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10 Of The Fastest Cars Under $10k: Speed Demons

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Cars these days are getting pricey! The average new one in the US costs around $50k. If you’re into fast cars, it gets even pricier. But hey, what about used cars? With just $10k, you might find something cool if you’re flexible.

Here’s something intriguing: Let’s explore further by uncovering the top ten fastest cars available for less than $10,000.

We get it, when we say “fastest,” you think top speed. But let’s be real: under $10k, you’ll find a lot of beat-up speedsters. Our aim? Uncover high-horsepower rides in decent shape within this budget.

10. 2000-2004 Porsche Boxster – $8,750+

2000-2004 Porsche Boxster - $8,750+

While the 986 Porsche Boxster might not be our top pick among generations, it’s still a solid sports car. Just steer clear of the 2.5-liter base model, known for its issues. Luckily, Porsche replaced it with a better 2.7-liter engine. Opting for the Boxster S gets you a gutsy 3.2-liter engine, delivering around 247-254 horsepower depending on the year. With its mid-engine layout and manual gearbox (let’s forget about the Tiptronic), it hits 0-60 mph in about 5.6 seconds and tops out at 160-164 mph, depending on the model year and transmission.

Sure, the 986 Boxster might not win any style awards, and it’s unfairly labeled as a “hairdresser’s car.” But don’t let that fool you—it’s still a blast to drive, with sharp handling and responsive steering. Plus, you can snag one for under $9,000 now.

9. 2012 Dodge Charger R/T – $5,500+

2012 Dodge Charger R/T - $5,500+

The 2012 Dodge Charger R/T was a beast under the hood, rocking a 5.7-liter Hemi V8 engine that pumped out 370 horsepower and 395 lb-ft of torque. This bad boy wasn’t shy on the road, sprinting from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.7 seconds and tearing through the quarter-mile in 14.2 seconds flat. With power flowing to the rear wheels, it could hit speeds around 150 mph. Sure, the five-speed automatic gearbox wasn’t the slickest, but hey, it got the job done.

Back in the day, snagging a new Charger R/T wouldn’t break the bank, costing around $27,000. But now? You can score one for as little as $5,500.

8. 1998-2002 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 – $5,000+

1998-2002 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 - $5,000+

You might have heard folks call it the Catfish Camaro! After its facelift, this gen-four beauty packs a punch. Surprisingly, you can snag one for as low as $5,000, but for a better condition, expect to spend closer to $10k.

If you were eyeing a Camaro from back then, the Z28 and SS models with their V8 engines were the real gems. These beasts packed a 5.7-liter punch, the same powerhouse found in Corvettes at the time. Though officially rated at 310 hp (or 325 hp in the SS), some say Chevy downplayed those numbers to keep the Corvette shining.

Back then, hitting 0-60 in around five seconds and cruising a quarter mile in about 14 seconds was pretty impressive. Plus, hitting a top speed of 150 mph was nothing to sneeze at either.

7. 1996 Corvette C4 – $6,500+

1996 Corvette C4 - $6,500+

Imagine cruising down the road in a sleek Camaro, but have you ever thought about the classic beauty of a 1996 C4 Corvette? It’s got all the modern tech you need, including a smooth six-speed manual transmission and a powerful 5.7-liter V8 engine. With 330 horsepower under the hood, it’s a ride you won’t forget.

Getting from 0 to 60 mph happens pretty quickly, around five seconds or so. It can go up to 165 mph, which is really fast. Plus, you can snag one for around $6,500 nowadays.

6. Nissan 350Z – $5,900+

Nissan 350Z - $5,900+

The Nissan 350Z? Solid choice. It’s known for being super reliable. You can nab one for under $6,000, but it’s smarter to splurge a bit for a newer version. The ones from 2006 and up? More power, baby! The 3.5-liter V6 packs 300 horses, zooming you from 0 to 60 in about 5.5 seconds. And top speed? 155 mph. Plus, it’s got a six-speed stick shift.

The 350Z is awesome for tweaking, but even as is, it’s a budget-friendly blast to drive. Plus, it keeps the Z-car legacy alive and kicking.

