16 Cool Convertibles Guaranteed to Put a Smile on Your Face

16 Cool Convertibles
When it comes to driving, there’s a fairly short list of experiences that bring us true joy behind the wheel. Somewhere on that list, and quite high up I would imagine, would be getting behind the wheel of an awesome sports car or uber-luxurious ride on a beautiful, calm, sunny day and cruising through the mountainside on a seemingly endless stretch of road, unabated by traffic jams, pedestrians, or the mundane aspects of everyday life. The only thing that could make that experience any better? Turn that car into a convertible!

There are few better driving experiences to be had than driving a convertible on a nice day. When that convertible happens to be one of the awesome machines on our list of 16 Cool Convertibles, then that experience can be downright euphoric. Once upon a time, it used to be that buying a convertible meant that you had to compromise on certain aspects of comfort or performance. Convertible roofs were often flimsy and difficult to remove and to put back on, however that’s no longer the case. Technology has advanced to the point where convertible tops can be removed in as little as 10 seconds with just the simple push of a button. No worries about getting caught in the rain.

Convertibles have always been notoriously heavy when compared with their coupe counterparts. This is due, in part, to the extra rigidity that must be built into a vehicle’s framework in order to compensate for top-down capabilities. In addition to that, heavier mechanized parts that are responsible for lowering and for raising the roof can add extra pounds while cutting into the car’s precious cargo capacity. For these reasons it’s often been held that a true enthusiast will favor the lighter, more rigid coupe version of a vehicle, if they value ultimate performance potential with minimal compromise.

That being said, there are a great number of cars these days where the topless itirants can provide even greater thrills than their hardtop versions. While hardtops might still rule when it comes to absolute performance, some convertibles out there do a better job of addressing the intangible aspects of high performance fun. Here we take a look at 15 cool convertibles guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

Aston Martin Vanquish Volante
Aston Martin Vanquish Volante
When you’re talking about Aston Martin, you’re talking about automotive art. Couple it’s good looks with it’s 6.0 Liter v12 housing 565 stampeding horses and you have a recipe for excitement. There are other more powerful cars, but nothing gets you from A to B while looking as good as the Aston. Just make sure you have an extra $300k burning a whole in your wallet.

Audi R8 GT SpyderAudi R8 GT Spyder
Starting at $210,000, the R8 GT Spyder is the most expensive road car that Audi has ever made. The spyder only has about 30hp more than the standard v10 R8, but it’s the 85kg of weight that Audi has taken out by utilizing carbon fiber materials that makes a difference in how this one drives. For those who enjoy the wind in their hair, but won’t settle for anything less than the top of the line, the 560hp v10 R8 GT is your car.

Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible
Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible
Bentley’s GT Speed is a beauty on wheels. With it’s W12 Twin Turbo 6 Liter engine and 616hp, this is one of the fastest Bentleys on the road. You can go 198mph with the top down. The devil is in the details though, and it takes 14hrs to hand-stitch a single steering wheel. The car combines stunning looks, performance and engineering capabilities with the customization available to give it your personal touch. Truly one of a kind.

Bmw z4 Roadster
Bmw z4 Roadster
The Z4 comes with a highly durable, folding hard-top, which gives it the dual personalities of both coupe and roadster. It also has 6-cylinders, comes with a standard 6-speed gearbox, and sounds great with a foot full of revs. This isn’t the most practical convertible, with room for only a few small bags and nothing else. Not that you’ll care much as your blasting through bends and heading into the sunset.

Ferrari 458 Italia Spider
Ferrari 458 Italia Spider
To many a Ferrari is a dream, but true dream come true, is a Ferrari with no roof. The 458 will take you to almost 200mph with the air swirling around your head. The retractable roof takes just 14 seconds to tuck itself neatly away. Then you get to experience the pleasure of a 562hp V8 soundtrack beating at your eardrums making the 458 all the more exciting to drive. The Ferrari 458 is the consumate sports car, but the spider improves on perfection.

Jaguar F-Type Roadster
Jaguar F-Type Roadster
The F-type is without a doubt, one of the best looking cars on the market. For around $100k, you get a 495hp, 4 second 0-60mph, 186mph top speed, 3700lb hellion. The numbers only tell part of the story however, because the sounds it makes are incredible! It’s like King Kong gargling chainsaws at a Motorhead concert! And that still doesn’t fully describe the insanity of it. No matter where you drive the F-Type Roadster, you’ll always feel like you’re on your way to the party of a lifetime.

Lamborghini Murcielago Roadster
Lamborghini Murcielago Roadster
Yeah, there’s the Aventador roadster, but the Murcielago is one of the originals. This Lambo is one of the most outrageaous cars ever created. There’s nothing else that you could drive on this list that would create a bigger impact than this nearly 600hp monster, both in terms of the amount of stares you’d get pulling up to an intersection and the devastation to your pocketbook to the tune of $255k. Driving it is addictive and withdrawal is painful.

Maserati Granturismo Convertible
Maserati Granturismo Convertible
The Maserati convertible comes with 454hp and 384lb-ft of torque, topping out at 171mph. Another good-looking car with a totally visceral experience. It oozes style and passion with it’s delicious burbly exhaust note and point and shoot temperament. The Granturismo was made for taking its top down.

Mazda MX-5
Mazda MX-5
At first glance, the Mazda MX-5 Miata would appear to be out of it’s element on a list featuring a Lambo and a Ferrari, but the MX-5 is truly a driver’s delight. After a 25-year production run, this rear-wheel-drive roadster with its naturally aspirated 4-cylinder engine is now in a class of it’s own. And it’s priced at just a hair above $24k, which means that the MX-5 is within reach for even the tightest of budgets. No wonder it’s the Guiness Record holder as the best-selling two-seat roadster on the planet.

