Top 10 Fastest Sedans: Intro
When you absolutely have to be there in the fastest, most luxurious manner possible, and an airplane or a helicopter is impractical, one of the top 10 fastest sedans will fill the bill quite nicely. People may ask why does one even need a four-door sedan capable of speeds in excess of 150 miles per hour (and actually the fastest cars on this list will do 200 miles per hour). The answer to that is the same as the answer to the question; why does one need to eat filet mignon, when hamburger will fill you up just as readily?
In other words, while we wholly acknowledge adequate is quite often good enough, what’s the point of living an adequate life, when one can live an extraordinary life? If you’ve invested the time, energy, and intellect to earn the kind of income owning one of these cars commands, then why should you deny yourself the pleasure?
Further, each car on our list of the top 10 fastest sedans is multidimensional. Yes, they all do speed very, very well. However, they are also highly luxurious, well-crafted automobiles, which are just as much of a pleasure to behold as they are to drive. Further, each of these cars is packed with luxury and safety features in sufficient abundance to satisfy even the most discerningly critical individual.
So, without further ado, here is our list of the fastest sedans available for sale in 2012.
Top 10 Fastest Sedans: Audi A8 L W12
For many drivers, power is the ultimate luxury and in this regard the 2012 Audi A8 W12 L satisfies immensely. With its 6.3-liter 12-cylinder engine smoothly producing 500 horsepower and 463 foot-pounds of torque, the ultimate Audi four-door is an exceptionally fast sedan. While its acceleration to 60 from naught is accomplished in 4.1 seconds, its top speed is limited to a gracious (if somewhat pedestrian) 128 miles per hour. Ungoverned, the Audi would easily be one of the world’s fastest sedans with a top speed approaching 200 miles per hour. Beautiful, fast and remarkably sophisticated, the 2012 Audi A8 W12 L easily ranks amongst the top ten fastest sedans.
Top 10 Fastest Sedans: Bentley Continental Flying Spur Speed
OK, when the manufacturer puts the words “Flying” and “Speed” in the model’s name, you know the car is fast. And indeed, the Bentley Continental Flying Spur Speed is the fastest car on our list with a top speed of 200 miles per hour. Its turbocharged 12 cylinder engine produces 600 horsepower and will propel the huge sedan to 60 miles per hour in a mere 4.5 seconds. More than just fast though, the Bentley benefits from the handcrafted traditions of proper English motorcars. Reams of the most superb leathers, cords of woods of superlative quality, and yards of the finest handpicked woolens are employed to create the rarified interior ambiance of the Bentley Continental Flying Spur Speed.
Top 10 Fastest Sedans: BMW Alpina B7
People familiar with BMW’s M division have often asked why the company doesn’t build an M7. Well, the fact of the matter is, it does—kind of. Easily one of our top 10 ten fastest sedans, the BMW ALPINA B7 occupies the space an M7 would in the overall BMW 7 Series lineup. Alpina is a German aftermarket tuner for BMW the way AMG used to be for Mercedes-Benz. Having entered into a partnership with BMW, Alpina cars can now be purchased at BMW dealerships. While the V12 powered BMW 760 Li does make more horsepower, the twin-turbocharged 500 horsepower V8-powered Alpina B7 is faster because it is lighter and handles better as well. Meanwhile, all of the palatial luxury features you expect from the big Bimmer can be had in its Alpina version as well.
Top 10 Fastest Sedans: BMW M5
When it comes to fast sedans, the phrase BMW M5 immediately conjures images of sports car like handling, road searing acceleration, and pavement shredding braking. The ultimate iteration of the 5 Series version of the ultimate driving machine, the BMW M5 occupies a hallowed place in the hearts of driving enthusiasts the world over. All new for 2012, BMW’s engineers have fitted a twin-turbocharged V8 to the M5, which produces 560 horsepower, up from the 500 horsepower the high-revving V10 engine in the previous M5 model delivered. Plus, torque output is up to an awe-inspiring 500 foot-pounds, from the 383 cranked out by the V10. Additionally, the 2012 BMW M5 is more agile and refined than the previous model making it even easier to live with on a daily basis.
