Pure horsepower is something that I think everyone can love, so I put together a list of some of my favorite cars you can buy used that have more than 400 ponies in the stable! But, this time, bear with me. I wanted to make sure we threw in some cars that are different than the cheap, potent cars we always talk about, including one that blows my mind. I would never have expected this company to have a 400-horsepower car on the market.
2002-2004 Audi RS6 – Potent Pretzel
We’re going to start with a company that I love to be angry at: Audi. The original RS6 was introduced the same year I was failing English 101, back in 2002, and it was meant to compete with the legendary BMW E39 M5. Now, in my opinion, the E39 is a more refined car, which is why I’ve always wanted to buy one, but any M5 owner can tell you that those Audis were always threatening to run you down with their staggering 444 horsepower, while the M car only had 400.
And 444 horsepower is a number that holds up even in today’s lineup of super sedans. Plus, get ready because this is one of the fastest cars on this list and one of the cheapest, which makes it a really good deal for you speed junkies out there.
Just be aware that the reason they’re cheap is that no one wants to fix them when they break. And they will break. I mean, it’s an Audi, right? You’d have to be an idiot to buy one. Oh, wait, I have an R8. I love Girth Brooks, though. I think I just have a thing for German cars, and German food, and German women…
Anyway, we found a nice RS6 for $16,000. What could go wrong? In my opinion, the speed and refinement are unparalleled for the price. But, if you’re buying one, know what you’re getting into. Those turbos are not cheapto maintain.
Score: 8 out of 10
Our next car is from a company that I kind of forget about. It’s the fancy Nissan brand Infiniti and their Q70.
2013-2022 Infiniti Q70 5.6 – Ramen Rocket
Let’s face it, Infiniti is kind of like the Buick of Japan. You know they’re out there, but you probably don’t know much about what they make, right? Well, here’s one you should know about: the Q70 5.6, which makes a humbling 420 horsepower out of a sweet-sounding V8. And it’s not even their only high-horsepower engine since they also make the 400-horsepower turbo V6 found in the new 400Z.
So, not bad. And I actually thought about throwing that Red Sport on this list, but then I found out how much the Q70 has fallen in value. Check this out: when they were new, a Q70 with the V8 was about $65,000. Now, you can go get one for less than half of that and it won’t even have 30,000 miles on the clock.
In my opinion, The Q70 is a great value if you’re looking for something powerful, comfortable, and not German. Just be prepared to deal with their less-than-thrilling automatic transmission.
Score: 6 out of 10
Next, how about a truck? Well, it’s from Dodge, the king of unnecessary horsepower, and it’s called the Ram SRT-10.
2004-2006 Dodge Ram SRT-10 – Smoked and Shred
You just have to love Dodge. They’re pretty much the anti-Tesla. They’re loud, brash, and not trying to sell you crypto. Those are my kind of people, people that need 500 horsepower! Why? Why does a full-size truck that you really only need for your weekend trip to Home Depot need 500 horsepower? Do I really need to eat an entire pizza by myself? The world isn’t about “need,” it’s about living life to the fullest.
You don’t need 500 horsepower, but it would definitely make your life more exciting. Pick up one of these hot-rod pick-ups for $25,000. Raptor? Or Ram SRT? Let me know which you’d choose in the comments. In my opinion, the Ram SRT-10 represents the best of American excess, and I’m all for it. It is, however, a bit expensive for a truck that I’d be afraid to tow with.
Score: 7 out of 10
Let’s go back to Germany for our next car and talk about the E55 AMG from Mercedes.
2003-2006 Mercedes E55 AMG – Sauerkraut and Speed
This is a car that just looks excellent, which is good because I feel like Mercedes designed one single car in the ’90s and their cars still look the same today. The 2003 model marked the beginning of the monstrous 5.4-liter supercharged V8, an engine that really has no business being in an ancient four-door since it makes 470 horsepower. What’s the German word for “yee-haw”?
And while we’re talking about a supercharged ideal purchase like this, take a moment to check out our merchandise. We love talking about cars, we love that you love listening to us talk about cars, and buying a shirt or a sticker helps us keep doing that!
Don’t worry, you can buy a shirt and still afford an awesome Mercedes because an AMG E55 only goes for like $14,000. That may be the best dollar-to-horsepower ratio out there. And it’s enough power for you to outrun the “old man” jokes.
