You can have all the power in the world at your disposal under the hood, but unless it’s used efficiently and put to the ground in an effective manner, it may as well not be there at all. A huge portion of using power efficiently is make sure that the car it’s sitting in doesn’t weigh as much as a dump truck or air craft carrier, so that each horsepower is pulling less weight. There’s a term for that — the horsepower-to-weight ratio — which is used to determine how much weight the engine is pulling relative to the weight of the car.
Here’s one of the most important trends in the automotive sector at the moment: engines are becoming increasingly powerful, with turbo-fours cranking out as much as V8s were achieving 20 years ago. At the same time, breakthroughs in materials are making cars lighter than ever, despite all the added safety equipment and various gadgets and features. The Koenigsegg One:1 has perhaps nailed the holy grail for power to weight, as each horsepower only has to move one kilogram — about 2.2 pounds. But, at over $1 million, it’s a bit out of reach for the average buyer.
Over at Autoblog, they threw together a report of cars that offer the best power to weight ratios, broken down by price point. Here, we’ve laid out the ten cars mentioned for the $25,000 and under crowd, which arguably offer the best performance for the dollar.