What is a sedan? It’s a regular car by definition: Four-doors, front engine, a trunk… the most classic, basic iteration of your daily vehicle. The cars throughout this list fight against this definition; they want to be more, even if they are actually just sedans.
Usually, a sedan isn’t a “pleasure” car, or a dream car. It’s a car made for going to the market, for cab drivers, for travelling with your family, or for picking up the kids from school. But what about performance ? There are a few sedans that really want to stand out from the rest. We’re talking about a true challenge for engineers and designers; it’s about turning an everyday car into a real sports car, a car that can provide that exciting sensation that we can usually only experience with other luxury cars.
Here are 15 of the fastest four-door sedans on the market that are so much more than just a car to pick up the kids from school.
15. 2017 Audi S4 Sedan – Tech Friendly
The new generation of Audi’s mid-size sedan was introduced at the 2016 Geneva International Motor Show. The main changes can be found in the interior, with the Audi Virtual Cockpit, a whole new dashboard system with only one screen for your GPS, rev counter, and everything else. The new S4 gets an all new 3.0 V6 turbocharged engine jointly developed with Porsche, giving the car 354hp and a 0-62mph time of 4.7 seconds, thanks to the all-wheel drive system. The old RS4, fitted with a 4.2L V8 with 450hp, had exactly the same performance.
Even if the car is manufactured for great performance, it no longer has a dual-clutch transmission. The new S4 has an 8-speed automatic transmission provided by ZF. Like most German sedans, the top speed is electronically limited to 155mph. As the previous generations of S4, this one combines high performance with stealth, but with a great design.
14. 2017 Chevrolet SS – Cheap And Cheerful
The Chevrolet SS is a very simple, but very cool car. It’s actually a Holden Commodore with a Chevy logo. It was created in order to replace the Pontiac G8. The only engine available is a 415hp 6.2L V8, with a 6-speed manual or an 8-Speed ZF automatic transmission. A new sequential automatic 6-speed will be available soon.
There are no options available as the car is basically fully equipped, which is great, especially when you know the price, only $47 000. This car had the best HP/$ ratio out there!
The engine is free of any turbocharger or compressor, so it sounds awesome every time. Nothing but the true, raw, beautiful American V8 note. This car has a mainstream design, but a vibrant soul.
If rear-wheel-drive, a naturally aspirated engine and a manual transmission are the keys to your driving pleasure, this Chevy SS is maybe the most attractive sedan out there.
13. 2017 Rolls Royce Ghost Black Badge – Dark Beauty
Rolls-Royce’s Bespoke department can do some stuff that very few Bespoke teams can afford to do. The new range of ”Black Badge” cars is exactly the kind of high-end luxury car you expect from an already all-luxury lineup.
This car is meant for self-made, independent, young people, because until these Black Badge models, a Royce wasn’t exactly a car for people under 50. On the BB Ghost, black is everywhere, even the Rolls-Royce emblem is black. Inside, there’s no more wood, but instead carbon fibre vinyl everywhere.
The most interesting changes remain under the hood. The 6.6L turbocharged V12 gets a 40hp upgrade, which results in a whopping 610hp, while the 8-speed automatic transmission becomes quicker. Even if the top speed remains limited to 155mph (can’t the Bespoke department fix this?), the car gets 0.3 seconds faster from 0-62mph, with an impressive 4.6 seconds.
12. 2017 Aston Martin Rapide S – Singing Swan
The Aston-Martin Rapide S is the result of an audacious but simple equation: The DB9 + 2-doors. And as you can see, the result is absolutely gorgeous. This is arguably the most beautiful sedan out there. The design is pure and definitely awesome. And it’s not only great to watch, it’s also great to drive. Yeah, to drive, that’s what makes the Rapide S so unique: it’s a luxury sedan you want to drive yourself, not like a Rolls-Royce Ghost or a Bentley Flying Spur.
The car is fitted with the latest evolution of the legendary 6.0L naturally aspirated V12 engine, which means 560hp, and a whopping 203mph top speed. The old TouchTronic 6-speed transmission has been kicked out, and replaced by the new and popular ZF 8-speed automatic, with sequential mode. The 0-62 time has slightly improved, from 5.2 seconds to 4.4! And the sound, the pure, beautiful, intense and unique note of the N/A V12. This sound will turn any trip to your local market into a romantic journey.
Unfortunately, the Rapide is going to be replaced in 2018 by a fully-electric variant in order to compete with the Tesla Model S.
All of this reminds us about Aston Martin’s motto: Power, beauty, and soul.
11. 2017 Mercedes-AMG S65 L – Heavily Dynamic
The new Mercedes S-Class was unveiled in 2014. This car is well-known for its stunning interior, with a gorgeous design and sleek finish.
The car is fitted with a biturbo, 6.0L V12 engine, which produces a huge torque peak of 738lb-ft. For the record, it’s actually the engine Pagani uses in their Huayra. This is a very unique engine, with 3 valves per cylinder. The car also features a ”magic control” which ”reads” the road and erases any of the asphalt’s imperfections. It produce a whopping 630hp, which allow the heavy (2,250kg) vehicle to reach 62mph in only 4.3 seconds, which is 0.1 faster than the 585hp S63, even if this one has all-wheel drive and a short wheel base.
