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These Cheap Foreign Cars Are Just As Exhilarating As A Supercar

These Cheap Foreign Cars Are Just As Exhilarating As A Supercar

Everyone wants to own a supercar, but not everyone can afford a supercar. There’s a reason why the “supercar club” is so exclusive: the vehicles are outrageously expensive. But what if there was a way to get similar driving experience, for a fraction of the price?

Well, there is. There are cars out there that cost less than $40,000—heck, less than $10,000!—that are powered by V12 engines, or Ferrari-sourced motors, or beefy V8s, and can give any of those cars a run for their money. Okay, maybe not any supercar—none of the cars listed here will beat a Bugatti Veyron in a sprint.

But you won’t be disappointed with these options. They’re classy, built from reputable and distinguished companies, and they’re in a league of their own in terms of price and style.

Here are 20 foreign cars that are as exhilarating as supercars.

20 2004 Volkswagen Phaeton W12 ($9,500)

These Cheap Foreign Cars Are Just As Exhilarating As A Supercar

via Bring a Trailer

The Volkswagen Phaeton W12 was introduced to the US in 2004, and Americans weren’t ready for it. That’s because it came with a huge 6.0-liter V12 engine—the first VW of its kind—and cost $94,600 MSRP. The sporty car looks mild but comes packed with 444 hp and a top speed of 186 mph, though it was electronically limited to 155.3 mph. Now, you can get one for a tenth the price, like this one for around $9,500.

19 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C ($39,000)

These Cheap Foreign Cars Are Just As Exhilarating As A Supercar

via Bring a Trailer

The Alfa Romeo 4C looks like a supercar and drives like one, too. Introduced in 2013, the 4C is a great luxury alternative to high-end brands like BMW and Porsche, without breaking the bank. They still cost a bit much (the highest on this list, anyway), but having such a beautiful car, lightweight, with a zippy turbocharged straight-4 engine that puts out 237 hp, is totally worth it for under $40,000.

18 2008 Lotus Elise SC ($27,000)

These Cheap Foreign Cars Are Just As Exhilarating As A Supercar

via Top Speed

The Lotus Elise is another sharp looking two-seater, rear-wheel drive sports car that can be had for under $30,000 if you look hard enough. Introduced in 1996, the roadster is capable of speeds up to 150 mph, and it has superb handling. The SC is a 2008 model that sports a non-intercooled supercharged engine producing 218 hp. While it’s not going to beat a Ferrari or Lambo on the track, it’ll definitely turn heads.

17 2010 Lotus Evora ($36,500)

These Cheap Foreign Cars Are Just As Exhilarating As A Supercar

via Bring a Trailer

The Lotus Evora is like the next-level Elise, and its price reflects that. It’s the second priciest car on this list, but that’s natural for imports. Launched in 2010 with a supercharged 3.5-liter V6 engine (and then facelifted as the Evora 400 in 2015, then the more-powerful GT430 in 2017), this car is capable of 163 mph at the base level (186 mph for the 400, and 196 mph for the GT430 Sport) and can reach 0-60 in 4.8 seconds. It also gets a respectable 30.3 mpg, all for around $36,500.

16 1995 Porsche 911 Carrera (993) ($26,000)

These Cheap Foreign Cars Are Just As Exhilarating As A Supercar

via Hemmings Motor News

The Porsche 911 is one of the most iconic cars because it’s ageless, beautiful, has superb handling and drivability, and its customizing options are almost limitless. The 993, sold between 1994-1998, is considered by many enthusiasts as “the ultimate 911.” Looks-wise, it can’t be beat. This was the last of the “air-cooled” 911s, mated with a six-speed manual. The standard engine was a 3.6-liter flat-6 with 268 hp and a 165-mph top speed, though variants like the GT2 model got up to 444 hp and a 187-mph top speed. You won’t find a better driving experience: find one here for under $27,000.

