Sports coupes and drop-top convertibles are all very well when you are in your 20s and 30s. After all, you only need one passenger seat for the girlfriend, right? Inevitably, though, as you hit your 40s, there’s now the wife, kids, parents, and the in-laws demanding to be driven around, and they don’t care much […]
Sports coupes and drop-top convertibles are all very well when you are in your 20s and 30s. After all, you only need one passenger seat for the girlfriend, right? Inevitably, though, as you hit your 40s, there’s now the wife, kids, parents, and the in-laws demanding to be driven around, and they don’t care much about a bright red, two-seater, low-slung coupe that’s hard to get in and out of. You now need something with four seats, and preferably four doors as well. Have no fear; the Germans and the Italians build some truly mind-altering fast sedans and GT cars, in which the entire family can travel at triple-digit speeds. Here’s a selection of some of the best such cars that you can buy in India right now.
AUDI RS 7 SPORTBACK
Launched in India in July this year, with an ex-showroom price tag of Rs 1.94 crore, the Audi RS 7 Sportback is definitely not for the faint-of-heart or the weak-of-wallet. What it is, is a full-blown supercar that just happens to have four doors and seating for five. The RS 7 is powered by a twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 that belts out 592 horsepower and 800Nm of torque. This brute of an engine is housed in equally brutish, a wedge-shaped bodywork that screams aggression. Big wheels, flared wheel arches, massive grille upfront, LED laser headlamps, twin exhaust exits at the back, and rakish styling executed by some bloke who loves the UFC and who has posters of the 1970s Lamborghini Countach on his bedroom walls — that’s the RS 7 for you. As you might expect from a modern, high-performance Audi, the RS 7 has the shove to match its swagger; with an 8-speed Tiptronic transmission pushing power to all four wheels, zero to 100kph comes up in 3.6 seconds, and top speed is an electronically limited 248kph. And it’s also designed to keep you ensconced in sheer luxury at all times; the seats are upholstered in a combination of leather and Alcantara, fit and finish is impeccable, and Audi’s MMI infotainment system is class-leading among all luxury car brands.
Launched in Europe in mid-2019, the all-new Bentley Flying Spur recently made its way to India carrying an ex-showroom price tag of Rs 3.41 crore. Built in Crewe, England, and billed as ‘the world’s most advanced luxury Grand Touring sports sedan’ by Bentley, the Flying Spur is powered by a 6.0-litre, twin-turbo W12 (yes, that’s 12 cylinders, arranged in a ‘W’ formation), which produces 626 horsepower and 900Nm of torque. With power going through an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, the Flying Spur accelerates from zero to 100kph in 3.8 seconds and is capable of hitting a top speed of 333kph. Riding on massive, 22-inch alloy wheels, the Flying Spur boasts smooth, beautifully sculpted bodywork. From its cut-crystal effect LED matrix, to its sumptuous leather and wood interiors, this car is simply in a different league when compared to the competition. For those on a slightly tighter budget, Bentley also have the Flying Spur V8. Power and torque figures are slightly reduced, performance remains almost undiminished and the levels of luxury remain the same, while the price goes down by around Rs 20 lakh. Bargain.
This is the ‘sensible’ fast luxury sedan and it is, of course, from Germany. The BMW M760Li xDrive carries an ex-showroom price tag of Rs 2.42 crore, a fair bit cheaper than the Flying Spur, yet not too far off in terms of performance and the luxury factor. Powered by a 6.6-litre twin-turbo V12 that produces 609 horsepower and 850Nm of torque, the M760Li accelerates from zero to 100kph in 3.8 seconds, and can hit an electronically limited top speed of 248kph. The car features BMW’s ‘xDrive’ intelligent 4WD system, with variable torque distribution and an integrated stability control system, for the best possible high-speed handling and safety. The 8-speed automatic transmission is swift and smooth, providing immediate response to driver inputs at the throttle pedal. The car looks large and handsome, though the massive new grille at front might not get universal appreciation. The adaptive air suspension ensures maximum comfort for the car’s occupants even on bad roads, while the cabin — lavished with the best wood and leather — gets a host of high-end infotainment equipment to keep you entertained on long drives. Overall, the BMW M760Li xDrive may well be one of the most accomplished luxury sedans currently available in India.