5. 2013-2016 Hyundai Genesis Coupe – $6,900+

2013-2016 Hyundai Genesis Coupe - $6,900+

Back in 2006, Hyundai took a step towards what would become the Genesis brand with the Genesis Coupe. You might not expect it, but this car had some serious oomph, especially in its top versions. Think of it like this: it had this powerful 3.8-liter V6 engine that could pump out 348 horsepower, which is a lot! Plus, it wasn’t just powerful, it was also rear-wheel drive, which is cool. You could choose between shifting gears yourself with a manual or letting the car do it with an automatic. And get this, it could zoom up to 162 mph, even though most cars at that time were maxing out around 150 or 155 mph. So, yeah, it was pretty impressive for its time.

Sure, it’s a bit unconventional, but you can snag some pretty good ones for less than $10k.

4. 2004-2006 Pontiac GTO – $9,000+

2004-2006 Pontiac GTO - $9,000+

Pontiac, like many other brands under General Motors, is gone now. But hey, we still have their cars roaming the roads, and that’s something to appreciate.

In 2004, the Pontiac GTO rocked the roads as a modern muscle coupe. But here’s a fun twist: it actually had its roots in an Australian car, the Holden Monaro. Sporting a beefy 5.7-liter V8 borrowed from the Corvette, it packed a punch with 350 horsepower. Zooming from 0 to 60 in around five seconds, it was a speed demon with a top whack of 160 mph.

Between 2005 and 2006, the Pontiac GTO got a boost with a 6.0-liter LS2 engine, packing 400 horsepower. That extra oomph sliced a couple of ticks off its 0-60 sprint, dropped the quarter-mile time to 13.1 seconds, and nudged its top speed to 180 mph. Sadly, its production was short-lived, but you might snag one for around $9,000 if you’re lucky – though they’re a bit rare because folks tend to hold onto them.

3. 2005-2009 Ford Mustang GT – $6,000+

2005-2009 Ford Mustang GT - $6,000+

A list of budget-friendly performance cars wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the Ford Mustang, especially the fifth generation. The 2010 facelift version is quite sought after, but getting the V8 engine model within a $10k budget is nearly impossible. However, you can still snag the V6 Performance Package variant with its impressive 305-hp V6 engine and quick acceleration.

But hey, if you’re a fan of that V8 rumble, the 2005-2009 GT might be your jam. Despite having a tad less horsepower than the later V6 we talked about, it’s got that classic V8 growl with its 4.6-liter engine. Clocking at around 4.9 seconds for 0-60 mph, it’s no slouch. Plus, it comes with some cool features like a limited-slip differential and a choice between manual or automatic transmission. And guess what? You can snag one for as low as $6,000 nowadays.

2. 2005-2008 Audi S4 – 9,000+

2005-2008 Audi S4 - 9,000+

When it comes to the B7-generation Audi A4, most folks rave about the RS4, but let’s not overlook the S4 if you’re after performance on a budget. Sure, it’s not as beastly as the RS4, but it still packs a punch with its naturally aspirated 4.2-liter V8, boasting 339 horsepower. You could opt for a manual or automatic transmission, and the later models even came with a tweaked Torsen differential for better handling.

With a mid-five-second 0-60 mph time, the Audi S4 was no slouch. Plus, hitting 155 mph on the speedometer was thrilling. But when you weren’t tearing up the road, it transformed into a smooth luxury cruiser, perfect for everyday driving.

Nowadays, you can snag a rough one for $8,000, but shell out $9,000, and you’ll score a decent one, although it might have some miles on it.

1. 2001-2004 Mercedes-Benz CL55 AMG – $8,500+

2001-2004 Mercedes-Benz CL55 AMG - $8,500+

The CL 55 AMG stands out as one of the most powerful options here, showcasing how depreciation can work in favor of performance lovers. You might spot some under $10k, but remember, a low buying price doesn’t guarantee low maintenance costs, especially with a Mercedes. Keeping one can still hit your wallet hard.

Depending on the model year, you could get either a 355-hp 5.4-liter V8 or a supercharged version with a whopping 493 hp, both offering impressive acceleration. They capped at 155 mph but were an absolute blast to drive. Plus, the CL 55 AMG was like the pinnacle of luxury, essentially the S-Class Coupe of its time.