For years it seems the amount of horsepower a car had was directly proportionate to its price.  That doesn’t have to be the case anymore with automakers that can squeeze out large amounts of power for much less money than they could several years ago.  Even though it will cost you a lot of money to get into an exotic name, there are plenty of great cars on the market today that allow you to have the horsepower you want and pay a price that won’t break your piggy bank.  Here are some examples of powerful cars that cost less than $40,000.

Volvo S60 T6 Drive-E FWD – This car is one that only barely makes the list because of the power and the price.  Even so, a name like Volvo invokes the feeling of a car that is safer than most and is able to give you the driving confidence you want.  While a 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine isn’t that exciting, adding supercharging and turbocharging to it is.  This car will give you 302 horsepower and come in at a price of $39,950 to just barely make it under our threshold as this car gives you an exciting ride.

Chevrolet Impala V6 – The Impala has been an attractive car to drive for several years.  Chevrolet has treated this car right and given us a car that looks much better than its price.  Its more powerful than the price to as the V6 will offer you 305 horsepower and the starting price for this car is only $31,310.  As a full size sedan you expect to pay a lot more than this, but the 2LT trim is a wonderful way to go and gives you a dynamic drive in a car that feels much better than what Chevrolet is asking you to pay.

Subaru WRX STI – You knew, or at least hoped, this car would be on the list.  This is a car that just screams fun and comes with a reasonable amount of power to give you all the joy you can muster from behind the wheel.  Using a 2.5-liter flat four-cylinder engine this car can achieve 305 horsepower and it still only $34,695.  The engine uses an older form of turbocharging and this model has been on the market for over a decade, but a car like this doesn’t need to be replaced too often, instead it should be revered for the power it bring and the fun it delivers.

Ford Fusion V6 Sport – Who would have thought a Fusion would make the list?  Isn’t this a boring commuter car that’s just a little larger than the Focus?  Yes and no, the Fusion with the V6 gives you a sporty and powerful car to drive.  The 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine puts out a respectable 325 horsepower and is equipped with AWD so that you can have the control you want.  For only $33,850 you can drive this car and show off to your friends and neighbors who won’t believe what a Fusion can actually do.

Nissan 370Z – While the platform for this two-seater sports car may be aging, it’s still one of the hottest cars in this price range you can find.  The Z cars of Nissan have always held a special place in performance car conversations as they have been a great alternative to the much higher priced cars.  This particular 370Z brings you 332 horsepower and will only cost $29,990 to start with, which seems like you’ve been shopping in the bargain bin.  When you drive it you won’t feel that way as this car delivers on the power and the performance you know and trust.

Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 – When you want a couple more seats but you still want to have a sports car you can trust this is the car to choose.  Not only is this an excellent way to have 348 horsepower from under the hood, the starting price is only $26,950 which makes it one of our least expensive on this list.  With the Genesis name you also enjoy some of the luxury features from Hyundai and have a car that you can feel great about driving that has all the power you could ever need.

Ford Focus RS – With the numbers you see on this list you knew we had to get to this car sooner or later.  The 350 horsepower that come out of the 2.3-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost engine while being put in a hot hatch is amazing.  Using the advanced AWD system that was developed specifically for this car you can have the Focus RS for only $35,950.  This is a car that is fun on every road and begs you to schedule some track time so that you can unleash all of the horses that have been galloping under the hood.

Ford Mustang GT – Now we see sports cars you recognize and get into an area of power that is simply terrific.  This version of the Mustang is a step up from the base model and delivers the power you want in the car that we have loved to drive for many generations.  The Mustang GT delivers 435 horsepower and will only cost you $32,395 to have a car that is equipped with the GT Performance Package which has been designed to simply make driving much more fun for you whether you take to the open road or schedule the track time this car so richly deserves.

Chevrolet Camaro SS – This is the newcomer for the new model year and its simply sinister sophisticated and ready to drive.  Offering up 455 horsepower from the LT1 V8 engine you can drive this car and know you have a true power hungry beast at your fingertips.  The price for this amazing car comes in at only $37,295 to be one of the best ways you can have the power you desire and the price you can afford on a car that represents the way was want to drive in aggressive muscle car style.

 – At 485 horsepower and a price of only $39,885 this Challengers begs to be driven hard and cross the line in the front of the pack.  You have to take this beast out on the track and let it open up and show you what it can do.  Of course this is a gorgeous muscle car look that has the updated features of today to give us a blend of the days of past with the modern technology to be one of the most impressive cars you will find on any market and the most powerful car under $40,000 we sell in America today.