If you think the Golf GTI is the most powerful Volkswagen hot hatch, think again. The Golf R is a top-of-the-line Golf with a powerful four-cylinder turbocharged engine and all-wheel drive. It also delivers a brutal performance for a family hatchback. However, the latest versions feature the smaller but more powerful 2.0-liter turbo-four that delivers 309 HP. As you can expect, performance is quite impressive for what is basically a family compact. A 0 to 60 mph sprint takes 4.5 seconds and it can top 155 mph, which is amazing.
Even though hot hatches are famous for having a flamboyant design, lots of scoops, and spoilers, the Golf R is restrained and discrete. But that makes it perfect for people who want performance and compact dimensions, but not attention. This means the Golf R is perfect for sneaking up on those drivers of expensive sports cars and frustrating them at the traffic lights. However, the 2018 Golf R is expensive for a family compact car. Prices start at $39,000, which is why you should wait a few years if you’re planning to buy this.
The third-generation Ford Focus is a great economy compact car. But when Ford introduced the ST model in 2012, car buyers got an almost perfect hot hatch. In fact, under the hood is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with a turbocharger to produce 252 HP. They tuned the rest of the car perfectly to represent a fantastic balance between performance and everyday usability.
The Focus ST popularity lies in the fact that it is a perfect daily commuter car, as well as a speed enthusiast’s machine on weekends. With a base price of just $26,000, the ST is a great deal. However, if you wait a couple of years you can get a low-mileage example for just a fraction of that price.
Nobody expected such a car from Alfa with the Romeo 4C. It’s kind of a “junior supercar” with a carbon-fiber tub and lightweight construction. Also, it comes with a cramped interior and a four-cylinder turbocharged engine behind the driver. The goal was to make the 4C as light as possible, so there are no power steering components or luxury items. The result is a fantastically capable little super sports car. It has a weight of approximately 2,204 pounds, so there is no need for power steering.
The heart of the 4C is a tiny, 1.8-liter engine with a turbocharger delivering 238 HP to the rear wheels. The performance is amazing since 0 to 60 mph is possible in 4.7 seconds. while the 4C can top 160 mph. The downside is that the car is extremely wide, yet the interior space is limited. Also, the ride is harsh since they tuned the suspension for the racetrack, not for street use. So, if you want something special, wait until the 4C’s MSRP of $55,000 sinks to affordable levels.
The new performance Civic looks like every racer’s dream with numerous spoilers, scoops, and air vents all over its body. The aggressive design, great performance, and JDM appeal make this Civic a valuable and highly desirable addition to the hot hatch class. For a long time, Honda has resisted the temptation to turbocharge its performance engines.
But now, the Civic Type R has exactly that under the hood, just other competitors in its class. The 2.0-liter turbo-four delivers 306 HP and can propel the nasty-looking Civic Type R to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds and top 170 mph. Acceleration times are somewhat slower than its competitors, though. The reason that the Civic is front-wheel drive and not all-wheel-drive like most other models in its class. The MSRP price of $35,000 is not high, but you can bet it will cost half that amount in just a few years.
Nobody expected that Mercedes will enter the compact performance class and hot hatch class. After all, Mercedes was famous for big sedans that defined luxury and comfort, rather than compact cars with screaming engines. And most of all, nobody expected Mercedes would do it so well. The secret of the
performance of CLA, GLA, and A-Class 45 AMG is the unbelievably powerful 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. It started with 345 HP, and for the 2018 model year, it produces 381 HP. Just for comparison, the 2.0-liter four delivers as much power as the 5.0-liter V8 from a couple of years back. However, all that performance and premium badge is pricey. So, the cost of the current CLA 45 AMG starts at $53,000. And that is significantly higher than lots of other comparable cars. But, if you are willing to wait a few years, that price will be lower.
Audi revealed the TT RS in 2016 as their 2017 model. It is a recent addition to the prestigious RS model range Audi offers on the American market. With a 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder engine that delivers 400 HP and 354 lb-ft of torque, the TT RS has a crazy power to weight ratio. All that equates to a sublime performance.
A 0 to 60 MPH sprint takes just 3.6 seconds. Although they have electronically limited its top speed to 155 MPH, if you remove the limiter, the TT RS is capable of reaching 174 MPH. The MSRP for this compact supercar-killer is high at $64,000. So, look at it in a few years when it hits the used car lots.
Under the hood of the new Focus RS, there is a 2.3-liter turbocharged unit sending 345 HP to all four wheels. And that’s what makes the Focus RS a capable hot hatch beast. The performance is incredible, too. To get from 0 to 60 mph takes only 4.7 seconds and its top speed is 165 mph. But that kind of performance deserves special packaging. So the Focus RS has a unique front spoiler, bulged fenders, and side skirts.
Simply looking at this furious compact will tell you this is a genuinely fast Ford. However, if you are in the market for the fast, brutally capable Ford Focus RS, you should hurry. Ford plans to end its production run this year, so you should buy the Focus while you still can. However, if you can’t afford its $37,000 MSRP, the good news is, this model will only become more affordable as time passes.
