Buyers shopping for a high performance vehicle should consider its crash test rating. This is an important component of car shopping, as it provides buyers with an idea of how safe the car will be in the event of an accident. Those purchasing a high performance car should be especially mindful of the vehicle’s crash test rating, since many drivers with these cars exhibit higher rates of speed and greater levels of risk taking. According to car crash statistics, cars with better crash test ratings are generally more likely to keep occupants safe than those with lower scores.
While many people desire a true exotic sports car such as a Ferrari or Porsche, most will never be able to afford one. As such, many auto manufacturers produce high performance variants of their everyday, run-of-the-mill cars. This allows more consumers to fulfill their need for speed without spending hundreds of thousands of dollars. For the purposes of this comparison, the vehicles described below are the high performance versions of entry-level luxury vehicles. Also for this comparison, crash test results from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) are being used for model year 2009.
The M3 is the high performance variant of BMW’s popular 3 Series. For 2009, the M3 is available in coupe, sedan, and convertible body styles. At its heart is a 4.0-liter V-8 engine producing 414 horsepower. The IIHS has given all 3 Series models, including the M3, its “Top Safety Pick” award for 2009. The M3 includes standard safety features such as a full complement of airbags for both front and rear passengers, as well as a crash sensor that automatically unlocks the doors, turns on the hazard lights, and shuts down the fuel system when an airbag deploys. Learn more on BMW’s website.
Like the M3, the CTS-V is the bigger-engined sibling in Cadillac’s CTS line-up. Available as a sedan only, the CTS-V is powered by a 6.2-liter V-8 engine that makes over 550 horsepower. Also like the M3, the IIHS has ranked all CTS models as a 2009 “Top Safety Pick.” The CTS-V comes standard with such safety features as driver and passenger airbags, stability control and traction control systems, and 4-wheel anti-lock brakes. Additionally, the CTS-V comes standard with a one-year subscription to OnStar, GM’s in-vehicle communications system. An OnStar subscription provides CTS-V owners with an Automatic Crash Response system, which calls 911 in the event of a crash. The CTS-V can be researched on Cadillac’s website.
AMG is Mercedes-Benz’s in-house tuner responsible for transforming many of its models into faster, more powerful vehicles. The C63 AMG uses a hand-built 6.3-liter V-8 engine that cranks out 451 horsepower. Similar to its competitors above, all C-Class models were voted “Top Safety Picks” for 2009. This sedan comes standard with 9 airbags, active front head restraints, and front and rear crumple zones designed to absorb the majority of the force when the vehicle is involved in an accident. Buyers can find more information on Mercedes-Benz’s website.
The aforementioned models are just 3 of the many high performance variants available to consumers. Any of the vehicles above will provide drivers with the thrill of V-8 power and the safety technology to protect themselves if trouble comes knocking.