Cars

These Are The Fastest Cars For Your Money, Period

Published On 05/22/2015 Published On 05/22/2015
The Fastest Cars For Your Money
GM

If you want to know what the fastest car is per dollar, looking solely at horsepower is absolutely the wrong way to go. Horsepower is an abstract number that gives you a very vague notion of how quickly a car can accelerate. This list is a solution to that problem. It's based on a formula whose only inputs are 0-60 times and MSRPs. Thus, it doesn't matter if a car has 10,000 hp or 100, as long as it can reach 60mph.

After plugging in the data for 60 different cars, we ranked all of them to find out which rides give you the best bang for your buck. The results are shocking, to say the least.

BMW

60. Ferrari LaFerrari

Bang for your Buck Score: 7.81
0-60: 2.4
Price: $1,420,112
 

59. McLaren P1

Bang for your Buck Score: 8.22
0-60: 2.6
Price: $1,150,000
 

58. Porsche 918 Spyder

Bang for your Buck Score: 13.13
0-60: 2.4
Price: $845,000
 

57. Toyota Prius

Bang for your Buck Score: 25.48
0-60: 10.0
Price: $25,090
 

56. BMW i8

Bang for your Buck Score: 32.62
0-60: 3.8
Price: $135,700
 

Porsche

55. Audi S5

Bang for your Buck Score: 41.03
0-60: 5.4
Price: $53,425
 

54. Porsche 911 Turbo S

Bang for your Buck Score: 41.38
0-60: 2.9
Price: $183,695
 

53. Porsche 911

Bang for your Buck Score: 42.55
0-60: 4.1
Price: $89,375
 

52. Porsche Cayman

Bang for your Buck Score: 43.27
0-60: 5.1
Price: $56,795
 

51. Porsche Cayman GTS

Bang for your Buck Score: 43.91
0-60: 4.4
Price: $75,200
 

Audi

50. Jaguar F-Type Coupe S

Bang for your Buck Score: 44.90
0-60: 4.3
Price: $77,000
 

49. Lexus RC350

Bang for your Buck Score: 45.01
0-60: 5.7
Price: $43,715
 

48. Lexus IS 350 F Sport

Bang for your Buck Score: 45.30
0-60: 5.6
Price: $45,000
 

47. Audi RS5

Bang for your Buck Score: 45.97
0-60: 4.4
Price: $71,825
 

46. Porsche Cayman S

Bang for your Buck Score: 48.35
0-60: 4.4
Price: $69,295
 

Ford

45. Cadillac ATS 3.6

Bang for your Buck Score: 48.43
0-60: 5.6
Price: $42,090
 

44. Ford Fiesta

Bang for your Buck Score: 48.65
0-60: 9.7
Price: $13,965
 

43. Jaguar F Type Coupe R

Bang for your Buck Score: 49.82
0-60: 3.6
Price: $99,000
 

42. Porsche Macan Turbo

Bang for your Buck Score: 50.12
0-60: 4.2
Price: $72, 300
 

41. Mercedes C63 AMG

Bang for your Buck Score: 50.31
0-60: 4.4
Price: $65,625
 

Porsche

40. Porsche 911 GT3

Bang for your Buck Score: 51.17
0-60: 3.1
Price: $130,000
 

39. Mercedes CLA

Bang for your Buck Score: 52.34
0-60: 6.1
Price: $32,825
 

38. Audi S4

Bang for your Buck Score: 53.98
0-60: 4.9
Price: $49,325
 

37. Mazda 6

Bang for your Buck Score: 54.78
0-60: 7.0
Price: $23,815
 

36. Lexus RC F

Bang for your Buck Score: 55.40
0-60: 4.3
Price: $62,400
 

BMW

35. Audi A4

Bang for your Buck Score: 55.96
0-60: 5.6
Price: $36,425
 

34. BMW 328i

Bang for your Buck Score: 56.05
0-60: 5.8
Price: $33,900
 

33. Tesla Model S P85D

Bang for your Buck Score: 60.75
0-60: 3.1
Price: $109,500
 

32. Mazda MX-5 Miata

Bang for your Buck Score: 61.03
0-60: 6.5 (est)
Price: $24,790
 

31. Mitsubishi Lancer Evo

Bang for your Buck Score: 64.46
0-60: 5.3
Price: $35,305
 

Mercedes

30. Audi A3

Bang for your Buck Score: 64.87
0-60: 5.4
Price: $33,795
 

29. Cadillac CTS-V

Bang for your Buck Score: 66.80
0-60: 3.7
Price: $69,900 
 

28. Mercedes CLA45 AMG

Bang for your Buck Score: 66.80
0-60: 4.4
Price: $49,425
 

27. Ford Fiesta ST

Bang for your Buck Score: 67.99
0-60: 6.7
Price: $20,945
 

26. BMW 335i

Bang for your Buck Score: 68.59
0-60: 4.6
Price: $44,045
 

Ford

25. Chevy SS

Bang for your Buck Score: 69.01
0-60: 4.5
Price: $45745
 

24. Ford Mustang Ecoboost

Bang for your Buck Score: 69.57
0-60: 5.6
Price: $29,300
 

23. Ford Focus ST

Bang for your Buck Score: 70.49
0-60: 6.1
Price: $24,370
 