Mercedes-Benz SL550
Mercedes-Benz SL550
The Mercedes-Benz SL550 has been in production in one form or another since the 1950’s, so it’s quite clear to see why this car has reached iconic status. The retractable hard-top quickly and silently tucks away into the trunk like sheet-metal origami. All the better for you to get a good look at it’s gorgeous interior and listen to it’s 429hp V8 heartbeat. The SL is true automotive mastery, albeit, with a $120k price tag.

Nissan 370z Roadster
Nissan 370z Roadster
The 370z is not exactly your top-shelf, high-end, look-at-me roadster, but it’s still bad to the bone and a hoot to drive. It has a fantastic 330hp, 3.7 liter V6 with a blast to play with, rev-matching system that keeps you in the sweet spot of the power curve. A 6-speed manual and 19 inch alloy wheels complete the package.

Porsche Carrera S Cabriolet
Porsche Carrera S Cabriolet
If you’re looking for a fun drive, the Porsche Carrera cabriolet should be at the top of your list. From the timeless design to the distinctive sound of its 400hp flat-6 engine, the 911 looks and drives like no other sports car. With its longer wheel-base, wider front track, new rear-axle, dynamic chassis control, and torque vectoring, this car stays glued to the road. Basically, this is the top-down version of the original, completely unflappable sports car.

Porsche Boxster Convertible
Porsche Boxster Convertible
The Porsche Boxster convertible, is more a car that you wear rather than something that you drive. Everything about it is driver-centric and catered to performance. The 315hp V6 gives you straight-line satisfaction, but that still pales in comparison to the excitement you feel in the curves. Especially with the top down. With options, you can pick one up for under $60k. So you get 9/10s the performance of a 911 at a fraction of the price. Sounds like a good deal to us.

Rolls Royce Convertible
Rolls Royce Convertible
Plenty of cars on this list produce big performance numbers. The Rolls Royce convertible is notable for big numbers as well, but one in particular…it’s price tag. We’re talking about $517k of car here. However, you definitely get alot of car for your money, considering that it weighs over 5700lbs! Even with the top down, you won’t feel a wiggle or a bump anywhere on the road. It’s like driving a train. A 6.75 Liter, 453hp monster of a motor provides plenty of motivation for this beast. But, because of it’s size, the effect is more calming than thrilling. All the better for you to contemplate your success and unfathomable riches.

SLS AMG GT Roadster
Mercedes-Benz_SLS_AMG_GT_Roadster
The SLS was the first car that was engineered wholely by AMG. You get a super powerful 583hp engine, quick-shifting 7-speed transmission, and a more responsive suspension. The roadster is the perfect Grand Tourer – it’s a sports car in a much larger, longer, more luxurious body. The convertible top is very solid, so there are no issues with wind or road noise when it’s up, but top-down cruising is where it’s at in the SLS GT roadster. Feel the sun on your head, the wind in your hair, and listen to the glorious sound of that V8. Life is good.

Z06 Corvette Convertible
Chevrolet z06 Convertible
The fastest Corvette convertible…ever! It’s actually stiffer as a convertible than the previous generation z06 coupe. You can raise and lower the top up to 30mph, then hit 60mph in just 3 seconds, while experiencing the same monstrous 6.2 liter, 650hp/650lb-ft V8 engine as the hardtop. The z07 package takes things to another level, and the convertible only weighs an extra 60lbs more than the coupe. Add to that a base price of less than $80k and you get a serious performance convertible at a seriously low, deal-of-the-decade price.

20 of the Most Expensive Cars to Insure(Non-Exotic)

Most Expensive Cars to Insure

If you’ve spent any time on this site, you’ve no doubt perused our various galleries of expensive, fast, sporty, and luxurious cars and SUVs. Drawn in by their luxurious appointments and big power, you’ve probably pictured what it would be like to have some of these in your garage on a permanent basis. What you may not have considered(beyond listed price tags where applicable) is how much these vehicles can cost to own and insure. Far be it from us to start handing out reality checks, but it’s definitely eye-brow raising to look at the ridiculous levels to which some insurance premiums can climb.  Even for non-exotic cars.

Insurance rates are still, for the most part, calculated based on a motorist’s age, driving record and demographic variables like address, gender, marital status, etc. However, some cars are just costlier to insure than others. Sometimes, a whole lot more.

The cost of the vehicle is the first and main consideration when setting the price of the policy. Generally, more expensive cars cost more to insure because of the higher costs associated with repairing them, replacing parts – especially those incorporating carbon fiber materials – or replacing the entire vehicle in the event of a write-off.

Small, powerful sports cars are often driven faster by younger, riskier drivers. They’re also more likely to be stolen. Especially those in spyder convertible format with softops that are easily perforated. Large, heavy SUVs, on the other hand, could increase the cost of your insurance premium because of the damage they can potentially do to other vehicles on the road. Throw in a big stonking V8 and you’re automatically looking at a rate hike.

Premiums also can vary depending on a specific make and model’s claims history, including how much damage that model incurs in a typical crash, extent of injuries (and fatalities) suffered by those involved(occupants + others) and the likelihood of the model being stolen.

Another point to keep in mind is that Insure.com’s study shows the cost to insure a particular model has tremendous variance, depending on which state you call home. To give you a frame of reference, here’s a ranking of the top 10 most expensive states by insurance premium as reported by insure.com:

Michigan ($2,551)
West Virginia ($2,518)
Georgia ($2,201)
Washington, D.C. ($2,217)
Rhode Island ($2,020)
Montana ($2,013)
Louisiana ($1,971)
California ($1,962)
New Jersey ($1,905)
Florida ($1,830)

Ok, we’ll stop being that gray cloud on your fun parade. Continue to dream, plan, and peruse our galleries. There are, afterall, some super exotics(listed on this site as well), that can cost much more to insure. Maybe the prices listed here are only a drop in bucket to you.  Just keep in mind that many of these dream machines come with significantly higher premiums than the norm.  So, should you someday be in the market for one of these lux-rides, don’t forget about the true price of ownership. For now, enjoy our list of the 20 most expensive non-exotic cars to insure.

