There are precious few experiences that rival that of wielding the power of a high performance sports car. The very definition of a sports car (in my humble opinion) is a car with a hard-top and two doors. Therefore, it stands to reason that my ideal high performance car would be a coupe. That is not to say that sedans have no place in my life as a family man. Long road trips and trips to church on Sundays call for a roomy sedan but when it comes to a moonlit run down a coastal highway or a brisk launch from a stop light on Saturday night, give me a coupe every time.
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I may get labeled as “predictable” but horsepower takes priority for me. While the SRT 8 is one of the older entries on my list, it is also one of the most potent. This retro-ride features 425-horsepower Hemi V8 and can be found with either a five-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission. 0 to 60 mph in 5.1-seconds.
2006 Pontiac GTO
Since 1964 “GTO” has been synonymous with fun. The ’06 model may be the most fun of all. Manufactured down under in Australia. It is loaded with a 6.0-liter V8 that produces 400-horsepower backed by either a four-speed automatic or six-speed close ratio manual transmission. 0 to 60 mph in 5.2-seconds.
2005 Jaguar XKR
While I am not a fan of British automobiles (particularly the electronics), I have found this Jag to be quite entertaining to drive. Powered by a 4.2-liter V8, the Jag makes 339-horsepower but offers only an automatic transmission. 0 to 60 mph in 5.0-seconds.
2006 Chevrolet Corvette
Anytime that a Corvette is an option, you must weigh the possibilities carefully. Equipped with a 400-horsepower 6.0-liter V8 and your choice of either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission, this is a true American supercar. 0 to 60 in 4.2-seconds.
This European luxury coupe is quite a street sleeper. It features a massive 6.2-liter V8, that manufactures a whopping 507-horsepower, mated with a seven-speed automatic transmission. The adjustable Airmatic suspension system makes sure that this MB stays stuck to the pavement. 0 to 60 mph in 4.3-seconds.
2007 BMW 650i
While this is not an M-Series BMW (because you cannot buy a late model M-Series for under $25k)it is a very sporty coupe in its own right. It does not, however, offer much in the way of a rear seat. An all aluminum 4.8-liter V8 engine provides power and the transmission is a six-speed manual. 0 to 60 mph in 5.0-seconds.
2013 Dodge Challenger R/T
This is the little brother of the SRT 8, listed above. It is outfitted with a 5.7-liter Hemi that churns out 376-horsepower and either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. 0 to 60 in 5.5-seconds.
2014 Ford Mustang GT
This is the newest sports coupe to make our list and certainly one of the nicest. A potent 5.0-liter V8 engine is paired with your choice of either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. Numerous high performance suspension and braking upgrades are available on this vehicle. 0 to 60 mph in 4.7-seconds.
2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS
Another retro-ride, the ’10 Camaro SS offers outstanding acceleration and handling. It is propelled by a 6.2-liter V8 that makes 426-horsepower (in manual transmission cars) but it can also be had with a six-speed automatic (400-horsepower). 0 to 60 mph in 5.0-seconds.