We've long maintained that we live in the best era of automotive history to date. Today's vehicles are safer, more efficient, faster, more powerful and more controllable than ever before.

Need proof? In an age dominated by talk of ever tighter fuel economy regulations, buyers now have access to a staggering number of vehicles with more than 500 horsepower. Just 10 years ago, if you wanted to bring home a showroom stock vehicle with that kind of power, your options were limited to either the Ferrari 575M or the Lamborghini Murcielago. Now there are over 70 models with that kind of grunt on tap.

All told, there are over eighteen brands with at least one 500+hp model for sale in their ranks right now. Even better, those dyno numbers are being accomplished with smaller, more fuel-efficient engines. While most of the big-power vehicles come from European brands like BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi, General Motors and Ford have also entered the fray lately. Chrysler will do the same with the company's soon-to-be-unveiled SRT Viper.

Interestingly enough, buyers have an even loftier horsepower goal to look toward these days. Of every car sold in the U.S., just 13 produce more than 600 horsepower.


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  • 60 Comments
      airchompers
      • 2 Years Ago
      Modern engines are so impressive. If this isn't the golden age, I don't know what is.
        tump
        • 2 Years Ago
        @airchompers
        Agreed. I really want a TEENCY TINY car (Fiat 500 Abarth or similar) but I'm also debating getting a fat-ass V8 before they're goners. Really I have a love for TINY cars with lots of power, but nothing's on the market that truly fits me.
          k_m94
          • 2 Years Ago
          @tump
          Beautiful V8 engine=clubbing seals to death? LOLWUT!?!??
      XJ Yamaha
      • 2 Years Ago
      Had a Buick Wildcat convertible with a 455. Thing had around 500 foot lbs of torque but felt considerbly slower than a new v6 Impala in terms of acceleration. Crazy to think how technology has advanced.
      BipDBo
      • 2 Years Ago
      Cue the grunting, Tim the Tool Man.
      n939at
      • 2 Years Ago
      "All told, there are over eighteen brands with at least one 500+hp model for sale in their ranks right now." So there are nineteen brands?
      Fonin
      • 2 Years Ago
      i would like a list broken down aslo into: 400-500, 300-400, and 200-300. wait until you see just how many cars these days make in excess of 250 hp. and it isn't about weight. sure adding 1k lbs to your 2400lb car that had a 1.3l 100hp motor might require an upgrade, but how many cars now offer double the power of 10 years ago?
      TurboDad
      • 2 Years Ago
      Do we get a list?
      Avinash Machado
      • 2 Years Ago
      Long live the Horsepower wars.
      WindsWilling
      • 2 Years Ago
      It is rather great times to be an auto enthusiast with something for nearly every budget out there (those who can at least afford a ~20k new car). Now we just need to reemergence of the Toyota Supra and i'll be happy. Also, this Republican vs Democrat talk is nonsense. Neither party really cares about the blu-collar middle class and below. Even the "poor man's hero" Democrats are wealthy and don't really care as it's been shown. We need a true independent party with care of the backbone of our economy middle class and below, to come forth to have any chance of real "Change".
      Bruce Lee
      • 2 Years Ago
      ok...how many of those cars cost less than six figures?
      over9000
      • 2 Years Ago
      Reminds me of the shrinking middle class. On one hand, you have econocars making less than 200hp flooding the marketplace, then there's an increasing number of 500hp+ cars but nothing in-between. Thanks to the government!
        Sabyrne88
        • 2 Years Ago
        @over9000
        I bet you could find a few cars between 200 and 500 horsepower In spite of the government!
        cowsqueezer
        • 2 Years Ago
        @over9000
        Loving my MazdaSpeed 3... (260hp stock)
        waetherman
        • 2 Years Ago
        @over9000
        I knew someone would somehow tie this back to Obama and "big government" even though this story pretty much contradicts that premise. There's just no getting away from politics anymore, even on a car site, and there's just no reasoning with Tea Baggers.
        Ingersol
        • 2 Years Ago
        @over9000
