The new Corvette ZR1 may be amazing, but it certainly won't come cheap.
Chevy put the world on notice with the new 755 horsepower Corvette ZR1. The car was recently revealed in Dubai, and the car community is already wondering how it will stack up against Europe's best. We know this car will be able to throw down a seriously quick lap time, but GM never announced the car's price. The old C6 ZR1 started at $105,000, and Corvette chief engineer, Tadge Juechter, promises the new ZR1 won't be twice the price of a base Stingray. Even so, we have picked five cheaper used alternatives that offer a similar experience for way less.
Unfortunately, none of the cars on our list will be able to match the C7 Corvette's massive performance figures, but all of them can be found for less than half the price. The ZR1 name was last used on the C6 Corvette from 2009 to 2013. This car had a sticker price of over $100,000 when it was new, but can now be found for less than half of that. The C6 ZR1 was powered by a 6.2-liter supercharged LS9 V8. This engine may not be as mighty as the new LT5, but it still put down a healthy 638 hp. The C7 may be a huge performance leap over the C6, but we wouldn't mind saving over $50,000 and still getting a really badass Corvette.
Specialty Corvette models like the ZR1 are certainly cool, but they don't really stand out when they are placed in a sea of standard Corvettes at a car show. The next car on our list is more unique than a Corvette and can be bought for a lot less than a new ZR1. The last Viper was the Phase VX, which was built from 2013 until 2017. The least expensive Phase VX car that we could find was around $70,000, which is about $10,000 less than a new Z06. This car came with an 8.4-liter V10 with 640 hp. We also found tons of older Viper models for as low as $26,000. All Vipers came with a big V10 engine, and all of them really wanted to kill you on a race track.
Ford completely changed its focus when it replaced the Shelby GT500 with the new GT350. The GT350 has a naturally aspirated 5.2-liter V8 and is more focused on setting fast lap times. The GT500 had a 5.8-liter supercharged V8 that was more focused on setting the fastest drag time and achieving the highest top speed. Both of these Shelby Mustangs are awesome, but the 662 hp GT500 comes much closer to matching the new ZR1 on power. 2013 is the year that Ford upped the power of the GT500 from 525 to 662, so a 2013 or 2014 model is what you want. We found a few examples of both model years for as little as around $50,000, which is not bad for a car with well over 600 hp.
It seems a bit strange to talk about an Aston Martin as a "cheaper" alternative to something else, but here we are. Performance wise, the Aston Martin V8 Vantage is around the same as a base Corvette Stingray, but some people value virtues other than pure speed. The Vantage is still one of the best looking and best sounding sports cars on the market. Thanks to the wonderful depreciation that seems to inflict itself upon every Aston Martin model, it is now possible to pick one of these up for less than $50,000. We recommend finding one with the six-speed manual transmission to really get the best experience out of this hand-built, British gem.
The new ZR1 makes some incredible sounds with its supercharged V8, but you don't have to spend over $100,000 to get those same sounds. The Jaguar F-Type is one of the best sounding modern cars in the world, and it is now possible to find one for less than $50,000 even with the supercharged V8. Jaguar stopped producing the RWD F-Type R, which gives the used ones a unique flavor compared to a brand-new model with AWD. The supercharged 5.0-liter V8 in the F-Type produced just under 500 hp, and one of the best sounds in the industry. It may not be as fast as the new ZR1, but it definitely sounds as good.