Even in cars pushing six figures, there are important considerations to take if performance is the top priority. Horsepower and torque figures are always good starting points, but neither has relevance without looking at the ratio of weight-to-power. For an added layer of specialization, Auto Blog recently measured the vehicles with best torque-to-weight ratios in automobiles in three different price ranges.
In the group with the best ratios and an MSRP below $100,000, sports cars and American muscle icons take their expected places, but one pickup truck crashed the party while managing to cut the price of most other vehicles in half.
Here are the 10 vehicles with the best torque-to-weight ratio that cost under $100K. Vehicles with a starting price below $100,000 before destination charges were included, though obviously there are a few that will break six figures before getting off a dealer’s lot. Pricing, weight, and performance data were sourced from the manufacturer websites.
10. 2015 Chevy Camaro Z/28 ($75,000)
There is a bit more weight in the 2015 Camaro Z/28 than, say, a Corvette, but there is also more intimidation in this racer that is legal to drive to the store. The 7.0-liter V8 delivers a maximum 505 horsepower and 481 pounds-feet of torque to hit a ratio of 7.942 pounds per pound-foot. Chevy dropped the weight of the ZL1 by 300 pounds to hit this impressive benchmark in the 2015 Z/28.
9. 2015 Ford F-250 Super Duty ($39,525)
Some bully has to crash every party. In this case, the spectacle of supercars and muscle-bound beasts is broken up by the Ford F-250 Super Duty, which happens to have the best torque-to-weight ratio of any automobile under $50K. With a curb weight of 6,589 pounds and maximum torque output of 860 pounds-feet from the 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8, an unthinkable 7.662 ratio is achieved with its MSRP below $40K. The 2015 F-250 bested the Silverado 3500HD by nearly a full pound per pound-foot while bumping the Mercedes CLS63 AMG out of the top 10.
8. 2014 Mercedes Benz E63 S AMG ($99,770)
With a base price that is a few cups of coffee below six figures, one could argue the Mercedes E63 S AMG made this list on a technicality. But, at 570 horsepower and 590 pounds-feet of torque, what a beautiful technicality it is. A race car in sedan clothing, the 2014 E63 S can flash from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 3.5 seconds. (AMG didn’t list the top speed, possibly out of respect for less-equipped police cars.) That massive torque quotient only has 4,420 pounds to move, giving this Benz a ratio of 7.510 pounds per pound-foot.
7. 2015 Chevy Camaro ZL1 ($55,505)
Few muscle cars have ever offered power on the level of the 2015 Camaro ZL1, and at its reasonable price point, consumers get 580 horsepower and 556 pounds-feet of torque on the cheap. It’s not weighed down by any measure, sporting a ratio of 7.410 pounds per pound-foot of torque. That’s the secret to the ZL1 going 0 to 60 miles per hour in just 3.9 seconds with its supercharged V8. Chevy says it can hit a top speed of 184 miles per hour and can cover the quarter-mile in 12 seconds.
6. 2014 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe ($99,000)
For the ultimate in performance from the new Jaguars, turn to the F-Type R coupe packing the 5.0-liter supercharged V8 capable of 590 horsepower and 502 pounds-feet of torque at just 3,500 revolutions per minute. Pulling a torque-to-weight ratio of 7.247, the F-Type R Coupe hits 60 miles per hour from a standstill in 4.0 seconds and is capable of reaching a top speed of 186 miles per hour. Jaguar says its spray-guided direct injection system allows this scorcher to get 23 miles per gallon on the highway as well — just not at 186 miles per hour.
5. 2014 Chevy Corvette Stingray ($54,000)
GM doesn’t have any room on the mantle for all the awards the Corvette Stingray has received since its release. America’s affordable supercar does a lot of damage in the base model with the 6.2-liter supercharged V8 capable of 455 horsepower and 460 pounds-feet of torque. Matched against its lightweight design, the C7 Stingray serves up a ratio of 7.170 pounds of weight per pound-foot of torque. That’s good enough to power the new ‘Vette from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 3.8 seconds.
4. 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat ($63,995)
Talk about crashing a party. With the release of the 2015 Charger SRT Hellcat’s pricing, Dodge bumped the Jaguar F-Type V8 convertible out of the top 10 in torque-to-weight ratios. The new Charger Hellcat packs a massive amount of whallop, so much so that Dodge is calling it the “fastest,” “quickest,” and “most powerful” sedan ever. Here are the specs: 707 horsepower; 650 pounds-feet of torque; quarter-mile in 11.0 seconds; and a top speed of 204 miles per hour. Its 7.015 pounds of weight per pound-foot of torque displaced the base Corvette Stingray in the top four on this list.
3. 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat ($59,995)
Take off two doors and the extra bulk of the Charger and the 2015 Challenger SRT Hellcat offers plenty more pull for its weight. It also features the violen V8 capable of 707 horsepower and 645 pounds-feet of torque, but the Challenger Hellcat can run the quarter-mile in 10.8 seconds and blast to 60 miles from a standstill in just over 3 seconds. With a ratio of 6.279 pounds per measure of torque, it does not take any other calculation to imagine the performance capabilities of this beast. It would win by a landslide if there were a list of best torque-to-weight vehicles below $60K.
2. 2015 Dodge Viper SRT ($84,995)
After getting its sticker price slashed by over $15,000, the Dodge Viper SRT entered the winner’s circle of vehicles offering the most pull for the dollar under $100K. Its 8.4-liter V10 engine serves up 600 horsepower and 645 pounds-feet of torque, and the new Viper is lighter by 100 pounds, giving the “American exotic” a ratio of 5.650 pounds per pound-foot of torque. It can hit a top speed of 206 miles per hour and power from 0 to 60 miles per hour in just over 3 seconds.
1. 2015 Chevy Corvette Z06 ($78,995)
With a carbon-fiber hood, aluminum frame, and and a lot more power than the Stingray, the Corvette Z06 has set the standard for torque-to-weight ratios under $100K. Its supercharged 6.2-liter V8 provides 650 horsepower and 650 pounds-feet of torque for a ratio of 5.422 pounds of weight per pound-foot of torque. For the first time in a car with this output, an equally menacing convertible is also available. There are no official times, but it’s difficult to imagine the Z06 taking much longer than 3 seconds to hit 60 miles per hour from a standstill.