Top 10 Fastest Sedans: Cadillac CTS-V
Cadillac’s CTS-V is a world-class high performance sedan capable of running head to head with all but the most extreme of the fast sedans on this list of the top 10 fastest sedans. Powered by a 556-horsepower 6.2-liter supercharged V8 (borrowed from the Corvette ZR-1) the Cadillac CTS-V is a genuine 196-mile per hour car, capable of accelerating to 60 from a dead stop in just over four seconds. Yet, it’s still a Cadillac, albeit one adhering to the new definition of the brand. The 2012 Cadillac CTS-V is a harbinger of superlative performance—coupled with hedonistic luxury. One need only look to the fact a six-speed manual transmission is offered for the CTS-V to realize it’s a new day at Cadillac.
Top 10 Fastest Sedans: Chrysler 300 SRT8
Yeah, this one of the 10 fastest sedans has definitely got a HEMI in it. As a matter of fact, the 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8 (and its close relative the Dodge Charger SRT8 for that matter) leverage the 470 horsepower and 470 foot-pounds of torque output of a 6.4-liter HEMI V8 to accelerate to 60 in 4.5 seconds and achieve a top speed of 175 miles per hour. Of course since the 300 is Chrysler’s halo luxury car, the 300 SRT8 is dripping with high tech lux. This includes a premium audio system, leather and faux suede upholstery, adaptive headlamps, parking sensors, the whole nine. Plus, there’s a SRT performance information center offering information on a wide variety of performance parameters including the number of Gs the 300 SRT8 pulls while cornering and braking.
Top 10 Fastest Sedans: Jaguar XJ Supersport
The fastest of the four-door Jaguars is the XJ Supersport. Boasting a 510-horsepower supercharged V8 spinning out 461 foot-pounds of torque from 5.0 liters, the 2012 Jaguar XJ Supersport is just as fast as it is beautiful and luxurious. This member of the top 10 fast sedan group will leap to 60 in just over four seconds and will accelerate to 174 miles per hour—before the electronic nanny kicks in to limit the Jaguar’s pace. Ungoverned, the car would easily do 200 miles per hour. Crafted primarily of aluminum, the Jaguar can also offer a vast array of luxury features, while still maintaining a relative svelte curb weight (for its class) of 4,281 pounds.
Top 10 Fastest Sedans: Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG
A list of the top 10 fastest sedans of 2012 would be singularly incomplete without the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG, perennially one of the most powerful and capable four-door sedans on American roads since the emergence of the first E Class AMG model back in 1998. Today’s version of that car, the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG is the first sedan to be completely constructed by AMG. Further, each AMG engine is constructed by one person—entirely by hand. The twin turbocharged V8 makes 518 horsepower and 518 foot-pounds of torque from 5.5 liters of displacement. Mercedes-Benz quotes the E63 AMG’s 0 to 60 as 4.2 seconds. While top speed on the base model is electronically limited to 155 miles per hour, an AMG performance package is also offered for the E63, raising horsepower and torque to 550/590 and authorizing the top speed limiter to allow the car to run to 186 miles per hour.
Top 10 Fastest Sedans: Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG
A hand-built twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter V12 producing 621 horsepower motivates the most powerful four-door sedan Mercedes-Benz has ever offered (uh, to date…). While the 621 horsepower figure is staggering enough, considering the 738 foot-pounds of torque the engine is capable of generating at a mere 2000 rpm is absolutely mind-numbing. At full throttle from rest, 60 miles per hour is capable of being achieved in barely four seconds. Top speed is limited to 155 miles per hour. However, there is absolutely no doubt the Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG is easily one of the world’s fastest sedans, as 200 miles per hour is easily within the capabilities of this platform.
Top 10 Fastest Sedans: Porsche Panamera Turbo S
The Porsche Turbo of four-door sedans quite naturally resides on the list of the top 10 fastest sedans. Here’s why; 550 horsepower, 553 foot-pounds of torque at a mere 2,250 rpm (with 590 foot-pounds available at 2500 rpm in brief overboost situations), 190 miles per hour top speed, all-wheel drive, and 0 – 60 in 3.6 seconds, all from a twin-turbocharged 4.8-liter V8 engine. More than just fast though, the 2012 Porsche Panamera Turbo S handles like a slightly larger 911. If you can imagine a long wheelbase four-door sedan whipping through a slalom course like a two-seat sports car, then you just pictured the Panamera Turbo S on the handling course. And, as with all of our mega-dollar fast sedans, you’ll find hedonistic levels of luxury accoutrements inside the big Porsche.