Volvo 850 R
Is there anything more boring in the automotive world than a boxy old Volvo station wagon? Probably not. The typical suburban mom car from the 1990s had loads of space for kids and their stuff. However, it was slow but dependable and dead boring to drive. That may be true for a regular Volvo 850 Wagon, but the R version they introduced in 1996 is something completely different.
After the success of the T5 version in the 850 series that featured a turbocharged engine, Volvo decided to go a step further. So, they introduced an all-out sleeper machine in form of the 850 R. Under the hood, the 2.3-liter five-cylinder engine featured a bigger turbo, a different intake system and electronics, resulting in a respectable 250 HP output. Despite retaining its front wheel drive, the Volvo 850 R Wagon still had good acceleration times of 6.5 seconds to 60 mph.
The 850 R could make top speeds of almost 160 mph. For the mid-90s, this was a sports car territory. There must have been a lot of confused Porsche owners when those slow, boring Volvo wagons passed them on the highway. After the 850 R, many manufacturers like Audi started offering powerful, fast wagons but Volvo was the first.
Today, those performance numbers still demand respect. The 850 R is inexpensive on the used car market and various power upgrades are available, so consider buying this ultimate Swedish wagon.
Audi RS2 Avant
Despite the looks of the old, early ’90s Audi station wagons, the RS2 Avant is a serious performance machine. It could destroy almost anything, and not only in a boulevard drag race, but on the race track, as well. Under the dull, unassuming body lies some serious rally technology with exceptional performance. The RS2 was the first in a long line of Audi performance station wagons. Audi brought consumers those supercars with long roofs like the RS6.
However, the RS2 is where it all started. Audi engineers took the famous, inline five-cylinder turbo engine with 2.2-liters and 315 HP and put it in the most uninspiring body style they could find – the station wagon. They also added Quattro all-wheel drive magic and a manual transmission. Finally, they sent it all to Porsche for a precision final assembly.
The result was the RS2, with a 4.8 second time to go from 0 to 60 mph. It had divine road holding in its early ’90s form. Unfortunately, the production was limited, so if you see one of these cars at the stoplight, you know it will leave you in the dust.
Cadillac CTS-V Wagon
For years, Cadillac was without a proper performance series to compete with BMW or Mercedes and finally, the V-Series was born. It was what Cadillac lovers dreamed of like powerful engines, world-class handling, suspension setups and exclusive production. Even the competitors took notice when Cadillac rolled out the new V-Series models.
Arguably the most successful was the second-generation CTS-V model Cadillac produced between 2008 and 2014. Under the hood was a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 with 556 HP. This made the CTS-V the most powerful performance sedan on the market. The suspension and the rest of the drivetrain were advanced and up to the task.
They considered the CTS-V a full package and one of the best cars available. Cadillac produced three body styles, so the CTS-V came as a sedan, a coupe, and interestingly, as a wagon, too. The rarest of the three, the CTS-V Wagon shared all its mechanic components with the rest of the V-Series models.
However, the wagon body style was something Cadillac buyers didn’t expect. The car was still a blast to drive and extremely fast, but most customers turned to sedans or coupes. Some buyers weren’t aware that the wagon even existed. That is why the CTS-V Wagon is a rare, but somewhat of a forgotten model and a definitive future collectible.
Chrysler 300 C SRT 8 Touring
The Chrysler 300 C is an interesting car. It is one of the last true American boxy-looking sedans with big V8 power and a chrome grille. It is also a successful model that has been on the market for almost 15 years. During that time, Chrysler produced numerous versions, but one is especially interesting on this list – the mighty SRT-8 Touring.
A competitor to the BMW M5 or Mercedes E-Class AMG, the Touring was the performance station wagon version of the 300C sedan. Equipped with a 6.1-liter V8 Hemi engine pumping out 425 HP and a glorious soundtrack through its twin tailpipes, the SRT-8 was a fast and capable long roof. The 0 to 60 mph sprint took around 4.9 seconds and top speeds were over 170 mph. Unfortunately for Chrysler, the recession that shocked the car industry in 2010 killed the SRT-8 Touring and lots of other performance models.
Fortunately for car enthusiasts looking for good deals, they can buy an SRT-8 for around $10,000 today, which is a steal. Car fans will get a classic American muscle wagon with all the modern luxury features. They also get timeless styling, a legendary Hemi V8 and 425 galloping horses at their disposal. Moreover, if you don’t like Chrysler’s design, you can always opt for the Dodge Magnum SRT8, which is basically the same car, but with a Dodge front end.
