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Infiniti leads the top 10 high performance vehicles for 2012

Few of us drive high performance vehicles, but that doesn’t mean we don’t want to know what tops the list in a compendium of authoritative ratings and reviews.
Posted: July 11, 2012 - 7:09PM
Author: Don Bain

A relative newcomer to the auto rating game, has just released their idea of what the top 10 high performance cars for this year are. Some of the entries are a bit questionable to even be on this list, others would seem to imply a hidden agenda,

The winners come from a wide array of street-ready muscle cars, high-performance sports sedans, and even a super pickup truck. Such cars continue to be a vital part of manufacturer product plans, despite the growing clamor for lower emissions and more efficient use of natural resources.

That’s partly because such vehicles frequently blaze a technological trail other cars soon follow. The move to turbo-charging is one such legacy of high performance technology, except it is now used on four-cylinder engines like Ford’s EcoBoost to increase economy. Turbos were originally used to make great hulks of metal into to 9-second cars.

Total Car Score has given point values to various aspects of performance and coupled it to an average of authoritative ratings and reviews to arrive at the following list. We are simply reporting their findings and invite your comments below.

1. 2012 Infiniti IPL G CoupeTotal Car Score: 85.21, 20.5-mpg combined
The 2012 Infiniti IPL G Coupe outdid the BMW M3 plus the Porsche Boxster and Cayman for the top spot in the Luxury High-Performance segment. The IPL G Coupe sports a 348-hp, 3.7-liter V6 engine and a base price of roughly $50K.

2. 2012 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMGTotal Car Score: 84.45, 19-mpg combined
Not only high-performance, but also high-tech and high-class describes this new version of the premium sedan, coupe and wagon known as the E-Class. The AMG version radically redefined the line and it now features a twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter V8 with a base price of approximately $90K.

3. 2012 Cadillac CTS-VTotal Car Score: 83.65, 15-mpg combined
The Cadillac CTS-V, combining sophisticated chassis hardware with a bodacious V8 engine, comes as either an increasingly attractive sedan or a wagon that outdoes the Euro-wagons at their own game. Though you’ll pay the Federal gas-guzzler tax, the Cadillac has a base price around $60K.

4. 2012 Ford Taurus SHOTotal Car Score: 83.22, 20-mpg combined
This highly respected performance-oriented version of the Taurus sedan gets its street credit from the remarkable performance of the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine and firmer suspension tuning. The bright sport here is the Taurus SHO is priced under $40K and is second on to the Infiniti for fuel economy.

5. 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8Total Car Score: 82.59, 17-mpg combined
The continually improving Chrysler 300 SRT8 used it 470-horsepower Hemi V8 to muscle its way on the list, but incremental improvements in suspension, steering and brakes also help plus adding uncommon handling capabilities to the full-size sedan. At about $50K, this performance vehicle can double as an executive sedan or take on family duties equally as well.

6. 2012 Dodge Charger SRT8Total Car Score: 81.77, 17-mpg combined
Using the same credentials thanks to another V8 Hemi, the Charger SRT8 can also function as family transport, even though a high-powered one thanks to a comfortable, ergonomic interior. It’s a fair amount over $40K

7. 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8Total Car Score: 80.00, 14-mpg combined
The Grand Cherokee is the next to least efficient of the high-performance group but in this vehicle that phrase takes on aspects the others can’t even dream about. Standard features include navigation, heated/cooled seats, height adjustment, terrain settings and rearview camera. Meanwhile the 6.4-liter V8's will climb to the top of the Rockies, and tow boat or horse trailers, campers, ATVs or whatever in the process. This comfy workhorse costs just over $60K.

8. 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1Total Car Score: 78.80, 16-mpg combined
The classic configuration of the ZL1 set it apart in the pony car portion of the high-performance segment, while a whopping 580 horsepower is produced by the supercharged V8. Cutting edge traction control, magnetic-ride suspension and one of the sweetest six-speed manual transmissions around made this car a shoe-in for its segment. It settles in right about $55K.

9. 2012 Chevrolet CorvetteTotal Car Score: 78.03, 18-mpg combined
The venerable Corvette's virtues include winning sex appeal plus making dollars and sense. With a 430-horsepower V8 engine under the hood, coupe and convertible both rank high in their segment. Corvettes start about $45K and top out around $75K.

10. 2012 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor
Total Car Score: 77.93, 13-mpg combined
The Raptor earned a surprisingly high score for a pickup in a competitive segment chock full of sports coupes and sedans. Though it’s not a true load hauler, the Raptor’s powerful V8, long-travel suspension, updated shock absorbers and electronic traction controls make it a go-anywhere paramour magnet in certain parts of the country. This bodacious pickup is priced about $45K.

The manner in which arrived at their conclusion is far from clear, so we are placing this simply for enterainment value and inviting your comments on this listing.


Patrick Rall    July 11, 2012 - 10:30PM

What an awful list. The Infiniti is slower in pretty much every way than every other car on the list - and maybe the Raptor as well. A gussied up 370z shouldnt be mentioned anywhere int he discussion of the best performance cars on the market today.

Mike (not verified)    July 12, 2012 - 1:07PM

Wow, I am surprised by this list. Looks like someone was paid by the SRT team when scoring. This is not a good list at all.