Note: All premium data listed is derived from Insure.com’s work with Quadrant Information Services to determine average auto insurance rates for 2014 model year vehicles incorporating data from Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, Nationwide, Progressive, and State Farm. Averages are based on full coverage for a single 40-year-old male with a clean record and good credit who commutes 12 miles to work each day, with policy limits of 100/300/50 and a $500 deductible on collision and comprehensive coverage.

Mercedes-Benz GL550 4Matic AWD

Mercedes GL550

Average Insurance Premium:$2438. Kicking things off, at the top of our list comes the Mercedes GL550 4Matic AWD. You can forget about any brownie points for practicality. The big 4.7-liter V8 with 429hp lays that angle to rest in a hurry. Yes, you can haul people, climb mountains, and tow boats. But when you’re this big, thirsty, and mean…someone’s gotta pay.

Audi R8 V10 Quattro

Audi R8 V10

Average Insurance Premium:$2448. Another multi-entry constituent on our list, the R8 V10 ranks lower on our list than the spyder iterant because it has a roof. What you sacrifice in sounds, you gain in safety and your premiums will reflect that. Even if the hard-top is a few ticks faster when it comes to the dragstrip. We’ll take ours in blue.

BMW 640ix

BMW 640ix

Average Insurance Premium:$2484. Here we have the 650i’s little brother, the 640ix, with the addition of an all-wheel-drive system. You get much of the of the slight more powerful sibling’s performance with the additional all-weather capability. Which would explain why you can save a couple of bucks on your insurance payment

Mercedes Benz C63 AMG

Mercedes Benz C63 AMG

Average Insurance Premium:$2507. The V8 in this car packs an unholy 451hp from a naturally aspirated 6.2-liters. Performance is just bonkers as you would expect from stuffing this much engine into a relatively small car. It also roars with the thunder of Zeus, so any chance of squeaking by with a lower insurance assessment had been all but annihilated since day one.

BMW 650i

BMw 650i

Average Insurance Premium:$2544. With it’s twin-turbo v8 and sub-5second 0-60mph time, the BMW 650i is no slouch in the performance department. You’d be hard-pressed to find another 2-door coupe in it’s price range with same combination of luxury and mad-man performance. It doesn’t come cheap though. Both options and insurance can break the bank.

Mercedes CLS 550 4Matic AWD

Mercedes CLS550 4Matic AWD

Average Insurance Premium:$2582. Mercedes is the originator of the four-door coupe, and the CLS is a beauty to behold. You get the same style and class of an E-series in a much sexier and sleeker package. Style, however, does come at a premium and because of the 400+hp twin-turbo V8, so does insurance.

Porsche Panamera S

Porsche Panamera S

Average Insurance Premium:$2597. The first of three Panameras on this list! In case you didn’t get the memo, Porsche’s Panamera is one serious performer. It can do virtually everything a 2-door sports car can do…including skyrocketing your insurance tab. Oh well, since you only live once, you might as well go for the Turbo S.

Audi S8 Quattro

Audi S8 Quattro

Average Insurance Premium:$2598. Audi’s S8 is the ultimate wolf in sheep’s clothing. You get the typical, unassuming design of the everyday A8, but with a 520hp 4 liter twin turbo that will put most 2-door sports cars out to pasture. Unfortunately, your pocket book will be a casualty as well.

Porsche Panamera 4S

Porsche Panamera 4S

Average Insurance Premium:$2598. With the Panamera, Porsche has proven that the performance capabilities of the vaunted 911 are scalable to family-sized proportions. You won’t have to give up on your desire for a true sports car in favor of practicality. Hopefully your significant other still feels the same way when it comes time to shop for quotes.

Mercedes GL63 AMG

Mercedes GL63 AMG

Average Insurance Premium:$2609. Built for those who enjoy the finer things in life, Mercedes’ GL63 AMG embodies performance, luxury, and exclusivity. The 550hp heart of this beast prob has alot to do with it’s high insurance costs, so only a true luxo-performance junkie would make the compromise.

Jaguar XK

Jaguar XK

Average Insurance Premium:$2610. Everything that was written for the XKR-S, goes for the XK as well, just turned down a few notches. You get the same coupe or convertible with a beefed up suspension, reduced weight, and an open exhaust. From an insurance standpoint, essentially what you’re getting is 9/10ths the thrills for 9/10ths the premium. Take it or leave it.

Jaguar XKR Supercharged

Jaguar XKR-S

Average Insurance Premium:$2854. With it’s track-tuned suspension, Jaguar’s XKR Supercharged delivers brutal performance in a super-sexed up package. 500+ hp coupe that delivers the performance goods all day. If style, class, and high-octane thrills are what you’re looking for, an XKR is a good place to find it. Just make sure you have a good insurance guy.

Audi A8 L 6.3 Quattro

Audi A8 L 6.3 Quattro

Average Insurance Premium:$2869. Just a small step down from the thunderous S8, the A8 6.3 houses 500 thoroughbred horses under the bonnet with performance on it’s mind. We know that when it comes to luxury, Audi can hang with the best of them. However, anyone ticking the box beside 6.3L clearly looking for some thrills in a big way.

Mercedes G63 AMG

Mercedes G63 AMG

Average Insurance Premium:$2887. The G63 is one of those cars that defies the laws of physics. How this tall, heavy, box-like structure can keep up with many of the top sports cars in a straight line is anyone’s guess. A 5.5L 544hp V8 engine definitely helps. Just be sure to hit the breaks every now and then when the road starts to bend. Another case where big thrills equals big insurance premiums.

Audi R8 5.2 Spyder Quattro

Audi R8 5.2 Spyder QuattroAverage Insurance Premium:$2917. Again, no surprise to see Audi’s R8 Spyder on this list. Packing 525hp into a such a beautifully crafted performance frame will do that. Peeling back the top and hearing the roar of the V10 at your back every time you step on the accelerator will have you taking the long way home whenever possible. Another dream machine that comes with a high premium.

