2010 Nissan 370Z 40th Anniversary editionEnlarge Photo
Nissan caused a bit of a stir not long ago with an ad campaign implying that the 370Z coupe could out-perform a much more expensive Porsche. But the ads weren't crazy. It would be a close fight. At 332 horsepower, and lighter than last year's model, the V6-equipped Z is a track-worthy pleasure to drive. The 370Z's MSRP starts just over the $30,000 line, so you'll have to talk the dealer down a little to get one in this price range, but in this economy, sports cars are selling slowly, so it's not terribly hard to bargain them down.
2009 Dodge Ram 1500 SportEnlarge Photo
You didn't think they'd all be cars, did you? One of the easiest ways to get to 300 horsepower on a budget is to look at pickups. The Dodge Ram 1500 is one of the best-handling pickups ever built, thanks to its coilover suspension. It's available with a 390-horsepower, 5.7-liter V8 for under $30k.