You’ve always felt a bit of a thrill in the heart-thumping speed and pick up of a powerful V12 or V8, something with 500 or 600+ horsepower that makes the blood course through your veins just a little quicker. But you’ve been at war with your inner environmentalist, who dies a little inside each time a mighty twin turbo V12 is fired up and blasting down the highway. It’s a tale as old as humankind itself is. An angel on one shoulder, and a devil on the other. How do you make peace with this inner conflict?
Many don’t. If you’re a fan of powerful gas-guzzlers, you simply drown out the noise with the roar of muscular engines that will get you where you need to go with quickness while burning obscene amounts of fuel and spewing incomprehensible amounts of pollution behind them.
Let’s take a look at 15 wicked gas burners that definitely aren’t planning for the future, but are nearly impossible to walk away from today.
2016 Mercedes-AMG G65
Fuel economy: 11/13 mpg (city/highway)
Gas currently costs around $5.60 a gallon in Germany, but that didn’t stop Mercedes from building the AMG C65, a boxy abomination of an off-roader, with a 6.0-liter twin turbo V12 cranking out 621 hp and 738 lb-ft of torque. Mercedes also built the ultra-luxurious Maybach line until 2013, but now include this brand only as part of a Mercedes Benz-Maybach line. The 2016 Mercedes Benz-Maybach S 600 could have also been a contender in our top 15 gas hogs, with fuel economy of just 13/20 mpg (city/highway).
2014 Ford F-150 Raptor
Fuel economy: 11/16 mpg (city/highway)
This street legal high performance pickup blows away the competition with a 6.2-liter twin turbo V8 with automatic transmission, packing 411 hp and 434 lb-ft of torque. This 12th generation model is tuned for some serious off-road action, and a trek through the wilderness or up a steep pile of rocks is a piece of cake for this trophy truck. The 2017 model will feature all new automatic 10-speed transmission and slightly improved fuel economy, with 18 mpg combined on rear-wheel drive models, and 17 mpg combined in four-wheel drive models.
2016 Ferrari F12 TdF
Fuel economy: 11/15 mpg (city/highway)
Admit it, you’ve always dreamed of owning a barely legal Ferrari, and here’s one even more powerful than the previous generation Berlinetta. This Italian sports car, priced at around a modest $375,000, leaves a giant footprint, carbon and otherwise, with a 6.3-liter V12 generating 769 hp at 8500 rpm and 520lb-ft of torque at 6750 rpm. Ferrari Berlinetta dominated the Tour de France road race for a decade, beginning in 1950, and the 1956 Berlinetta won four consecutive events. The F12 TdF commemorates that winning occasion.
2016 Rolls Royce Phantom
Fuel economy: 11/19 mpg (city/highway)
The Rolls Royce Phantom has always delivered the utmost in luxury, and unfortunately, the minimum in fuel economy. Available as a convertible or four-door sedan, the engine is a massive 6.75-liter V12 with 453 horsepower and 531 lb-ft of torque. It is not the most powerful of the high-end premium luxury cars, but it will still get you from 0-60 mph in less than six serene and sumptuous seconds. The Phantom is a force to be reckoned with on the road, weighing in at 6,000 pounds and nearly 20 feet long. It is comparably sized to a Chevy Suburban, but will leave you feeling considerably more pampered.
2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT
Fuel economy: 13/19 mpg (city/highway)
The ultimate in all-American can-do attitude, the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT offers no remorse for the pain it causes at the pump. It’s powered by a 6.4-liter V8 Hemi engine cranking 475 hp, and 8-speed automatic transmission. It would be a challenge to find a hill it can’t climb, or a steep mountain road it can’t take fearlessly. There is an Eco Mode and Fuel Saver Technology built in for greater efficiency – and we can only imagine the mpg without it!
2016 Infiniti QX50
Fuel economy: 17/24 mpg (city/highway)
The Infiniti is far from the worst offender with a 20 mpg combined rating, but for a crossover built in 2016, that’s still a gas-guzzler by any standard. Under the hood, you’ll find a 24-valve V-6 producing 325 hp at 7000 rpm, and 267 lb-ft of torque at 5200 rpm. Experts agree the QX50 is surprisingly sporty, perhaps second only to the Porsche Macan, and far more affordable for the average family. Good luck parallel parking this 186.8-inch vehicle, but on the upside, you have room for five and tons of cargo space.
2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat
Fuel economy: 13/22 mpg (city/highway)
If there’s anyone who didn’t anticipate this one making this list, please sit back and be enlightened. A Hellcat worthy of the name, this muscular beast is packing 707 horsepower in a supercharged 6.2-liter V8. There’s also 650 lb-ft of torque, and your choice of 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic transmission. The automatic transmission configuration can hit 60 mph in 3.6 seconds; 3.9 seconds for the manual configuration. The traditional Dodge Challenger rumble and whine is standard on this model. It’s a hard worker, and hard workers tend to develop quite a thirst, so top up often.
