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25 Affordable Cars That Can Reach 150 MPH

Vukasin HerbezMay 13, 2019

Although reaching a 200 mph top speed is relatively common among today’s performance cars, most of those machines are still above the reach of the average speed enthusiast. So until 200 mph cars are available for reasonable cash, these are the most affordable 150 mph cars. In reality, 150 mph is still plenty fast.

In fact, chasing that speed will get you in serious trouble with the law if you plan to do it on public roads. However, any of these budget 150 mph cars can be a good basis for modification if you want to go even faster. Read on to see how to get to the magic figure of 150 mph on a small budget.

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25. BMW 750il

As you may expect, most of the cars on this list are sports/muscle cars. However, it starts with a true luxury cruiser, the 750il BMW produced from 1995 until 2001. Under the hood of this glorious German sedan is a 5.4-liter V12 engine producing 322 HP.

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But even though they equipped the 750il with every conceivable luxury item, the price on the used car market is quite low. This means you can travel at an electronically-limited 155 mph in ultimate luxury for the price of a new economy car.

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24. Mitsubishi 3000 GT

With its pop-up headlights, rear panorama glass and big spoiler, the 3000 GT screams early ‘90s car design. But there is much more about this car than contemporary nostalgia since this is one serious driving machine.

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Under the hood is a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 pumping out 300 HP. And it sends its power to all four wheels over an intelligent AWD system. The top speed is 160 mph. And that is more than enough to be considered a worthy contender on this list.

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23. Mercedes E55 AMG

In 1998, AMG released their ultimate version of the standard E-Class in the form of the E55 AMG. From the outside, the E55 AMG looked like any other E-Class with just minimal changes. But underneath the body, there was a 5.4-liter supercharged beast just waiting to be released.

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With 349 HP and 391 lb-ft of torque, the E55 AMG could accelerate from 0 to 60 in just 5.4 seconds. And it could hit a top speed of over 160 mph.

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22. Chevrolet Corvette C4 ZR1

The C4 ZR1 is no ordinary Corvette. When Chevrolet introduced it in 1989, it was the fastest Corvette they ever built. Under the hood, there was the LT4, a Lotus-engineered V8 engine with 375 HP and later 400 HP, quad-cam heads, and 32 valves. The engine was an engineering marvel and performed exceptionally well.

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It came with a beefed-up suspension, gearbox, and pair of extra-wide rear tires. The 1989 Corvette ZR1 could accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds and top 180 mph. And that is what made it one of the fastest cars of the era.

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21. Audi S8

The early 2000s S8 was an interesting machine. It had a fully aluminum body and an extremely capable Quattro all-wheel-drive system. Then they added a high revving 4.2-liter V8 engine to create an elegant yet comfortable package.

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The S8 was the car for cruising highways in total safety and luxury. The electronically-limited top speed is 155 mph. But, you can remove it to extract 170 mph from this German cruiser.

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20. Infiniti G35 Coupe

Arguably the best-looking Infinity coupe to date is the 2003-07 G35 Coupe. It was a composed and well-engineered two-door model based on the G35 sedan’s architecture. With a 3.5-liter V6 engine under the hood and 280 HP on tap, the G35 Coupe was a more mature and luxurious version of the Nissan 350Z.

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That is not a bad thing. This means the G35 possessed the same sharp handling, great driving dynamics, and good performance in a more upscale package. The 0 to 60 mph took just below six seconds and its top speed was close to 160 mph.

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19. Jaguar XJR

If you are a sucker for the Jaguar XJR’s everlasting style and looks, you will be pleased to know you can buy one of those beautiful but problematic machines for under $10,000. Jaguar introduced the XJR in 1998 and discontinued it in 2002. This generation of the Jaguar XJR featured a supercharged version of their venerable 4.0-liter V8 engine.

