This is a good time for Generation Y. Not only are we tech savvy, achievement orientated and attention craving (according to Google) but we also have a large range of quality, fast and luxurious cars available at affordable prices. Previous owners have already absorbed the majority of their depreciation and they are priced in a region which is attainable for most of us.
Here are ten cars currently for sale in New Zealand with over 300 HP for less than $30,00 NZD - around $26,000 USD. As you may expect, a few AMG Benz's, M BMW's and S-Line Audi's feature but some of Australia and America's finest make the cut too.
10.) 2000 BMW M5
$29,000 / 394 HP
I see the E39 M5 as the attainable dream car. Manual, fast and sporty while luxurious. It's the only manual car in this list and while it is at the top of the price bracket, it's worth every penny. Link to auction.
9.) 2006 Holden Commodore HSV Clubsport
$26,995 / 400 HP
I'm not sure how these are branded in the Sates but the Holden Commodore is a common sight here in NZ. While you don't get German comfort and quality you do get reliability, access to cheap parts and 400 HP of LS power. And you can pretend to be a V8 Supercar driver. Link to auction.
8.) 2007 Lexus IS350
$26,995 / 306 HP
The IS350 is probably the safest and most sensible choice on the list. This Type L model is relatively sporty looking with amore aggressive front splitter and other options. I have driven one of these and while only scraping in to the 300 HP category they aren't too sluggish. Plus they look pretty good? Link to auction.
7.) 2008 Nissan 370Z
$26,950 / 332 HP
I was surprised to see this fall under the $30k mark. It's the newest car on the list and while it's not the fastest it does look awesome and handle pretty well from what I've read. Link to auction.
6.) 1999 Chevrolet Corvette
$25,990 / 345 HP
A list like this wouldn't be complete without a late 90's American sports car. The iconic Corvette turns heads down here as you don't see them everyday. And the guy on the street who sees and hears you driving past will think you paid a lot more than $25k for it too. Link to auction.
5.) 2007 Chrysler 300C SRT8
$25,000 / 425 HP
MURICA takes the highest HP prize. Like the 370Z I never thought you could buy an SRT8 version for this sort of money. I have no idea on the build or ride quality of these things but I bet they do amazing burnouts. Link to auction.
4.) 2004 Audi S4 Avant
$24,990 / 339 HP
This one is self explanatory. Who wouldn't want this. If only it was manual. I tried to find a first generation RS4 but unfortunately none are for sale at the moment, so this will have to do. Link to auction.
3.) 2003 Ford Falcon XR8
$20,990 / 350 HP
V8 Supercar driver part two. The famed rival of the Commodore is the Ford Falcon. Slightly less power but a few thousand cheaper too. Both have fans that would literally do anything for their respective brands. And we all know red paint adds a few HP. Link to auction.
2.) 1999 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG
$16,980 / 347 HP
This was a hard one. In this price range I could have included a W211 E55, W203 C55, W220 S55 plus a bunch of CLS and SLK's. I opted for something at the cheaper end of the scale because these are affordable and still go well. Relatively simple too with N/A V8 power. Link to auction.
1.) 1998 Jaguar XJR
$14,990 / 370 HP
This thing doesn't need any words. 370 HP Jaaaag for under $15k. Ladies, form an orderly queue at the back. Link to auction.
DISCLAIMER: I could have almost filled this list with just AMG Benz's but wanted to keep things interesting and only one vehicle per make. Horsepower figures from Wikipedia and fastestlaptimes.com