Buyers in the market for a fast, furious and luxurious four-seater are spoilt for choice. But for some a conventional saloon, even a very stylish saloon, is essentially too conservative and formal for their tastes. At the same time, most two-door four-seater coupés are little more than 2+2s with precious little space in the rear and awkward ingress and egress for those other than small kids and card-carrying contortionists.
To address this several makers have introduced what can loosely be described as four- (or five-) door coupés – cars with fastback rooflines that are sleeker than the traditional ‘three-box’ saloon, but still have adequate space for rear seat passengers and their bags. They’re also less likely to be mistaken for an executive private hire car at the hotel or airport…
The Mercedes CLS was among the first of this new wave of full four-seater coupés, closely followed by the Audi A5 and A7 Sportbacks, and the VW Passat CC (Comfort Coupé). Most recently even Kia has joined the fray with its new £40,495, 168mph Stinger GTS. Most of these cars have a more-than-sufficient oomph, but here’s a brief round-up of those with a serious surplus of speed.
Aston Martin Rapide S
Named after sporting Lagondas of yesteryear, the production Aston Martin Rapide was first revealed at the 2009 Frankfurt motorshow. The first series-production Aston to be produced outside the UK, (in Graz, Austria), it’s an in-house designed 5-door hatchback with four ‘swan wing’ doors giving access to four bucket seats and a compact luggage compartment.
It’s beautifully trimmed and appointed, as you would expect of a £150k Aston Martin, but although roomier in the rear than the DB11 or Vanquish 2+2 coupés, the Rapide is still pretty snug in the back.
The Rapide’s 6.0-litre V12 originally made 470PS to give 0-60mph in 5.1 secs with a 188mph top speed – figures which the current Rapide S betters quite comfortably.
|Power||560PS @ 6,650rpm, 630Nm|
|Transmission||8-speed auto/manual, RWD|
|Performance||0-62mph in 4.4 secs, 203mph max|
Audi RS7 Sportback Performance
The most powerful derivation of Audi’s 5-door A7/S7 line-up, which are in turn based on the A6, the RS7 was first unveiled in 2013. In standard or ‘Performance’ spec the car is limited to 155mph, but the optional Dynamic package ups that to 174mph, while the £10,725 Dynamic Plus pack takes it to 189.5mph.
Although a little less spacious in the rear than the A6 saloon, and less capacious than an A6 estate, the RS7’s sloping roofline doesn’t inhibit space as there’s ample leg and headroom for four.
Potential RS7 buyers should be aware that first UK deliveries of the new A7 Sportback are due in April 2018, and S7 and RS7 versions will doubtless follow in due course.
|Engine||3,993cc V8 twin turbo|
|Power||605PS @ 6,100rpm, 750Nm @ 2,500rpm|
|Performance||0-62mph in 3.7 secs, 155mph max (limited)|
BMW M6 GRAN COUPE COMPETITION/M DRIVER’S PACKAGE
Available as a 2-door 2+2 Coupé or Convertible, or in 4-door/4-seater Gran Coupé form, the second generation M6 went on sale in 2012. Despite a 133mm-longer wheelbase, two extra doors, much more generous rear seating accommodation and fold-down rear seats for greatly increased load-carrying capability, the M6 Gran Coupé is just 113mm longer and 25kg heavier than its 2-door Coupé sibling.
The Gran Coupé is every bit as speedy too as BMW claims the same performance figures for both. Those requiring still greater performance can specify BMW’s Competition package which boosts power by 15PS (but doesn’t officially increase straight-line speed), and specify or retro-fit the M Driver’s package which raises top speed to 189.5mph.
|Engine||4,395cc V8 twin turbo|
|Power||600PS @ 6,000rpm, 700Nm @ 1,500rpm|
|Transmission||7-speed auto/manual, RWD|
|Performance||0-62mph in 3.9 secs, 189.5 mph max|
Since the late 1960s, the many incarnations of Jaguar’s XJs have always been conventional ‘three-box’ designs. For the most part they’ve been great looking, but conventional nonetheless. The mould was broken in 2009 with the introduction of the ninth-generation XJ, aka the X351 – the new 4-door having a long, fastback roofline extending right to the end of the car.
