10 Affordable Cars That Will Outrun A C8 Chevy Corvette (2023)

By Dimitar Angelov

The Chevy C8 Corvette represents great value for money, but these alternatives cost less and have the potential to leave it in the rearview mirror

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A front 3/4 shot of a2007 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 parked

The Chevrolet Corvette is in its eighth generation. The C8 Corvette brought many firsts for the nameplate, the most important of which was the mid-engine layout. This brought the American sports car closer to exotic models like Ferrari, Lamborghini, and McLaren in terms of performance while costing a fraction of the price. Currently, a base C8 Corvette can be had for $65,895. Considering the C8 Corvette’s performance capabilities even before upgrading to the Z06 or E-Ray models, it’s one of the best deals out there. However, the MSRP does not account for dealer markups, of which there are still plenty.

While the C8 Corvette Stingray is, arguably, the best way to spend $65,000, you will struggle to find anything for under $80,000, and depending on the options even a non-Z06 model can break the $100,000 mark. With that said, there are more affordable sports cars out there that, with a bit of extra goodies can give the Chevy C8 Corvette a run for its money. Granted, brand-new models that can achieve this are few and far in-between, but the ones here have Corvette-rivalling performance waiting to be unleashed.

RELATED: C5 Vs C8 Chevy Corvette. Should You Really Spend 5x As Much On The Modern-Day 'Vette?



10 Infiniti Q60

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An actions shot of a Infiniti Q60

The Japanese luxury brand is in an unenviable position as it attempts to reinvent itself…again. Nissan’s luxury arm, Infiniti, has always had an identity crisis, which can’t be overshadowed even by its decent performance models. As it stands, the Infiniti Q60 is the brand’s flagship sports car model and while the final fit and finish isn’t quite on the same level as some of the more established premium carmakers, it represents a surprisingly good value for money.

If you opt for the 3.0-liter, VR30DDTT, twin-turbo V-6 engine (which you should), you are looking at 300 to 400 horsepower and 295 to 350 pound-feet (400 to 475 Nm). The hardware is, pretty much, the same for both power levels, and with this engine, you are one remap and some bolt-on modifications away from GT-R-rivalling performance. $42,250 will get you a brand new 3.0t model.

9 Ford Mustang GT

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A studio shot of a2024 Ford Mustang GT

The 2024 Ford Mustang GT carries over the classic V-8 formula in the form of a 5.0-liter Coyote V-8. Still naturally aspirated and still non-hybrid, the iconic model can be had for $41,495. This doesn’t include dealer markups, which can easily go over the $60,000 mark. In order to stand a chance against a C8 Corvette in one of these, you need to get the 10-speed automatic.

The Mustang Dark Horse is the best way to go, but it starts at $57,970 and packs only 20 horsepower over the standard GT. Still, 0 to 60 mph for the Mustang GT is possible in 3.9 seconds. The Mustang GT benefits from great aftermarket support, and for not a lot more, you can create a C8 Corvette killer that’s also more practical.

8 Chevrolet Camaro SS

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Chevrolet Camaro

With the sixth-generation said to be the last of the classic Camaro, now is the time to buy one. The SS model starts at $39,990, making it one of the best horsepower-per-dollar offerings. The sixth generation of the American Muscle car also benefits from GM’s Alpha platform, which makes it the most athletic among its peers, by a long shot.

The LT1, 6.2-liter V-8 packs 455 horsepower and 455 pound-feet (617 Nm). It comes with a six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic, and is capable of 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 4.0 seconds. As with all Muscle cars, aftermarket support is plentiful and there are many examples of how easy it is to gain a lot of power with basic mods.

RELATED: Why The Chevrolet Corvette C7 Still Makes A Strong Case For Itself In 2023

7 Toyota GR Supra

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Front 3/4 rolling shot of grey Toyota Supra on racetrack

The fifth-generation Toyota Supra may have German underpinnings, but even so it stayed true to the formula. Toyota promises that it isn’t simply a re-bodied BMW Z4, and insists its engineers did numerous revisions and improvements of their own. The B58 engine displaces 3.0 liters and thanks to a twin-scroll turbocharger, packs 382 horsepower and 368 pound-feet (500 Nm).

The same engine is notoriously underrated as dyno results have proven. Moreover, the hardware allows for a lot more with just a remap and some bolt-on parts. The GR Supra is plenty quick out of the box, sprinting to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 3.9 seconds. $53,450 can get you a base GR Supra 3.0 with the eight-speed ZF automatic, which can happily take more power even in stock form.

6 Nissan Z

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Front 3/4 view of blue Nissan Z parked.

Nissan prices itself on making its latest sports car by itself, even if it’s largely based on the outgoing (and very outdated) 370Z. The familiar platform gets a more retro-futuristic body, a more refined interior, and most importantly, new engine and drivetrain. The VR30DDTT, shared with the Infiniti Q50 and Q60 Red Sport, is the latest Japanese tuners’ delight, and easily capable of a lot more than the stock 400 horsepower and 350 pound-feet (475 Nm).

