My parameters/requirements for a vehicle to serve daily driving duty are as follows:
* Minimum of 400 Horsepower
* 4 door sedan/saloon
* German preferred, but open to other options.
* Obviously I don't care how much fuel it burns.
* A used car, 2-4 years old - so somebody else has taken the depreciation hit.
* Some semblance of "Stealth" appeal - I don't want a car that /looks/ fast.
So here are my candidates. Each of these cars I have test driven, and I'll give some pros and cons for each - but what I suppose I'm really looking for is a left field alternative I might not be considering. Top to bottom in terms of preference...
#1: 2007-Current Audi S6. 5.2 liter Lamborghini V10, 435 horsepower, all wheel drive. This car has the nicest interior of them all, plus great seating, good driving position. It doesn't feel 435 horsepower fast, however, but that's a minor concern - it has enough for my needs. Comfortable on the freeway, and rock solid above 120 MPH. I like the styling, I like the package in general. This is currently the top of my list.
#2: 2009-Current Cadillac CTS-V sedan. I can get one barely within budget - after tax, it might be a bit beyond budget, but I'll deal with that. It's got a uniquely American feel to it - a 556 horsepower Supercharged 6.2 liter V8. The car feels very heavy on the road, definitely had the speed, and absolutely feels like it has 556 horsepower. I believe GM's claim that it is the fastest production sedan in the world - inside, nobody can hear you scream. Interior is... well... it's not tragic, but it lacks much of the refinement that the German counterparts offer. It doesn't feel as well bolted together. Feeling the chassis twist under the massive torque that it delivers, while hurdling forward at speeds I would only associate with the Koenigseggs, Ferraris, and Lamborghinis of the world... it was a unique experience. I also like the fact that the interior has a lot of buttons to press. The more, the better. I like my interiors cluttered.
#3: 2006-2010 BMW M5. At the start here, let me state what I hate about this car: The electronic gizmos separating you from the road - the fact that it takes a computer science education to change the radio station (fortunately I have one of those), and the transmission and engine in general - I feel the whole car is going to be a maintenance disaster. The transmission isn't a true manual, or true auto - it's one of those hydraulic jobs - what Jeremy Clarkson affectionately calls "a flappy paddle gearbox", which as we know are disastrous. That said - I drove one. I settled into what felt like an 80 mph cruise on the test drive, and looked down at the speedometer realizing that I was in 7th gear going 125 mph. This car drives like it was meant to go high speeds, all day long, for the duration of its life. It feels bred for the purpose. I just have a hard time getting over my prejudice for it. A huge pro for this car: This is by far the cheapest of all the options available to me, and the most easy to find a good used example of with a factory warranty. I had ruled it out, but it's back in the running. I'd say tied with the CTS-V.
I ended up with none of them.
Long story short, I ordered a CTS-V Wagon/Estate and took delivery of it. Due to some circumstances beyond my control, we needed to sell the car and replace with something different.
The something different came from a suggestion in the original thread:
Quoting srqmuc (Reply 20):
Exactly! Out of the 3 you mentioned I would go with the Audi. I also wanted to suggest the RS 6 but it seems that you don't get it in the US
As it turns out, in the USA, we did get the RS6 Saloon for the year 2003 only - only 860 imported. And I tracked one down, investigated it, and after experiencing the twin-turbo 450 horsepower V8, I had to have it...
[Edited 2011-12-10 03:30:37]