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The engine powered the rear wheels through an automatic transmission, delivering 375 HP. The sleek and sexy Jaguar XJR could accelerate to 60 mph in just five seconds. Also, the electronically-limited top speed was 155 mph. Of course, if you removed the limiter, you could reach almost 170 mph.

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18. Chevrolet Corvette C5

They presented the fifth generation of Chevrolet’s sports car, the Corvette in 1996 and it stayed on the market until 2005. It sold in big numbers, becoming the popular choice of sports car fans all over the world. The layout of this car is competent. You have a 350 HP 5.7-liter V8 in the front, and a gearbox and rear suspension together to form the transaxle system.

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All that gives the C5 the perfect weight distribution for sharper handling with the lightweight and aerodynamically efficient body. The C5 was capable of getting to 60 mph in just under five seconds, reaching 175 mph. Also, it is good to know that the maintenance costs are lower than similar imports sports cars. So if you are looking for a fast, affordable car, this is a perfect choice.

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17. Pontiac GTO

The last generation of the Pontiac GTO was one of the biggest examples of a misunderstood car. The Holden-built and LS-powered GTO was a proper muscle car with a powerful engine. It came with a sleek design, modern suspension, and brutal performance. Unfortunately, it never reached the sales numbers or success that Pontiac hoped for.

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That was despite its qualities, 350 and 400 HP engines and great performance numbers. In fact, the 2004 to 2006 GTO could accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in less than five seconds. Also, it could reach 175 mph, which is quite fast for a muscle car.

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16. Chrysler 300C SRT-8

A competitor to the BMW M5 or Mercedes E-Class AMG, the SRT-8 was the performance version of the 300C sedan. They equipped it with a 6.1-liter V8 Hemi engine pumping out 425 HP.

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Also, it played a glorious soundtrack through the twin tailpipes. All in all, the SRT-8 was a really fast and capable sedan. In fact, a 0 to 60 mph sprint took around 4.9 seconds and the top speed was over 170 mph.

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15. Chevrolet Camaro Z/28

The third-generation F-Body was GM’s favorite muscle car offering from the early ‘90s to 2003. And it all happened when they discontinued the Camaro and its twin brother, the Pontiac Firebird. Chevy offered the Z28 Camaro in 1996.

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It featured a powerful 5.7-liter V8 with 325 HP, which was enough to launch it just from 0 to 60 mph in just over five seconds. Also, it propelled the car to a 160 mph top speed.

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14. Mercedes S600

With a base price of over $100,000 when it was new, it is interesting to see how the depreciation has affected the S600 over the years. Today, you can find a decent example for $10,000. Under the hood is the 6.0-liter V12 engine with 391 HP. And it’s capable of propelling this big, heavy sedan to a 5.5 second 0 to 60 mph time.

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The top speed is 155 mph. Of course, they electronically limited the top speed. So, if you remove the limiter, it is capable of reaching 190 mph. And that is insane for a car this big and luxurious.

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13. BMW 540i E39

The E39 generation of the BMW 5-Series was on the market from 1995 to 2003. Amazingly, many people still regard it as one of the best executive and performance sedans they ever made. The best and most respected model is, of course, the sublimely good M5 with a 4.9-liter V8 engine and 400 HP. But there is more to the E39 5-Series than just M5.

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The next car in line is almost as good and fast, which is the 540i sedan. Looking almost identical and featuring a 4.4-liter V8 engine, the 540i delivers 291 HP and 0 to 60 mph times of around six seconds. They electronically-limited the top speed to 155 mph, making this a fast sedan for its day. While the prices of M5s are slowly going through the roof, the price for the 540i is surprisingly low.

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12. Nissan 300ZX

One of the best cars in the long line of Z-named Nissan sports coupes was the 300 ZX. They introduced it in 1990 and discontinued it in 1996. Most car enthusiasts respect this model since the 300 ZX is a proper sports coupe.

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And it comes with the technology and performance that could rival much more expensive, exclusive cars. The twin-turbo V6 engine pumped out 300 HP. In fact, the ZX could accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.5 seconds and top 150 mph.

