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You don’t have to spend super money to own a super fast car. These are the fastest rides you can get your hand on right now for just under the 20k benchmark.
1999 – 2004 Mustang Cobra
Now the real gem is the brilliant 2003 – 2004 “Terminator” Cobra, which sported a supercharged version of the Cobra’s 32-valve DOHC V8 and independent rear suspension. You might have to shop around for a good Terminator for under the 20k mark, but a 1999 – 2002 Cobra should be no problem.
1996 – 2002 Trans Am WS6
The market on just about every non-classic Pontiac has hit the floor. The good news is that you can pick up the 325hp, LS1 powered WS6 Trans Am for a song. Spending your left over cash on a roller camshaft and a set of lifters will make you the resident street bully.
It’s easy to forget about the C5 Corvette in the wake of the new C7 Stingray, but this LS1 powered, light-weight platform is ripe for bolt-ons and upgrades. And that’s beside the point, because you can have a proper Corvette for under 20k.
BMW M3 E46
With it’s near perfect balance and 3.2L, DOHC, 338hp straight-six engine, this is the first car on the list that’s a monster on the straight as well as in the corners… and has an interior that won’t make you cringe.
2002 – 2006 Impreza WRX STI
Any newer than 2006 will probably put you over the 20k mark, but the WRX STI’s boxer engine, 6-speed manual gearbox and AWD is great fun to drive, even in the winter months, and will take you to 60mph in 4.8 seconds.
2004 – 2006 Cadillac CTS-V
This is not your grandfather’s Cadillac. With a 400hp 6.0L V8, you’ll be dusting off just about everybody between the lights.
2003 – 2006 Mercedes CL600
Repair and running costs aside, there’s perhaps no greater bargain right now than the Mercedes CL600 with it’s twin-turbocharged V12 making almost 500hp. As a bonus, you’ll look like you’re in the mob.