The Nissan GT-R! The R35 is a legend and probably one of the best performance cars for the money ever, even if it is like a billion years old now. But they’re still pretty expensive. At the time of writing this, you’d need $65,000. I don’t know about you, but I certainly can’t afford that, and I think most of you can’t either.
Maybe you can after trying out the Ideal Car Strategies. Right now, though, we’re here with 10 cars that are much cheaper than a GT-R. And, as long as you have the wheel control, you can go faster too, faster in certain areas, at least.
Dodge Challenger Hellcat – Good Kitty
A Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat will destroy the infamous GT-R on the drag strip. It’s a car that needs no introduction. Dodge went insane about a decade ago and decided that people didn’t need another dumb economy car, they needed power. How about 707 horses of power? Insane. That’s supercar power levels, something I’ve talked about in other places.
And those ponies, if you can handle them, turn the Challenger SRT Hellcat into a 10-second car right out of the box. That’s two entire seconds faster than the ultimate Nissan. Two seconds less and $20,000 less in cost. Check it out: we found one for loaded Camry prices.
If you just want pure, extra speed, though, so you can pass your buddy’s GT-R on the Autobahn, get a car made in Germany and tested on that same famous highway. Just be warned: it’s the most tempting car you should never buy. At number two is the infamous E60 M5 from BMW.
BMW E60 M5 – Forbidden Fruit
What makes it infamous, you ask? The engine is a damn time-bomb. It will fail, it will need thousands and thousands of dollars in repairs, and you will be heartbroken. But, when it’s working, it’s one of the coolest engines in a car ever. Not only does the screaming V10 (yes, 10 cylinders) make it sound like a Formula One car, but it can also propel the ultimate saloon car past 200 miles per hour. For the record, 200 is more than the top speed of the GT-R, which is only a pathetic 193, basically slower than my Fit.
How much? $20,000. That will leave you plenty of money to replace the engine and transmission multiple times, which you will need to do. I know; the reliability is probably a major turn-off for wussies. So, if you don’t want to turn a wrench, or are an old person, get a Corvette. Here at number three on our list is the Corvette C6 Z06, a car that’s faster around the track than the Japanese hero.
Chevrolet C6 Corvette Z06 – Welcome to Burnoutlandia
It makes 505 horsepower, 20 more than the GT-R. And it weighs 700 pounds less. Yeah, the GT-R is Chonk, which you’d know if you watched Initial D. Even if you don’t but you love JDM cars, you should watch this video we made.
Anyway, a used Corvette is always the answer to the question: “What’s the best cheap sports car?” But no one ever wants one because it’s also built for Boomers. Let me tell you, though, I’ve driven one and I think you should absolutely drive one before you let its reputation cloud your judgment, especially since they can be picked up for half the price of a GT-R.
So, since we’re on the subject of “you should really drive it before you fly into an unbridled rage,” let’s talk about an electric car. Yes, yes, let the hate flow through you and join me in the refrain: the Ford Mustang Mach-E isn’t a real Mustang!
Ford “Mustang” Mach-E – Powered by Hatred
Maybe Mach-E isn’t a real Mustang, but it is fast, and it will hit 60 before a GT-R can. If you have the reaction time, it’ll reach 1,000 feet first too. Like it or not, green or not, electric cars are really fast, so we’re going to keep including them on our lists of fast cars, especially when you can get that insane amount of performance for around $42,000.
A few years from now, when you can get them used, it’ll be easy to find them for half the price of a GT-R. You can tell me about the spirit of car enthusiasm and all that, and I get it. I love old, slow Japanese cars more than I love Audi, especially more than I love Audi. But some people just want to go fast and I can respect that.
If you’re all in on internal combustion, however, go buy a BMW M4. It’s the fifth car on our list and they’re truly a treat to drive.
BMW M4 – If You Can Handle It
In fact, if you look at the numbers, they’re very similar to the GT-R. Just don’t expect to jump in a BMW M4 and run the Nissan flagship down because, while the M4 is an absolute beast, it’s a beast that doesn’t have any of the driving assists that the GT-R has. The good news is that with all the money you’d save, you can afford some lessons.
