Having one performance-oriented car isn’t enough for the majority of enthusiasts. Like that old “We Want More” AT&T commercial, we always want more.
Luckily for us, automakers are covering all of the bases, offering all sorts of high-performance machines alongside track-oriented monsters. So if you had to choose two different types of vehicles from one automaker, which one would you go with?
Here’s a list of five automakers and the cars I would go with if it were up to me. The list isn’t in any particular order, besides the first pair, which is what I would probably go with.
Mercedes-AMG E 63 S / GT R
I’m a sucker for high-powered wagons and the Mercedes-AMG E 63 S looks like it’s the king of the hill of when it comes to the current crop of wagons. Americans usually miss out on a lot of variants of the lengthy body style, so it’s nice to see AMG still offer the vehicle in our neck of the woods.
The AMG E 63 S wagon is powered by a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 that generates 604 hp and 627 lb-ft of torque. That results in a zero to 62-mph time of just 3.5 seconds, which is downright frightening for a family hauler.
With the comfortable, daily driver chosen, the Mercedes-AMG GT R is the perfect vehicle for a canyon getaway or a track day. The coupe shares the same engine as the wagon, but in this application it produces 577 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. Yes, that’s less, but it’s still quick enough to get around the Nurburgring in 7:10.92. And it’s not hardcore to the point where you’ll hate yourself for driving it.
Ford Shelby Mustang GT350R / Raptor
The Ford Shelby Mustang GT350R is one of those rare machines that comes around every other blue moon. It’s got the glorious 5.2-liter flat-plane crankshaft V8 that makes 526 hp and 429 lb-ft of torque. The sound of the engine when it’s being pushed is sublime and the way it handles on the track or a windy road is intoxicating.
While the GT350R is the ultimate affordable weekend car from Ford, the Raptor fits the bill for daily use. The pickup also happens to be amazing at off-roading. As a daily driver, it doesn’t get much better than the Raptor as it can get through inclement weather, can seat five passengers (in the right configuration), and has a bed that can fits loads of stuff.
Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 / Colorado ZR2
Before the new Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 came out, this was kind of a toss up. Do you go with a Z06 or the ZL1? Well, the Corvette ZR1, with its 755-hp supercharged 6.2-liter V8 is the obvious choice. It can go 210 mph in a straight line, has roughly 950 pounds of downforce, sticky Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 summer tires, and Magnetic Ride Control. All of this means that the ZR1 can put down a blistering lap at the track.
For the everyday machine, I had trouble deciding to be rational with the Bolt or Tahoe. But then I said heck with all of that and settled on the Colorado ZR2. The automaker’s midsize offering is perfectly sized for daily use and has the right goodies, like DSSV dampers, a two-suspension lift, 31-inch off-road tires, and modified bumpers to get dirty. It would make for one heck of a daily.
Porsche Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo / 911 GT2 RS
Porsche may be the ultimate automaker in this hypothetical predicament. The brand’s high-performance vehicles are comfortable enough to use on a daily basis, but absolute monsters on the track. But when it comes to an actual daily driver that we’d love to get into and out of everyday that could handle mundane tasks, I give the nod to the Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo.
The Sport Turismo is a hatchback wagon thing that just happens to have 550 hp. It’s got a sleek body style, a spacious cargo area, and happens to straddle the line between performance and usability extremely well.
On the flip side of the equation is Porsche’s latest and greatest supercar, the 911 GT2 RS. The supercar features a 3.8-liter twin-turbo flat six that pumps out 690 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque. Getting to 62 mph takes just 2.8 seconds, while the vehicle has a top speed of 212 mph. Those are impressive figures for a track car that also doubles for canyon duty.
Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio / 4C Spider
Alfa’s comeback in the United States has brought a lot of excitement to the auto industry. The Italian marque’s cars are flavorful, enjoyable to drive, and, somehow, maintain the weird quirks that made old Alfas special.
As far as a daily driver goes, we’d spring for the Giulia Quadrifoglio. With its Ferrari-derived twin-turbo 2.9-liter V6 engine, the Giulia Quadrifoglio is more than just another high-performance sedan, it’s arguably the king of four-door vehicles. The thing about the Giulia Quadrifoglio, though, is that it has a lot to prove when it comes to reliability, but if you put that aside, t’s a masterpiece.
For the majority of drivers, the Giulia Quadrifoglio will be plenty of car on the track. But for pure enjoyment there’s a better option in Alfa’s lineup – the 4C Spider. The open top is practically a mid-engine supercar with its carbon-fiber chassis, lack of power steering, and revy 1.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. It’s the kind of car you wouldn’t want to drive for more than a few hours away, which makes it the perfect second car.
Brand loyalty is an old concept that’s gone out of style, but there are still a lot of automakers out there that can be one-stop shops for enthusiasts. If you were building your ultimate, but somewhat realistic, two-car garage, which modern automaker would you go with?