Top 10 Cars with Most Horsepower-per-Pound Under $25,000

2014 Ford Mustang V6, cars with most horsepower

You might have all of the power in the world at your disposal under the hood, but unless this power is used efficiently and put to the ground in an effective way, it might also not be there at all.

A huge part of making use of power efficiently is to make sure that the car the power is sitting in doesn’t weigh as much as a dump truck or aircraft carrier, so that every single horsepower is pulling less weight. There is a phrase for that — the horsepower-to-weight ratio — that can be used to determine how much weight the engine is pulling relative to the weight of the car.

At the moment one of the most crucial general trends in the automotive industry is that the engines are becoming significantly powerful, with turbo-fours cranking out as much as V8s were achieving 20 years ago.

On the same occasion, advancements in materials are building cars lighter than ever, regardless of all the added safety equipment and different gadgets and features.

The Koenigsegg One:1 has maybe attached the holy grail of power to weight, as every horsepower has only to move one kg — about 2.2 pounds. But, with a price of over $1 million, it’s a bit out of reach for the normal buyer.

Over at Autoblog, they make a report of cars that provide the ideal power to weight ratios, broken down by price point. Here, we have arranged the ten cars with most horsepower pointed out in the $25,000 and under crowd, which probably provide the best performance for the dollar.

10. 2015 Volkswagen Jetta GLI


Under the hood, Volkswagen Jetta GLI is practically exactly the same as the Golf GTI, as it shares the 2.0 liter turbocharged motor that generates 210 horsepower (which is 40 more than the Jetta SE, and 95 more than the basic Jetta.)

Having a curb weight of 3,124 pounds, gives the GLI a power-to-weight ratio of 14.910 – which is around 15 pounds that every individual horsepower is responsible for carrying.

It’s also basically shy of the $25K mark, with a price at $24,535.

9. Mazda MX 5 Miata 2014

Mazda MX 5 Miata 2014


The Mazda MX-5 Miata doesn’t offer a huge, ferocious V8, or perhaps a turbocharged V6, but rather relies on a small, 167-horsepower inline-four.

This is countered, however, but the Miata’s feathery curb weight of just 2,480 pounds in its basic specification, creating a weight ratio of 14.850 — and also turning in into the least heavy rear-wheel-drive car on the list.

Furthermore to its compact nature, the weight is applied in a near-perfect 52/48 front/rear manner, making it one of the most agile and fun to drive cars out there.

8. 2014 Honda Civic Si


The Honda Civic Si has a 600 pound or so weight, drawback as compared to the Miata, however, it is also getting about 40 more horsepower to assist with all the effort.

At 3,005 pounds and 205 horses, the hot coupe (or sedan, if you so choose) delivers a power-weight ratio of 14.644.

It’s less expensive, too, at $24,490 for the basic model, easily falling below $25,000 — although it must be mentioned that the sedan is a little higher priced (while is three pounds lighter!)

7. 2014 Mini Cooper S Hardtop


Minis are probably well known as cutesy, rapid city cars, but in the S adjust, they’ve really got some oomph to go with their cool racing stripes.

The new Cooper S now offers 189 horsepower (up from 181 in the last generation), and with a curb weight of 2,760, it provides a weight ratio just 14.603.

For an extra bonus, the Cooper S can deal with 38 miles per gallon on the highway, for when you’re done running it through the ringer.

6. 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI 4-Door

2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI

The gold standard of the hot hatch market, the 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI again ups the bet in its group by providing 210 horsepower (10 more than the outgoing generation), placed into a body weighing 3,031 pounds at the curb.

This can give a power to weight ratio of 14.152, and for $24,805, it’s probably the most fun a person can have for under $25,000 (albeit just barely.)

5. 2014 Hyundai Veloster Turbo R-Spec

2014 Hyundai Veloster Turbo R-Spec

The Hyundai Veloster R-Spec is in the group of the oldest cars on the road — not only does it look quite strange, even so it sports a exclusive two-doors on one side and one door on the other structure.

However, given its stats, the Veloster is  likely the most enjoyable car to drive.

It has 201 horsepower at its disposal, and since there is very little car to move, the Veloster provides a power-to-weight ration of just 13.930.

This package fun can also be experienced since it’s only below $21,300, which makes it a hell of a bargain too.

4. 2014 Ford Fiesta ST


The Ford Fiesta ST brings a page from the GTI playbook, with a powerful, 197 horsepower EcoBoost turbocharged engine up front, using it to power the front wheels of a car that weighs only 2,720 pounds.

This, in turn, converts into a power-to-weight ratio of 13.807, and for an amount below $22,000. It’s not quite as brawny as its older Focus sibling, but perhaps just as fun.

3. 2014 Ford Focus ST

2014 Ford Focus ST

Talking about, the Ford Focus ST — Ford’s larger hot hatch, which even includes a 500 pound weight disadvantage against the Fiesta, it carries 55 horsepower more — giving it a remarkable power-to-weight ratio of 12.790.

Additionally, the Focus ST begins at only a couple more thousand than the Fiesta and is still comfortably below the $25K threshold, making it a valuable buy for the bargain hunter hunting for a variety of performances.

2. 2014 Chevrolet Camaro V6

Muscle cars never do power-to-weight ratios well, it’s what they were built on.

The new model of the Chevrolet Camaro is no different – in their basic kit (the only model under $25K is the V6), the Camaro still churns out 323 horsepower, while keeping its weight down to an “airy” 3,719 pounds, giving GM’s flagship muscle car a power-to-weight ratio of just 11.514 (though the higher-spec Camaro are considerably better).


1. 2014 Ford Mustang V6

Leading all others in its class is the 305-horsepower Ford Mustang V6, and its 3,501 stature, which has a 220 pound advantages over its rival at Chevy.

Even though it offers less horsepower as well, the lower curb weight helps the Mustang slide by with a power-to-weight ratio of just 11.479, somewhat better than the Camaro and just enough to take first place.


Here we are, at the end of another list post, with the impression that you guys love our list posts. This list with the 10 cars with most horsepower per pound was inspired by our recent list post that had huge success. If you enjoy reading this, don’t forget to like us on facebook or subscribe to our free newsletter

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