You don't need $50,000 for a special edition sports car.
For the 2019 model year, Ford decided to go back to its roots by reintroducing the Bullitt Mustang into the lineup. Ford has released special edition Bullitt Mustangs in the past, but this new one is the best yet with a revised 5.0-liter Coyote V8 producing 480 horsepower. Unfortunately, this new Bullitt comes at a premium of around $5,000 over a standard Mustang GT - starting at $47,590. With options, a fully-loaded Bullit comes in at around $53,000.
We guarantee that there are some fans of the original 1968 film, but we'd also hazard a guess that some young car enthusiasts have never even seen the movie. The 2019 Mustang Bullitt is still a fantastic special edition sports car, but there are many cheaper special edition sports cars on the used market.
If we had to guess, most of our readers have a stronger connection to Paul Walker than Steve McQueen, making the Bullitt Mustang a bit of a dinosaur in terms of nostalgia. By contrast, even our younger readers probably grew up with Hot Wheels, making the Camaro Wheels Edition more of a nostalgic purchase. Chevy introduced the first Camaro Hot Wheels Edition in 2013 as an appearance package on V6 and V8 models. V6 models produced 323 hp, while the V8 models produced either 400 hp with an automatic or 426 hp with a six-speed manual. Even V8 examples can now be found for around $24,000.
Ford may be pretty good at bringing back iconic names, but when it comes to playing the nostalgia card, Dodge rules the roost. Like Bullitt, the Scat Pack name dates back to 1968 when it was first used on the Charger R/T, Coronet R/T, Dart GTS, and Super Bee. When the name returned in 2013, it increased the power of the 5.7-liter Hemi V8 by 18-58 hp depending on the Scat Pack level. The latest Scat Pack challenger replaces the R/T's 5.7-liter V8 with the 6.4-liter SRT V8 producing 485 hp. Dodge also reintroduced the popular Shaker hood, with further adds to the Challenger's nostalgia. Used Challenger Scat Pack models can now be found for just under $30,000.
The Bullitt Mustang offers a significant performance boost over a standard GT, but its main goal is to pay homage to the original Steve McQueen car. Back in 2012, Ford built a Mustang that was more focused on increasing the Mustang's track worthiness while still paying homage to a famous special edition from the past. The 2012-13 Boss 302 increased the 5.0-liter V8's output from 420 to 444 hp and featured numerous suspension upgrades that made it more track capable. Used Boss 302 models can now be found starting around $25,000.
Although it may not be a throwback like the aforementioned models on this list, the Cadillac ATS-V is still a unique car from the brand's mighty V Division. The ATS-V is more than capable of keeping up and even outpacing the best Europe has to offer, thanks to its 464 hp twin-turbo V6 engine. Cadillac also made the intelligent decision to offer the ATS-V with a manual transmission, making it the only car in its class other than the BMW M3/M4 to have a third pedal option. Used ATS-V prices have now fallen to around $40,000, and offers a softer, more luxurious ride than a Mustang.
Jaguar may be quintessentially British, but the luxury automaker has made its fair share of muscle cars. Back in 2015, Jaguar introduced the most extreme version of its mid-size sedan: the XFR-S. Power came from a 5.0-liter supercharged V8 pumping out 550 hp. Fewer than 100 examples of the XFR-S made it to the US, making this kitty far more rare than the Mustang. Even though it is an extremely rare European sports sedan, used XFR-S prices start at around $44,000.
People like the idea of a special edition car because it may be worth more someday than a "standard" car. If collectibility is your main objective, why not buy one of the most unique BMW M models of all time? Many people are flocking to the quirky Z3 M Coupe, aka the "clown shoe," but we have our sights set on the sleeker Z4 M Coupe. Fewer than 2,000 Z4 M Coupes were built, all powered by a 3.2-liter S54 inline-six from the E46 M3. High mileage examples can still be found for less than $25,000, while low mileage examples can reach over $40,000.
The Nissan 370Z isn't one of the more talked about sports cars in 2018, mainly because it has been on the market since the 2009 model year. Nissan has done very little to keep the 370Z relevant, but it did introduce a highly updated Nismo version for the 2015 model year. The 370Z Nismo offers a significant performance increase over a standard Z. Nissan tuned the 3.7-liter V6 so it now produces 350 hp. Used Nismo prices start below $30,000, and the car offers great track performance for drivers who want a stiff, hardcore experience.