Our world is full of Mom’s and Dad’s who still crave the need for speed and there are only a handful of car companies still facilitating this need. The RWD V-8 sedan is an alive and kicking breed. Throwing power to the rear’s and getting groceries is still a desirable thing to do. Before you say it, I know there are coupes and V-6 powered cars that are very fast and can still get the kids from the birthday party with ease. We buy those cars if we want to settle, giving in to the man. Buying a V-8 RWD sedan is like flipping off the substitute teacher, and I love every minute of it! We will be comparing the best of the best of the current V-8 RWD sedans that companies are offering. The list will include the Cadillac CTS-V, Chevy SS, Dodge Charger SRT 392, BMW M5, Jaguar XFRS, and Hyundai Genesis 5.0. These are the cars that have been chosen because they are all are under $100,000 (BMW and Jaguar scrapping the limit). Lets pin these daily driver monsters against one another in the Rev Ring and see who reigns supreme!
Lets start of with the Dodge, the 2015 Charger SRT 392, coming in at $48,000. This automobile has evolved in a quite opposite direction from its 60’s brother, and in my opinion it was the wrong path. It was changed into a four door to show off Dodge’s main muscle, the Challenger. I completely understand why they made it a sedan but I don’t necessarily agree with it. Though it is now a sedan, it just means it’s now in this competition! Aggressive, this the only word I can use to describe the look the Charger has. All those wide body panels though do stack up to quite a hefty weight of 4400 lbs. To throw this five seat tank down the road is a 6.4 L Hemi, making 485 horsepower at 6,000 RPM and 475 lb-ft of torque at 4,200 RPM. All that power will have the Dodge hitting 60 in 4.2 seconds and the quarter mile in the low 12’s. Impressive numbers for such a heavy car. For driver feel, many have said it doesn’t hold up to it’s older brother, the Hellcat, but it still holds its place. It’s balance is a bit better than the Hellcat, with a 54/46 weight distribution. Once you throw it around the track you will not notice the two tons of this sedan. Daily driving can be quite comfortable until you throw it in track mode and the whole chassis stiffens up. With the 2015 reboot of the front end, the Charger is looking faster and more aggressive then earlier models, and it is. Putting your foot to the pedal will provide you a symphony of American muscle and we want nothing less. Overall the Charger SRT 392 is great car but for $15,000 more you can get the Hellcat and that is the road I would take, 707 horsepower is quite enticing.
Next up is the beefy Dodge’s main rival, its down under brother, the Chevrolet SS. This car is solely based of the Holden Commodore in Australia. By putting the name as the Chevy SS, it is clear this thing was meant to shred tires in a cloud of smoke. When it was released last year it mixed feelings towards it. Chevy decided to put a automatic in it with no manual option! This is what killed the car at launch and it has had difficulty recovering since then. Now with the current model everything has been fixed (just added a manual) and all is well with the world. They have decided to put the 6.2 L LS3 with 415 horsepower at 5,900 RPM and 415 lb-ft of torque at 4,600 RPM. Once you throw the power to the back wheels this car will soar to 60 in 4.7 seconds. This is frankly impressive considering it’s base price is $46,000 (only two grand under the Charger). It will run a quarter mile at 13 flat going 113 mph. If you decide to stop by the track on the way back from Cub Foods, the SS has brilliant stage 3 Magnetic Ride, standard. To slow this 3970 lb power four door are a big pair of Brembos. Track wise this car is quite good and even better on the road. It’s an amazing burnout machine and that is how it should be.
Saving the best for last, isn’t that how the saying goes? Well the CTS-V is for sure the best of the Americans, possibly the best of all of the power sedans. Cadillac has been around for decades and they have been the face of American luxury and that is all they have ever been. Never could I have imagine that Cadillac, the home of the long, heavy, big automobile, would or could ever make a performance model. I was wrong, in 2004 the CTS-V was created, and it is still alive and kicking harder than ever in 2015. The luxury brand went mad and stuck the supercharged LSA engine in the V, based off of the C6 ZR-1. Producing 556 horsepower at 6,100 RPM and 551 lb-ft of torque at 3,800 RPM, launching this car to 60 in 3.8 seconds. Seriously? Cadillac makes a car this fast? Two years ago, Road and Track conducted an all around test to see if the CTS-V or the M5 was a better power sedan. The verdict was a surprise, you can guess who one. To top it all off the 2009 CTS-V sedan lapped the Nürburgring in a whopping sub 8-minute time of 7:59.32 (just slightly slower than the 2011 M5 time). Quite impressive for a 4,200 lb vehicle. Good on Cadillac for making such a beast and straying away from pure luxury. Want more crazy from Cadillac? Buy the wagon CTS-V and see just how fast a wagon can actually be! Trips to Home Depot now involve a speeding ticket. The CTS-V can be bought for $65,000, making it pricier than the other Americans but far less than it’s European counterparts. GO CADILLAC!
