Friday, August 07, 2015

MUY MACHO: The 9 Most Badass Sedans in Automotive History

If you're interested in tracking car news, you may want to check out BadBlue Car News, a real-time automotive news portal. A couple of recent articles spurred me to come up with this list, a purely personal set of choices representing what I consider the premiere badass sedans over the past few decades.

1984 Mercedes 190E 2.3-16
It's hard to express how different -- and badass -- the original macho sports sedan was. Back in the day, everyone stared at the 2.3-16 as it drove by. Cosworth designed the unique, for the time, 16-valve cylinder head. In 1983, the racing version of the 190E shattered multiple world records, including averaging 154 MPH over 30,000 miles.

1986 BMW M3
When I was a kid, I thought of this vehicle as a "drug dealer's car", which was a compliment. Not that I condone drug-dealing, nimrod, but the fact that it was truly a uniquely wicked-looking car. Airbags? Digital displays? Ha! You're so cute. Its puffy fenders and 6.9 0-to-60 were astoundingly radical in 1986; its wildly successful reign arguably made the business case for a whole spectrum of M models.

1986 Saab 900 Turbo SPG
Its cryptic badging (there wasn't any) distinguished Saab's Special Performance Group (SPG) option, which took the 900 Turbo and added an aerodynamic body kit, custom wheels, sport suspension, and some interior upgrades. While it doesn't look quite so unique now, at the time it was a lightning bolt.

1996 Chevrolet Impala SS
The ultimate sleeper car, the Impala SS required a careful once-over to ensure that a quick redlight matchup would not result in a humiliating defeat. Featuring five-spoke alloys and monster rubber, it borrowed a powerful small-block 5.7-liter V8 from the C4 Corvette.

1999 Volvo S70 T5
In its stately black, the T5 could have been a suitable staff car for a Russian general. Its 240 horsepower matched that of the naturally aspirated BMW M3, but the turbocharger provided the unique "liftoff" effect once the high-pitched whine kicked in.

2004 Cadillac CTS-V
The initial CTS-V boasted 400 ponies and nearly bested a Corvette on the legendary Nuerburgring. Even the exhaust rumble of an idling V is memorable.

2008 Audi A8L W12
Not just the iconic vehicle featured in the film Transporter 2, the A8's 12-cylinder engine was exclusive to the long-wheelbase model (the "L" designation). Sporting 500 horsepower, all-wheel drive, and an 8-speed automatic ZF transmission, reviewers stated that the car was worth every penny of its $121,000 sticker.

2008 Pontiac G8 GT
Sporting 361-HP and tagged as a BMW-killer, the G8 was an Australian product (via GM subsidiary Holden) that seemed to be straight out of a Mad Max movie. Had Pontiac explored more models akin to the G8, it's highly likely the brand would still be alive.

2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
707 horsepower? A supercharger that requires 80HP just to operate, "which can suck the air from a 10-by-13-foot room in one minute"? By dint of stats alone, the Hellcat belongs on this list.

Hat tip: BadBlue Car News.


commoncents said...

Carly Fiorina absolutely DISSECTS Chris Matthews and leaves him speechless

Bookdoc said...

You missed a couple of my personal favorites-that would humble more expensive sedans. First, the 1991 Dodge Spirit R/T-5.8 0-60 from a 4 cylinder engine and then my favorite, the 2005-2008 Pontiac Grand Prix GXP-5.6 0-60, 150 mph+, and a G-Force gauge in the DIC! I humbled a lot of expensive sedans with those 2 cars!

Reaganite Independent said...

No Quattroporte!

Ghibli not too shabby either...

Anonymous said...

"Badass sedans." That's an oxymoron.

AnechoicRoom said...

Badarse? Well, even if I won the lottery, I still wouldn't high sign. Kinds makes me feel uncomfortable, and well, it is no longer safe. I had an Alfa Spyder, in the late eighties [when I had a middle management job(!)]. And in my early twenties, did put thirty thousand miles, on a Honda CBX (0-60 in 3.2 ... in first gear!). If I won the lottery, maybe I'd get a Lotus Europa Special (rural/backroad Sunday morning driver only).

The P71 works for me (these days). Four wheel disc brakes, rack and pinion, monster/heavy dty torsion bars, solid alum driveshaft, dual range/manually selectable rear transaxle [six forward speeds (non sequential. You can pull tree stumps in low, or just really launch)]. Goodyear Eagle RS' (though the LS' will get you more of a normal passenger car ride). Before Chucklhead's "cash for clunkers" decimated the used car market. You could buy 'em for a song.

Badarse? Who cares ... insurance is five hundred a year!

Regnad Kcin said...

Back in the day my boss had a grey-market M/B 190E 2.3/16 that would happily pull redline in every gear. Its snarling growl from the twin pipes was pure music. It would corner as if on rails and stop on a dime when the anchor dropped. This anthracite grey little beastie was the original pocket rocket. Good times.....

Anonymous said...

1993 Dodge Intrepid ES. Killer sedan.


El Rider said...

Let's not forget that the import numbers for the Pontiac G8 was limited due to an agreement with the UAW.