22. Alfa Romeo 4C

Bang for your Buck Score: 70.55
0-60: 4.1
Price: $53,900
 

21. BMW M3

Bang for your Buck Score: 71.40
0-60: 3.8
Price: $62,000
 

Mercedes

20. Mercedes GLA45 AMG

Bang for your Buck Score: 71.58
0-60: 4.3
Price: $48,300
 

19. Dodge Charger Hellcat

Bang for your Buck Score: 72.96
0-60: 3.7*
Price: $63,995
 

18. Cadillac ATS-V

Bang for your Buck Score: 73.21
0-60: 3.8
Price: $60,465
 

17. Nissan GT-R

Bang for your Buck Score: 73.53
0-60: 2.9
Price: $103,365
 

16. Dodge Challenger R/T

Bang for your Buck Score: 74.95
0-60: 5.1
Price: $32,790
 

Dodge

15. Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

Bang for your Buck Score: 75.72
0-60: 3.9
Price: $55,505
 

14. Dodge Viper SRT Coupe

Bang for your Buck Score: 76.37
0-60: 3.1 (est)
Price: $87,095
 

13. Chevrolet Camaro (V6)

Bang for your Buck Score: 77.47
0-60: 5.9
Price: $23,705
 

12. BMW M235i

Bang for your Buck Score: 78.48
0-60: 4.3
Price: $44,050
 

11. Audi S3

Bang for your Buck Score: 78.62
0-60: 4.4
Price: $41,995
 

Dodge

10. Chevrolet Corvette Z/06

Bang for your Buck Score: 79.02
0-60: 3.2
Price: $79,000
 

9. Dodge Challenger Hellcat

Bang for your Buck Score: 80.10
0-60: 3.7
Price: $58,295
 

8. Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

Bang for your Buck Score: 80.49
0-60: 3.8
Price: $55,000
 

7. BMW 228i

Bang for your Buck Score: 80.56
0-60: 4.9
Price: $33,050
 

6. Subaru WRX STI

Bang for your Buck Score: 85.12
0-60: 4.6
Price: $$35.490
 

Hyundai

5. Hyundai Genesis Coupe

Bang for your Buck Score: 85.51
0-60: 5.2
Price: $27,645
 

4. Nissan 370Z

Bang for your Buck Score: 88.77
0-60: 4.9
Price: $29,990
 

3. Dodge Challenger Scat Pack

Bang for your Buck Score: 91.76
0-60: 4.2
Price: $39,490
 

2. Chevrolet Camaro SS 1LE

Bang for your Buck Score: 98.55
0-60: 4.4
Price: $33,505
 

Ford

1. Ford Mustang GT

Bang for your Buck Score: 99.41
0-60: 4.4
Price: $33,215
 

Conclusions

  • As one might expect, there's a distinct point of diminishing returns with regard to both price and power. Only one car in the top 30—the Nissan GT-R—sells for over $100,000, and it's generally considered extremely fast for its price. As evidenced by the Hellcat twins, traction is a critical component. If they were using drag radials as Dodge itself did to record times, they could use more of their power, and would actually top this list.
  • Seeing a Mustang, Camaro, and Challenger rank one, two, and three is certainly no surprise, even if the specific Camaro and Challenger at the top is. Bang for the buck is what those three have always been about.
  • The cluster of Porsches all across a wide price point of 911s and Caymans is fascinating, and would seem to imply a direct link between Porsche's pricing and acceleration. That's surprising, since the cars' primary purpose is cornering, and increased cornering prowess doesn't appear to impact price points.
  • What's not shown is as interesting as what is: luxury and comfort, as well as perception of brand prestige are all absent, which is how cars like the Hyundai Genesis managed to spring their surprise.

The entire list:

Aaron Miller

A quick note on times shown: Often, the time quoted by a manufacturer and the time tested in the real world varies. When in doubt, the faster of the two times was used.

*NOTE: For both the Charger and Challenger Hellcat, Dodge claims a time of 2.9 seconds. However, that time was set on drag radials, which provide an unfair advantage in straight line acceleration. No other car on this list set its time using an equivalent tire, so the Hellcats' times were omitted in the name of fairness. For the record, 2.9 seconds would put the Challenger and Charger Hellcats at number one and two on this list by a considerable margin.

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