Best Performance Sedans Of All Time

Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio 2020

Find here our picks of the best performance sedans ever built.

The performance sedan/sport sedan class has begun forming since the second half of the 20th century to meet families’ growing demand for affordable cars which are practical and spacious – but powerful and fast at the same time.

Germany’s Big Three (Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz) has especially succeeded in the manufacture of such vehicles, but there are other automakers to have their own members in the segment.

Performance sedans are often sleeper cars since they hide the quickness and power of a muscle car under a plain, unassuming appearance. We propose to reminisce about the TOP 10 best representatives of the performance sedan segment the automotive world has ever seen.

1. Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S E Performance

Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S E Performance
2023 Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S E Performance

The AMG badge is a mark of excellence among luxury cars, and this is true for the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S E Performance sedan. In addition to other virtues, this range-topping model is the most powerful vehicle of the brand ever due to a tandem of a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 and an electric motor producing together 831 hp (620 kW) and more than 1,033 lb-ft of torque.

The car accelerates from a standstill to 60 mph just in 2.9 seconds and reaches 125 mph in less than 10 seconds. The top speed is 196 mph.

The Mercedes-AMG lineup is extensive and includes a number of nice performance sedans: E-, A-, C-Class ones, electric EQE and EQS, as well as ‘hotter’ GT models (43 4MATIC+ 53 4MATIC+, 63 4MATIC+, and 63 S 4MATIC+).

2. Lexus GS F

2016 Lexus GS F sedan
2016 Lexus GS F

Lexus marketed the GS four-door sedan for the 1994-2020 model years over four generations. It is one of the longest-running models of the brand.

A high-performance, top-of-the-range GS F version went on sale in 2015. It was a really interesting offering that gave a superb driving feel, featured playful handling, an elegant cabin with ample passenger space, and a comfy ride.

Under the hood, the car had a robust 5.0-liter 470-hp/392 lb-ft V8. The GS F gained a top speed of 168 mph and accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds.

3. BMW M5

2005 BMW M5 performance sedan
2005 BMW M5

When mentioning the high-performance BMW M series, the first vehicle that comes to mind is the M3, and it’s fair. But here we want to pay tribute to another sedan – the M5, more precisely, the BMW M5 of the 2005 model year that deserves to be on our list of the best sport sedans.

Why? – Because it is one of the greatest V10-powered vehicles in history. The 2005 M5 was the very first sedan with a V10 under the hood. The 5.0-liter engine produced 500 horsepower and allowed the car to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in around 4.0 seconds gaining a peak speed of 190 mph.

4. Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio

2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio sedan
2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio

This is one of the most beautiful Italian cars ever produced, with a gorgeous exterior, a good-looking cabin, keen handling, superb transmission and chassis, a comfortable ride, and great performance overall.

The car’s all-aluminum 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 generates 503 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque. The 0-60-mph acceleration takes less than 4.0 seconds, and the top speed the car reaches is 191 mph.

5. Porsche Panamera

2010 Porsche Panamera photo
2010 Porsche Panamera

The Panamera is a good example of a high-performаnсе sedan and a true marvel of engineering, especially in its latest iterations. Porsche has released two generations offering either rear or all-wheel drive Panameras and several powertrain choices: turbocharged and twin-turbocharged V6s and V8s, both gasoline and diesel, as well as plug-in hybrid variants.

The most powerful Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid packs up to 690 hp and 642 lb-ft of torque, and it needs 3,1 seconds to speed up to 60 mph (a current model). The top speed is 196 mph.

6. Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye

2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye image
2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye

When we hear ‘Hellcat’, the Dodge Challenger is the first thing that comes to mind. However, there are other Hellcat-powered models, including the Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye muscle sedan with a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 Hemi rated at 797 horsepower and 707 pound-feet of torque. Dodge launched this model in 2021.

Like other Dodge cars, this version combines a notable appearance with high performance. It has upgrades like heavy-duty half-shafts and a track-tuned suspension.

The large and heavy Hellcat Redeye, when tested in real-world conditions, accelerated from 0 to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and overcame the ¼ mile distance in 11.5 seconds. For comparison, the 626-hp BMW M5 Competition needed 2.8 seconds and 10.9 seconds, respectively. The Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye will cost you not less than $85,700, and it’s still cheaper than some European competitors.

7. Audi RS7 Sportback

2020 Audi RS7 Sportback image
2020 Audi RS7 Sportback

Even if Audi’s performance division is not as reputable as Mercedes AMG or the BMW M, there are several fantastic vehicles it built over the years, for example, the RS7 Sportback.

In addition to a stylish look and well-packed interior, the luxury sedan boasts high performance provided by a 4.0-liter V8 TFSI. The engine delivers a very decent 600 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque.

The top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph. The RS7 is one of the fastest 4-door sedans on the planet: it sprints from 0 to 60 mph in only 3.5 seconds.

8. Cadillac CTS-V

2016 Cadillac CTS-V photo
2016 Cadillac CTS-V

Cadillac first launched the CTS-V for the 2004 model year as a competitor for German hot sedans, like the BMW M5, Audi S6, and RS6, or Mercedes-AMG products. With each new generation, and there are already three of them, the CTS-V has become better – more technologically advanced, and more powerful.

At the heart of the latest Cadillac CTS-V is a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 making 649 hp and 631 pound-feet of torque and allowing the sedan to hit a top speed of 200 mph. Acceleration from 0 to 60 mph takes just 3.6 seconds.

9. Tesla Model S Plaid

Tesla S Plaid 2021 image
2021 Tesla S Plaid

According to Tesla, the Model S Plaid has the “quickest acceleration of any vehicle in production”: 1.99 seconds to speed up to 60 mph. Due to a three-motor layout and all-wheel drive, the sedan produces an enormous 1,020 hp and 1.050 lb-ft. It gains a top speed of 200 mph – more than the maximum speed of 190.7 mph recorded in NASCAR last season.

The Model S Plaid is a great car, of course, and a nice choice for speed lovers, but its high price (from $135,990) makes the vehicle unattainable for many.

10. Jaguar XFR-S

2014 Jaguar XFR-S image
2014 Jaguar XFR-S

Jaguar aimed to give customers a racy-looking alternative to BMW M Sport or Audi S models, and that’s how the XFR-S sedan appeared. It represents Jaguar’s R-S lineup of ultra-high-performance cars, and the model is a very harmonious product in the way it looks, handles, and responds.

The Jaguar XFR-S has a supercharged 5.0-liter 550-HP V8 engine mated to an 8-speed transmission that incorporates the brand’s ‘Quickshift’ technology. The powertrain output allows the car to accelerate to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds. The electronically limited top speed is 186 mph.

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