Yes, the S65 L is only rear-wheel drive. The AMG is only available with a 7-speed automatic transmission. And, in a very unique fact for a German sedan, the car isn’t electronically limited to 155mph, which results in a top speed of 190 mph – in a great luxury car on your heated seat. The car is also fitted with carbon ceramic brakes, in order to make the 62-0 as quick as the 0-62.
Even if the car’s capabilities are limited by permanent electronics aids, this car remains one of the best performance limos on the market.
10. 2017 VLF Destino – Back To Basics
Remember the Fisker Karma, the 4-door hybrid sedan loved by some really famous people (we’re looking at you, Leo)? The Fisker Karma was a commercial failure, but Henri Fisker is back with a new brand and a new partner, Bob Lutz from G.M. With the brand renamed VLF, the Karma remains part of the lineup, but the new name of the car is the Destino, and the biggest change is, you guessed it, under the hood.
No more straight-four 408hp. The new Destino is outfitted with the 6.2L V8 engine from the C7 Corvette. Is Fisker going backwards ? There is no more high tech solution for the engine, but the V8 outputs a whopping 647hp, which makes the Destino 241hp more powerful than the old Karma.
This car started its life with a pretty complex hybrid powertrain system, and now Fisker decides to go back to basics with this V8 iteration of the Karma. Yay or nay?
9. 2017 BMW M760 Li xDrive – Autobahn Cruiser
When Volkswagen bought Rolls-Royce in 1998, the development of new engines began. The engine of this M badge 7 Series is derived from the 6.6L V12 biturbo engine which is in the Rolls-Royce Dawn, Wraith and the Ghost we mentioned earlier. The engine is configured for 600hp.
Like many other cars in this article, the M760Li is fitted with an 8-speed automatic transmission. This is the only M car with xDrive, but it’s for the best. It allows the 2,180kg limo to go to 62mph in only 3.9 seconds, for a top speed of 190mph. All of this in a luxury car, driving in total silence.
Like the Mercedes S65 L, the car is only available with an extended wheelbase. Carbon ceramic brakes are optional, along with other fancy things yet to come.
8. 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia QV – The Clover’s Comeback
Since 2013, Alfa Romeo has been producing the 4C Coupe, a car built to compete with other lightweight sports cars. But Alfa is more ambitious, and wanted to steal the crown from companies like Mercedes and BMW. So here is the Alfa Romeo Giulia QV, that could eat M4s for lunch and C63s for diner.
The heart of this beast is a 3.0L biturbo V6 engine from Maserati, co-engineered with Ferrari. It generates an output of 510hp. All of this with a manual or automatic transmission, and a carbon fibre drive shaft.
All of this helps the car go up to 62mph in 3.9 seconds with a top speed of 191mph. The car has been lapping the famed Nürburgring track in only 7:39, which is the time of the last 911 Carrera S, and faster than both the M4 and C63s. The car can also be fitted with carbon ceramic brakes, and it sounds great, thanks to the active sport exhaust; it’s a nice tribute to Alfa Romeo’s golden age.
This Giulia QV is definitely the true comeback of Alfa Romeo in the sports cars world.
7. 2017 BMW M3 Competition Package – The German Swiss Army Knife
M3. One letter, one number, one legend. The BMW M3 is well-known for its versatility, you can pick up the kids, drive to the market, and smoke some supercars on your way home.
This year, BMW wants to give the mid-size flagship car a subtile update. This model gets a 20 horsepower increase from the biturbo 3.0L straight 6 engine, which results in a great 450hp. The dual clutch transmission (DKG) is also improved, allowing the car to go to 62mph in only 3.8 seconds, or 3.9 with the regular 6-speed manual.
The car also gets new rims, a new anti-roll bar, and all driving modes have been reconfigured. Unfortunately, the package doesn’t remove the speed limiter, so the car won’t go over 155mph. This Competition Package definitely fixed the original car’s lack of soul.
6. 2017 Cadillac CTS-V Sedan – The Patriot
Nowadays Cadillac remains one of the world’s most famous Americans brands, but the CTS-V is probably not the car that comes to mind when you think of Cadillac.
This American full-size sedan is really one of a kind. First, the design: you won’t see any other car with a design like this. Every single inch of this car is truly unique. And of course, the performance, because before being a 5-meter long sedan, the CTS-V is a true sports car. The vehicle is fitted with a 6.2L supercharged V8 engine from the last Z06, which still produces 649hp. And guess what. The transmission is an 8-Speed automatic with sequential mode – this is definitely the new standard.
From front bumpers to the rear diffuser, carbon fibre is everywhere. The car weighs 1,850kg, and while this could seem heavy, for a full size sedan, it’s not. And the performance is great too, from 0 to 62 mph in 3.7 seconds. Don’t forget, the car is American, which means no top speed limit — which means 200 mph!
