Cheap Supercars You Can Afford

Yellow 2014 Lamborghini Gallardo on road

Of course, you love supercars, and you probably love cheap ones that look like they cost a lot even more! Well, we’re going to break down the best supercars that you can fit into your budget! 

And the last one is a raging bull that looks and sounds like a million bucks! Flames, anyone?

Audi R8

Black 2020 Audi R8 on road

Why not start with a car that has big screen fame? The Audi R8 is possibly the most well-known supercar purely from being Iron Man’s ride of choice. And for good reason, the 1st-gen R8 is based on the same chassis as the Lambhorgini Gallardo, which may or may not be on this list later on…

Needless to say, the R8 has cemented itself as a bonafide supercar. Plus, the Audi easily outshines most other cars in the looks department with its gorgeous curves and iconic side panels. But the beauty doesn’t stop there. The manual versions sport one of the best gated shifters ever put in a modern car. It’s an ode to a bygone era where speed and emotion dictated the best. And if you still want to drive a manual car in 2020, check out this list of new cars still rocking an H-pattern

Yellow 2019 Audi R8 on track
Car and Driver

Alright, it’s pretty. So what? Does it go fast? Uh, excuse me, yes. Ze German rockets to 60 in less than 3.7 seconds in V10 trim and sets a ridiculous quarter-mile time of 11.4 seconds. That’s as fast as a 2018 AMG GTR, a car with modern F1 technology all over it!

So, the V10 is definitely the one you want if all you want to do is shake-and-bake. But, we like well-rounded cars, and there’s a V8 varient that I find to be a more balanced driving experience. Here me out! The R8 in 4.2-liter V8 trim is no slouch either, and because it weighs less, this version feels like more of a drivers’ car. Plus, there’s no sound like a straight-piped German V8 ripping to redline!

And, whichever engine you choose, all R8s come in all-wheel drive form where power delivery was rear-biased, meaning you could slide its rear end out and drive sideways all day long. Now you catch my drift… literally.

So, this car sounds too good to be true. There’s no way it can be affordable. Wrong. These puppies are a lot less than you think they might be. We found a 2009 R8 V8 six-speed that recently sold for $44,200 on eBay with 75 bids! Yeah, that is an incredible value for a supercar!

Find a cheap Audi R8 on AutoTempest!

Porsche 911 997 Turbo

Blue 2010 Porsche 911 997 Turbo on street
Romans International

From one German manufacturer to another. But this time, their recipe for insane acceleration is forced induction. Yeah, yeah, I can already hear you under your breath saying the 911 Turbo isn’t a supercar, and you’d be right! My dentist drives one. Boring old dentists don’t drive supercars! 

Now, hold your horses, and listen to how many the 997 Turbo has. A stable of 480 horsepower rocket this car to 60 miles per hour in 3.7 seconds. Now that’s scorching fast! Modern supercars that cost way too much money, like a Ferrari F40, have a hell of a hard time keeping up! And that’s because of the legendary Mezger engine hanging off the 997’s back. This is the engine that powered the legendary 911 GT1 Le Mans car, designed and engineered to be bulletproof from the factory. In case you didn’t realize, that’s code for “it’s time to turn it up”! More power, baby! Let’s go!

Black Porsche 911 997 Turbo on street

As a result, there are a ton of 997 Turbos driving around with power bumped up to 700+ horsepower without much engine work. Now, can we call this a supercar? I thought so. Oh, and what’s that? you want more power! You got it! There are quite a few 997 Turbos making 1,500+ horsepower from the Mezger engines. These are quite literally the fastest cars on the planet because their grippy all-wheel drive puts the power down seamlessly! Most of them are record-setting cars used for runway racing, meaning they’re so fast that they need an airport to get up to speed!

And these are 911s, they’re not just straight-line rockets, you’re also piloting one of the greatest handling chassis ever designed! Looks like Porsche really knew what they were doing when they were designing this car! 

Ah, now I think you might be impressed, and for good reason. I certainly am, that’s why I own a 997! It’s one of the best cheap supercars you can snag, with examples now dipping into the $30,000 range, this 911 Turbo punches way above its weight!. You could be embarrassing cars that cost six figures with a German missile that costs about the same as a new Toyota Camry Hybrid! So Camry or 911 Turbo? Tough choice…

Find a cheap Porsche 997 Turbo on AutoTempest!

Ferrari F355

Red Ferrari F355 on road

Moving on to Maranello, let’s chat about the Ferrari F355. When it was first released in the late 90’s, it was one of the most beautiful cars Ferrari had made in decades. I love these things. It’s a perfect mix of the wedge-shaped cars Ferrari used to make, and it’s got the gentle curves that we know of more modern Ferraris.

