2001 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 2dr Coupe (5.7L 8cyl 6M)
For the price of a new Lancer Evo or WRX STi, you can purchase a very clean, used Z06 and smoke those 4-cylinder hairdryers all day long. The 2001 Z06 with 385hp & 385ft-lbs of torque launches from a standing start like a Trans-Am race car. Add an intake, LG long tube headers and a good exhaust to a 2001 Z06 and you'll easily match the 405hp found in 2002-2004 models. Don't be afraid to rev the engine. Unlike the older C4 and early C5 motors, the Z06 engine doesn't hit its horsepower peak until just over 6000rpm. Handling is fantastic for practically every twisty road in America. Only dedicated track drivers may find it a little soft.
Looks, handling, fantastic motor that is easily upgraded. Great mileage on the highway when cruising in 6th gear.
Driver's seat needs far more support for spirited driving. Not enough side bolstering and the foam is too soft. Unfortunately most aftermarket reclining sport seats (Recaro etc) are too wide to fit.