Growing up, there’s a good chance many of us had a poster or two on our bedroom wall of some sort of Ferrari, Lamborghini or McLaren sports car. Many of us dreamed of one day driving one of these super exotic rides, listening to its exhaust notes while we shifted effortlessly through the gears and passed everyone else on the road like they were standing still. Then we grew up and most of us found out that there are a lot of other more important things we should spend our money on – like houses, food and clothing, tuition and retirement funds. The dream, though, never really dies and most of us still think of what it would be like to work through the gears of one of those high-priced imports.
In terms of cars, the vast majority of us have to ‘settle’ for more realistic vehicles in our lives. Our lives dictate practicality and reliability. While we’d love to have a two-seat Lamborghini Countach to drive around, the climate, road conditions and family needs dictate that we buy something more useful. The result is that when we look out in our driveways and garages we see our Honda sedan, Subaru wagon and Chevrolet SUV – all important parts of our lifestyle and daily needs but far away from the exotic cars we dreamed of as little kids. Ok, so an exotic might not be in the cards but there are still an array of daily drivers out there that even in stock form can give you performance which can rival that of our childhood dream cars.
The following looks at 10 practical daily drivers that are common on our streets today and which can also not only hold their own but smoke the odd exotic from a stop. Ahead you’ll find a mix of SUVs, reinvented American muscle cars and luxury brands which are a fraction the cost of an Italian super car but can leave the prancing pony and bulls in their dust. These cars are all in their stock form and readily available at most dealerships – they are also all daily drivers with 0-60 times of under 4.5 seconds. Sure, this is nowhere near the times put up by the likes of the Porsche 918, Pagani Zonda R or Bugatti Veyron – but those are all 2 second cars with price tags ranging from $800,000 to over $2 million. These daily drivers can, however, take on and beat the likes of Ferrari’s 355, 430 and 575M; Lamborghini’s Countach and Diablo; and Maserati’s Gran Turismo MC Stradale, and all for a fraction of the cost and with a lot more reliability.
10 2015 Ford Mustang GT – 4.5 seconds
9 2015 Volkswagen Golf R – 4.5 seconds
8 2011 BMW 335is – 4.5 seconds
7 2014 Chevrolet SS – 4.4 seconds
6 2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 – 4.4 seconds
5 2006 Subaru Impreza WRX STI – 4.4 seconds
4 2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 – 4.4 seconds
3 2014 Chrysler 300 SRT – 4.3 seconds
2 2012 Dodge Charger SRT8 – 4.3 seconds
1 2009/2010 Cadillac CTS-V Sedan – 4.0 seconds
Cadillac claims this car is capable of a 0-60 time of 3.9 seconds. Numerous testers had trouble making this but consistently managed 4.0 seconds, so we’ll go with that number. Sure 4.0 seconds is still well off the Bugatti Veyron acceleration range, but that time is still in the neighborhood of the early Lamborghini Gallardo and faster than Ferrari’s 550/575M and 355 lineups. It does this thanks to a 6.2 L supercharged V8 that produces 556 hp. Yes, the barebones model cost $60,000 when new but that got you a luxurious daily driver with Corvette-like performance.
Sources: caranddriver.com, roadandtrack.com, zeroto60times.com, autoweek.com
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