Porsche Panamera Turbo S

Porsche Panamera Turbo S

Average Insurance Premium:$2970. Sorry Panamera. You’re not fooling anyone with your 2 extra doors and stationwagon-esque appearance. The jig is up and everyone knows that you’re really just a 4-door 911 Turbo. Albeit a 911 turbo with the dimensions and heft to do some serious damage should you ever slide off the rails heading into that sharp bend.

Mercedes SLS GT AMG

Mercedes SLS GT AMGAverage Insurance Premium:$2986. Seeing supercars on this list is more inline with what we would expect. The SLS AMG is no joke in the performance department, and really, why else would you buy one if not to unleash your inner bad-boy(or girl) with the occassional smokey burnout? God-speed and get your money’s worth.

Mercedes CL550 4matic

Mercedes CL550 4maticAverage Insurance Premium:$3019. This big Benz is the BMWs couterpart. And like the Bimmer, the CL550 packs big power in the form of a 429HP V8, into a 2-door, tank-like exoskeleton. There are more than enough ponies in this stable to raise a ruckus. Prices can tip the tils at over $130k, so we guess, what’s a few extra bucks for insurance Mr. Big spender?

BMW M6

BMW M6 Average Insurance Premium:$3065. While it’s true that the BMW M6 encapsulates as much sport as it does luxury in the luxo-sport balance, with 550HP at your beckon and call, it’s hard resist temptation. This beastly 2-door can be an outright menace in the hands of the irresponsible, so you’ll perpetually feel it in your wallet if you want to park the M6 in your garage on a permanent basis.

Nissan GTR

Nissan GT-R Track EditionAverage Insurance Premium: $3169. With it’s 545hp v6 engine and vision-blurring acceleration, it’s easy to see how you could get into a little bit of trouble with your new Nissan GTR. The GTR is not typically the vehicle of choice for the sensible A-to-B commuter and insurance companies know this, so you’ll pay through the teeth. We guess that it’s a small price to pay for “affordable” supercar thrills.

15 of the Fastest SUVs for 2014

Range Rover Sport SVR


Remember the days when buying an SUV meant that you were looking for something with a combination of pulling capacity and passenger seating?  You wanted something big and heavy that would make you feel safe. Or maybe you were looking for something that was better in the snow with some offroad capabilities. You wanted the cargo capacity and felt like getting an SUV held a little more appeal than a boring old station wagon. All the while you realized that big heavy vehicles with large passenger and towing capacities are designed with practicality in mind, not performance. And what they lacked in fuel efficiency, they made up for in all around usefulness. In the back of your mind you wanted that sports car. The adrenaline junkie in you wanted to have the thrill lever easily accessible at the end of your right foot, but when it comes to SUVs and fun-mobiles, those two worlds are mutually exclusive. Or are they?

It’s definitely impressive when a car manufacturer is able to turn a small sports coupe or sleek sedan into a 12 second dragster, but it’s a whole other world of impressive when they pull off the same feat with a 5000lb ship container-like SUV. And that’s why we created this gallery. The horsepower crazed kids of the past, are now horsepower-crazed engineers of the present, with the ability to make dreams a reality. No longer must you settle for boring practicality and sensibility at the expense of heart palpitation inducing speed and all around good times.

Whether you’re goal is to get the kids to little league in a hurry, beat the crowd to the Michael Kors shoe sale at the local mall, or just to make it home before rush hour, there’s a big powerful, fire-breathing dragon waiting for you at your local dealer. And forget the fact that most of these brutes use gasoline like it’s going out of style(they’re working on that), or that they can be mostly obnoxious and somewhat wasteful. That’s not why you’re here.  You’re here to see some physics-defying funmobiles that can double as family haulers or grocery getters while leaving that sports coupe or sleek sedan in the dust. So let’s have a look at 15 of the fastest luxury SUVs on the market.

Cadillac EscaladeCadillac EscaladeThe Escalade is no-brainer addition to any luxury vehicle list. Cadillac has re-engineered the 6.2 liter V8 to put out 420hp and 460 ft lbs of torque. Mileage is decent despite it’s considerable heft, 14mpg city and 21mpg highway. The silky smooth 6-speed automatic makes great use of the engine’s power, as it hustles this 5870lb giant to 60mph in just 6.1s. Where it really shines though, is in it’s styling and interior design. Oppulent features abound, from heated and ventilated seats to orchestral-quality audio, the list goes on and on. The Escalade trumps all in the game of go big or go home.

Mercedes-Benz G63 AMGMercedes-Benz G63 AMGWith nearly 6000 pounds curb weight to haul around, the Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG is basically a tank on wheels. Luckily it has the massive power to balance out it’s heft with a 5.5 liter v8 that cranks out 536hp and 560 lb/ft of torque. This beast is a favorite of celebrities, and with a price tag of $135k+, you’ll need celebrity money to put one of these in your garage.

Audi SQ5Audi SQ5The SQ5 comes in at a relatively lithe, for this list anyway, 4400lbs. It’s v6 mill puts out 354hp and needs just 5.1s to bring the SQ5 to 60mph. This Audi’s nimbleness is due in no small part to Audi’s highly effective quattro all-wheel drive system. Other than a badge or two that give away it’s true identity, most will be hard-pressed to tell the difference between a regular Q5 and this much sportier iteration…that is until they drive it!

Range Rover Sport SuperchargedRange Rover Sport SuperchargedRange Rover is just one of those brands that comes to mind when you think luxury suv. With it’s stylish, upscale presence and immense array of technologically advanced appointments, the Range Rover Sport Supercharged is one loaded leadburner. Such features as adaptive cruise control, blind spot detection, and lane departure warnings are available from the factory, but there’s no doubt it’s the 5.0 liter V8 with 510hp and 460lb ft of torque that will ignite the enthusiast’s desire and get you to 60mph in 5s flat. The Supercharged is one of the best handling SUVs on the market. And with it’s luxurious swagger you can arrive in style.