For decades now, Subaru has been one of the best affordable performance cars on the market. And the latest generation of the WRX STI doesn’t disappoint. Under the hood is a flat-four engine with 2.5 liters of displacement and a turbocharger. And this combo is good for 305 HP, which it delivers to all four wheels via the six-speed manual.
The Subaru STI WRX a true driver’s car with a proper manual gearbox, great road holding, and enough power to make it fly. The performance numbers are respectable, too. It only takes 5.1 seconds to get from 0 to 60 mph with a 160 mph top speed. But better yet, since this is a four-door car, it is also practical since it can seat five people with a decent trunk, too. However, because the base price of over $48,000, you should wait a couple more years.
If you are not familiar with the R-Class, it’s a minivan Mercedes based on the S-Class sedan. They equipped it with all the conceivable luxuries and powerful engines, making it perfect for crossing continents in the comfort of a leather sofa traveling at 100 mph. However, AMG, the Mercedes performance division, had something to say about that. They introduced the R63 with a 6.2-liter naturally aspirated V8 producing 503 HP. With the stiffer suspension, tons of power, and great performance, the R63 was no ordinary minivan. It was actually a sports car with room for seven people.
The car was expensive when it was new so it didn’t have much of a market. Also, the combination of minivan comfort and sports car performance was strange to customers. However, the R63 AMG was a glorious sleeper with a 4.8 second 0 to 60 mph time and an unassuming appearance. Nobody expected that a 5,000-pound crossover could beat a new BMW M3 in a stoplight drag race.
Unfortunately, the Chevrolet SS is out of production, but dealers have enough unsold cars that you can still buy one right now. It could be argued the SS is one of the best affordable performance sedans on the market today. With a 6.2-liter V8, 412 HP, precise steering, and neutral handling, this car rivals Europe’s finest sports sedans. Did you know this is Holden from Australia they rebadged as a Chevy finely tuned for U.S. customers?
The performance numbers are respectable, so a 0 to 60 mph sprint is possible in just 4.7 seconds and the top speed is over 150 mph. The Chevrolet SS is a good proposition for people who need a practical sedan but want a sports car. The styling is elegant and unassuming, which is a good thing since this car can surprise many sports models with its performance. One of the best sleepers on the market, it can blend with traffic so nobody can tell you have 400 HP under your right foot ready to jump in a second’s notice.
As the defining car of the segment, the Range Rover couldn’t sit still and watch as other cars stole its thunder. So, they introduced the mighty Sport SVR. With a heavily supercharged 5.0-liter V8, a host of chassis, suspension and braking modifications, and unique trim details, the SVR is a true performance SUV beast.
They mated the 575 HP engine with an eight-speed automatic transmission. It is capable of propelling this heavy wagon from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.3 seconds with up to 176 mph top speeds.
The fabulous M2, along with its bigger brothers M3 and M4 are filling the pages of car magazines. As some of the best performance cars, you can buy, these powerful machines are well over the $50,000 limit. However, you can buy the next best thing – a compact BMW 240i with the xDrive all-wheel-drive option. You will save a lot of cash, yet you will get nearly the same power level, composed chassis, precise steering and performance numbers. The 240i has a 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder with 335 HP capable of launching it from 0 to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds.
The performance is enough to call this coupe a sports car and to bring a smile to any driver’s face when putting the right foot down. The xDrive all-wheel drive is an option that adds some weight to the car yet it still delivers exceptional road holding. You’ll have a sure grip and safety in all weather conditions. You can do without it, but if you live in a cold climate, you should consider paying a bit extra for it.
But for those who want the classic, screamer Mustang with Shelby heritage but with modern technology and unbelievable V8 performance, the new GT 350 R is a perfect choice. Despite the fact that Shelby was based on Mustang GT, much of the car’s suspension, design, aero package, and the engine was new. The biggest single difference was the fantastic Voodoo engine, which has 5.2-liter displacement, 526 HP, and 429 lb-ft of torque. The main feature of this high-revving powerplant is the flat-plane crank technology which allows the big V8 to scream to almost 9000 rpm.
It is the same technology that is used by exotic manufacturers like Ferrari and this is the first time that a muscle car has such an advanced engine. Ford’s investment into Shelby GT 350 really paid off since the performance is mind-boggling with 3.9 seconds for 0 to 60 mph. But the numbers don’t do justice to this car. Shelby GT 350 is a pure sports car that delivers fantastic driving dynamics and experience to the driver. It is much closer to the Porsche GT3 in terms of precision driving and cornering speeds than it is to the humble Mustangs of yesterday. This car is not only one of the fastest Mustangs ever, but it is also one of the best sports cars made in recent years.
Ever since they released the four-door Charger, it’s been a popular model. Even many law-enforcement agencies used it. In 2011, they introduced the second generation. It featured a fresh design and more options, but a mostly unchanged platform and engine choices. Dodge kept the SRT model in the lineup and even offered several interesting performance versions, but everybody knew the Charger was capable of much more. Finally, in 2014, the car community went crazy when Dodge released the Hellcat Charger and Challenger models.
