The sports sedan is the perfect blend of power and utility; a high performance hybrid of speed and comfort. In its finest examples, the sports sedan is an irate wolf carefully disguised in sheep’s clothing.
If you’re a hoon who often move’s their family from point a to point b, then there’s no shortage of fast four doors available. But that’s not to say all sports sedans are created equal. Please allow us to introduce you to five sports sedans that cannot be mistaken for anything but.
Audi S8 (D2):
Though the S8 was technically considered a premium luxury sedan when it was launched, it’s wheelbase is actually shorter than the current BMW 5 series. How’s that for model bloat?
The original Audi S8 came with a 335-hp V8 that never came to the states. However, when Audi released the facelifted version in 1999, it arrived with an upgraded 4.2-liter V8 producing an impressive 355 horsepower. The S8 was by no means light, but despite it’s size it sprinted from a stop to 60 mph in a claimed 6.1 seconds. Which means that the MazdaSpeed 3 will forever be a thorn in your side, but you probably won’t find a more unassuming car that’s as luxurious, as practical and as quick for as little money today. Besides, if it was good enough to escape Parisan cops in Ronin, then it’s good enough for me.
Dodge Charger SRT8:
We’re big fans of the latest Charger SRT8. Its 470-hp 6.4 liter V8, and chiseled sheet metal seemingly modeled on a juiced up Mr. Universe contestant make it the least subtle car of this group. Which is fine, because unlike some of the others mentioned here, the SRT8 is the latest American made high performance sedan.
That fact alone is impressive especially considering where Chrysler is coming from with its latest line of SRT models. The performance of the Charger SRT8 is no doubt a crowning achievement. With the hopped up Charger running 0 to 60 mph in just 4.3 seconds, and completing the 1/4 mile in a blistering 12.8 seconds at 111 mph. It’s also the only car that could actually do without an aftermarket exhaust or straight pipes, which is rare in this day and age of synthesized engine sounds.
Mercedes Benz 500E:
The 500E is like the Captain Planet of German sports sedans. The result of a joint venture between the best in sports cars and the best in luxury cars, the 500E is possibly one of the fastest, most over-engineered cars in the world. Each car was hand assembled in Porsche’s assembly plant in Stuttgart, and then shipped to the Mercedes-Benz plant across town and back again until each car was completed.
Powered by a 5.0 liter Mercedes-Benz V8 producing 326-hp, the 500E bolted from 0-60 mph in less than six seconds making it faster than the fabled e34 BMW M5. And thanks to the 500E not technically being a Mercedes-Benz, it was exempt from the 155 mph gentlemen’s agreement. That little exemption allowed the 500E to go on to a top speed of 161 mph, not bad for a family hauler in 1991.
Yes, you knew it was coming, but you just can’t make a list about sports sedans today and leave out this Cadillac. Everyone and their mother has already gone on and on about the Magnetic Ride Suspension, the effortless way in which the LSA motor produces its 560-hp, or the way it looks in black. So we won’t repeat what you already know. But it’s for these that we placed the CTS-V in the midst of sports sedan legends like the M5 and S8. There’s no doubt in our minds that the Cadillac CTS-V is a legend in its own right.
BMW E39 M5:
When we think sports sedan the E39 M5 immediately pops into our thought bubble. What’s not to love about it? It’s powered by a silky smooth German V8 making 400-hp, it’s almost indistinguishable from any 5 series equipped with the M sport package, and the doors close like a bank vault. If you own an e39 M5 and you can’t successfully rob a bank, or make jr.’s trip to the dentists office as exciting as a roller coaster ride, then you seriously need to reevaluate your reasons for living.
1998-2003 Jaguar XJR: I would never want to own one of these for maintenance reasons, but they do look amazing. They’re also shockingly cheap now.
1965 Dodge Coronet Hemi 426: If you can find one, buy it!
Photo credit: Bring A Trailer