The primary German Super sedan makers are constantly racing to build the fastest, most agile, and exceptional cars. For Audi, those cars are front-loaded with the letters RS. The RenneSport (Racing Sport) versions of their cars are tuned with extra power and designed to handle better than their standard cars, which they already spend plenty of time engineering. For 2023 Audi has released a new RS5, and to keep up with the other German giants, they too have created a Competition version.
The RS5 has an 8-speed twin-turbo V6 that puts out 444 hp, good for a 3.9 second 0-60 time, and a top speed of 174 mph. The Competition version doesn’t add any additional power, but it does act more combative with a stiffer suspension, new tuning for its transmission, stickier tires, and a louder exhaust. The RS5 Competition starts at $93,000, a whopping $16,000 more than the RS5, which costs “only” $77,000.
With these updates, how does the RS5 Competition stand up against its rivals?
8 2022 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio
The Italians are known for four things: food, opera, style, and fast cars. The Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio is a mix of all of them. At first sight, it’s impossible not to notice just how stunning it is. Of all the super sedans today, it’s easily the most beautiful. Its proportions and curves, along with special details like its grille, set it apart from all others. The Quadrifoglio moniker is derived from the four-leaf clover that Alfa put on all of its race cars for good luck. It’s also a sign that this isn’t a regular Giulia, but one built for performance.
The 2022 version has Ferrari influenced twin-turbo V6 that makes 505 hp, takes it from 0-60 mph in just 3.6 seconds, does the ¼ mile in 11.8 seconds, and has a top speed of 191 mph. Being a RWD car ensures that it’s fun to drive. Its steering is responsive, light, and gives plenty of feedback to the driver. Its sound is also beautiful, with a loud, satisfying growl. This performance and fun will cost you $81,000 or less than the RS5 Competition. Like a great bowl of pasta, it will leave you craving another drive.
7 2022 BMW M4 Competition
BMW’s M-powered cars have an excellent reputation for being fast with track-ready handling. The M4 Competition takes things up another level. For most people, the M4 is enough. Still, if you’re looking for more, the M4 Competition’s mechanical changes include M’s adaptive suspension for handling, different springs, dampers, anti-roll bars, and reconfigured driving modes. You also get the standard Active M Differential on the rear axle and DSC Dynamic Stability Control reconfigured to match, as well as a transmission oil cooler to keep the fun going longer. There are special lighter M wheels and some interior changes, including racing seats.
All this is powered by a twin-turbo I-6 that makes 503 hp with a choice of RWD or AWD. You’ll go from 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds and the ¼ mile in 11.6 seconds. BMW says the M4 Competition will be able to go up to 181 mph with great brakes to get the speed back down as well. These numbers are equal to much more expensive supercars seen ten years ago. If you want to pick one up, the price is $80,000.
6 2021 Mercedes-Benz C 63 S AMG
Anyone who knows about Mercedes cars knows they have the newest and greatest technology available on the road. When you add the AMG label, you’re also getting improved performance on top of a car that already performs well. There is a way to make even an AMG more intense, and the C 63 S AMG is one of those unique cars.
The differences are extra horsepower, an electronic differential, dynamic engine mounts, and larger front brakes. Many of these parts are available as options on the AMG C63 but are standard on the C 63 S. With the addition of that S, the C63 has 510 hp, gets to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds, and up 180 mph. If it interests you, be prepared to pay upwards of $80,000.
5 2022 Porsche Cayman GT4 RS
Looking at it now, it’s hard to believe that the Cayman was ever the black sheep of the Porsche family, and yet it was. Both the Boxster and Cayman were a bit of a joke in the car enthusiast community, but with the introduction of the 718 series, enthusiasts are now laughing with it, not at it. The standard 718 Cayman is a good car, but the GT4 RS is a serious machine designed for speed and handling. Porsche’s GT cars are always worth looking at, and the GT4 RS proves that point again.
