A decade ago, 300 horsepower was expected only from V-8 engines. Today, that’s the output of some 4-cylinder power plants.
Thanks to direct fuel injection, turbocharging and other technologies, power and speed can be bought in a range of body styles, vehicle sizes and powertrain configurations. The result is that you no longer need to go for broke to hang with the big boys on the track.
Forbes searched the market for the fastest production cars that you can buy for under $50,000. This list was compiled based on manufacturer published 0-60 mph performance numbers, taking into consideration engine output, torque, vehicle weight and “wisdom of the crowds” when track times were unavailable for particular models. Unlike fuel economy, there are no government standards for performance testing. Not every manufacturer publishes its quarter mile-dash or 0-60 mph sprint time, as the ability to achieve and repeat them comes down to driver skill almost as much as engineering. More ...
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