Enthusiasts might love useful wagons, sporty coupes, open-air convertibles, and capable off-roaders, but sedans are still the go-to choice for buyers in the U.S. Make no mistake though, not all four-doors are doomed to grocery toting and commuting. Some sedans beg for more. Some sedans have an appetite for asphalt and a mean streak to boot. These top ten most powerful sedans you can buy here in the States can do it all, from laying down hot laps at the track to picking up the kids from school. Dive in and you’ll see the ten most powerful four doors in their standard condition–that means no special tunings or performance packages that are added on at a premium.
Starting off our list is a pair of feisty felines from across the pond. Given that both the mid-size XFR-S and full-size XJR use Jaguar’s same 5.0-liter supercharged V-8 that emits thunder in the sonorous F-Type R, we thought it best to let the two sedans share the bottom spot on our list. Don’t write off these Jags just because they finished last in this muscle-measuring contest–the XFR-S can rocket from 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds on its way to a top speed of 186 mph. It’s definitely good to be bad.
Although the Aston Martins of the future will likely wield their bonkers power from turbocharged AMG units, you can still find a natural-breathing V-12 under the extra-sexy Rapide’s hood. The endless onslaught of twelve-cylinder power coming from the Aston’s 5.9-liter is a thing of beauty, and the new ZF eight-speed automatic transmission in the 2015 Rapide S means you can savor every last one of its 552 horses with enough road ahead. Go on, pretend you’re 007 escaping capture. Just keep an eye on that speedometer.
If your internal car-geek light is flashing red to the accompaniment of wailing sirens and cold sweats, take a deep breath. Yes, the Audi RS7 lacks an enclosed trunk. Yes, it in fact has a handy rear hatchback instead. But buyers interested in the RS7 will effectively use it like it’s a regular sedan, it has four doors, and Audi doesn’t consider it a real hatchback. The RS7 does not 100 percent fit into the mold of sedan, hatchback, or wagon, but we love its insane all-wheel-drive performance too much to ignore it
Car nuts spend an awful lot of time blabbering about the iconic BMW M3, and it’s easy to forget that the larger BMW M5 is a serious contender. 4.1 seconds from 0-60 mph is no joke. If that’s not going to cut it, you can always opt for the M5’s Competition Package which bumps up horsepower to 575. For true M5 fanatics, the 30th Anniversary BMW M5 packs a riotous 600 hp. Sound enticing? Sadly there are only 30 examples bound for U.S. shores, and they’re all spoken for.
You’d only find a Rolls-Royce Ghost on a track with a psychopath (read: automotive journalist) behind the wheel, but that doesn’t mean it’s short on performance. Top speed is (wisely) limited to 155 mph, but the sensation of speed is most definitely apparent at all times. The luxo-sedan’s towering 575 lb-ft of torque is fully available at only 1500 rpm.
Like the RS7, the Panamera Turbo S has a hatchback and an open trunk, but Porsche calls it a sedan anyway. Porsche definitely went a little crazy on the Panamera Turbo, jacking up output by 50 hp over the Panamera Turbo with new turbos, specially coated piston rings, and aluminum-alloy pistons. Porsche diehards probably still scoff at the beefy Panamera, but it’s tough to argue with 570 hp, sensational comfort, and a usable trunk.
This trio of tri-starred Benzes all share the brand’s spectacular twin-turbo V-8, singularly hand-assembled and personally stamped by one of AMG’s engineers. Each of these three sedans succeeds at feeling expertly smooth and livable, but rest assured, there is a wallop of German engineering just waiting to be unleashed every time your foot graces the pedal. As unbelievably powerful as these Benzes are, they still lie in the shadow of an even more terrifying four-door that’s further down on our list.
Our first taste of the Flying Spur‘s ferocious W-12 was that it was “a mastodon of an engine.” And it has to be to send the massive 5451-lb Bentley from 0-60 mph in 4.3 seconds. The W-12 is so powerful that even if you were to split it into two V-6 engines, each half’s 308 hp would outpower the Mustang’s 305-hp V-6 and the Challenger’s 305-hp V-6. Something tells us Crewe’s engineers politely stifle their laughter when they hear us boasting about American “muscle.”
The S-Class is a sedan with so much cachet and character that it can bear not one, but two AMG models on its capable shoulders. Just when 577 hp seemed like overkill, the S65 AMG enters with a baffling 621 hp and 738 lb-ft of torque. Because it sends its power to the rear wheels rather than all four, as it does in in the S63 AMG, the S65 is not actually any faster than its V-8 sibling. But at the end of the day, it’s feeling like the mack-daddy of engines bows to your will that leaves a wry and knowing smile lingering on your face.
And so we have arrived. Take the time to scroll up this list and you’ll notice a common theme: European luxury. With even the most affordable of these previous powerhouse sedans costing $94,550 (cost of a base BMW M5), it takes a lot of means to have access to sedans of this caliber. Or least, it used to, anyway. You can now laugh all the way to the bank while the Charger SRT Hellcat‘s infernal bark strikes fear into the hearts of its European wanna-be’s. Prices are not official yet, but the Charger Hellcat shouldn’t deviate much from the $60,990 Challenger Hellcat. It’s positively absurd for a sedan to have 707 hp, but to do so while so prodigiously outmatching the second-place S65 is the icing on the cake.
With the overhauled Cadillac CTS sedan already in our midst, the beloved CTS-V sedan is not available for the 2015 model year. The 2015 Cadillac CTS-V coupe will be offered with a Special Edition package, but the most high-powered version of the CTS sedan will remain the 420-hp CTS Vsport. The outgoing CTS-V sedan’s exceptional supercharged V-8 would have placed it ninth on our list,just behind the BMW M5 and Audi RS7.