Infiniti FX50SInfiniti FX50SInfiniti’s FX50S looks a little like a bloated cheetah, but it’s performance is far from sluggish. With only 4500lbs to motivate, this animal can move. The sprint to 60mph comes up in just 4.9s with the 390hp, 5 liter v8 providing just the right blend of power and smoothness. Ideally suited for the road, the FX50’s elegant curves and sophisted high-tech nature make it the chariot of choice for those who appreciate subtlety.

BMW X5 xDrive50iBMW X5 xDrive50iThe X5 xDrive50i is BMW’s fastest SUV offering untouched by the company’s legendary M division. It comes out of the box as a 4.4 liter, 445hp V8 muscle machine before any tweaking hijinks and still manages to clip 60mph in a hair under 5s. The fact that it starts at “just” $68k and offers all the finest in BMW luxury appointments while generating 480lb ft of torque for some serious towing capacity, makes this horse a fantastic all-rounder to add to any stable.

Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8The quintessential “super ‘ute”, the SRT8 is arguably the biggest bang for buck in our entire Fast SUVs gallery. A 470hp, 6.4 liter Hemi V8 gets this monster to 60mph in a superfast 4.8s. It weighs over 5000lbs, but it’ll still do 0-100-0 in just 16.3s, so the massive rotors and calipers are definitely up to the task. Aggressive styling, massive tires, and a finely-tuned cabin geared towards peformance, all at a price of more than $20k less than anything even close to being considered a competitor. Enough said.

Mercedes-Benz GL63 AMGMercedes-Benz GL63 AMGThe GL63 AMG is Mercedes largest, most powerful SUV to date. The fact that it can hit 60mph in 4.8s is truly astonishing given it’s mass. A 550hp 5.5 liter AMG v8 allows you to hang with many sports cars, albeit, in a straight line. But utility and versatility are the two chief attributes of this powerhouse people hauler. However, whenever you’re feeling playful, big fun is just a foot extension away.

Porsche Macan Turbo SPorsche Macan Turbo SFor all intents and purposes, the Macan Turbo is a baby Porsche Cayenne. Porsche’s first midsized offering boasts a powerhouse twin-turbo V6 engine that generates 394hp and hits 60mph in only 4.6s. The Macan Turbo shares it’s basic architecture with the Audi Q5, but it’s quicker thanks to the additional power and Porsches awesome 7-speed PDK transmission. Top speed is a blistering 164mph and thanks to it’s car-like proportions and sport-tuned suspension, the Macan Turbo is just a much fun in the twists as it is in a straight line. The ultimate crossover.

Range Rover Sport SVRRange Rover Sport SVR The fastest Range Rover ever! The SVR is the crazy-fast version of the already swift Range Rover Sport. It hasn’t technically debuted, but it’s already one of the fastest SUVs ever to round the Nurburgring with a time of 8:14s. Land Rover’s special vehicle team took the Range Rover Sport and performed a series of upgrades to make sure that the SVR takes the brand’s flagship crown. With it’s 543hp and 502lb ft of torque, the supercharged, 5.0liter v8 has already proven itself in the best sports cars from Jaguar. Add to that an upgraded transmission, 22inch rubber, and a glorious exhaust note, the SVR is sure to impress.

Porsche Cayenne TurboPorsche Cayenne TurboTen years ago, who’d have thought, you’d be able to buy a Porsche that can seat your whole family and handle speed bumps with ease? The Porsche Cayenne Turbo isn’t exactly an off-road rebel, but it will certainly hit the spot for those needing the utility of an SUV while craving the hyper performance of a Porsche 911 Turbo. The 4.8 liter turbocharged V8 defines the Cayenne’s personality transforming it into a mega performer when coaxed. The scoot to 60mph takes just 4.4 seconds. To think that 20 years ago, you’d be hard-pressed to find a Ferrari that fast. Add to that an impressive 15mpg city and 22mpg highway  fuel economy, with room for the kids, and this Carrera on stilts starts to make alot more sense.

Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMGMercedes-Benz ML63 AMGThe ML63 is Mercede’s mid-size luxury missile. It has a 5.5liter V8 heart that produces a prodigious 518hp and catapults the ML63 to 60mph in just 4.7 seconds. Shifts are seemless with AMGs 7-speed automatic transmission. Aggressive design hints help to differentiate this beast from the rest of the ML pack. With reliable practicality and fire-breathing ferocity, the ML63 is definitely leader of the pack.

Porsche Cayenne Turbo SPorsche Cayenne Turbo SThe Porsche Cayenne Turbo S takes top 3 in the fastest SUV for 2014 line-up. It hits 0-60mph in 4.3s and goes on to a top speed of 175mph. The twin-turbo 4.8 liter V8 from the base Turbo has been massaged to make 550hp in the S after a series of performance tweaks. Handling is nothing short of heavenly thanks to an adjustable suspension, highly communicative steering setup, and a world class braking system. If the Cayenne Turbo STILL isn’t enough to satisfy you…welcome to the next level.

BMW X6 MBMW X6 MThe X6 M is a contradiction on wheels. It’s an irrational proposition from BMW – an SUV that goes 0-60mph in 4.3 seconds with a performance-tuned suspension that makes it handle like a sports car on the track. It can tow up to 6000 pounds, and yet it can drift with the best sports cars. The heart and soul of the X5 M is a 555hp, 4.4 liter v-8. It will slaughter all but the fastest sports cars in a straight line. So call it irrational or impractical, just don’t call it slow.

BMW x5 MBMW X5 MBMWs X5 M is a super high-performance SUV that handles more like a sports sedan. It gets the same twin-turbo 4.4 liter V8 found in the X6 M, that makes a whopping 555hp and 501 lb ft of torque. It can hustle to 60mph in just 4.3s, but adds a level of practicality that makes the X5 just seem that much more reasonable than an X6. Well, at least it makes for a stronger argument when broaching the subject with your significant other.


