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The Best New Sports Cars for $50k or Less.

Posted in Chevrolet, Corvette, Ford, General, Lotus, New Cars, Nissan, Subaru by MrAngry | May 14th, 2010 | 2 Responses |

Yesterday I posted a lead off article telling you guys about “The Best New Sports Cars for $25k or Less”, as they pertain to open road events such as the One Lap of America. We looked at such items as fuel economy as well as performance and storage capacity. It’s now time for part II, but this time we’ll be looking at the best new sports cars for $50k or less. Keep in mind that two things happen when the price goes up. First and foremost performance levels rise, and secondly you’ll notice that storage capacity and fuel mileage tend to go down. This is all fine and dandy, but understand that these cars need to be able to cover long distances, be reliable and also be able to handle some serious track duty. Now, with that being said, let’s continue.

• 2010 Nissan 370Z NISMO

2010 Nissan 370z Nismo

Let it be known that the Nissan 370Z is a GOOD car. It’s fast, reliable, pretty good looking and totally maxed out, reasonably priced as well. So why then don’t we see more of them on the road? Well, I’ll tell you. The Nissan 370Z is plagued by one inherit problem, that being it’s really kinda’ boring. If you look at its spec sheet it does produced all the right numbers in all the right places, it just doesn’t excite the soul. When you walk into a showroom in search of that perfect sports car the first thing that car should do is excite you. If it doesn’t, then turn around and walk the other way. Now I’ve seen these cars on the track and I can tell you from first hand experience that with the right driver in the seat they can and do boogie. If Nissan could just find a way to get people excited about the Z cars again, then they’d truly have a winner on their hands.

• 0-60 mph: 5.0 seconds
• 18 City/26 Highway mpg
• Top Speed 155 mph
• Curb Weight 3300 lbs.

• Cargo Volume 6.9 (cu ft)
• 350-hp / 276 lbs. tq
• Price as-tested: $40,560

• 2010 Chevrolet Corvette

2010 Chevrolet Corvette

Ladies and gentleman here you go. Dollar for dollar there is no better bargain on the road than the Chevrolet Corvette. I mean just look at the numbers. 0-60 in 4.1 seconds, top speed of 190 mph and 22.4 (cu ft) of cargo space. The Corvette is obviously America’s sports car and because of this it feels inherently American. The interior is somewhat lackluster, the components feel a bit flimsy and the built quality is typical GM, meaning it’s good, but not stellar. The key to the Corvette is what it can do on a racetrack which in short, is simply kick ass. I’ve got a lot of miles in these cars and every time I get out of one I come away more and more impressed. If there was any car on this list I would jump in to drive across the country, the Chevrolet Corvette would win hands down.

• 430-hp / 436 lbs. tq
• Cargo Volume 22.4 (cu ft)
• 0-60 mph: 4.1 seconds
• Top Speed 190 mph
• Curb Weight 3208 lbs.

• Price as-tested: $49,000
• 16 City/26 Highway mpg

• 2011 Ford Mustang GT

2011 Ford Mustang GT

Recent tests have shown that the new 2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0 made an amazing 396 hp at the rear wheels on the dyno. Its suspension, brakes and interior have also been improved over the 2005-2009 models. In short this car is slowly trouncing all the cars in the pony car segment. Some of you may be thinking that the Mustang GT is a muscle car and not a true sports car, but here I am going to disagree with you. With a re-tuned suspension system, available Brembo brakes and all that power on tap, the new 2011 Ford Mustang GT will be showing many a “True” sports car its taillights on back roads and race tracks across the United States.

• 412-hp / 390 lbs. tq
• 0-60 mph: 4.6 seconds
• Top Speed 146 mph (limited)
• Price as-tested: $38,000

• Cargo Volume 13.4 (cu ft)
• 17 City/26 Highway mpg
• Curb Weight 3500 lbs.

• 2010 Lotus Elise

2010 Lotus Elise

Say hello to the itty-bitty, the 2010 Lotus Elise. What we have here is a pint sized bottle rocket of a car that is capable of crushing just about anything on a tight twisty road or road course. The beauty of the Elise is that it weighs in at a mere 1984 lbs. I could cut my 1968 Charger in half and it still wouldn’t be that skinny. The Lotus Elise is just about as close as your going to get to a factory race car for the street. The performance does not however come without flaws. First off, the Elise is not a car you want to be driving everyday, nor is it something you could use in inclement weather. In fact you’d be hard pressed to even fit one bag of groceries in this thing if you needed to. All in all the Lotus Elise is a amazing sports car the will reward its driver with sheer performance bliss on the race track. Just make sure you have a nice daily driver for when you get home, for as a street car you will tire of this little bugger quickly.

• 190-hp / 138 lbs. tq
• 0-60 mph: 4.9 seconds
• Top Speed 150 mph (limited)
• Curb Weight 1984 lbs.

• Cargo Volume 2.0 (cu ft)
• 21 City/27 Highway mpg
• Price as-tested: $47,250

• 2010 Subaru WRX STi

2010 Subaru WRX

The Subaru WRX STi is the boy racer of the bunch. It’s loud, brash and in your face with flared fenders, hood scoop and 2 foot high rear wing. It wants you to know its there at all there at times and is constantly trying to be accepted by the upper echelon of the sports car community. The issue with the Subaru, or should I say most of their owners, is that they try push these great cars into the realm of something they’re not. These cars are not Porsche, Ferrari’s or Z06 Corvette’s. They are simply fabulous AWD drive sports cars that deliver strong performance for a decent price. Nuff said.

• 305-hp / 290 lbs. tq
• 0-60 mph: 4.7 seconds
• Top Speed 150 mph (limited)
• Curb Weight 3395 lbs.

• Cargo Volume 19.0 (cu ft)
• 17 City/23 Highway mpg
• Price as-tested: $38,250

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2 Responses

  1. Trystan says:

    Why is 18/26 MPG a pro on the Z but 21/27 MPG a con on the Elise?

    • Brett says:

      Because the Z has a 3.5\7 litre engine putting out 308\330 horsepower and weighs 3300lbs. The Elise is a 1.8L inline four with 191 horsepower and weighs under 2000lbs. The Elise should have much better mileage for the size of the engine and weight of the car. Like my Sky Redline that gets 37/mpg @ 104Km\h out of a 2L turbo in a 3000lb car