What we all want is the perfect trinity. Fast, cheap and reliable. We’ve heard the old adage that it’s impossible, and to some extent it’s true. Any actual speed is going to be associated with additional costs. The fastest car in the world, the Bugatti Chiron costs over $ 2 million. The simple purchase of a normal sports car like the Dodge Challenger usually costs more than the value of an average automobile.
The truth is, you don’t have to splurge to enjoy the hobby. Better yet, if you’re willing to put some fairness into the equation, you’ll be able to go a lot faster at no additional monetary cost. We’re going to take a look at 15 of the best options available to get you going fast on a budget. Plus, each of these cars can be tuned much further than what the original manufacturers were willing to do.
Perhaps one of the nicest things about the Nissan 350Z is that you can beat it without giving up, and it will smile and keep spinning. Add to that the incredible aftermarket scene and it’s easy to see why it’s on the list. That VQ rumble is lovely too.
The 135i is the 1M or even M235i killer that very few people know about. They are so adjustable from the factory that they have been called the modern 2JZ. If you can find a really cheap one, you can simplify the engine bay so that repairs are also easy. You can even swap out the twin turbos for a big one.
The SRT-4 is quite fast from the factory. Take a few thousand dollars and it’ll turn into a V8 killer with a bad attitude. Plus, while it looks like an experience gone awry up front, the rear looks like regular old neon, so you can slip under the radar a bit.
There is no secondary market bigger than that of the Miata. It doesn’t matter which one you buy either. They are all exceptional. They are all capable of track. They are even cheap to run on the track. Brakes, tires, engine parts, etc. they are all low cost. Not a lot of fun though.
The S2000 is a modern marvel. Achieving the power of this car, the way it does, is incredibly rare. It also performs very well around a track or even if you prefer to turn it into a drift machine. It looks fantastic too. Nothing to dislike about it.
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution
The EVO is a world famous car because even before tuning it is deeply fast. It is also suitable for four people inside. As you can see with this one, the sky is the limit when it comes to how far you can go too. It would be easy to see one making 500 horsepower or more, all from a 4-cylinder engine under the hood.
Subaru WRX STI
The WRX is one of the most unique cars available on the market today. The engine is really special on its own and it looks like it. In fact, I can speak from experience when I say that they are capable of stupid power. In fact, you will find most people on forums telling new owners that 400 whp (which these cars are easily capable of) is difficult for most people to manage.
Volvo S60 R-Design
Volvo knows how to make a fast car. The S60 R-Design sends power to all four wheels and has a turbocharged 305 horsepower engine. The aftermarket is large and the interior, as well as the drivetrain itself, is quite special. It even features different suspension settings and maybe the most special gear lever never done.
The Audi TT is one of the best performing cars in its class. The Quattro AWD system is also the most underrated in the segment. The available 1.8-liter engine is turbocharged and can be modified for the moon. These are fast revving engines which are a lot of fun, and they will look fantastic even years from now.
The Civic has earned its reputation as an economical way to go fast because of its reputation for going fast and being reliable every day. Moreover, when it comes to tailoring the car to your personal taste, there are few cars in the world that can be this unique after investing a few dollars.
The 180SX is the drifting machine of the nation because no matter how hard you rub on it, it continues to work hard. Add to that the huge range of parts available to make it faster. These objects are often turned into works of art by their passionate owners.
While we’re using a Fox-body 5.0 Mustang as the main photo, you can really go for any Mustang with a V8 and be happy. Even the lower 4.6 output will be more than capable of building some serious horsepower. They aren’t very complex either, so you won’t have to go through a bunch of extra steps.
The Corvette C4 is very inexpensive and it is one of the best bargains on the market when it comes to cheap speed. The C5 Z06 might be a better deal considering its higher output, but that means a higher barrier to entry. Either can be converted into a wildly capable Corvette Kart with a little elbow grease.
Mini cooper s
Having owned an R53 and an R60 Mini Cooper, I can tell you that they are exceptional. The R56 has a sketchy engine, but otherwise it’s a great way to enjoy your day-to-day driving. They are fast, responsive and very knowledgeable. There are parts everywhere and with the right exhaust they creak and explode like an idling supercar.
NEXT: 15 Compact Cars That Make City Driving Fun
The two riders are brothers, adding an extra layer to the competition.
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