After all, the reaction was totally expected since the 6.2-liter supercharged V8 with 707 HP was a proper monster of a muscle car that shouldn’t be on the streets. But Dodge did just that, allowing the public to buy one of the fastest, most powerful muscle cars and muscle car sedans ever built. Despite being overpowered in any aspect, the Dodge Charger Hellcat is surprisingly good to drive and docile at low speeds.
There were fast SUVs before Jeep introduced the Trackhawk and there will be long after they discontinue the Trackhawk. However, this glorious machine deserves a place on this list for two reasons. First, it has the 707 Hellcat Hemi engine under the hood. Second, with a 3.4-second 0 to 60 mph time, this makes it faster than some supercars.
The Trackhawk is a brutal machine that is highly unusual and influential. It is a proper muscle car, yet it is also an SUV. And that just shows a high horsepower Hemi engine can make anything a proper muscle car, even a full-size SUV.
Ever since the first Cayenne Turbo appeared in the early 2000s, the market for quick, luxury SUVs was born. This Porsche with four doors, a raised body, and all-wheel-drive may have offended a lot of brand purists, but it also brought much to the segment in terms of driving dynamics, performance, and prestige.
Fast forward 15 years and there is a new Cayenne Turbo with even more power, faster acceleration, and better road holding than ever before. The heart of this lightning-quick SUV is the 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine that pumps out 550 HP, sending it to the eight-speed automatic and intelligent all-wheel drive. The result is an impressive 3.7 second 0 to 60 mph acceleration time.
So, what exactly is the Mustang GT Performance Pack 2? It is a GT, which means it has a 5.0-liter Coyote V8 producing 460 HP and 420 lb-ft of torque. They topped it off by mating it with a six-speed manual transmission in the tradition of classic muscle cars. With the 0 to 60 mph time in the low four-second range the Performance Pack 2 is fast. But the numbers are just half of the story.
The essence of the Performance Pack is in the handling, braking, low weight, and a lot more driving dynamics. However, for $6,500 above the price of a regular GT, you will get chassis and aerodynamic improvements. Also, you’ll get stiffer springs, beefier anti-roll bars, performance tires, bigger brakes, racing seats, and more. With this package, the standard Mustang GT transforms from a great sports car to a fantastic driver’s machine. Some magazine editors think Ford should’ve named this Performance Pack 2 the Boss 302 since it captures the same idea and it is for the same type of customer.
If 707 HP from the Hellcat package is not enough and you want the ultimate modern muscle car and the most powerful street Hemi engine they ever made, choose the Demon package. With standard fuel, it will deliver an insane 808 HP. However, if you use the high octane stuff, it will pump out almost 840 HP.
The rest of the Demon package is equally insane from the special transmission, suspension, and brake to the widebody stance and exterior details. The acceleration times from 0 to 60 is less than three seconds. And under full power, the Demon will accelerate with a 1.8 G force. Amazingly, this car capable of covering a quarter-mile sprint in less than 10 seconds straight from the box.
The Chrysler 300C is an interesting car. It is one of the last American boxy-looking sedans with big V8 power and a chrome grille. But it is also a successful model that has been on the market for almost 15 years.
During that time, Chrysler produced numerous variants, most of them with the modern 5.7-liter Hemi. However, one is especially interesting on this list, and that is the mighty SRT-8. Under the hood is a 6.1-liter Hemi producing 425 HP. This car delivers a fantastic performance, which connected with those Hemi models of the glorious Mopar past.
The introduction of the Macan meant that Porsche is looking to the SUV segment one as of its main markets. The Macan is a mid-sized SUV with a performance-oriented design, drivetrain, and technology. And all that makes it one of the best cars in its segment.
The Macan Turbo is interesting because it has a 3.0-liter turbo V6 engine with 400 HP they mated to a performance-calibrated seven-speed automatic and intelligent all-wheel drive. All of that is responsible for its 4.4 seconds 0 to 60 mph acceleration time, as well as it 163 mph top speed.
The Range Rover Sport is a common SUV and one of the first models to introduce SUV performance to a large market, especially in America. For years, this was the most popular car in the segment, so the current generation has good sales results. And that is even though it isn’t the fastest or even the most powerful car in its class.
The Range Rover Sport uses a 5.0-liter supercharged V8 that pumps out 518 HP. This enormous power is enough to launch this big, heavy vehicle from 0 to 60 mph in five seconds, which is quite fast.
Just when Corvette fans thought Chevrolet abandoned adding more power to the C7 Corvette and was concentrating on holding and balancing the already powerful car, the Corvette guys surprised them with the insane 2019 Corvette ZR1. This version of the C7 Corvette features an improved Z06 chassis, suspension, and drivetrain as well as an absolute beast of an engine.
The 6.2-liter heavily supercharged LT4 engine pumps out 755 HP with 527 lb-ft of torque. It sends all its power to the rear wheels through an automatic or manual gearbox. They still don’t have the exact acceleration figures or full specs, but most drivers can safely say this is the most powerful and craziest Corvette so far. Are you in the market for a performance car? You should start saving now so you can take advantage of these 32 fantastic future performance bargains.