There was a time – and it wasn’t so long ago – that supercar manufacturers made two-door sports cars, and that was all they made. But these days their wealthy clientele demand the best of both worlds: the ability to transport the entire family at breakneck speeds and in the grandest of style.
That’s left exotic automakers speeding at unprecedented pace into the crossover market, but high-riding SUVs aren’t the only bodystyle they’ve pursued. With few exceptions, the majority of automakers that we know best for their exotic supercars have at least experimented with the idea of a four-door family sedan. And what’s more is that a few of them have even put them into production.
So with apologies to the likes of McLaren, Pagani and Koenigsegg – automakers that may never produce anything with more than two doors – here are six of our favorite sedans to come from Europe’s supercar powerhouses.
Though Lamborghini made its name producing (and currently only produces) two-seat, mid-engined supercars, it has actually made a variety of vehicles over the years. Agricultural tractors, yes, but also SUVs, front-engined 2+2 GTs, even marine and F1 engines. And in 2008, it tried out the idea of a four-door sedan. The concept revealed at the Paris Motor Show was called the Estoque, and packed the Gallardo’s 5.2-liter V10 up front driving all four wheels. In the end, though, the company opted instead of build the Urus crossover instead of the Estoque sedan.
With the end of the Veyron’s production looming, Bugatti entertained different ideas for what it would do next. One idea was to do a highly exclusive saloon, which took the form of the Galibier concept. It packed the Veyron’s 8.0-liter W16 engine, but turned around and fitted with two superchargers instead of four turbos, and would have made even the Bentley Mulsanne look ordinary. It wasn’t the first time that Bugatti entertained the idea of a sedan in its modern history, following the EB 112 and EB 218 concepts from the 1990s. And like those concepts, it never reached production. Instead Bugatti opted to make the Chiron as a more direct successor to the Veyron.
Ferrari has sworn up and down that it would never make a four-door sedan. That’s what Maserati is for, its executives have been fond of saying (but more on that below). But back in 1980, in celebration of its own 50th anniversary, Maranello’s longtime design partner Pininfarina built the one-of-a-kind Ferrari Pinin concept. It was based on the 400 (precursor to today’s GTC4Lusso), and packed a 4.8-liter V12. Sergio Pininfarina and Enzo Ferrari reportedly discussed the idea of putting it into production, but the prospect came to nought, and was never entertained again.
Of all the exotic automakers producing four-door sedans, Maserati is arguably the most established. The Trident marque came out with its first Quattroporte way back in 1963, and the model is now in its sixth iteration. Over the years it’s been offered with a variety of V6 and V8 engines, the most recent iterations powered by engines made for it by Ferrari. At this point, joined by the smaller Ghibli, Maserati makes more sedans than it does sports cars.
Aston Martin Rapide
Aston Martin has its fair share of experience making four-door sedans as well. Its Lagonda brand has produced a series of saloons over the years, revived most recently by the Taraf designed for the Persian Gulf market. Relatively more ubiquitous, however, is the Rapide – a four-door coupe (if ever we’ve seen one) based closely on the DB9. The latest Rapide S packs Aston’s celebrated 6.0-liter V12, rated at 552 horsepower.
After charting its course to financial success with the Cayenne crossover in 2002, Porsche came out with the Panamera in 2009. Now in its second generation, the Panamera has been offered with V6, V8, turbocharged, diesel and even hybrid powertrains, mated to manual, automatic, or dual-clutch transmissions, and driving the rear wheels or all four. The latest Panamera Turbo packs 550 horsepower to reach 60 in as little as 3.4 seconds, bringing the family (or your best friends) along for the ride – and making it arguably the ideal four-door sports car.