15 2006 Aston Martin DB9 Volante ($31,800)

These Cheap Foreign Cars Are Just As Exhilarating As A Supercar

via Bring a Trailer

Contrary to popular belief, you can own an Aston Martin for under $40,000, and it won’t even be that old. The DB9 was used by James Bond, so it should be good enough for you. It’s actually considered a supercar in its own right, what with its baseline 450 hp courtesy of its 5.9-liter V12 engine from the Vanquish. After a 12-year run (2004-2016), the DB9 Volante ended production, and you can now find one for around $32,000—and it’ll be able to compete with the likes of Ferrari with its 186-mph top speed.

14 2012 Fisker Karma Eco-Sport ($28,000)

These Cheap Foreign Cars Are Just As Exhilarating As A Supercar

via YouTube/spudsgarage

The Fisker Karma was plagued with problems early on, which led to its early discontinuation. But with a mpg of 55 city/55 highway, the Karma Eco-Sport is a truly impressive car. It has a hp rating of 403, primarily through an electric powertrain (it was ahead of its time), and it looks gorgeous. Maintenance prices are high, as parts might not exist anymore, but you can still find this budget-friendly supercar for around $28,000.

13 2014 Jaguar F-Type S ($28,500)

These Cheap Foreign Cars Are Just As Exhilarating As A Supercar

via Autoblog

The Jaguar F-Type is, in essence, the spiritual successor to the iconic E-Type, which Enzo Ferrari called “the most beautiful car in the world.” It’s a poor man’s supercar that can be found for around $28,500, and you’ll be happy with your purchase. The S version comes with a 5-liter supercharged V8 worthy of 488 hp, and that’s not even the most powerful version (the SVR Coupe gets 567 hp). It gives the car a 4.3-second 0-62 mph time, and a 186-mph top speed (200 mph on the SVR!).

12 2006 Maserati GranSport ($19,000)

These Cheap Foreign Cars Are Just As Exhilarating As A Supercar

via Hemmings Motor News

The Maserati GranSport is a sports version of the GranTurismo—they’re basically two entirely different cars, though their names are similar. You won’t get the same performance out of a GranTurismo as you will a GranSport, and you can find one for under $20,000! It’s refined but sleek, with a 395-hp 90-degree V8 engine that gives it a 180-mph top speed. It has wide, contoured sports seats, 19-inch wheels, and, the real reason you want one: it’s a Maserati.

11 2008 BMW M3 ($14,000)

These Cheap Foreign Cars Are Just As Exhilarating As A Supercar

via Bring a Trailer

The BMW M3 was first introduced as a high-performance variant of the 3 Series, in 1986, and started at over $50,000. Twenty years later, you can find a 2008 version for a fraction of the price—less than $14,000. The E90 generation (2008-2013) was considered “the greatest all-around car in the world” by Motor Trend and “the finest car on the market, period,” by Car and Driver. It used a 4-liter S65 V8 engine with an electronically limited top speed of 155.

10 2017 Honda Civic Type R ($23,800)

These Cheap Foreign Cars Are Just As Exhilarating As A Supercar

via Motor1

You might not expect to see a Honda on this list (unless it’s the NSX), but the Civic Type R is a beast in its own league. You can even find a relatively new one (like 2017) for around $24,000, and you won’t be disappointed. It’s more aggressive than its predecessor, and it immediately became a benchmark among hot-hatches upon its release. It uses a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four with 306 hp and a top speed of 169 mph. It’s also zippier and handles corners better than almost any other car on this list.

9 2000 BMW M5 ($9,000)

These Cheap Foreign Cars Are Just As Exhilarating As A Supercar

via Bring a Trailer

Road and Track has called the E39-generation BMW M5 the “greatest driver’s sedan on earth,” and yet you can find one for pennies on the dollar—under $10,000—as opposed to its original MSRP of $70,000. Using an S62 4.9-liter V8, the M5 generates 394 hp at 6,600 rpm, and it has a limited top speed of 155 mph (though that’s closer to 190 mph delimited). Maintenance is a concern, but for less than $10,000, you can’t complain.

8 1990 Bentley Turbo R ($18,000)

These Cheap Foreign Cars Are Just As Exhilarating As A Supercar

via Petrolicious

Another odd car that doesn’t have the name GTS or Continental next to it is the Bentley Turbo R. It was a $200,000 car when first introduced in 1985, but now it can be had for less than 10% of that. It was more athletic than the Mulsanne Turbo, with better handling and a more powerful engine. The 6.75-liter turbo Bentley V8 engine is the stuff of legends, with a top speed of 146 mph, great for the time period.