In stock form, the Z can almost keep up with the GR Supra, but is betrayed by its factory tires. The chassis is showing its age, but with a starting price of around $42,000, there’s plenty of room for modifications to get to C8 Corvette performance levels, and even after that, you’ll have plenty of spare change.

5 Chevrolet Corvette C6 Z06

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front 3/4 overhead view of a black2012 Chevrolet Corvette C6 Z06 Centennial Edition

If it absolutely needs to be a Corvette, your best bet to keep up with a Chevy C8 Corvette is the C6 Z06. Unfortunately, the C6 ZR1 has appreciated in value and nowadays, it costs as much as a brand-new C8 Corvette Stingray. The C6 Z06, however, stays relatively affordable at around $35,000 to $47,000, depending on mileage. The LS7 427 V-8 packs 7.0 liters of displacement and 505 horsepower.

Mated to a Tremec TR6060, six-speed manual, the C6 Z06 sprints to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 3.9 seconds, on to a top speed of 199 mph (320 km/h), which is more than the C8 Corvette’s 191 mph (307 km/h). Going for a C6, you’ll have to settle for a relatively bland interior with the Cobalt steering wheel, which even Corvette enthusiasts admit it was a poor decision.

RELATED: Why The C6 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Still Makes A Strong Case For Itself

4 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat

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Burgundy Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat parked outside a garage at night

In 2015 Dodge did one of the most ingenious things. It took its Charger and Challenger models and put a beefed-up, 6.2-liter, supercharged V-8, dubbed the Hellcat in them. The new line of fast MOPARS quickly became the most attainable collection of big horsepower, in a Chrysler product. A 2015 model-year Challenger Hellcat cost just under $65,000 with a destination charge and the gas-guzzler fee.

Today, you can still find brand-new examples for under $80,000, but if you don’t mind older examples, $52,000 can still get you a very good example with not a lot of miles. There’s also a chance, the engine is upgraded from its stock 707 horsepower and 650 pound-feet (881 Nm). Even in stock form, the Challenger Hellcat has a higher top speed than a C8 Corvette (199 vs 191 mph).

3 Audi RS3

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Dynamic shot of the Audi RS3 Performance

The compact German hot hatchback or sedan (depending on which body type you choose) is the definition of a pocket rocket. At $65,000 starting price, it’s not the best bang for the buck, but it’s one of the best baseline tuner cars on the list. The current, 8Y generation, will be the last one to feature the 2.5-liter, turbocharged inline-five.

Stock, it puts out 400 horsepower and 369 pound-feet (500 Nm), but a simple remap, combined with downpipe and an aftermarket exhaust can easily unlock over 100 extra horsepower. The torquey engine is complimented by lightning-quick, seven-speed DCT, and Quattro all-wheel drive. The standard car consistently does the 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) sprint in 3.6 seconds, with modified examples dropping into the two-second range fairly effortlessly.

2 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

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Front 3/4 view of white 2018 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE parked.

If you want something that can give the C8 Corvette a run for its money without additional modifications, the Camaro ZL1 is the only car on the list, able to make short work of the Chevy C8 Corvette. It combines MagneRide suspension with aggressive aero and a supercharged, 2.6-liter V-8, borrowed from the Corvette C7 Z06. With 660 horsepower and 640 pound-feet (868 Nm), 0 to 60 mph (97km/h) happens in 3.5 seconds.

Granted, that’s slower than the base C8 Corvette’s official time, but the ZL-1 will quickly gain the upper hand, halfway through the quarter-mile, which it does in 10.4 seconds versus the C8 Corvette’s 11.1 seconds. The Camaro ZL-1 also has a higher top speed of 199 mph (320 km/h) versus the C8’s 191 mph (307 km/h). Pricewise, a brand-new Camaro ZL-1 starts at $68,000, with some low-mileage examples around the $60,000 mark.

RELATED: The One Thing That Kills The C8 Chevy Corvette’s Appeal

1 Nissan GT-R

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rear 3/4 close up view of a grey2015 Nissan GT-R taking a turn

Just like its predecessors, the R35 Nissan GT-R cemented a reputation as a supercar killer. The latest-generation Godzilla is able to make short work of the C8 Corvette, but if you want to get one for less money than a brand-new Corvette Stingray, there are a few conditions. First, forget about a brand-new R35 – those still keep a three-digit price tag.

If you look at the market for R35 Nissan GT-R's, around $80,000 can get you a clean, 2015 example with relatively low mileage. Secondly, GT-Rs are sturdy beasts that can take abuse, but beware of modified examples that have frequently been driven very hard. A detailed scan and pre-purchase inspection are advisable. Sadly, R35 GT-Rs will only be going up in value from now on due to its popularity, which could make this JDM legend a great investment.

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