The standard equipment is awesome: Brembo 6 piston discs, piloted magnetic suspension, locked anti-roll bar, all Alcantara/leather interior, premium audio, performance data recorder, and so much more.
All this for only $85,595… If the American dream was a car, it would be this one.
5. 2017 Porsche Panamera Turbo – Gran Turismo For The Family
You can find almost anything you want in Porsche’s lineup, from compact SUVs to GTs, but every single one is very well-conceived.
The new Panamera is exactly that. The car is full of innovation. The first Panamera, launched in 2009, was a best seller, and this 2017 Panamera Turbo is here to replace it and keep the German manufacturer at the top of the industry.
First, the car gives up on the 4.8L V8 engine, with a new 4.0L turbocharged V8 engine, which can produce 550hp. With the optional Sport Chrono Package, the car can go from 0 to 62mph in only 3.6 seconds! The 918-inspired headlights are part of the cosmetic update, but the best new detail remains the rear-wing, and there are no words for it, so :
The dual-clutch transmission is now 8-speed. The Panamera now features all-wheel drive. An optional rear-wheel steering system is also available.
Porsche’s goal with this car is to give the same amount of sensation to every passenger, doesn’t matter if you’re on the driver seat or in the trunk. A lot of fancy options are also available, like night vision assist, rear seat entertainment, and a sport exhaust system. All that just reminds us that a Porsche without any add-ons isn’t really a complete car, which is pretty sad.
Hopefully that wing is standard!
4. 2017 Audi S8 Plus – The Lord Of The Rings
Every major innovation has been introduced on this car, like the light aluminum frame, pneumatic suspension with variable height, or, more recently, the awesome Audi Matrix LED headlights, the world’s first laser headlights on a car.
This S8 Plus is the only full-size performance sedan which can compete with the Porsche Panamera. The car is fitted with a 4.0L turbocharged V8 engine; the same engine can be found in every Audi RS but the RS3 and the TT-RS. The Quattro all-wheel drive transmission makes the car agile and surprisingly light to drive. The engine output generates 605hp, allowing the car to reach 62mph in only 3.5 seconds. The top speed is 190mph, but the car could easily go over 200.
This true supercar performance in a stealth sedan. All the details that are usually in chrome are now matte black. The 21” rims are specific, and the carbon ceramic brakes remain optional.
All of these features definitely make this car the automotive version of The Lord of the Rings.
3. 2017 Mercedes E63S 4-Matic – Supercar In Disguise
This is the Mercedes-Benz mid-size sedan. It was a subtle, quiet car, but things changed when the performance department, AMG, turned the automobile into the new E63. Rear-wheel drive cars are expected from AMG, but for this model, all-wheel drive, “4Matic” transmission is the only option available.
The engine is taken right out a Mercedes-AMG GTR, and pushed to 610hp. With the all-wheel drive, this results in an incredible 3.4 seconds from 0 to 62mph. The top speed is limited at 155mph, but it can be unleashed to a more extreme 186mph.
Inside tech is everywhere, with huge screens for a GPS, speedometer, and everything else, like the Audi virtual cockpit. There are also some ambient lights with dozens of colors; combine this with the (optional) Burmester high-end sound system, and you get one of the most versatile cars out there. BMW is assumed to strike back with the next generation M5, but for now, this is Europe’s fastest sedan!
2. 2017 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat – Hell On Wheels
For Dodge, SRT stands for Street and Racing Technology. A Dodge with an SRT badge is always a fast car. But what about Hellcat? Both the SRT Charger and the Challenger got this new variety back in 2014. It brings a supercharger provided by AHA America to the already powerful 6.2L V8 engine. The result is the most powerful engine in America, with 717hp.
Fun fact: the car needs to be started with a separate red key to unlock all the power.
Guess what ? The gearbox is an 8-speed automatic with sequential manual transmission provided by ZF, which allows the Charger Hellcat to reach 62mph in… 3.4 seconds! The car features only rear-wheel drive, which means the smell of burning rubber is never far, but hopefully guys from SRT fitted the Hellcat with launch control!
The best thing about this charger is the simple fact that this is a 204 mph, 717hp everyday car. And it’s actually cheap: $75 000 fully equipped. This is arguably the best HP/$ ratio out there.
1. 2017 Tesla Model S P100D – Greetings From The Future
This is probably something you didn’t expect: the fastest sedan on the market is also the most environmentally-friendly!
There is no gas engine in the Tesla Model S, and the fully-electric performance sedan features all-wheel drive. But there is much more. As you probably know, an electric engine doesn’t need to be revved up to get maximum speed. In this case, we’re talking about 602hp, right away, no turbo lag or anything. This allows the 2,000kg Tesla Model S to reach 62mph in 2.6 seconds.
The car is electronically limited to 155mph. There is one electric engine on the front wheel axle, while the performance one is on the rear axle. When you open the hood, there is just another trunk.
But the best (or the worst, your choice) is yet to come: the car is fully autonomous, with 8 cameras to keep the car aware of the surrounding environment, and allows it to drive 2 times safer than an average human.
And, of course, the car can park itself. When you leave home, you can call the car with your phone and it can come to pick you up. This is the future, really.