However, it gets way better. There’s no way I could mention the F355 without mentioning how it sounds. And oh my god, guys. There’s a big difference between thinking, Oh, that sounds sweet, after hearing a GT350 leave a car meet, and the Holy crap, I’m shaking, when you hear a F355 wail like a phantom into the distance. The reason the F355 is able to produce such a sonorous symphony is due to its radical 5-valves-per-cylinder design, which allowed it to breathe a lot more than its predecessors. It’s no wonder it shook the supercar world when it was first released!

Red 1995 Ferrari F355 in front of fence
Mecum Auctions

The 375-horsepower 3.4-liter V8 helps scoot this bad boy to 60 miles per hour in 4.6 seconds in the manual trim, and 4.7 seconds with the automatic, which is called the F1 trim. Wait, what? 4.6 seconds? That’s way slower than the 997 Turbo and the R8! How is that a supercar? Well, remember, this is a freaking Ferrari. It may not have the fastest 0 to 60 time but the F355 ticks all the boxes in the looks and sounds department. Did I mention how it sounds?

A word of caution, though. The F355s are a bit expensive to maintain. These older Ferraris need the entire engine out to do maintenance on components like the timing belt, and the bills can add up quickly. If that doesn’t scare you away, then go for it! Examples of F355s can be had for pretty cheap, starting around $55,000. Well, cheap for a Ferrari…

Find a cheap Ferrari F355 on AutoTempest!

Nissan R35 GT-R

Grey Nissan R35 GT-R on track

Yup! This cheap supercar hails from the land of the rising sun, the legendary Nissan GT-R! Now, before we talk about why this is a great supercar, let’s talk history for a second. When the older Nissan R32 GT-R was released, it dominated racing car series in Japan and Australia so badly that the organizers had to try to keep other racers from leaving. This is around the time when the GT-R coined the nickname Godzilla, because it was simply unstoppable.

The next couple of iterations of the GT-R spanked many other racing series in similar fashion, and when the R35 Nissan GT-R was released, the world was waiting for the successor to the infamous Godzilla. And, boy, did Nissan deliver! The R35 GTR came out in the late 2000’s and was equipped with 480 horsepower coming from a twin-turbocharged V6 mounted in the front of the car.

Nissan R35 GT-R with flames coming out of its tailpipes

Later iterations of the GT-R packed even more of a punch, with the Nismo version putting out over 600 horses. That’s enough power to make it faster than the McLaren 600LT and the Porsche 911 GT3 around the Nurburgring, the world’s benchmark for performance cars.

Here’s the best part, though. Since the GT-R is a Japanese car, reliability is through the roof, so you can drive the hell out of this car and not have to do to much in maintenance! With the GT-R, you can have your cake and eat it too!

There are plenty of GT-Rs for sale since it’s been selling for over a decade. Early examples can be picked up for as low as $30,000, which may be the performance bargain of the century! 

Find a cheap Nissan GT-R on AutoTempest!

Lamborghini Gallardo

Orange Lamborghini Gallardo on road

Ah, yes, named after a breed of fighting bulls, the Lamborghini Gallardo lives up to its name with a vicious V10 making around 500 horsepower, enough to fire this car to 60 in 4.2 seconds and runs the quarter mile in 12.4 seconds. The Italians take their performance seriously! Now, this set the performance benchmark when it first came out, and the world took notice. This was the best selling Lamborghini of all time with around 14,000 built. That’s quite a lot of Gallardos! How did Lamborghini manage that?

Well, you see, as I mentioned earlier, the Gallardo shares the same chassis as the Audi R8, bringing costs down. It also shares a few other components, such as the engine, which is found in the V10 Audi R8, further bringing costs down. Essentially, you could call it the R8’s Italian twin, except this one is the much better looking twin.

Black Lamborghini Gallardo Rear View

Much like the Ferrari 355, the Lamborghini’s simple yet gorgeous lines stand out in traffic. A timeless design like that never goes out of style! In fact, the Gallardo was the precursor to the current Lamborghini Huracan, which the entire internet knows and loves. You know, the cars that you toss on a couple turbos and its so fast it rotates the Earth the wrong way? Seriously, the Huracan is a brilliant car, but that’s a topic for another article.

And since there were 14,000 Gallardos built, there’s quite a few options to choose from. However, the Gallardo does cost a bit more than the other options I mentioned before. First year models you can find for under $60,000 if you look hard enough!

Find a cheap Lamborghini Gallardo on AutoTempest!

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