1. Maserati Granturismo
Our first car is an exclusive product of Italy and might just be the perfect mix of luxury, sophistication, and raw power. The Granturismo comes with a 4.2 or 4.7 liter, V8 power plant of an engine that produces just over 400 horsepower. This power is enough to propel the luxury coupe from 0 to 60 in just under 4.5 seconds, a time which is actually fairly slow in the world of supercars. But this number is nonetheless impressive considering that the Granturismo weighs over 4,000 pounds.
The car is designed not so much for pure speed but rather is a luxurious Grand Touring coupe that can comfortably seat 4. Still, you'll be able to easily outpace almost any other car on the road and most definitely look more stylish while doing so. The Maserati Granturismo is a stunning mix of elegance and aggressiveness, and for under $50,000, it's hard to beat.
2. Aston Martin DB9
The second car of our list is pulled straight from a James Bond film and evokes images of a billionaire English playboy zooming through the countryside after a night out. The British made luxury car packs a huge 12-cylinder engine unleashing 450 horsepower and a thunderous exhaust note. The engine, of course, is the main draw of the car as V-12s have projected an air of both luxury and exclusivity. Fifty thousand dollars on eBay can buy you a whole lot of both as the sum is enough to buy a DB9 from around 2005 to 2009. Convertible models are also available if that's your cup of tea.
3. Lotus Elise
The next car on our list is a far cry from the power and luxury of a Maserati Granturismo. The Lotus Elise is the purist of driver's cars with a lightweight, carbon fiber body and a standard six-speed manual transmission. The tiny 1.8 Liter 4 cylinder engine is mounted in the middle of the car to achieve a nearly perfect weight distribution, and although it produces only around 200 horsepower, it is enough to propel the car from 0 to 60 in only 4.6 seconds.
But as impressive as this may be, the Elise is not made to impress in a straight line. The French-made Elise weighs in at a scant 2,100 pounds, which is around half of a Granturismo or Aston Martin DB9. The feather light weight, plus a six speed manual transmission and incredible handling, makes the Elise a dream to drive both on a track and on windy roads. The Lotus Elite is regarded among car enthusiasts as one of the best handling cars of all time as much for what it doesn't have as what is does. In a world of heavy, fancy sports cars with lots of driver aids and fancy gadgets, the minimalist Lotus stands out. It has everything a track car should have and nothing it shouldn't, making it a fantastic purist driver's car.
4. Porsche 911
Next on our list is a precision-crafted product of a German brand with a long history of high performance sports cars. The Porsche 911 is one of the most iconic cars in history, renowned for its blend of power, handling, luxury, and everyday driveablility. One of the best things about the 911 is the wide range of variations that Porsche offers. There are sportier models, such as the 4S or Carrera, or vehicles with turbo for added power. Many of these models fall well under 50k in the used market and are great values for the price.
5. Dodge Viper
The last car on our list may technically be American made, but you'd never know it just by looking at it. The Dodge Viper is included in this list because of its beautiful, exotic looks, as well as its amazing power and performance. The Viper is also relatively rare and probably the least recognizable car on this list, which makes it a real head turner.
The Viper is one mean-looking sports car, with a look that is somewhere between American muscle and Italian Exotic. It's far from being just good looking, though, with a massive 8.4-liter V8 engine that delivers 600 horsepower to the rear wheels. This massive power plant can shoot the Viper from 0 to 60 in a blazing quick 3 seconds, and, when revved, produces one of the most aggressive exhaust notes of any car. All this power and a lack of many driver aids has given the Viper a reputation as a dangerous car in the hands of an inexperienced driver, so you'd better know what you're doing before you climb behind the wheel. Used models sell for well under the 50k mark on eBay and can even be had for closer to $20,000. So tell me, would you rather have a new Toyota Camry or an 8-year-old 600-horsepower monster?
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.