If you can get past that very, very long name, the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S 4MATIC+ 4-door Coupé (henceforth referred to as the ‘GT 63 S’) is quite something; it’s a four-door, four-seater sports car and luxury sedan all rolled into one very accomplished package. Launched in India during the Auto Expo earlier this year, the GT 63 S costs Rs 2.42 crore ex-showroom, and is powered by an AMG twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8, which produces 639 horsepower and 900Nm of torque. Performance is well and truly supercar-spec; zero to 100kph in 3.2 seconds and a top speed of 315kph is impressive by any standards. The GT 63 S’s styling is a unique mix of aggression and elegance. The mean-looking front grille, flared-out wheel arches and squat, muscular bodywork bring that ‘don’t mess with me’ stance, while the swoopy, flowing lines and beautifully sculpted rear justify the use of ‘Coupé’ in the car’s name. There’s also a massive full-colour display for navigation and infotainment, along with a 640-watt Burmester surround-sound system. Indeed, the GT 63 S 4MATIC+ 4-door Coupé is a Mercedes-Benz like no other.
You can never go wrong with a Porsche. Especially when it’s a hard hitting overachiever like the 2021-spec Panamera Turbo S. Powered by a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8, which produces 630 horsepower and 820Nm of torque, the Turbo S accelerates from zero to 100kph in 3.1 seconds and can hit a top speed of 315kph. It also features a host of mechanical and electronic features that ensure that the car’s raging performance remains controllable; there’s triple chamber air suspension for maximum high-speed cornering stability, an electronic damper adjustment system with active chassis adjustment, and electronic roll stabilisation. With so much electronic firepower, the Turbo S is not only one of the fastest, most powerful four-door sedans you can buy, but also one of the safest. The styling is typically Porsche — not too adventurous, a bit familiar and ready for another year or ten with a bit of nip and tuck. The fourseater interiors get sumptuous leather upholstery, understated metal trim, and a flat dashboard with a large, neatly integrated colour touchscreen for infotainment. There’s a full set of infotainment controls for the rear seat passengers as well, and separate individual screens for rear seat passengers are available on the options list. Overall, the Panamera Turbo S’s cabin is simply brilliant and it’s a pity so few people will ever get to experience it. The car is likely to be in Porsche showrooms in India early next year, carrying an ex-showroom price tag of around Rs 2.50 crore.
Alright, let’s face it —every person reading this is not looking to spend more than Rs 2 crore on buying a luxurious sedan. And that is all right, because Skoda has a very interesting car for those who may be looking for budget-spec thrills. With an exshowroom price tag of Rs 36 lakh, the RS 245 offers a lot of bang for the buck. Power reaches the front wheels via a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, and the car is capable of doing the zero to 100kph in 6.6 seconds, hitting a top speed of 250kph. For good measure, the RS 245 even has an electronically regulated limitedslip differential, which could come handy when pushing really hard on slippery road surfaces. The interiors have generously proportioned Alcantara-clad sports seats, a large centrally mounted colour touchscreen for infotainment, fully digital ‘virtual cockpit’ instrumentation, multiple driving modes and as many as nine airbags for maximum safety. For those looking for a practical four-door sedan that offers very high levels of performance and handling, at realistic prices, the Octavia RS 245 may well be the best deal there is.
So, okay, the GTC4Lusso T doesn’t have four doors, but it does have four seats that can accommodate four full-size adults. It’s powered by a turbocharged 3.9-litre V8 that produces 601 horsepower and 760Nm of torque. The muscular, hunkered-down styling is best described as ‘swashbuckling Italian grand tourer’, which, of course, is what the GTC4Lusso T is. While the GTC4 boasts unmatched Euro-chic, it also has the performance to back up the panache. The car features high-tech bits like four-wheel steering, which helps high-speed handling, and a dynamic traction control system that’s calibrated to let you fully enjoy the car, yet keep you out of the ditch if you get too ambitious with the throttle. The interiors are delightful — high-grade leather is used extensively inside the cabin, along with restrained use of carbon fibre and brushed aluminium trim. In a turbo-V8 Ferrari, the sounds of the engine and the exhaust note are all the entertainment you’ll ever need. With an ex-showroom price tag of around Rs 5 crore, the GTC4Lusso T isn’t exactly cheap, but, what the hell, it’s only money, right?