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Scary Fast Cars Under $15,000


You don’t have to shell out big bucks to park a wickedly fast car in your driveway. We’ve done some of the shopping for you — and it was a true pleasure — to help find 10 sub-$15,000 cars offering ferocious performance with a reasonable price tag.

Here are 10 cars that might spook you with their acceleration, but not their prices:

1. 2008 Audi S6

2008 Audi S6 Front Left in Silver

The cheapest Lamborghini is actually an Audi. The S6 uses the same V10 found in the Lamborghini Gallardo, though it’s tuned to produce 435 hp in the sedan. Though operating costs are more in line with Lamborghinis than Audis, the S6 is a very fast, very fun way to cart around a full carload of passengers. See Audi S6 models for sale

2. 2006 BMW M6

2006 BMW M6 Front Right in Red

If you’re looking for a big bruiser with stump-pulling power and a dash of German sophistication, the controversial BMW M6 stands ready. These cars are tricky to find, in part due to a questionable reputation for reliability. But if you have a YouTube-certified mechanic’s license, the 500-hp V10 will certainly keep you busy. See BMW M6 models for sale

3. 2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS

2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS Profile in Red

Between its crisp styling that recalls the first-generation model and its thunderous 6.2-liter V8 that puts out as much as 426 hp, the Chevy Camaro SS is a dynamite performance machine with looks to kill. Our budget can buy a surprising amount of fifth-generation Camaro for the money if you shop around enough. See Chevrolet Camaro models for sale

4. 2009 Dodge Challenger R/T

2009 Dodge Challenger R/T Front Right in Red

Forget about the milquetoast base model Challenger. For truly devilish performance at a reasonable price, you want a 5.7-liter Hemi V8 under the hood. The revived Challenger lineup bowed for 2008 but was expanded with a less-costly Challenger R/T for 2009. With 372 horsepower paired with an available 6-speed manual transmission and rear-wheel drive, it makes for a rubber-burning blast. See Dodge Challenger models for sale

5. 2001 Ford Mustang SVT Cobra

2001 Ford Mustang SVT Cobra Front Left in Silver

If you have something a little more retro in mind, look to a now-20-year-old Ford Mustang SVT Cobra. These cars are fairly light at around 3,400 pounds, and they boasted 320 horsepower when new. Modifiers will find a massive amount of aftermarket gear to hop them up, too. See Ford Mustang models for sale

6. 2013 Ford Taurus SHO

2013 Ford Taurus SHO Driving in Blue

Ford brought back the Taurus SHO name for 2010, but our budget will stretch to the updated 2013 model. This big bruiser boasts 365 horsepower from its twin-turbocharged V6, plus a mountain of torque that ensures rapid response at any jab of the throttle. Standard all-wheel drive will help keep you out of trouble, too. See Ford Taurus models for sale

7. 2004 Jaguar XJR

2004 Jaguar XJR Profile in Green

“Veddy British” need not mean stuffy, as the Jaguar XJR clearly illustrates. Beneath its old-school facade sits a supercharged V8 rated at 390 hp, which hustles to a pair of rear tires just begging to be shredded at every opportunity. Though not exactly cheap to own, the XJR is a mild-mannered supercar with room for four or even five in a pinch. See Jaguar XJR models for sale

8. 2006 Pontiac GTO

2006 Pontiac GTO Front Right in Black

When Pontiac revived the GTO name for 2004, the automaker looked to its then-sister division Holden in Australia. Down Under, they also happen to like rear-wheel-drive cars with big V8 engines and manual transmissions. The GTO offers a healthy 400 hp all wrapped up in a relatively plain package that slips under the radar. See Pontiac GTO models for sale

9. 2008 Porsche Cayenne Turbo

2008 Porsche Cayenne Turbo in Black

Do you need a little more practicality with your performance? Look to the Porsche Cayenne Turbo. First-generation models with the turbocharged V8 send 500 horsepower to all four corners, and nice examples aren’t hard to come by for $15,0000 or less. See Porsche Cayenne models for sale

10. 2012 Subaru Impreza WRX

2012 Subaru Impreza WRX front left in Blue

The rally-bred WRX pairs turbocharged punch with standard all-wheel drive and an unusually poised chassis. While not the fastest car on this list, the WRX nonetheless serves up a healthy dose of balanced performance on any terrain and in any weather. See Subaru Impreza WRX models for sale

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Andrew Ganz
Andrew Ganz is an author specializing in helping in-market consumers get the most bang for their buck -- and the best car, while they're at it. When not virtually shopping for new and used cars, Andrew can probably be found under the hood of a vintage classic that's rapidly losing fluids.

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