For $50,000 - give or take a few bucks - there are some incredible sport coupes out there and while each is unique in their own way, they all offer a true performance bargain.
So you've done pretty well for yourself and after years of hard work, your career is going great and the future looks bright. It's now time to reward yourself with that high-performance coupe you've always lusted over. You're also being somewhat cautious in regards to spending so a budget of $50,000 to $55,000 sounds reasonable. Although the following five coupes could be considered different beasts entirely, each falls within your budget and offers solid performance and luxury. Here's what they have to offer.
It should go without saying that the all-new 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is at the top of this list. Powered by an also all-new 6.2-liter V8 producing 450 horsepower and 450 lb-ft of torque, it's also lighter and more agile than the outgoing C6 thanks to an aluminum frame and plenty of carbon-fiber. The interior and seats, long Corvette weak spots, are now supposedly world-class. Official pricing hasn't been released yet, but Chevy has made clear it won't deviate much from the current $50k base range.
We know it's impossible to directly compare the Porsche Cayman to the Corvette, but the former is still an incredible sports coupe that many claim is better than the 911. The newly redesigned Cayman, like its Boxster sibling, comes standard with a 2.7-liter boxer six that produces 275 horsepower mated to either a six-speed manual or a dual-clutch gearbox. Base price starts at just over $50k but the options add up fast. A Cayman with the 3.4-liter boxer six with 325 hp and dual-clutch trimmed out with all of the nooks and crannies will easily cost you close to $80k.
There is nothing quite like the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500. With its 5.8-liter V8 producing 662 horsepower and 631 lb-ft of torque under the hood, you've got supercar performance for a fraction of the price. Did we also mention this is the most powerful production V8 in the world? You can walk into your local Ford dealership today, right now in fact, and place an order for one, which will cost you just over $54,000. That's an incredible bargain and you'll easily be able to keep up with exotic supercars that can cost quadruple the amount. Only in America.
Looking for something a bit different with solid performance and one of the best all-wheel-drive systems in the world? The Audi TTS may be the ideal answer. Sure, the more powerful TT RS was recently unveiled in the US but good luck getting one; Audi is importing very few of them. The TTS, on the other hand, is powered by a 2.0-liter TFSI inline-four that produces 268 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. Mated to a six-speed automatic, it features a lowered suspension as well as Audi Magnetic Ride as standard. It can go from 0-62 mph in 5.4 seconds and has an all-around more aggressive appearance than the standard TT. Pricing starts at just under $50k.
Infiniti has been working hard to become known for performance as well as luxury. Nissan's premium division has struggled from day one to define itself but thanks to its new IPL performance division, things have been looking better lately. Based off the popular G Coupe, the IPL G is powered by a 3.7-liter V6 with 348 horsepower with your choice of a six-speed manual or seven-speed slushbox. It also comes with more aggressive body work, unique wheels and a retuned suspension. The base model is already a great luxury coupe but the IPL adds that extra bit of testosterone that makes it worth a look. Pricing starts at $50,500.