We found an M4 for just over $30,000, so you can get the Ultimate Driving Machine for $30,000 off the GT-R price. I can’t comment on which one is more reliable, but I can say that if you’ve never driven an M car, well, you should.
Sticking with four-seaters from luxury manufacturers, number six on our list is from Cadillac, but it uses an engine design that appears three times on our list. The engine is the mighty LS and the car is the Cadillac CTS-V.
Cadillac CTS-V – V for Vicious
See, in 3.5 seconds, the all-wheel drive GT-R will hit 60 miles per hour and, if you’re attending your local stoplight drags, that’s pretty much a guaranteed win. Unless, that is, a big, overstated Caddy CTS-V pulls up next to you. Then you’re in trouble because, even though it looks like a slow car your grandma bought before heading to Vegas, it’s actually a Corvette-powered masterpiece that will rocket to 60 in only 3.3 seconds and keep right on going until its nothing but a couple of red dots in the distance.
Just to salt the wound, even the better-performing second generation is worth an entire Civic less than a GT-R. We found one for half the price of a GT-R. It turns out $30,000 is all you need, seeing as more than half of the cars on this list are around that price. They’re also way less if you’re willing to be risky, so work those summer jobs. And you get all that while being comfortable as hell.
Maybe, though, you just don’t want tons of extra comfort. You just want a goddamn go-kart, one with a beautiful Honda engine.
Ariel Atom 3 – Ultimate Speed
We said in a video a while ago that we didn’t talk about the Atom enough. Now, it seems like we talk about it all the time, so I’ll just cut to the chase. The Honda-powered go-kart monstrosity will climb to 60 miles per hour nearly a full second faster than the GT-R and can pull much higher G’s on the track. All for around $30,000, which is sweet.
The only thing holding it back from being a complete Godzilla-destroyer is the lack of top speed. Honest question, though: have you ever even hit the top speed in your car? I don’t know of many people that have. Let me know down below!
If you really are a track monster and have wound out your car a few times, consider adding a Camaro ZL1 to your arsenal.
Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 – Boot Camp
It’s our number eight entry and a really, really fantastic deal. The Chevy Camaro ZL1 is fast. But, if you drive one, everyone’s going to be thanking you for your service, and that’s probably pretty annoying. But, hey, maybe that’s why they’re so affordable.
Now, technically, the Z28 is faster around the Nurburgring, but the ZL1 costs way less. We found them for around $30,000 all day. A Z28 is around $55,000. So, with the money you save, you can put better suspension on the ZL1, maybe a supercharger, some better rubber, and you’ll have the ultimate Camaro, one that will absolutely run down a GT-R on any track.
Now, if you heard “put better suspension on it” and you started getting ready to tell me about how tunable and amazing JDM cars are, then number nine is for you. And it’s for me too, honestly, because I absolutely love the Lancer Evolution.
Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX – 4 Doors, 4 Plugs, 4 Drive, All Turbo
The 4G63 is legendary and there’s a Mistubishi Lancer Evo built for every day of the week that can stand toe-to-toe with any supercar on the road. Just look at all of the modified majesties. These things are getting rare, though, so expect to pay $30,000 for an old sedan. I know, that’s crazy, but this entry could be any JDM hero. Insert your favorite one here and keep an eye on our YouTube channel and see if it makes our list of the greatest JDM cars.
Now, you knew we couldn’t write an article without including a JDM car. They’re good-looking, reliable, and very tunable. For the last entry on our list, we don’t want any of that. Instead, let’s talk about a car I think is seriously slept on: the Porsche Panamera Turbo.
Porsche Panamera Turbo – The Ugliest of Ducklings
Basically, the Panamera Turbo is a stretched 911 with the engine in the wrong spot, so Porsche people hate it. And it’s a big, pretty ugly car that costs a lot new, so normal people hate it too. That’s great for you, dear reader, because, when no one wants something, that thing becomes cheap.
And this cheap thing is hella fast. Is it faster than a GT-R, though? It depends on the nut behind the wheel. For $30,000, you can get a Porsche that has nearly identical performance numbers to the legendary Nissan.