Serious power doesn't have to cost serious money. For under $40,000 you can get cars with horsepower figures that were astronomical 15 years ago.
The Infiniti Q50 just barely makes it on our list with a base 3.0T costing just under $40,000. Its twin-turbo V6 makes 300 hp here, but in the more-expensive Red Sport 400 S, it makes, you guessed it, 400 hp.
The Toyota Avalon traditionally hasn't been a Road & Track car, but the new 2019 model gets a new 3.5-liter V6 with 301 hp. You can get this engine for a little less money in the smaller Camry, though.
We bet you weren't expecting to see this here. The Toyota Camry gets an optional 301-hp, 3.5-liter V6 for the 2018 model year. It's a strong motor, and it's got some genuine sports-car pedigree, thanks to the Lotus Evora.
Chevrolet will sell you a totally base Impala with a 3.6-liter V6 for well under $30,000. Our friends at that it's more fun than you'd expect, too.
Finally, US car enthusiasts get the Civic Type R, a car we've wanted for a long time. It's a little monster with a reasonable price and a front-wheel drive Nurburgring record.
The Buick Regal GS makes a return for 2018 with a 3.6-liter V6 borrowed from the Chevy Camaro. It makes a little less horsepower than the Camaro, but it pairs it with a clever torque-vectoring all-wheel drive system.
The cheapest Mustang you can get today still offers serious performance, thanks to its 310-hp EcoBoost four-cylinder. It wasn't that long ago that a V8 Mustang barely made as much.
The aging 370Z tends to get forgotten among all the great new performance cars it competes with, but it's emerged as somewhat of a bargain. For not much more than the price of a Subaru BRZ, you get a lot more horsepower.
You can get the 335-hp V6 Camaro for well under $30,000, but we recommend opting for the $4500 1LE package. That makes the Camaro a serious track-day machine, all for just $32,895.
The Kia Stinger GT is one of the most exciting sports sedans on sale today, posing a real challenge to much more expensive rivals from BMW and Audi. Its 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 makes a respectable 365 hp, helping the Stinger's chassis come alive.
If you want an American V8 on a budget, the Challenger R/T is the way to go. Its 5.7-liter Hemi cranks out 372 horsepower, and you can pick one up for under $35,000. And if you need four doors, the mechanically similar Charger R/T is just under $36,000.
Instead of comparing this car with the Mustang, think of the new Camaro SS as the cheapest way to get the Corvette's amazing LT1 V8. It's a superb engine, and it's installed in an amazing chassis too.
For 2018, Ford upgraded the Mustang GT's 5.0 V8 to crank out 460 hp. It's a hell of an engine, and it's worth the price of admission alone. Thankfully the new 'Stang handles well too, especially with the Performance Pack.
Long live cheap American horsepower. The Challenger and Charger Scat Packs might not have the crazy 707-hp V8 of the Hellcat, but it offers plenty of power for the money. Frankly, this might be the best all-around Challenger/Charger available in the whole range.