Available in either standard or Prime Ministerial long-wheelbase form, the XJ is Jaguar’s alternative to cars like the Audi A8, BMW 7 Series and Merc S Class, so generous cabin space with a luxurious appointments are a given, (if not the very latest in tech), with the XJR versions having a sportier appearance inside and out.
As the current XJ is now nine years old it’s due for replacement sometime soon. This means you may wish to wait for the next XJR, or maybe pick up a bargain on an ‘unsold’…
|Engine||5,000cc V8 supercharged|
|Power||575PS @ 6,250rpm, 700Nm @ 3,500rpm|
|Transmission||8-speed auto/manual, RWD|
|Performance||0-62mph in 4.2 secs, 186mph max|
MERCEDES-AMG CLS 63 S
Based on the E-Class platform, the first CLS launched in 2005 and this was followed by the second-generation model of early 2011. It’s since been facelifted and pricewise it sits between the executive E-Class and the prestige S-Class so the 4-door CLS provides all the space, comfort and equipment one could want, but all within a much more rakish external silhouette.
Previously powered by a 5.4-litre supercharged V8, then a growling naturally-aspirated 6.2-litre V8, the latest AMG CLS is driven along by a 5.5-litre twin turbo V8, but it still growls with the best of ‘em, and it now makes even more power, especially in top-sec ‘S’ guise.
As with the Audi RS7 and Jag XJR, the current CLS is nearing the end of its life-cycle – production actually ended in 2017 – so although it’s still on sale its replacement can’t be far off.
|Engine||5,461cc V8 twin turbo|
|Power||585PS @ 5,500rpm, 800Nm @ 1,750rpm|
|Transmission||7-speed auto/manual, RWD|
|Performance||0-62mph in 4.1 secs, 155mph max (limited)|
PORSCHE PANAMERA TURBO S E-HYBRID EXECUTIVE
The second-generation Panamera was revealed in mid 2016, with the 2018 models being announced in March 2017. Now with much better-balanced exterior styling and significantly updated interior design, the new range-topper is the Turbo S E-Hybrid and it’s available either as a 5-door fastback saloon or in the not-as-attractive but more capacious Sport Turismo estate guise.
In addition to very impressive performance figures, (which include a 62-124mph time of just 8.5 secs), the petrol/electric Turbo E-Hybrid drivetrain benefits from the hybrid technology employed by Porsche’s 918 Spyder hypercar so this Panamera can return an official 97.4mpg. With a 17 gallon tank that means up to around 1,600-miles between fill-ups, at least in theory. It’s also capable of 87mph or driving up to 31 miles on electric power alone.
|Engine||3,996cc V8 + electric|
|Power||680PS @ 5,750rpm, 850Nm @ 1,400rpm|
|Transmission||8-speed auto/manual, AWD|
|Performance||0-62mph in 3.4 secs, 193mph max|
|Loadspace||495-1,304 litres (saloon)|
TESLA MODEL S PD100S
Production of Tesla’s second model, the 5-door Model S commenced in 2012, with the first UK arrivals in mid 2014 and revised front-end styling appearing in 2016.
Inside there’s very generous and comfortable accommodation for four, with the most prominent feature being the huge 17” touchscreen from which innumerable functions can be controlled. With such a cutting edge plug-in all-electric drivetrain and so many high-tech features the Model S’ styling is one of its less discussed features, but its similarity to the Aston Martin Rapide certainly warrants its inclusion here.
As does the Model S Performance’s immense power. With the 100kWh battery it can dispense with 0-62 in 2.7 secs, or with the optional ‘Ludicrous’ mode in a fleeting 2.275 secs, although such antics will seriously diminish what should otherwise be a 361-mile range.
|Engine||electric, 100kWh battery pack|
|Power||761PS @ 6,150rpm, 980Nm from 0rpm|
|Transmission||1-speed auto, AWD|
|Performance||0-62mph in 2.7 secs, 155mph max (limited)|
We’d be more than happy with the Aston Martin’s stunning looks and speed, the Audi’s secure roadholding, the BMW’s sprightly handling, the Jaguar’s roomy interior, the Mercedes’ competitive price, the Porsche’s amazing fuel range and the Tesla’s astounding acceleration, but the choice is yours!
We love high-performance at JBR Capital and we can quickly build you a bespoke finance package to suit your needs. So if you’re interested in acquiring the car of your dreams then please call one of our experts today on 020 3355 0035 to explore your finance options.