There's no substitute for two doors and a big engine.
For big style and performance, as well as pain in the ass parking, you can't beat a full-size 2-door coupe. We don't like having to specify the 2-door part but we do now live in a world where 4-door coupe has become a real made up marketing term. The 2-door allows for that real swooping back roofline along with less weight to carry, and that also lends to that sporty look a coupe brings. That doesn't mean coupe has to be a sports car though, there are many different flavors of coupe, but a larger coupe often means room for a big engine.
A 2+2 seating arrangement means you can move friends and family about if the situation arises, but buying a 2-door generally means you're not driving the car for others. A big coupe is not going to be cheap, but pick right and its as much a statement of style as a function of performance. These are our favorite big 2-door coupes with a back seat, although how comfortable passengers will be is variable.
The 8-Series has returned. BMW will be rolling out lower spec models as well as the epic M8 version. At the time of writing, the M850i clocks in with a twin-turbocharged V8 making 523 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque, and has laid down a stunning 0-60 mph time of 3.2 seconds. The 8-Series is actually a little shorter than the current 7-Series and takes the place of the 6-Series in the lineup. The back seats aren't going to be the most comfortable place for tall passengers, but that's not the point here.
It looks like this could be the last generation of the S-Class to come with a coupe option so if you want a big, compliant, GT car to travel long distances in overt luxury, then now's the time to get to a dealer. The S560 is the top pick and the silky smooth V8 pushes to 60 mph comfortably in 4.2 seconds, but the trunk isn't large so you'll need to pack light.
The Continental GT is the darling of rap stars and European footballers for a reason. It's a statement of excess and wealth, but that wealth is buying something substantial. The powertrain consists of a tarmac crushing twin-turbocharged V12 pumping out 626 horsepower to all four wheels, the inside is a substantial combination of wood, leather, and metal, while the ride and handling have gotten very little but great reviews.
For the last word in coupe luxury and style, the Rolls-Royce Wraith is happy to empty your bank account. While you don't by a Rolls-Royce for its outright performance, it's the most dynamic Rolls-Royce to drive yet. The 6.6-liter V12 may not bring a record 0-60 mph time, but it's respectable at 4.6 seconds. You're not buying a Roller to drag race though. Instead, it's about the smooth torque and refined power being used to get you around in the purest of comfort and with grace.
While the Lexus grand tourer is a glamorous alternative to the usual suspects, it splits opinion in both looks and performance. The 471-horsepower V8 makes all the right noises, the chassis is tight, the interior is beautifully crafted. However, it has a weight issue, the Lexus touchpad to control the infotainment still sucks, and the LC only plays lip service to the idea of rear seats. However, pick one up with the optional front sports seats and drive it like a GT, rather than an out and out sports car, and the LC500 fully deserves a place on this list.
While the Challenger is the least expensive car to get into on this list, it packs a huge punch once you start going up the trims from the Hemi V8 options through to the ludicrously fast Hellcat and Demon models. Its length is down to the long hood to pack the engine in underneath, passengers aren't going to want to sit in the back for long, and the Challenger is not the best option for throwing yourself into a corner. However, if you want to go in a straight line fast with all the pomp and drama of an American muscle car, then it's all about America's last true muscle car.
The GranTurismo debuted in 2007 and hasn't changed much since. As a result, there is very little Chrysler involved in this Italian expression of style and stature. It's not a supercar, but the interior is full of soft leather and the GranTurismo's heartbeat is a 454-hp V8 whose origin can be traced back to the Ferrari 360 Modena. There's no Chrysler bean counting going on here either, and the build quality is up there with Bentley or Lexus at its peak.
For the last word in fast grand tourers, Aston Martin is always in the hunt. The DB11 ability to consume road at a galloping pace comes down to the options of twin-turbo V8 or twin-turbo V12 engines, and although most want the V12, the V8 is far from disappointing. While there is some Mercedes in the DB11, build quality only gets close while the interior and ride are as plush as you could want for something that can eat corners as well as long straight pieces of road.
For flat out performance, the GT-R is a no brainer on the list. This generation might be getting long in the tooth, but there's more than enough power and grip available to make your buddies scream in terror from their cramped back seats. The interior isn't high-end, but that's not why you drive a GT-R. You drive a GT-R because you want legendary technology and supercar performance without paying too much more than $100,000 for the privilege.
As a low-key daily driver's performance package, the S5 ticks a lot of boxes. It's easy on the eye, there's lots of technology available in a well-developed and a comfortable cabin, comfortable room for four, and a 354 horsepower twin-scroll turbocharged V6 paired perfectly with Audi's 8-speed automatic. While it's not the ultimate back road burner, it's excellent for the commute and long highway slogs.