15 Fast Green Machines that Don’t Suck

15 Green Cars That Don't SuckWe all know that gas prices aren’t what they used to be. There’s been a steep incline in what we pay at the pump in just the past several years . Unsurprisingly, there has also been a rise in the demand for “green” vehicles that will allow us to stretch our mileage per dollar spent in gas. At the same time, the environmentally conscious among us are also realizing that decreasing carbon emissions can go a long way towards stretching the longevity of the earth which we call home.

Automakers have steadily been capitalizing on the green movement by introducing hybrid and electric vehicles into their lineups that break the mold when it comes to performance and amenities. When people think of fuel-saving, they often think of stripped-down, boring econoboxes that shun driver enjoyment in favor of practicality and fuel-saving. However, all that has changed.

There are now cars that can break into as low as the 3s range for 0-60mph times, while returning fuel-economy as high as 100mpg. However, none of this advanced technology comes cheap. There’s still a little ways to go before hybrid and electric vehicles are considered mainstream, and economies of scale will allow automakers to pass these savings along to consumers, but there’s no denying that progress is slowly being made.

In this gallery, we look at 15 fast, fuel-sipping vehicles that provide the thrills along with the thrift. There’s something here for everyone whether you’re a single driver looking for ultimate performance, or whether you need something practical to tote the family around during the week, but still want to have your fun on the weekend.

Green Machines don’t have to be boring. You can save at the pump, save the fun and still save the environment. Enjoy our list of 15 Fast Green Machines.

BMW i3BMW i3The i3 is BMW’s first dedicated electric vehicle. It’s standout styling is the first thing to grab your attention. It’s composed of lightweight carbon fiber and aluminum with a low center of gravity for excellent ride dynamics. Power comes from a 170hp electric motor which reaches full charge in just 3hrs and gets 75-100 miles per charge. The i3 will hit 60mph in just 7.2s. You could add the range-extending gas engine option, but the extra weight hampers performance. A fun and sporty city driver.

Range Rover HybridRange Rover HybridThe Range Rover Hybrid deserves a special place on this list. SUVs and Fuel effeciency don’t exactly go together like peas and rice, but we’ll give credit where it’s due. Here’s a 335hp, gargantuan SUV that gets to 60mph in 6.9s, but at the same time, acheives a combined fuel economy of 44mpg. It’s everything that’s great about a Range Rover with none of the guilt.

KarmaFisker KarmaThe sexy Fisker Karma has been a favorite of celebrities for a few years now.  Leonardo DiCaprio picked one up in 2012 and Justin Bieber got one as a gift from his manager on his 18th birthday.  What was all the fuss about?  Well, for starters, there’s the 403hp hybrid setup with electric-only, gas-only, and hybrid modes.  Then there’s the 6.3s 0-60 time with a combined fuel economy of 52mpg.  Oh, and it has a range of 230miles.  Did I mention the Karma’s sexy good looks?

BMW ActiveHybrid 7BMW ActiveHybrid 7BMW completely revamped their ActiveHybrid 7 for the 2013 model year. The new powertrain uses BMWs latest inline-6 twin-scroll turbo paired with an electric motor. The gas engine contributes 315hp, while the electric motor adds 55hp and a heap of torque. The result is a 7 series that gets to 60mph in just 5.5s and travels on electric power alone up to 37hp if you step gingerly on the gas. It can also get up to 30mpg on the highway. Not bad for a luxury living room on 4 wheels.

Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid Porsche Panamera S E-HybridPorsche’s Panamera S E-Hybrid combines the balls out performance of a 911 with the people moving practicality of a station wagon and adds in the fuel effiency of a Prius for good measure. Stomp on the gas and 60mph will come up in just 5.5s. There are several different driving modes for you to choose from, based on your mood. You can even drive it for 22 miles in pure electric mode, or go all gas if you’re not feeling particularly green. With it’s tree-hugging nature and 168mph top-speed, there’s something here for everyone.

Infiniti M35hInfiniti M35hInfiniti calls it’s M35h, “The Fastest Accelerating full-hybrid on the planet”. It’s a lofty claim and we’re not entirely sure that it’s still true. However, we are 100% sure that this is one great performer. The 3.5 liter V6 engine blended with a 50kWh lithium battery pack, generates 360hp, gets the M35h to 60mph in 5.2s, and delivers up to 32mpg on the highway. Add to that a modest price and generous luxury appointments and Infiniti has a winner.

Lexus LS 600hLexus LS 600hThe Lexus LS 600h should probably have an asterisk beside its entry on this list. While it is “technically” a hybrid, you wouldn’t know it by it’s lackluster 20mpg fuel economy. However, what it lacks in fuel efficiency, it makes up for in performance with a 438hp 5liter V8 and a 0-60mph time of 4.6s. Not to mention, it has the best interior this side of Rolls-Royce. Yeah, we’ll give it a free pass.

Audi R8 e-TronAudi R8 e-TronAudi’s R8 e-tron has been a long-time in the making, and unfortunately it’s still not ready yet. There are 10 fully-built, road-legal prototypes for the purpose of gathering data on electronics and battery performance. It’s got two motors, one, 190hp motor powers each wheel for a total of 380hp. The R8 e-tron gets to 60mph in 4.2s and it’ll get a range of 100 miles or so from each 14hr charge. Here’s hoping it’ll be ready soon.

Venturi FétishVenturi FétishHave you never heard of the Venturi Fetish before? You wouldn’t be the first, but here are some quick stats. It was developed in Monaco and has a 300hp 220kW electric motor that’ll get the Fetish to 60mph in 4s flat. The battery accounts for one-third of the Fetish’s 1225kgs. The huge battery gives it a range of up to 210miles. Are you sold? One more thing – it costs about $400k. Not exactly the special of the day.

