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Monday, August 25, 2014

Power Rankings: The 9 most powerful sedans sold in America


Car and Driver 
It’s official: The Hellcat name is too good to slap on only the Dodge Challenger SRT. Indeed, the introduction of the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat brings the badge and its bodacious 707-hp supercharged V-8 powertrain into the realm of the four-door sedan—because think of the families, you know?

After the smoke from our burned-rubber four-door fantasies subsided, we started pondering the other megahorsepower production sedans on which the Charger Hellcat is ready to pounce like so many unsuspecting, overfed hamsters.

As with any list, we established criteria for inclusion and exclusion. We decided that only true sedans with enclosed trunks counted, to keep the comparison with the Charger SRT Hellcat honest. So that knocked out five-doors such as the
Porsche Panamera Turbo S and the Audi RS7.
 (Either way, the Hellcat out-horsepowers them.) In addition, we used the base version of each model to establish our power rankings; performance options that increase horsepower—like the BMW M5’s Competition package—did not count, although we do mention their availability.

Another point: The “(or so)” part of our title results from our grouping together of different models from a single manufacturer that use the same powertrain. This was done in the spirit of inclusion and also to ensure some variety—who wants to see three Mercs listed in a row?

Finally, to assist in parsing all that power and guide you toward the best bang for your buck, we calculated the price of performance with a handy “cost per horsepower” figure. Now, enough with the talk—on to the list!

Gallery: BMW M5
Gallery: BMW M5

BMW M5 / M6 Gran Coupe:

Engine: twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8, 560 horsepower
Price: $95,850 / $117,950  Cost per horsepower: $171.16 / $210.63

Only in a world where a 707-hp monster sedan reigns supreme could the mighty M5 and the M6 Gran Coupe find themselves last on our list.
 Both can be ordered with a Competition package that boosts output to 575 horsepower, but that would move them up only one spot on our list.
 And while the special-edition 30 Jahre M5 makes 600 horsepower, only 30 of those things will be sold here; unless you’ve ordered yours, it’s already gone.

Gallery: Rolls Royce Ghost Series II
Gallery: Rolls Royce Ghost Series II

Engine: twin-turbocharged 6.6-liter V-12 563 horsepower,
Price: $291,350  Cost per horsepower: $517.50

Back in the old days, Rolls didn’t even list the output of its engines, noting that their power was “adequate.” Such is the tawdry state of affairs today that even Rolls-Royce must stoop to publishing such vulgar information—it’s like catching a peek of Helen Mirren in her knickers. Then again, 563 horsepower is pretty crumpet-tastic!
Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG

Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG
Engine: twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter V-8, 577 horsepo
Price: $142,375 / $101,525 / $107,425  Cost per horsepower: $246.75 / $175.95 / $186.18

This trio of blitzin’ Benzes flaunts a feisty twin-turbo 5.5-liter V-8.
 We’ve tested the mighty S63 AMG 4MATIC and not only does that hot mill haul the 4943-pound sedan to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds, it also propels the S63 to a top speed of 187 mph. In the CLS63 AMG S-model 4MATIC, it’s good for a 0-to-60-mph time of 3.2 seconds and a Vmax of 186 mph.

 We also have tested the bad-ass E63 AMG S-model 4MATIC wagon (say that five times fast!), but that’s a wagon, so you’ll have to exercise your lust for that one someplace else.

Engine: twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter W-12,  616 horsepower
Price: $221,125  Cost per horsepower: $358.97

Finally, a little truth in advertising: The chaps from Bentley named this four-wheeled version of Downton Abbey the Flying Spur, and fly it does.
The sheer magnificence of a car this enormous making this much power and doing it so elegantly is almost soothing—until you mash the gas pedal against the plushly carpeted floor and convert the landscape into a blurry smear.

Gallery: Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG
Gallery: Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG

Engine: twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter V-12,  621 horsepower
Price: $224,625 Cost per horsepower: $361.72

Most folks can’t buy their own zeppelin, which is one of modern society’s greatest disappointments. You may, however, consider the truly prodigious S65 AMG one hell of a consolation prize. (If you have close to a quarter-million bucks, that is.)
 Sure, you won’t be able to almost silently swoop over your neighborhood and drop small incendiary devices on the annoying microdog next door, but that’s almost asking too much, isn’t it?
Gallery: Dodge Charger Hellcat
Gallery: Dodge Charger Hellcat
Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat:

Engine: supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 707 horsepower,
Price (est.): $63,000  Cost per horsepower (est.): $89.11

Say “Hell, oh, kitty!” to a truly hellacious ’cat. Dodge is spreading the 707-hp love from the ballsy and bold Challenger SRT Hellcat to this four-door, which flaunts 86 more horsepower than the S65 AMG at a price likely to come in at roughly one-quarter that of the big Benz’s.
 It might be a little nuts for Dodge to unleash this weaponized sedan on the general populace, but why should the devil have all the fun? But please, Dodge, for the love of all things sacred, just don’t stick this engine in the Charger cop car.