2016 Subaru WRX STI
Fuel economy: 17/23 mpg (city/highway)
Remember when Subarus were all about the environment, and a top choice of hippies and flower children everywhere? The new WRX STI may leave those folks a little crestfallen, but it will leave you looking at them at rapidly increasing distances in the rearview mirror. There’s no time to gather and sing Kumbaya when you’re behind the wheel of this street legal rally car, packed with a 2.5-liter turbocharged flat-four engine with 305 hp and 290 lb-ft of torque. Drum circles can wait when there’s so much open road to cover.
2016 Toyota Tundra
Fuel economy: 15/19 mpg (city/highway)
The Toyota Tundra doesn’t have time for your existential crisis as you ponder what it’s doing to the environment. All 381 of its horsepower are ready to get a little further down the road before you debate the practicality of a 5.7-liter V8 with 401 lb-ft of torque. With a payload capacity of 2,060 pounds, and a towing rate of 10,500 pounds, the decision can be easily justified, so relax. This powerhouse can hit 60 mph in about 6.4 seconds, and has a top speed of 107 mph – quite respectable for a pickup.
2015 Lexus GX 460
Fuel economy: 15/20 mpg (city/highway)
Lexus has arguably been an industry leader in building hybrids, so perhaps they can be cut a little slack for this luxury mid-sized SUV that clearly cares little for the planet. It does care about getting you to your destination in comfort and style, and pushing you forward is a 301-hp 4.6-liter V8 matched with a 6-speed automatic transmission. The GX line has been in production since 2002, and the 460 is a second-generation model.
2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06
Fuel economy: 15/22 mpg (city/highway)
Another wicked muscle car makes the line-up for the Gas Guzzler Hall of Fame, and this one is as American as baseball and apple pie. Chevrolet has always chosen to focus on the Corvette’s core competencies of amazing performance and handling, with fuel economy ranking as a lesser concern. Buyers of the Corvette make a Faustian deal when they put down their money. They know what they’re doing. The engine is a supercharged and intercooled pushrod 16-valve V8 with 650 hp, and 650 lb-ft of torque. You can hit 60 mph in 3.3 seconds, and a quarter mile run at 127 mph takes just 11.4 seconds. You can spend three times or more the money for a McLaren 650S Spider or a Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet, but in reality, the Vette is hands-down the faster car.
2016 Bugatti Chiron
Fuel economy: 14 mpg (combined – estimated)
The Veyron almost single-handedly could threaten the world’s oil supply with a fuel economy of 10 mpg, and it looks like the Chiron will fare only slightly better at 14 mpg combined. With a top speed of 288mph and 1,500 hp, the Chiron is powered by an 8.0-liter 16-cylinder engine utilizing four turbos. 1180 lb-ft of torque promises truly epic acceleration. The only thing scarier than the fuel mileage of the Chiron may be the price tag. In true “if you have to ask, you can’t afford it” fashion, it’s going for a cool $2.6 million.
Lamborghini Aventador SV
Fuel economy: 11/18 mpg (city/highway)
With a limited run of just 600, the Aventador is as exclusive as it is powerful! The screaming 6.5-liter V12 produces 740 hp and 509 lb-ft of torque. The Aventador is said to be built for the high speeds of the race track and is considerably less enjoyable for everyday driving, but who wouldn’t love to test that theory out for themselves? It encroaches on the Bugatti Veyron territory for speeds, and completes a standing quarter mile in just 10.4 seconds.
2015 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
Fuel economy: 14/19 mpg (city/highway)
Another testament to American ingenuity, the Camaro never carried quite the status of the Corvette, even though the new Camaros are running the same supercharged V8s tuned for 640hp and 640lb-ft of torque. It has a top speed of 184 mph, and goes from 0-60 mph in 4 seconds. The ZL1 has a retro flavor and easily competes with heavyweights like the Dodge Charger and Chevy Corvette. We can forgive this muscle car for its less than stellar fuel economy, but we’ll have to do it quickly because the Camaro waits around for no one.
2016 Toyota Land Cruiser
Fuel economy: 13/18 mpg (city/highway)
Creating the world’s most popular hybrid makes it slightly forgivable if you indulge in building a climate crushing SUV every now and then. The Toyota Land Cruiser prefers to focus on capability, durability and drive-ability, and to Toyota’s credit, they hit every mark. The engine is an old-school bruiser – a 5.7-liter V8 with 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque. It’s still using electronic fuel injection, which may account for a little of that gas guzzling, but the engine is big enough to power this 5,815 pound beast with ease. Throw in the weight of a family of eight, and you’ll still find revs to spare.
That’s a look at 15 gas-guzzlers, all worthy of a little forgiveness for not putting the environment first. Speed, power and precision are the jewels in the crown of every one of these bad boys, and planet earth will have to defer to the need for speed for one more go-around.