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11. Dodge Neon SRT-4

Nobody ever considered the Neon SRT-4 to be a high-speed car. But the little Neon can top 153 mph when you drive it flat out. Dodge released it in 2003 and at the time, the Neon SRT4 was one of the best, affordable performance cars in America. Dodge managed to transform the compact, inexpensive and boring Neon into a pocket rocket.

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They gave it a 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder motor producing 230 HP. And it could propel the Neon from 0 to 60 in 5.4 seconds. Also, the top speed is high enough to get featured on this list.

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10. Audi S4 B6

Car fans have always considered the Audi S4 to be a special car in the compact performance sedan class. It features powerful engines and elegant styling, as well as the famous Quattro all-wheel-drive system as standard. They unveiled it in 2003 and sold it through 2005. Drivers praised the B6 generation of the S4 as an accomplished car.

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Under the hood was the 4.2-liter V8 with 340 HP, which sounded great and revved all the way up to 7,000 rpm. The performance was equally impressive. The S4 B6 could go from 0 to 60 mph in just five seconds. Also, its top speed, although they electronically limited it, was 155 mph.

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9. Porsche 944 Turbo

In 1983 Porsche presented the 944, which proved to be an important model for the brand. One of the main features of the new car was a 2.5-liter four-cylinder motor which produced 170 HP at first. That may not be an impressive number today, but it was potent by mid-80’s standards. Further evolution of that model included enlarging the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine to three liters, which delivered 211 HP in the 944 S2. But the most interesting version was the 944 Turbo S.

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It had a 2.5-liter turbocharged engine that put out 250 HP. Due to its lightweight, updated transmission and aerodynamics, the 944 Turbo S was a fast car. The 0 to 60 mph took only 5.5 seconds and this car could top 162 mph. Even today, this little Porsche can outrun some modern sports cars. The Porsche 944 Turbo was a forgotten gem among the classic sports cars, but in recent times, the interest of the car community has picked up. Current prices are over $10,000 for the best ones, so act fast if you want this cool little coupe.

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8. BMW M3 E36

The original E30 M3 is stratospheric in price and the E46 is still expensive, so the only way to feel the M Power magic on a budget is with the E36 M3. They built it from 1992 to 1999 and the E36 M3 featured a newly-designed six-cylinder motor. Earlier models had a 3.0-liter engine with 291 HP. However, from 1995 until the end of production, they installed a bigger 3.2-liter producing 321 HP.

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In America, those E36 M3s had only 240 HP due to emissions regulations, which crippled the otherwise powerful BMW engine. Available as a sedan, coupe, or convertible, the E36 M3 was popular. It also introduced new standards in handling and performance. The 0 to 60 mph times were around six seconds. Thanks to a good chassis and sharp steering, the driving dynamics are perfect. You can find well maintained and accident-free examples for around $10,000 which is a bargain compared to newer M3 and M4 prices. The best part is, you’ll get one of the most legendary performance models of the ’90s, which are destined to be classics in the near future.

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7. Porsche Boxster

The Boxster marked Porsche’s return to its flat-six engine roots after the front engine 944, which featured an inline four-cylinder. Porsche introduced it in 1997, so the Boxster is almost a classic model. This means it is affordable and plentiful on the used car market. Its power comes from a 2.5, 2.7, or 3.2-liter flat-six engine they mounted centrally just behind the passenger seat. This ensures perfect road holding and weight distribution. When they launched it, the car magazines praised the Boxster for its handling and precise steering – qualities that still stand today.