Time to travel to the far east and talk about our unlikely competitor, the Hyundai Genesis 5.0. When some one thinks of V-8 power, Asia is typically not thought of (except for the Lexus RC-F), especially Hyundai. Stuffed into the 5.0 is an obvious 5.0 L V-8, making 420 horsepower at 6,000 RPM and 383 lb-ft of torque at 5,000 RPM. Those figures are a little low considering it needs to haul 4,600 lbs. around. This fat boy will hit 60 in 5.0 seconds. This car is full of 5.0’s! Sadly this car is not a very good competitor for the others because this V-8 is made for smoothness. This car is a luxury car and it has many people bamboozled by having a big, strong V-8 and RWD. I’m not saying this car is horrible at handling and going fast, because it’s not! It’s just not the best, it is just squishy and has lots of body roll. It has also been accused of stealing styling from its European competitors. Overall this car just seems like bad news and should be avoided if you are trying to find a performance RWD V-8 sedan.
If there was a picture in the dictionary for the phrase, “V-8, RWD sedan”, it would be the BMW M5. For years this car has been the poster boy for killer sedan. It used to boast a V-10 but now it is at home with a bi-turbo 4.4 L V-8 pumping out 560 horsepower at 6,000 RPM and 500 lb-ft of torque at 1,500 RPM. This will cause this ever weight gaining sedan to get to 60 in 4.2 seconds. It almost takes the spot for most expensive vehicle on our list (behind the Jag) at $93,000. This car is wonderful but it is being conquered by its European competition. Audi and Mercedes have been producing better coupes and sedans that are pushing the M series cars to the bottom of the German power house list. Five or ten years ago, the M5 would have undoubtedly win a comparison test. It’s driver feel was impeccable and since the current car just keeps getting heavier. At 4350 lbs., the M5 is bloated and it is suffering from it. The M division has seemed lazy the past few years and it is harming the M5’s reputation of the perfect driving machine. Despite all this, it is still an amazing car that will bring you to the moon and around it with a 53/47 balance ratio. It is also a BMW, so that means, it’s comfortable and beautiful. BMW might be suffering but being shot in the arm doesn’t mean you can’t run anymore.
Just north of the Germans are the British, and damn, do they make a car. Jaguar has always been know for creating sexy exhaust notes and the $99,900 XFR-S is no exception. Being the most expensive car on our list it must come with some serious power, and it does! You will see a 40 horsepower boost from the XFR, giving it 550 horsepower at 6,500 RPM and 502 lb-ft of torque at 2,500 RPM out of the 5.0 L mongrel. Chris Harris explains it best in his power sedan comparison with the E63, M6, and of course the XFR-S, “It is hilariously fun!” The Jag outshines itself, flying to 60 in 3.9 seconds and breaking its back tail around every corner. Everything on this car is cool, from the front end to the fixed spoiler. Chris rated it lower than the M6 and the E63, but who cares because we are not comparing those cars. Jaguar have made this car heavy, 4,400 lbs., but it is said to feel like a lot less once you throw it on the track. Standing out is what the XFR-S does best and will guarantee a smile on your face (despite your empty wallet). It takes the ZF transmission and it has been criticized to have to soft of a down shift, making this hardcore bruiser a little bit of a softy. Until you slam the throttle and swing that back tail. I have always been a large fan of the Jaguar line up and this only solidifies my opinion of this British muscle company.
1. Cadillac CTS-V – The Cadillac wins for so many reasons. It’s sheer speed being number one, having the quickest 0-60 only rivaled by the Jag. The point of owning one of these cars is to pull up to one another and spin the tires at a red light and the CTS-V takes the cake in this category. On the road you also receive all the luxury of a Cadillac, smooth and pleasurable. Then there is the fact that you can get a wagon trim. Clear winner in my books.
2. Jaguar XFR-S -The number two spot was a tough decision and in the end it was Jaguar XFR-S. The only reason this car wouldn’t be second is due to the price. It has everything a RWD V-8 sedan is asking for. It also has the beautiful Jaguar styling that goes hand in hand with the symphony of rumbles. This thing is so tail happy there is no way you won’t be smiling after driving this car. Like I said the only problem with the XFR-S is the price and it is a damn shame.
3. BMW M5 – Even though the M5 is not what it used to be, it still is a 560 horsepower monster that will tear your face off. It is the strongest out of the bunch and likes to flex it’s muscles. Out of all the the cars tested it has the fastest Nürburgring time. Without the M5, the power sedan would be a blip in history and that is exactly why it is on this list. The poster boy still remains royalty.