Just twenty or so years ago, you would have had to buy a Ford Mustang SVT Cobra to get over 300 horsepower under the hood of the working-class hero pony car. Run its $28,605 MSRP into an inflation calculator, and that’s a smidge over 47,000 of our 2022 dollars. Here’s the mind-blower, though: For $27,470 in 2022, a base-model four-cylinder Mustang makes the same 310 hp.
Each year, we ask ourselves just how much horsepower we can get for under $50,000. Or, in this year’s case, for the MSRP price of an early 2000s Mustang SVT Cobra. The answer is predictable for the most horsepower for your bucks. However, further down the list are a couple of interesting choices in terms of where you want to compromise the type of performance and the comfort you get for your money for raw hp.