In my opinion, the Mercedes E55 AMG is one of the best old Mercedes models you can buy. It’s not the worst in terms of reliability and they sound amazing. But, you’ll be the person with the old Mercedes and you’ll have to deal with that.
Score: 8 out of 10
Next on our list, how about a supercharged Jaguar XF?
2008-2009 Jaguar XF Supercharged – Eight-Bangers and Mash
This is another car that I love the looks of, even if I’m not convinced I could put up with the quirky electronics (and that’s coming from a Jeep driver). Still, you could probably forgive a lot of problems when you feel that engine kick in and hear the whine of the supercharger. I’m talking about 414 horsepower if you get the 2008 Supercharged XF with the 4.2-liter engine.
Those are a really great buy. We found one just under $20,000. The 2009 5.0-liter V8 makes over 500 horsepower if you have a few more gold coins to rub together. I don’t think you’d be sad with the older car, but the newer, more powerful one is there if you need it. In my opinion, the Jaguar looks great and makes a ton of power, but it’s pretty far from a real sportscar. With the reliability issues, I can’t give it top marks.
Score: 5 out of 10
Moving on, let’s get the Australians in the mix, at least sort of. In the United States, we got it as the Pontiac GTO.
2003-2006 Pontiac GTO – A Good Tire Roasting
The Pontiac GTO was known as the Holden Monaro to the rest of the world. Pontiac was dying, so they thought that adding a fifth-generation GTO would save the brand. It didn’t, and the rest is history. There will be a test. Whatever you call it, it’s got a Corvette engine under the hood, so you know it’s going to be fast.
The one you want is actually the 2005 or 2006 version since those ones had the 6.0-liter LS2 making 400 horsepower! And, let me tell you, these things are burnout machines! Prices on them fluctuate a lot. I remember when they were like $7,000. Then, you couldn’t find one for under $15,000. Now, you can again. We found one for $12,000. I did find cheaper, but it didn’t look like one I’d actually consider.
In my opinion, the GTO is the perfect alternative to the C5 Corvette if you just want to stand out a bit more. It’s not the best car in the world but, hell, I’d love to hoon one.
Score: 8 out of 10
We’re getting down to the last two, starting with a real Bavarian monstrosity, the BMW E39 M5.
1998-2003 BMW M5 E39 – Spaetzle Power
You thought I was going to talk about the V10 M5 again, didn’t you? “Oh, it’s Brad talking about horsepower. That means he’ll recommend the super unreliable E60 M5 again.” But, no, this time we are talking about the E39. First, the E39 handles incredibly well for its era. And, second, unlike the E60, the V8-powered, 400-horsepower E39 M5 is not a ticking time bomb, unlike all the girls I dated before meeting YouTube Girlfriend. Just kidding. I didn’t have time to date in school; I was too busy working on my BMWs.
Unfortunately, since it’s arguably a better M5, the older E39 is more expensive than the E60. You can still get one for under $30,000, though, which means it deserves a spot on this list. And it really is an ideal buy. Check out the Ideal Car Strategies to see how you can get one for cheap.
In my opinion, this is the best M5 ever built and you would be so honored as to own one.
Score: 10 out of 10
On to the last car, one that surprised the hell out of me because of where it comes from. Take a guess. No, really, do it. Did you guess Kia? Well, the Kia K900 fits the bill.
2012-2022 Kia K900 – Brim-Brap
Are you shocked? That quirky, little wannabe Honda company from Korea is a serious player nowadays. And, thanks to their sister company Hyundai, they have a 5.0-liter V8 to play with and it makes 420 horsepower. 420. Nice.
Technically, the K900 is a luxury car. It’s very close to the car it’s based on, the Genesis. So, in addition to a great engine, you’ll be sitting in comfort if you choose to pick one up. And, honestly, I kind of think you should. Like all luxury cars, it’s depreciated a ton, even more than that Infiniti we mentioned towards the beginning.
You can get one of these $50,000 cars right now for just $16,000. Just scrape the Kia badge off and let the engine note speak for itself. In my opinion, the Genesis and, by extension, this K900 is the best value luxury you can get. And the reliability makes it totally worth it. If you’re in the market, get you one.
Score: 9 out of 10