7 1991 BMW 850i ($15,000)

These Cheap Foreign Cars Are Just As Exhilarating As A Supercar

via Bring a Trailer

Because BMWs aren’t considered “supercars,” there are a lot on this list, because many of them are comparable to supercars. The 850i is another monstrous car, running on a V12 that everyone should drive at least once in their lifetime. It also has a classic body style that’s never going to look dated. Built in BMWs golden age, the 850i can now be yours for $15,000, and that comes complete with 5.4-liter, 322-hp M73 V12 engine capable of 155 mph.

6 2006 BMW 760Li ($8,500)

These Cheap Foreign Cars Are Just As Exhilarating As A Supercar

via The Exclusive Automotive Group

The last BMW on our list, but certainly not the worst, is the 760Li, introduced in 2003. The 760i utilized the world’s first production V12 engine to use direct injection, and the 760Li modified that engine to produce 439 hp and a top speed of 155 mph. It was the first car with BMW’s iDrive infotainment system, and you’ll surely be able to feel the power of its 6.0-liter engine. Here’s one for under $10,000.

5 2014 Jaguar XJ Supercharged ($19,000)

These Cheap Foreign Cars Are Just As Exhilarating As A Supercar

via YouTube/Saabkyle04

Leave it to the Brits to never be outdone by their European exotic car neighbors. The XJ Supercharged took the old XJ8, stretched the wheelbase, bolted on a supercharger, and gave it a 5-liter V8 engine with 400 hp. You can get a rather new one (2014) for under $20,000. The newer ones come equipped with a 5-liter V8 outputting 575 hp and running 174 mph top speed, but they’re much pricier. Sticking with a 2014 is not a bad idea.

4 2014 Jaguar XKR ($30,000)

These Cheap Foreign Cars Are Just As Exhilarating As A Supercar

via Land Rover Seattle

Another amazing Jaguar, the XKR has a bit of an Aston Martin vibe in terms of elegant body styles, and it’s still absolutely gorgeous after all these years. A bit pricier for the same year as the XJ Supercharged above, you can still find a 2014 XKR for around $30,000. Its supercharged V8 engine makes plenty of power and a limited top speed of 174 mph. The 2014 is also the last year the model was available, so it doesn’t get much better than this.

3 2003 Maserati Spyder ($13,000)

These Cheap Foreign Cars Are Just As Exhilarating As A Supercar

via Classic Cars

The Maserati Spyder might not be as gorgeous as her GranTurismo or as sporty as the GranSport, but it still looks sleek. It’s powered by a Ferrar-sourced 4.2-liter V8, which really sings when you have the top down. Talk about a car that competes with supercars—this one is powered by one! And it can be yours for around $13,000 for an early 2000s model.

2 2008 Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG ($13,000)

These Cheap Foreign Cars Are Just As Exhilarating As A Supercar

via Autoform

We could’ve listed any number of AMG Mercedes here, but that would take up the entire list (and many of them are too pricey to belong here). But the 10-year-old-or-so CLS63 AMg fits the bill perfectly: aggressive, fast, powerful, and under $15,000 thanks to depreciation. This is a car that started at $80,000, mind you, and features a 5.5-liter twin-turbo V8 worthy of 518 hp!

1 2006 Porsche Cayman S ($17,000)

These Cheap Foreign Cars Are Just As Exhilarating As A Supercar

via MotorEnvy

If you want something a little newer than the ’95 Porsche 911 (though we’re not sure why), the Cayman S could be your ticket. It’s not as prestigious, and is considered more of a “starter” Porsche, but it still looks sweet, drives impeccably, and is powered by any number of 6-cylinder engines worth between 275 and 385 hp. With a top speed of 177 mph, you can’t go wrong here, and you can find one for around $17,000 these days, if you don’t mind it being more than 10 years old.

References: motortrend.com, supercars.net, roadandtrack.com, cargurus.com, hiconsumption.com