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The Top 5 Supersaloons of All Time {{favouriteCount}} Quantity of Likes

31 Aug 2016

The Supersaloon holds a strange allure for most petrolheads. It’s the combination of discrete looks, big power and everyday practicality that enable you to enjoy the feeling of a sports car but in your everyday car. So it’s no surprise that over the years there have been many examples of the breed and indeed there are plenty available new today – the BMW M5, Mercedes E63, Vauxhall VXR8 to name a few. So with six supersaloons discounted in this week’s competition we take a look at the best supersaloons of all time…

5 – BMW e39 M5 (1998-2003)

The e39 generation M5 wasn’t the first, nor was it the last. But many believe that this M5 still is the best example of BMW’s big supersaloon. To start with, it uses the e39 bodyshape, which almost 20 years later is still a beautiful car. The M/// additions were very subtle, in fact only the quad exhausts would give it away to non-petrolheads who might confuse it for a 530d M-Sport. Until it fired up of course, when they would hear the deep cultured rumble of the 4.9 litre naturally aspirated V8. Producing just shy of 400bhp the M5 was certainly quick, hitting 60mph in 4.8 seconds on the way to 186mph while the real magic was in the handling. Benign and comfortable when you wanted it to be, but taught and agile when you wanted to play, the e39 M5 remains one of the most desirable supersaloons around.

4 – Mercedes-Benz 500 E (1990-1994)

The Mercedes E-Class was incredibly popular in the late 1980s and despite having a decent straight-six powered model, some (wealthy) customers were asking for more. This was before the days when AMG was part of Mercedes-Benz, so they decided to enlist the help of another German manufacturer to help – Porsche. They fitted the 5.0 litre V8 from the 500 SL with 322bhp and 354lb/ft of torque and named it the 500 E. With the more exotic engine, it was already going to be pretty special, but the fact that it was hand-built by Porsche in Zuffenhausen made it much more so. Press at the time called it ‘a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing’ thanks to the understated exterior, though to those who looked closely enough the clues were there with the wider arches, lower ride height and deeper front bumper.

3 – Brabus Rocket 900

When you think of supersaloons, one of the first names that comes to mind these days is Brabus. Since AMG went in-house, Brabus have taken the role as creators of truly insane Mercedes based cars. They’re no backroad tuner though, as they are recognised as their own manufacturer. They’ve made some fantastic creations in the past, but for this list we’re turning to the latest – the Rocket 900. Now you’d think that most people would be happy with the twin turbo 6.0 V12, 621bhp Mercedes S65, but it seems not as this is the basis for the Rocket 900. Boring the engine out to 6.3 litres and upgrading the turbos, exhaust, intake and more has quite an effect on this engine – try 887bhp (900PS, hence the name) and 1100lb/ft of torque – when this thing accelerates the earth actually slows its spinning a little. This means 0-62mph in 3.7 seconds and a top speed of 217mph, but the best part is that being a Brabus you can have the exterior pretty much standard bar the bigger brakes. So while you can have lots of carbon bits you can also just have an 887bhp saloon that looks pretty much like an S320 CDi – amazing. It’s just a pity it’ll cost you nearly £300,000.

2 – Lotus Omega/Carlton (1990-1992)

The mid-1980s Vauxhall Carlton (Opel Omega in Europe) was an incredibly popular, but extremely boring car – a big boxy saloon with a slightly rounded nose and part-covered rear wheelarches – so you can imagine the sheer shock on people’s faces at the time when the Lotus Carlton was revealed in 1990. This was slightly different to the other cars in this list as it wasn’t actually built by Vauxhall/Opel but by Lotus themselves. The Lotus Carlton looked absolutely fantastic too – thanks to some serious external tweaks.  Up front there was a deep front bumper while the bonnet had louvered vents, there was a big twin exit exhaust, some nice big alloy wheels and atop the bootlid sat a huge rear wing. Oh, and the rear arches were uncovered and flared along with the fronts. Power was provided by a substantially reworked straight-six engine from the Carlton, increased from 3.0 litre to 3.6 litres and supplemented by two turbos. This meant it had 377bhp and 419lb/ft of torque and was quite the animal. It handled very well though and was the fastest four door car for many years.

1 – Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

Most of the cars in this list have been exotic specials, but taking the top spot is a regular, normal American saloon car. One that just happens to have 700bhp as standard, from the factory, with a full 5yr warranty, all for just $65,000 (that’s almost half the price of a new M5). This is the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, sister car to the Challenger Hellcat. So you get a supercharged 6.2 litre V8 which produces the aforementioned 700bhp and 650lb/ft of torque, sent to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox. This means a 0-62mph time of 3.7 seconds and a staggering top speed of 204mph. So this is a genuine 200mph club member for the same price as a BMW 550i. Did we also mention the noise? A proper V8 muscle car soundtrack accompanies the brutal performance and owners will probably have to take out shares in tyre companies. Visually there are some big changes at the front from the regular Charger, with a deep front bumper that’s mostly black mesh intakes, but from there back once again most people would struggle to notice the difference from a normal Charger. Just the simple fact that a car like this can be bought from a regular dealer makes this a great time to be alive for petrolheads!

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