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With a power output ranging from 204 to 260 HP and 0 to 60 mph times in less than seven seconds and top speeds of 160 mph, the Boxster is capable. It also comes with two trunks, one in the back and one in the front, so this roadster is practical, too. Who needs an expensive 911 when you can have a first-generation Boxster they built from 1997 to 2004? It drives just as nice and has the same driving feel for less than $10,000 in pristine condition

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6. Nissan 350Z/370Z

Available as a coupe or a roadster, the Nissan Z is a sports car legend in an affordable package. The handsome front-engine rear-wheel-drive car has a potent V6 engine and a limited-slip differential as standard equipment. This feature makes it safe to drive hard and a favorite drift car. There are plenty of models to choose from with average prices in the $10,000 to $15,000 range.

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There is enormous aftermarket support for this model, which means that you can easily tune and customize your 350 Z in any way you want. In 2008, Nissan introduced the 370Z, a restyled and slightly more powerful version with updated mechanics and an improved interior. It is still in production and it is more expensive on the used car market.

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5. Subaru Impreza WRX STi

Most people think the Subaru Impreza is not a sports car. It has five doors, room for five passengers and a big trunk. But it also has a turbocharged flat-six engine with over 300 HP and intelligent four-wheel drive that brings an amazing performance. This car belongs on this list because of its mind-blowing acceleration figures.

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So, WRX STi drivers can own those stoplight drag races. The 2009 to 2014 model years are plentiful and relatively inexpensive, too. If you can spend $20,000, you can buy a fantastic model with not too many miles on the clock and full service history. In addition to that, if you want to modify your Impreza, you will be glad to know there is an enormous amount of aftermarket components and performance bolt-ons that can double its formidable stock horsepower rating.

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4. Ford Taurus SHO

For decades, fast and stealth cars were a European specialty. But with the introduction of the Ford Taurus SHO, Americans had their own muscle sedan. However, the best and the fastest is the current model. It is one of the coolest, most usable performance cars you can buy.

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With a 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine that delivers 365 HP to all four wheels over its six-speed automatic transmission, the Taurus SHO is capable of convincing performance and high top speeds.

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3. Mercedes 500E

Back in the early ’90s, Mercedes produced the successful but docile W124 E-Class. The elegant sedan was famous for its comfort and refinement rather than performance and speed. However, a team of German engineers would soon change that, and in 1991, they presented the mighty 500E model.

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This was a high-performance version of their main sedan featuring a totally different drivetrain, suspension, brakes, and engine. In fact, the 500E was so demanding for production that Mercedes asked Porsche to do the assembly of this car. The main feature of the 500E was the 5.0-liter V8 engine which developed 326 HP. While those are not impressive numbers by today’s standards, that was a crazy figure for the early ‘90s, especially in a formal sedan. The 500 E could accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just six seconds, which was almost as fast as a Ferrari 348.

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2. Volkswagen Passat W8

Most people don’t think of Volkswagen as a company that produces high-speed sedans since this is the job of their luxury division, Audi. However, in the early 2000s, VW introduced an interesting Autobahn cruiser in the form of the Passat W8. With the restyling of the then-current B5 generation of the mid-size sedan, Volkswagen introduced a special edition with top-of-the-line technology.

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It had an advanced 4.0-liter W8 gasoline engine and a four-motion all-wheel-drive system. Also, their customers could choose the manual or automatic transmission. Also, this top-notch model had all the luxury features and creature comforts as standard. The result was a perfect sleeper/German muscle/performance car in an unassuming Passat body. The compact, yet powerful W8 engine delivered 270 HP and 270 lb-ft of torque. This was enough to propel the somewhat heavy Passat to a just over six second 0 to 60 mph time. And its top speed was over 150 mph.

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1. Buick Regal GS

For decades, Buick didn’t have a proper muscle machine and in 2012 it came from an unlikely source – Europe’s GM division Opel. Buick started selling rebadged Opel Insignias as Regals and amongst regular versions, the company offered a performance model called Regal GS. The stats were pretty good and drew attention from car aficionados.

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Under the hood was a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine with 280 HP, 6-speed manual transmission, and all-wheel drive. The combo proved to be fantastically capable in real life and marked the return of Buick’s performance.

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