Mercedes Benz SLS AMG E-CellMercedes Benz SLS AMG E-CellIf the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG E-Cell is any indication of what an electric car future would look like, then sign us up. You get a 525hp, 649lb-ft of torque SLS that can hit 60mph in 4s, gives you multi-variable driving programs, and up to 130 miles of range. Enough said, we want one! What’s that you say? I need to pay a $50-$100k premium over the regular SLS and I also must be handpicked to buy one? Uh, we’ll just take the poster for now. Thanks.

Tesla Model S Tesla Model S Tesla’s Model S picks up where the Roadster left off. It offers the same supercar performance, but adds 4-doors and an easier-to-swallow price tag. If you want 0-60mph in just 3.9s while achieving 300miles per charge, then look no further than the Model S. The first thing you notice is the non-existent torque curve. You literally get 100% of the shove right from 0 rpm. There’s no other feeling like it, but 416hp and 443lb-ft of torque will do that. Choose the P85+ version for ultimate sports car performance complete with luxury sedan amenities.

BMW i8BMW i8BMW’s revolutionary plug-in hybrid goes by the name of i8.  It comes with a gorgeous exterior complete with swan-wing doors and an aggressive supercar stance.  The i8’s luxurious interior lets you ride in style.  Meanwhile the 357hp gas + electric motor combo can catapult this car to 60mph in a smoking fast 3.8s, all while pulling out a highly amazing 94mpg.  Color us impressed.

Tesla RoadsterTesla RoadsterTesla’s original electric vehicle. The Roadster was the first production automobile to use lithium-ion battery cells and the first to travel more than 200miles per charge. It currently gets 244 miles per charge, can accelerate to 60ph in 3.7s, and has won a slew of design and breakthrough awards since it’s introduction. The Roadster is no longer in production, but fear not…another Tesla is here to carry the torch.

Jaguar C-X75Jaguar C-X75One of the saddest days in 2012 was when Jaguar announced the cancellation of its C-X75 supercar. The world will never see, in full production, Jaguar’s 890hp hybrid super car that could compete with the best from McLaren, Ferrari, and Porsche. The C-X75 is estimated to hit 60mph in 3.3s, the quarter-mile in 11.2s, and on to a top speed of 220mph. Fast company indeed. The silver-lining in this dark cloud is that Jaguars of the future will almost assuredly benefit from the technology and design derived from this hypercar beast.

Porsche 918 SpyderPorsche 918 SpyderThe absolutely stunning 918 is the king of hybrids. This mid-engined plug-in hybrid is powered by a 4.6 liter V8 engine that develops 608hp, and 2 additional electric motors that bring it’s total output to 887hp. Performance is astonishing. The 918 will canon itself to 60mph in just 2.2s and head on to a top speed of 214mph. Range is 420 miles on a single charge. The 918 recently became the first series production street-legal automobile to break the 7 minute barrier for lapping the Nurburgring…wow!

15 of the Fastest Porsches Ever

RUF RGT-8
Believe it or not, Porsche has been around for over 80 years. I can honestly say that I don’t really remember the exact first time I ever saw a Porsche. However I do distinctly remember the Porsche 944 being the most prized possession in my dinky car collection. I’d trade Corvettes and Camaros all day, but don’t you dare touch my Porsche 944.

There are also alot of cool things about Porsche’s origins of which I had no clue. For instance, Ferdinand Porsche founded the company back in 1931 and originally they did not build cars under the Porsche name. Instead their role was that of a consulting and vehicle development group and one of their first assignments came from the German government, who wanted them to design a “car for the people”. What followed next was the creation of the Volkswagen Beetle which just happens to be one of the most successful car designs of all time. Heck, even my mom drove one. The actual brand that we know as Porsche today, only came about because the founder’s son wasn’t satisfied with the cars on the market and decided to build one of his own, and the early Porsche was born.

Porsche has been an iconic racing brand for as long as I can recall. I’m not the biggest race car aficionado, but anyone with a modicum of interest in sports cars, knows that Porsche and speed are well acquainted. The most popular model of Porsche these days is the 911. This no doubt comes from the ubiquitous nature of it’s presence in everything from Racing to Reel. The 911 was in fact a favorite of early film legends like Steve Mcqueen, and is still a top pick for popular stars of today like Jerry Seinfeld and Jay Leno.

It’s truly amazing how Porsche has seemingly been able to channel it’s vast cummulative knowledge base into each successively more technologically advanced iteration of it’s cars. So I can’t think of a more fitting way to marvel at their achievement, than to look at the 15 fastest cars to come out of Stuttgart.

911 Carrera SPorsche 911 Carrera STop Speed: 188mph. 0-60mph: 4.1s. The Porsche Carrera S is the perfect all ’round livable, fits-like-a-glove 911. It unloads 400hp from it’s 3.8-liter engine and rockets to 60mph in just over four seconds, all the while managing 9.5l/100km and emitting just 205g/km with the PDK transmission. For price, performance, economy, and emissions, it’s really tough to beat.

Porsche 911 SpeedsterPorsche 911 SpeedsterTop Speed: 189mph. 0-60mph: 4.4s. Before 2010, it had been 16 full years since Porsche last had a Speedster in it’s lineup. It was available in a worldwide run of just 356 units adding an air of exclusivity to it’s ownership, not to mention it’s glorious Porsche heritage. The Speedster’s biggest appeal is it’s shape, for which it remains unmistakably unique. However, $204,000 was nothing to sneeze at.

Porsche 911 Carrera GTSPorsche 911 Carrera GTSTop Speed: 190mph. 0-60mph: 4.4s. The GTS was the 997s swan song. Out of all 22+ variants that Porsche has produced, the GTS is considered to be the best pick. Powered by a 408hp, 3.8L Flat-six, it takes all of Porsche’s accumulated knowledge over the 911’s reign, and distills it into one awesome street-legal package. It’s performance figures won’t blow you away, but the pure, balanced nature of the driving experience will.

