Dodge Charger SRT8 Super Bee: 470 hp, $42,320
Colin Chapman’s old adage was “simplify, and add lightness.” With all due respect to the late Mr. Chapman, the Chrysler Street and Racing Team’s philosophy, “add power” might excite us more. The Super Bee does without some of the Charger’s prettier or more convenient features (it even has cloth seats), but the payoff is pretty big: it’s the cheapest way to get a Chrysler Group product with the company’s 6.4-liter V-8 engine, which makes 470 hp in this state of tune.
You’re going to see a lot of “SRT8″ written on this list, and for a good reason: the combination of Chrysler’s LX platform and its 6.4-liter engine makes for a powerful, inexpensive answer to the 400 hp question. While we’re talking about that engine, it’s important to remember that 6.4 liters of displacement is 392 cubic inches, which explains the large red “392″ badges on the side of this coupe. Just like the Charger, the Challenger packs a 470-hp wallop. All of this comes at the reasonable price of $44,820.
Hyundai Genesis 5.0 R-Spec: 429 hp, $47,695
Hyundai’s philosophy has long been to target a certain segment or benchmark and then create a car that matches or beats it for thousands less. Case in point: the BMW 550i starts at $63,595 and makes 400 horsepower with a 4.4-liter, twin-turbo V-8 engine. The Hyundai Genesis 5.0 R-Spec, on the other hand, loses the two turbos and $15,900. The Genesis R-Spec uses a 5.0-liter Tau naturally aspirated V-8 engine that makes 429 hp. The fact that it costs the equivalent of a Chevrolet Spark less than its competitors just sweetens the deal.
While the Charger and Challenger are bold, brash SRT8 vehicles, the Chrysler 300 SRT8 is a bit more refined and luxurious way to get your 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 fix. The 300 makes the same 470 hp as every other SRT8 model, but offers a nicer interior and a slicker look. Don’t worry about blending into the surroundings, however, because that 392-cubic-inch V-8 engine makes awe-inspiring noise, even when you’re sitting in the parking lot.