List: Top Ten Best Power-To-Weight Ratios Under $40,000

By John Beltz Snyder

May 24, 2010

10

10 - 2011 Ford Mustang V-6: $22,145. 305 horsepower, 3453 pounds. 11.32 lb/hp.

9

9 - 2010 BMW 135i: $36,050. 300 horsepower, 3373 pounds. 11.24 lb/hp.

8

8 - 2010 Dodge Charger R/T: $32,120. 360 horsepower, 4031 pounds. 11.20 lb/hp.

7

7 - 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8: $25,000. 306 horsepower, 3389 pounds. 11.08 lb/hp.

6

6 - 2011 Subaru WRX STI: $34,995 (est.). 305 horsepower, 3373 pounds. 11.06 lb/hp.

5

5 - 2010 Infiniti G37 Coupe: $36,050. 330 horsepower, 3627 pounds. 10.99 lb/hp.

4

4 - 2010 Dodge Challenger R/T: $31,585. 372 horsepower, 4041 pounds. 10.86 lb/hp.

3

3 - 2010 Nissan 370Z (Nismo): $30,410 ($39,610). 332 (350) horsepower, 3232 (3300) pounds. 9.73 (9.43) lb/hp.

2

2 - 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS: $30,945. 426 horsepower, 3849 pounds. 9.04 lb/hp.

And

And the winner - 2011 Ford Mustang GT: $29,645. 412 horsepower, 3605 pounds. 8.75 lb/hp.

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 And

Power is, of course, an important factor in performance. Often, though, folks look to raw horsepower as the ultimate benchmark of performance, overlooking the myriad of other details that affect how a vehicle performs. Weight, especially in relation to power, can make a huge difference in speed and acceleration, not to mention handling.

Simply put, it takes more power to move more mass, and moving a 3000-pound object happens more quickly than moving a 4000-pound object with the same amount of thrust. Here, we offer power-to-weight ratios in units of pounds per horsepower.

For reference, a Lotus Elise is lightweight, at 1927 pounds, with a relatively small 189 horsepower. Its ratio is about 10.2 lb/hp. A Bugatti Veyron, at 4486 pounds and 987 horsepower is just a little of 4.5 pounds per pony, while a base Nissan Versa gets about 23.5. As you can see, lower numbers are desirable.

And, of course, so is an affordable price point.

Here are the top ten new cars with the best power-to-weight ratio available for less than $40,000.

 

+ WR CLassic Video: BMW 135i vs. Infiniti G37 S