS is powered by the 426-horsepower 6.2-liter V8 engine that delivers 420 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard. Add the SS 1LE package for $3,500 and you’ll get a track-ready Camaro designed for speed with 20-inch aluminum wheels, Goodyear Eagle Supercar Generation 2 performance summer tires, performance ride and handling suspension, Tremec six-speed manual transmission and more. What about the ZL1 and Z/28 Camaro? Boasting an awe-inspiring 580 horsepower from a supercharged 6.2-liter V8, the ZL1 starts at $55,385. The Z/28 is powered by a 505-horsepower 7.0-liter V8 and prices begin at $75,000.

2014 Ford Mustang GT – With a starting price of $32,210, the 2014 Ford Mustang GT boasts a stunning 420 horsepower in the 5.0-liter V8 engine matched with a six-speed manual transmission. Granted, it’s not the 662-horsepower in the Ford Shelby GT500, but that sticker starts at $55,110 – clearly out of the picture for our 40K bogey. For even more goodies (and the same horsepower), move up to the GT Premium, starting at $35,310. There’s no denying that the Mustang GT offers tremendous performance bang for the buck. For car enthusiasts, the handling is on par with the best as well.

2014 Hyundai Genesis CoupeChoose from the 3.8 R-Spec, 3.8 GT or 3.8 Ultimate trims of the 2014 Hyundai Genesis Coupe and get 348 horsepower from the 3.8-liter gasoline direct injected (GDI) engine. R-Spec has a six-speed close-ratio manual transmission with carbon synchros, while 3.8 GT has an eight-speed automatic transmission with Shiftronic and rev-matching, and 3.8 Ultimate offers the choice of either. Pricing starts at $29,350, $32,150 and $33,400 for R-Spec, 3.8 GT and 3.8 Ultimate, respectively.

2014 Nissan 370ZOpt for the 370Z with Sport Package, starting at $33,020 for pure fun handling that includes 332 horsepower from a 3.7-liter V6 engine paired with a six-speed manual transmission, limited-slip differential, 19-inch forged wheels and Nissan sport brakes. Or go for Touring, which includes SynchroRev Match that provides automatic throttle blips during downshifts for smoother, quicker shifts. No, it’s not the NISMO. That high-performance 370Z model will set you back starting at $43,020.

 

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