Porsche Panamera Turbo S

Porsche Panamera Turbo sTop Speed: 192mph. 0-60mph: 3.6s. The Porsche Panamera Turbo is basically a 4-door sports car. It has as a 4.8L twin-turbo charge direct injected V8 that uses titanium propellers to spool faster. It has a 7-speed pdk transmission with all-wheel drive and launch control. There’s an adjustable air suspension and active aerodymics system and $8000 carbon ceramic brakes to stop you after that sub 4s 0-60 run. All the while the Panamera has enough seats and cargo space to take the famly on a cross-country road trip. Yep, four-door sports car indeed.

Porsche 911 GT3 Porsche 911 GT3Top Speed: 194mph. 0-60mph: 3.0s. The GT3 is a legend on wheels. It’s flat-six cranks out 475hp at an astronomically high 9000rpm. It’s superfast shifting abilities can be credited to Porsches lightning-fast PDK tranmission. Interior and exterior race functionality makes it equally suited to the road or to the racetrack. This may not be the fastest Porsche, but, due to it’s CUP racing heritage, it is definitely the sportiest.

Porsche 911 Turbo SPorsche 911 Turbo STop Speed: 196mph.  0-60mph: 2.6s.  Did you read that?  It takes just 2.6s to reach 60mph in the Porsche 911 Turbo s, making it the quickest 911..ever.  This car is straight out of a video game.  As if it wasn’t enough that its 560hp twin-turbo 3.8-liter flat six cranks out 516lb-ft of torque.  An over-boost function, “Sport Plus” bumps that up to 553 lb-ft in 20s bursts when you floor it.  This 911 is a whole different animal.  ‘Nuff said.

Porsche Carrera GT Porsche Carrera GTTop Speed: 205mph.  0-60mph: 3.5s.  A perrenial classic in the Porsche stable, the Carrera GT has design cues inspired by the early days of Le Mans racing.  Sports Car International’s “Top Sports Car of the 2000s” is powered by a 5.7L v10 making 612hp and incorporates extensive use of carbon fibre in it’s race-bred DNA.

Techart 911 Turbo STechart 911 Turbo STechnically a tuner car, the Techart 911 Turbo S was included in this list because of the subtle approach these guy take to tuning.  Visual upgrades are mild, but Techart takes the already animalistic standard Porsche Turbo S and turns it up to berserk levels of performance resulting in a 620hp/612 lb-ft monster.  Add to this a sport exhaust system with valve control and you have the volume to match the violence.

Porsche 911 GT1 Porsche 911 GT1Top Speed: 204mph. Acceleration: 0-60mph: 3.7s. The GT1 is Porsches creation for the GT sports racing class of the same name. And it is, in fact a road-going racecar. There is some semblance of civility with it’s carpeting, choice of colours for seat leather and exterior paint, and the dash instrumentation is reminiscent of a stock Porsche 911. However, it’s intentions are purely for the racetrack with it’s harsh ride and crazy mechanics. A 549hp 3.2Litre twin-turbo Flat-6 and lightweight construction make it a winner on the track, but don’t pick this one for your daily commute.

RUF RGT-8RUF RGT-8Top Speed: 205mph. Acceleration: 0-60: 3.8s. Ruf Automobile is a German car manufacturer that builds it’s vehicles from unmarked Porsche chassis. They are recognized as a manufacturer because the work they do is so thorough. The current RGT-8 is based on the Porsche 991. It’s an all-new car and not just an update or tune. The engine is a 4.5-liter, v8 that delivers 550hp. The RGT’s engine is lighter than a Porsche flat-6 with a lower center of gravity and helps the RGT get to a 205mph top speed.

Porsche 911 GT2 RSPorsche 911 GT2 RSTop Speed: 205mph. Acceleration: 0-60mph: 3.4s. The Gt2 spawns from a long line of Porsche 911 Turbo racing cars. It develops 612hp from it’s 3.6L Flat-six engine and weighs 150lbs less than the standard GT2. The RS was produced with a goal to beat the Nissan GT-R’s laptime around the Nurburgring. When it was all said a done that goal was shattered by an astounding 9 seconds.

Porsche 918 SpyderPorsche 918 SpyderTop Speed: 214mph. Acceleration: 0-60mph: 2.2s. The 918 is the ultimate Porsche. The most powerful Porsche to date with over 887hp available through the combined efforts of a hybrid, gas plus dual electric motor combo. In 2013, the 918 became the first series production street-legal automobile to lap the Nurburgring in under 7mins with a time of 6:57s. This demolished the previous record by 14s. Only 918 units will be produced.

Porsche 917k Road CarPorsche 917k Road CarTop Speed: 199mph.  Acceleration: 0-60mph: 2.6s.  The  Porsche 917k is one of the most iconic sports racing cars of all time.  It’s included in this list because it was adapted for road use.  The stats, however belong to the original icon.  The Type 912 flat-12 engine came in 4.5, 4.9, or 5-liter variants ranging from 520-1100hp.  Long live the legend.

Ruf RT12SRuf RT12STop Speed: 224mph.  Acceleration: 0-60mph: 3.4s.  Based on Porsche’s 997, the Ruf RT12S comes with the addition of the Ruf integrated Rollcage and the engine has been significantly enhanced to crank out 685hp.  All-wheel drive is optional, and the Ruf maintains the comfort of a standard 911 with it’s upgraded suspension and easy to use controls.  Astonishing perfomance and everyday practicality in one attractive package.

Ruf RT12RRuf RT12RTop Speed: 234mph.  Acceleration: 0-60mph: 3.3s. The Ruf RT12R is the automaker’s latest and greatest creation based on the Porsche 911 Turbo. Performance is certifiably insane! Ruf’s modifications on Porsche’s 3.8-liter twin-turbo 6 cylinder boosts power into the stratosphere with 730hp and 693 lb-ft of torque. The interior is racecar spartan to save every ounce of weight possible. Complete with carbon-fibre materials, a host of aerodynamic features, and a super eye-catchy 3-tone paint scheme, the Ruf RT12R is our ultimate fast Porsche.