        I am sorry but I didn't see the law that made cars with 200-500 HP illegal. I think the problem is that the Mitt Romney's of the world have taken all the money from the middle class to the point that most peasants can't afford a new car at all. A few can afford a new econobox. Meanwhile the rich can drop $100K+ on a high HP status symbol, knowing it will lose half its value when they trade it in next year.
      Hazdaz
      • 2 Years Ago
      70?! That's unpossible. All the dipsh!t right-wing nut jobs on AB said that all we would be able to buy would be 50 hp deathtraps and that high horsepower would be outlawed. How can the number of 500+ HP cars be at an all-time high?! Unpossible. :rolleyes:
        Chris
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Hazdaz
        I would be with you were it not for all of the political slant in your posts. Making it all about right and left makes you look like a tool. That said, I love how the notion that "horsepower and respectable economy cannot coexist" has been reduced to near myth status. Over all, today's cars are quicker, faster, and more fuel efficient than their predecessors. With the old muscle cars from the 60s, one was lucky to get 8 or 9 mpg, and the ones of today can more than double that, and they're faster.
        Eric
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Hazdaz
        None of these cars get anywhere near the cafe the Lefties are demanding. If the 2016 cafe standards are enforced, there is a very good chance all the fun high power cars will die. Between all the nanny devices government insists the automakers add (weight), and the ridiculously high mpg they demand, no way to make a good lb to hp ratio.
          k_m94
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Eric
          It's Corporate AVERAGE Fuel Efficiency. The mainstream makers balance their crap efficiency, massive performance models with millions of commuter cars and thousands of hybrids. The specialty makers that dont have big mainstream owners/partners simply tack on the CAFE fine into the price, an Aventador buyer isnt going to give a crap about a built in $10,000 CAFE fine if he's paid $400k for his car and spent $80k on options. The standards might cause these cars to become more rare, maybe focusing on better efficiency with equal performance as opposed to better performance with equally terrible efficiency, and horsepower's increase might taper off, but not drop off a cliff like the oil crisis in the 70s.
          Chris
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Eric
          @Hazdaz As one of those "clueless right-wingers" you speak of, I have come across more quite a few of those folks left of center who are equally as clueless. They are the ones who make baseless assumptions about anything with a lot of power being a "gas guzzler", so I wouldn't be so quick to make one side the scapegoat.
          Hazdaz
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Eric
          The only thing that needs to die is the stupidity coming from the clueless right. If you had half a brain, you'd realize what the A in CAFE stood for... here's a hint: AVERAGE. Unless GM starts selling 500,000 Corvettes and CTS-Vs a year, or Ford stops building anything but Mustangs and F150s, there is no reason to worry that any major changes will be needed to the fun, sporting cars that enthusiasts want to drive because when averaged-out over a company's entire fleet of vehicles. It becomes a non-issue. Instead we have idiots that jump on the typical sky-is-falling FAUX News sensationalized bandwagon because they can't think for themselves and can't see that Detroit is more competitive now than they have EVER been BECAUSE they have been dragged into becoming competitive with the competition. And because of that, they are one of the brightest segments of the economy. And on top of that, the lower consumption of modern cars are one of the reasons we are using less oil, which means that much less oil-money being sent to foreign lands. A true patriot would see that keep that money here at home through higher efficiency is both an easy and good thing to do for our country. Then again, doing what's right for the country is not something that right-wingers have ever been known for.
      Lachmund
      • 2 Years Ago
      the u.s. will never learn it i guess
        Jarda
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Lachmund
        lolwut? from those 50 vehicles only six are from US automakers
          Rob J
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Jarda
          I wonder what the volume of those US made cars is. While Europeans may dominate the supercar world, they are not like the GT500 or ZL1 which are driven daily by anyone with $50k.
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