Super, Super Saloons
In today’s market you can find a car with as much or as little horsepower as you need or want. Just 15-20 years ago you could either buy big muscle or just regular cars. Now, cruisers have muscle, lots of it, too. Every performance, or wannabe performance sedan, has at least 300hp. The Infiniti G37 sedan, Cadillac CTS, BMW 335i, hell even the Lexus IS350 has 306hp. Everything has horsepower these days.
Now, you can have even more. Not only can you have a sedan that will do 200mph with a Lamborghini, sub-4.5s 0-60’s with a Corvette, but also a track attacker like a Ferrari. Most notable for their attacks on the super car community with super saloons are the BMW M5, the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG, and the new comer, the Audi RS6. At first the RS6 was only offered in Touring form, but now you will soon be able to get it in super car sedan form.
First we start with the Audi RS6. A sedan that will not be available to the U.S. public. At least we get the S6. But the RS6 is where it’s at. It has a 5.0L Twin-Turbo V10 shoving out a whopping 572hp and 479lb-ft of torque. With help from a 6-spd automatic and the now famous Quattro All-Wheel Drive, the RS6 will jump off the line and hit 60 in well under 4.5s. For a period of time you can only get it in Avant form, meaning a wagon. But, in a few months, after debuting at the Paris Auto Show, you will be able to drive one home for about $155,000 U.S. Dollars, according to Edmunds. Of course, as usual, only Europe will get this beast. Just like with the Avant RS6. Why we can’t have this car is absolutely beyond me. I know it’s expensive, rare, and it would be a difficult car to sell here in the states, but even if you sold 150 of them at a premium, do you know how many rich people that just want to have the latest and greatest stuff would jump on this car? All 150 would be sold overnight. And it would undoubtedly become an all new Audi cult classic in its own right. The Audi also has a good trick up its sleeve that the other two super saloons don’t, Carbon Ceramic disc brakes.
AMG has always been a powerhouse when it came to big, heavy, automatic saloons with monstrous amounts of torque and copious amounts of horsepower to fill the void. If you ever wanted to ride in luxury and then slam on the gas and get to 150 in no time, the E Class AMG was always one of your best tickets to do it. Now with the newest E63 AMG you can have 507hp and 465lb-ft of torque, the new E63 has been one of criticism and doubt since it first came out. You see, the E55 AMG crowd were a bit ruffled when they found out that instead of 516lb-ft of torque and a Supercharged V8 they were getting an all new Naturally Aspirated 6.28L V8 that produced 465lb-ft of torque. They whined just like their E55’s did when driven fast, but once more and more people started driving the E63 AMG, they realized that gone were the dopey and fast-fading brakes, and in was a more BMW beating machine. Mercedes-Benz answered the stuff given to them by the journalists over the E55 being so much less capable than the M5. Instead of just a stright line crazy, you got an all purpose, true ‘Ring champion. But, you could still take your hot date out for a night on the town. And once you left the club, well, let’s just say you would leave it in style, and with lots of tire smoke. Isn’t that the way to make an exit?The E63 AMG will blast off to 60 in just 4.2s and then take flight soon after. That is, if it had wings. The 1/4 mile will come up in just 12.6s. They say the 7-spd automatic gearbox that can be controlled via a pair of paddles is absolutely brilliant.
The M5 is the oldest car here, and not just in terms of how many years the current model has been out. The BMW M5 has always been the tops when it comes to a super car performing sedan. It first appeared in 1985. Especially the new E60 M5 that debuted in 2005. You got 500hp and 383lb-ft of torque from a hand made Formula 1 derived 5.0L NA V10. In the days of the F1 V10 it’s rumored that BMW had the most powerful and best performing V10 in all the land. Our only problem was that we had the lesser of the two Schumachers, Ralph. And then we had a fantastic young Colombian hot head in Juan Pablo Montoya. JPM was one of the best, he just was under-schooled. So, unfortunately we could not bring home the real wins we could have. That’s okay, at least we got the V10 for street use. The only bad part of the RWD saloon that could sit next to a C6 Z51 Corvette to 60, and take it after 100mph, was the dreaded 7-spd SMG gearbox. BMW quickly answered the American demand and want for a manual, and in late 2006 as a model year 2007, they officially offered a no cost option for a 6-spd manual tranny. At first you could not disengage the DSC, but after many complaints BMW had their dealers do a re-flash on the ECU that allowed the DSC to be switched off for true performance. The E60 M5 will run next to a Ferrari 612 Scaglietti at 4.1s to 60 and beat it to the 1/4 mile mark at 12.4s. Impressive seeing as which it weighs 4,012lbs. One thing that you can get with the M5 that you can’t get with the other two, other than a proper manual gearbox, you can opt to get the amazing Adaptive Seats. These sets are absolutely hysterical. When you hit the button for the sensitivity to the adaptive seats, depending on which direction the car goes and how fast it’s travelling, the seats will move the bolsters to best suit you in the seat and insure you won’t move, at all. I love this feature every time I’m in an M5.
The BMW M5 may be the oldest, but it still has some of the best luster. It may look more ordinary than the rest, but it’s still a force to be reckoned with… But, BMW has to be careful. They can’t get too cocky, nor can the BMW fans. Simply because Audi and Mercedes-Benz make fantastic cars and work very hard to make them that great.