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Top 10 Best Performance Cars Under $100k

VO: Rebecca Brayton

Script written by Matt Wende.

If you think the best, most fun performance cars on the market are out of your price range, think again: from the Dodge Viper to the Tesla S 90D to the Mercedes-AMG C 63 S, you can drive home some of the fastest cars and some of the most exotic cars on the market - even if your car-buying budget is under $100,000. WatchMojo takes a look at ten fun-to-drive performance vehicles you can buy for less than $100,000.

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Special thanks to our user MattW128 for suggesting this idea! Check out the voting page at http://WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top%2010%20Sports%20Cars%20that%20Cost%20Less%20than%20$100K

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Transcript
Script written by Matt Wende.

Top 10 Best Performance Cars Under $100k


These cars were built for breaking speed laws, not the bank! Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks of the top 10 performance cars you can get for less than $100,000.

For this list, we’re keeping the rules of the road simple: any car is eligible, as long as it’s fast and crosses the line with a base model price tag of less than a hundred thousand US dollars. Three… two… one… go!

#10: Mercedes-AMG C 63 S
$73,250

Borrowing its raison d’être from its big brothers, the E and S-Class, this sedan is the mob boss in a pinstripe suit. It’s smooth, cool, and sophisticated, but don’t be fooled: it’s also got muscle - 469 horses from a 4 liter twin-turbo V8, to be exact. As the brand name suggests, the amalgamation of luxury and power is unprecedented, and with Mercedes-AMG cleaning up at Formula 1 in recent years, this is one car you don’t want to see in your rearview. Mind you, it likely won’t be there for long.

#9: BMW M2
$51,700

If you ask some gear-heads, late model BMWs seem to have traded drivability for good stats... but this is so not the case with the M2. The coupe is a return to form for Bavarian Motor Works: its light, agile body and incredible predictability make it a pleasure to drive. And with 365 horsepower and 0-60mph times of just over 4 seconds, the M2 has plenty of pleasure to offer. Sure, it’s less-than-perfect in some areas; for example, its driver’s seat isn’t exactly in line with the rest of the car, but this BMW is definitely an ultimate driving machine.

#8: Cadillac CTS-V
$83,995

For decades, Germany has dominated the powerful sedan market; you may have even seen some of them on today’s list. But, while American sedans have a certain “land-yacht” reputation, Cadillac’s CTS-V is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. With 640 horsepower, four doors and looks that stop just short of being flashy, this car will take you from zero to 60mph in 3.7 seconds - and if you leave your foot on the gas you’ll find yourself in the 200mph club. Couple that power and speed with competitive handling, and Das German Automakers had better watch their backs.

#7: Dodge Viper
$95,895

Barely fitting the criteria for this list, this legendary sports car strives to be as purely American as a car can be. It’s big, it’s brash, and at 645 horsepower, it’s got way too much power coming out of its massive 8.4 liter V10! Of course, you may find the Viper to be a bit of a handful to drive, but what can we say? The more agile, track-focused models were too expensive for this list. But if the base model is still a little rich for your blood, there’s always the $50,000 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, with its own mammoth 707-horse power-plant.

#6: Tesla Model S 90D
$79,000

You don’t need gasoline and exhaust to get serious speed: the 90 D variant of Tesla’s Model S will hit 60mph in less than 4.5 seconds – which makes it competitive with just about any car on this list. But there are even more advantages that come with an electric powertrain: for one, you don’t have to wait until maximum revs to get peak performance – you get it the moment your foot hits the floor. And, with no gears to shift through, that acceleration continues until you run out of road and/or power – which ever comes first. So if you happen to think combustion engines are going the way of the wood-paneled station wagon, fear not! There is a solution and its name is Tesla.

#5: Alfa Romeo 4C
$55,900

The formula for speed is quite simple: stiff body, plus power, minus weight, equals zoom. No one knows this better than Alfa Romeo. The 4C’s 237 horsepower, 1.7 liter 4 cylinder engine may not seem like much at first, but then you realize that the car is made out of mostly carbon fiber and is an extremely light at 1,973 pounds. What that means is its power-to-weight ratio is insane. Pair that with a mid-engine layout for maximum weight distribution and you get one of the sportiest, and most gorgeous cars you can drive today.

#4: Jaguar F-Type Coupe
$61,400

If you want to talk about car companies with legacy, it’s hard not to mention Jaguar. Fortunately, Jag has no trouble delivering a sports car for the ages that simultaneously honors its heritage. So what makes a sports car? Noise? Check. Power? Check. Looks? Check and mate. The 375 brake-horsepower V6 should not leave you wanting more when it comes to power, and if you happen to live in an area where the sun shines on occasion, then the convertible model may be right up your alley. But in terms of performance, you’re better off with the coupe!

#3: Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R
$61,795

In an era when the muscle car has become a rare breed, Ford and Shelby have not only created one of the best ever; they’ve changed the game. The latest Mustang is nothing to scoff at, but Shelby has worked to create one of the greatest driver’s cars of all time! Upgrading to a 5.2L flat plane crank V8, the GT350 has the power to match its insane looks! The 350R model stands out especially because it's dumped most of its pesky weight, making it great on the road, phenomenal on the track, and all in all an unbridled driving experience. And that exhaust note! That is the way cars were meant to sound!

#2: Porsche 911 Carrera
$89,400

Porsche strives to be the last word in performance engineering. If you must, go ahead and ask a 911 enthusiast to explain to you why the 911 is the greatest car of all time – just make sure you don’t have plans for the rest of the night 'cause you’re gonna be there for a while. So why isn’t it number one on our list? Because, for the base price of almost 90 grand, you get a car – and that’s about it. If you want a good sound system, an upscale coat of paint, or any other options, you’re going to find yourself clearing a hundred grand very quickly! Now sure, you could cheap out and get a Cayman, but the legacy of the 911 is unrivaled, and it has easily earned its place on our list.

Before our number one pick zooms onto the podium, here are a few honorable mentions.
- BMW Z4
$49,700

- Lotus Evora
$93,785

- Mercedes-Benz SLC
$47,950

#1: Chevrolet Corvette Z06
$80,395

When it comes to the supercar, European automakers have long dominated the sphere, with the United States struggling to match the continent’s sophistication, craftsmanship, and performance. No longer is that the case however: after more than 60 years in the biz, Chevrolet has changed the narrative. Boasting a zero to 60mph time of about three seconds, and some seriously impressive handling capabilities, the latest iteration of the Corvette was built to rival the likes of Porsche, Mercedes-Benz and the Nissan GT-R. The Camaro ZL1 was also a serious contender for this list, but in the Corvette’s price range, you will not find a finer performance vehicle on the planet.

Do you agree with our list? What bargain performance cars are your favorite? For more entertaining top 10s published every day, be subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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