Uh oh. Now you’ve gone and done it. You’re bringing a little one into the world. Time to sell off all your fun toys and buy a minivan. Or is it? High performance is no longer the realm of just 2-seat sports cars. If you have a need for speed, and four doors to accommodate a child seat, get one of these.
Nothing says aggressive 4-door like the Charger. Police precincts around the United States use this car in their fleet, because even without the light bar it looks like it wants to arrest you for jaywalking. The Challenger ushered in the modern performance era at Dodge, with the revised Hemi V8. The current starts at $28k for the SE, but you’ll want to upgrade to at least the R/T. That gets you the 5.7 liter, 370 horsepower, and an 8-speed transmission. Spend a few grand more and you can get the 392 Hemi, with 485 hp, or go full stupid and get the insane 707 hp Hellcat. You’ll get to daycare in no time.
Ah, so your better half wants front wheel drive? Rear wheel drive can be a pain in rain, snow and ice, so go for all-wheel drive. Ford has you covered here, although you can’t get it with a V8. The Taurus SHO has a 3.5 liter EcoBoost V6, but it’s no slouch at 365 horsepower. That’s one for every day of the year! The decent power and AWD means a 0-60 time of just 5.2 seconds with the optional performance package. Also keep in mind it’s turbocharged, and that usually means cheap/easy power upgrades.
Looking for something a little (or a lot) smaller than the Taurus? The IS is the sporty option from a company that lately has been proving they are more than just lux’d up Toyotas. The IS250 can be had for under $37k, and is fun while fairly economical and having enough room back there for a couple car seats. Stepping up to the IS350 jumps the hp up to 306, and the F Sport package adds better handling, steering, looks, and way better seats.
No, not the Camaro SS. No, not the Trail Blazer, Cobalt, or Silverado either. The full size car called SS. Despite GM wanting their above-the-Impala sedan to carry badge associated with the compact Cobalt, the SS is a solid car, and a solid performer. A 6.2 liter V8 drives the rear wheels, magnet-ride suspension is standard, and there’s another great uncommon option. Unlike the Charger, which is only available with an auto at any price, the SS can be ordered with a manual transmission. It’s the fun everyday cruiser that is totally stealthy. Even with 414 hp, its standard Chevy sedan body lets you cruise under the radar. Your toddler doesn’t need to see you getting speeding tickets. Buy an SS.
YouTube has exploded lately with videos of the P85D laying the smack down on Lambos, Hellcats, Corvettes, and pretty much everything else. The twin motor monster is pushing the equivalent of 691 horsepower, and all-wheel drive makes it rip off the line. Even more impressive is the ability to seat five real sized adults, in complete comfort and silence, while using zero gas. While the limited range and recharge time are still a concern for some drivers, this just might be the best sedan available on the market, at any price.
Heading upmarket, the speed comes with extra levels of luxury. Sure, the S6 has a 450 hp V8 that is nice, but it’s even better when matched with Audi’s excellent Quattro AWD system. A 7-speed dual clutch handles shifting duties, and the car can learn and adapt to the driving styles of different owners. Oh, and there’s night vision, a heads-up-display, and adaptive cruise control. Set the suspension to comfort, and let the kiddo sleep in the peace that can be found in the back seat of a $75,000 luxury car.
By Andy Jensen – Contributor