As that latest tech hits the automotive industry, what used to be considered very fast in terms of top speed is now considered merely average. But years ago, cars with a top speed exceeding 150 mph were held in the same esteem as cars that can hit the 200 mph mark today. Luckily, many of those vehicles that were once the cream of the high-speed crop, are now cheap cars that can go over 150 mph — still offering you plenty of ponies to punch it on the onramp.
10 Cheap Cars That Can Go Over 150 mph and Don’t Cost a Fortune
Nowadays, there are many vehicles with a top speed in excess of 200 mph. Granted, most of them fall into the realm of limited-run supercars or ridiculously priced hypercars. And unless you own a small (or large) fortune, most of these 200 mph monsters are well out of reach for most daily drivers.
But before you resign yourself to puttering along at pedestrian speeds, consider that there are plenty of older models that still have plenty of get-up-and-go. These ten cars are just a handful of the best options if you’re looking for a cheap car that can go over 150 mph.
These cars are still relatively inexpensive, ranging from $5-$20K depending on your budget. If you do a little legwork to find one in good condition (be on the lookout for prior accidents and ask for the maintenance records), you can expect a fun ride with a top speed you can boast about. Because unless you’re on the Autobahn or driving on track, you shouldn’t actually be seeing 150 on the speedometer on public roads, right?
Nissan 300ZX Turbo | Top Speed: 153 mph
Available in the United States from 1990 through 1996, the Nissan 300ZX Turbo was powered by a 3L twin-turbocharged 6-cylinder engine producing 300 hp and 283 lb.-ft. of torque. Acceleration from 0 to 60 mph was reported to be in the range of 5.0 to 6.0 seconds. Top speed was electronically limited to 155 mph.
1995-2003 BMW 540i | Top Speed: 155 mph
Produced between 1995 and 2003, the BMW E39 540i was really overshadowed by its big brother, the legendary M5. The 540i was powered by the 4.4L M62 V8 engine that produced 282 hp and 320 lb.-ft. of torque. Starting in 1998, the M62 was upgraded to produce 291 hp and 340 lb.-ft. of torque. It was also available with a 5-speed automatic transmission or 6-speed manual transmission. The 540i had a 0 to 60 time of 6.1 seconds and was able to accelerate all the way to an electronically limited 155 miles per hour.
2002-2004 Infiniti G35 Coupe | Top Speed: 155 mph
Produced between 2002 and 2007, the third generation Infiniti G35 is arguably the best-looking Infiniti ever made. The Infiniti G35 Coupe had a 3.5L 6-cylinder engine producing 282 hp and 269 lb.-ft. of torque. 0 to 60 mph times for the G35 Coupe ranged from the mid 5 seconds to low 6 seconds with a top speed of 155 miles per hour.
2003-2005 Audi S4 | Top Speed: 155 mph
The third-generation Audi S4 was produced from 2003 to 2005 and was powered by a 4.2L V8 engine that produces 339 to 344 hp and 302 lb.-ft. of torque. It was capable of accelerating from 0 to 62 in just 5.6 seconds and continue accelerating all the way to a top speed of 155 mph.
1999-2001 Mercedes Benz S600 | Top Speed: 155 mph
The fourth-generation Mercedes Benz W220 was produced between 1999 and 2006 and originally cost $100,000 when it first came out. That price tag has since dropped dramatically, in part due to the operating cost of the vehicle. Parts are very expensive to buy and install. Additionally, reliability is not all that great.
Between 1999 and 2002, the S600 was powered by a naturally aspirated 5.8L V12 engine producing 362 hp and 391 lb.-ft. of torque. This was sufficient to propel the 2001 S600 from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 5.4 seconds, accelerating all the way to an electronically limited 155 miles per hour. It was rumored that by removing the electronic speed limiter, the S600 could go all the way to 191 miles per hour.
1996 -2003 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 SS | Top Speed: 160 mph
In 1996 and 1997, Chevrolet produced a limited quantity of the Z28 SS that came with the 330-hp LT4 small-block V8 engine found in the Corvette. Starting in 1998, GM switched to the aluminum block LS1 used in the Corvette C5. It was rated at 325 hp and was built through 2002.
It had a slightly improved exhaust and intake system, bigger wheels and tires, and a better suspension system. The Chevrolet Camaro Z28 SS had a 0 to 60 time of 5.1 to 5.2 seconds depending on the year with a top speed of right about 160 miles per hour.
1988 Porsche 944 Turbo S | Top Speed: 162 mph
Produced from 1985 through 1988, the Porsche 944 Turbo was powered by a 2.5L turbocharged and intercooled 4-cylinder engine producing 217 hp at 6,000 rpm. When tested by a major automotive publication, the 944 Turbo achieved a 0 to 60 time of 5.9 seconds. In 1988, Porsche produced a high-performance version called the Porsche 944 Turbo. Its 2.5L intercooled and turbocharged engine produced 250 hp. This was sufficient to propel the vehicle all the way through to a top speed of 162 mph.
1999 Porsche Boxster S | Top Speed: 162 mph
While not as glamorous as the legendary 911, the Porsche Boxster S is also not anywhere near as expensive either. The first-generation Porsche Boxster S was produced from 2000 through 2004. It was powered by a naturally aspirated 3.2L 6-cylinder engine producing 250 hp. Equipped with the manual transmission, the Boxster S could accelerate from 0 to 60 between 5.9 and 6.5 seconds, depending on the transmission, and continue on to 162 mph.
2003-2010 Chrysler 300C SRT8 | Top Speed: 173 mph
The first generation of the Chrysler 300C was produced between 2003 and 2010. There was an SRT8 version produced that was powered by a 6.1L HEMI engine producing 425 hp and 420 lb.-ft. of torque. This was sufficient to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds accelerating all the way to 173 mph.
2004-2006 Pontiac GTO | Top Speed: 175 mph
Produced between 2004 and 2006, the Pontiac GTO is a rebadged, third-generation Holden Monaro. The GTO was equipped with the 5.7L LSI V8 engine, the same one that powered the Chevrolet Corvette. It was available with either a 6-speed manual transmission or 4-speed automatic transmission. In 2005, the LS1 was replaced with the LS2 that produced 400 hp and 400 lb.-ft. of torque. GM claimed that with the LS2 engine, the GTO could accelerate from 0 to 60 in 4.7 seconds, with a top speed of 175 mph.
Own One of These Cheap Cars That Can Go Over 150 MPH
Though you won’t find an abundance of these cars on the used car market, if you know where to look and keep your eyes peeled, you might just be able to score a deal on one of these oldies but goodies. In addition to top speed bragging rights, you might just find that they also make fabulous all-around daily drivers, too.