The GT4 RS has exceptionally sharp steering, the stiff suspension of a race car, a unique aero kit, and a lower stance, but what makes it special is the engine. The GT4 RS borrows its engine from the turbo-charged Porsche 911 GT3, also a special car, but becomes naturally aspirated with the removal of its turbo. The 4.0L flat-6 now produces 414 hp with a top speed of 189 mph. You will have to shell out $143,000, but driving even once, will prove it’s worth every penny.
4 2022 Lexus LC 500 Inspiration Series
When thinking about fast luxury cars, Lexus isn’t the brand that comes to mind. Except for the LFA, most Lexus cars are more about comfort than performance, but the LC is a sleeper hiding out in their lineup. The LC 500 Inspiration has an adaptive suspension, sport exhaust, active rear steering, and a speed-activated rear wing.
The LC 500 comes with a 5.0L V8 engine able to produce 471 hp and can get to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds. While it has a limiter, it can still get up to 168 mph on the track, where you can hear its throaty V8 roar. The LC 500 offers plenty of luxury features but also comes with peace of mind knowing that because it’s built with Toyota engineering, it will be at the top of this list regarding reliability. It may not be the fastest car on this list, but knowing that it won’t surprise you with sudden mechanical issues and expensive repairs makes the $105,000 price a good value.
3 2023 Jaguar F-Type R
2023 Jaguar F-Type R
The Jaguar F-Type R is just as sporty as the other cars on this list, but what makes it, and any Jaguar, special is elegance. It has a beautifully designed body with curves that harken back to the Jaguar sports cars of the past. Unlike the standard model, the F-Type R is intended for more outstanding performance and handling. Its updated suspension ensures it can take the twist and turns of the back roads with ease and speed to keep up with the rest of the pack.
The F-Type R gets its power from a sonorous supercharged 5.0L V8 that makes 575 hp roar like the animal the brand is named after. That engine goes from 0-60 mph in just 3.5 seconds and reaches a top speed of 186 mph. While it may be front-engined, that takes nothing away from its handling, which is sharp and communicative. It undoubtedly excels on long highway trips where it makes the miles fly by. As you’d expect from a European sports car, it has a hefty price tag of $104,000 but offers a different experience than this lists other vehicles.
2 2022 Lotus Emira
There is no doubt that when if you were line up all 9 of these cars, the Lotus Emira would stick out. It has a body reminiscent of a supercar, but its price and performance put it safely in the same league as the more traditional sedans on the list. If there’s one thing Lotus cars are known for, it would be their superior handling and power-to-weight distribution that makes them feel right at home on the track.
The Emira offers the unique choice of a 360 hp turbocharged inline-4 borrowed from Mercedes’s AMG division, while the larger supercharged V6 comes from Toyota. The V6 will be the more popular option with your choice of an automatic or a manual transmission, which is becoming rarer and rarer these days. Both transmissions will get the Emira from 0-60 mph in 4.3 seconds with a top speed of 180 mph. The Emira starts at $77,000, but get one while they last as this will be the final Lotus model with an internal combustion engine.
1 2021 Maserati Ghibli Trofeo
You may have heard of the Ghibli, but people are more familiar with the Quattroporte and the GT. It would be a shame if you didn’t take a moment to look at the Ghibli Trofeo. The Trofeo label is to Maserati what M is to BMW and AMG is to Mercedes. This particular version of the Ghibli comes with the same suspension setup as the standard Ghibli, but what makes the Trofeo so special is what’s under the hood.
You’ll find an engine built by another Italian company you may have heard of, Ferrari. With that in mind, you know that the performance numbers will be special. The twin-turbo V8 is good for 572 hp with a 0-60 mph time of 3.7 seconds and a ¼ mile time of 11.9 seconds. If you can find somewhere to do it, the Ghibli Trofeo will take you over 200 mph, making it the fastest car on the list. To get that Ferrari V8, you’ll have to pay $115,000, but it’s definitely unique. RS, M, and AMG better watch out.