Ferrari 456 GT Venice
Ferrari doesn’t make station wagons, right? Well, if you are a member of the Brunei Royal Family and have almost unlimited funds, they do. The 456 GT was Ferrari’s prime Gran Turismo model, which they produced from 1992 to 2003 in a two-door coupe form. But, Prince Jeffry of Brunei wanted an elegant four-door station wagon version.
So, along with design house Pininfarina, Ferrari provided seven variations for him. The drivetrain and performance are the same as in standard models. But the heart of the 456 GT Venice wagon is the 5.5-liter V12 engine with 442 HP. It can propel this elegant car from 0 to 60 in five seconds and top 180 mph.
BMW M5 Touring E60
This was not the first M5 station wagon and car fans hope it will not be the last. But, it was the fastest, most glorious of all performance station wagons. Even though BMW made only 1,025 of them, ending production in 2010, they are still popular today. BMW presented their E60 M5 with one of the best naturally aspirated engines ever made.
It was a high revving 5.0-liter V10 with 507 HP they derived from BMW’s Formula One unit. To fight Audi’s fast wagons, BMW decided to make a Touring version of the M5 and offer it with a manual transmission. They managed to produce a manual BMW M5 station wagon delivering 507 HP with a six-speed transmission.
It only took 4.5 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph with a 205-mph top speed. So, it is no wonder secondhand examples go for over $100,000.
Jaguar XF S Sportbrake
Nobody expected a fast station wagon from Jaguar. After all, this is the company that is famous for their sports cars and performance sedans with a successful SUV model in their lineup. However, Jaguar managed to produce a competent, elegant long roof that is a blast to drive.
It also delivers 380 HP from its supercharged V8 engine. But, the best thing about this car is that it is available in America. Unfortunately, not all performance station wagons are available there, which is a shame.
Volvo V60 Polestar
This is an interesting station wagon and one of the best driving cars in its class. As a spiritual successor to the classic 850 R Wagon, the V60 brings elegance, quality craftsmanship, power and performance in an exclusive Polestar package. Under the hood is a 3.0-liter turbocharged engine with 345 HP and intelligent all-wheel drive.
This combo is capable of 0 to 60 mph times in just over five seconds. Yet, the Polestar delivers decent fuel economy and functioning like any regular Volvo station wagon. However, after you drop your kids off at school, the only thing you need is to press the accelerator pedal to let the fun begin.
Audi RS6 Avant
When you see the RS badge on an Audi, you know that a special car is in front of you. Since the legendary RS2 from the early 1990s, Audi has produced crazy fast wagons in the A4 and A6 range. And they equip them with the most powerful engines they have, along with the renewed Quattro all-wheel drive for enhanced traction and performance.
Unfortunately, the RS wagon range is not available in the U.S. But it still deserves a place on this list for the sheer beauty, power and craziness of the package. The latest RS6 model is an elegant station wagon powered by a twin turbo 4.0-liter V8 engine that delivers 605 HP.
The Quattro intelligent all-wheel-drive system is responsible for putting the power to the ground, and the result is astonishing. The acceleration time from 0 to 60 takes just 3.9 seconds. This is in a station wagon that can carry five people and all their luggage, which is truly magnificent.
Mercedes E63 S AMG Wagon
Audi’s decision to leave the RS6 Avant in Europe was a big opportunity for Mercedes in America. The Mercedes E 63 S Wagon is available in the U.S. It is a glorious way to combine practicality with 603 HP from the fantastic 4.0-liter turbo engine. This is not the only performance wagon Mercedes offers, but it is the most powerful and fastest.
Although the E63 S Wagon is all-wheel drive, the driver has the option to disconnect the front drive shafts for a rear-wheel drive only experience. However, what this means in real life is that you can do smoky burnouts all day long, which is exactly what this luxury station wagon is about. This is a crazy powerful muscle car Mercedes disguised as a luxury station wagon.
Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo
Behind this lengthy name hides one of the most controversial cars of today and one of best luxury cars on the market. It is also the most powerful station wagon and one of the nicest Porsches money can buy. This may be confusing, but the Panamera caused quite a media attention when they presented it as the first Porsche sedan. But soon it proved it was worth the name and Porsche fans grew to accept it for what it is.
For its second generation, Porsche offered the Sport Turismo model. It is an elegant station wagon with a slightly different rear end, just enough to be a wagon. Porsche also offers the Panamera Sport Turismo as a Turbo S, along with a hybrid drivetrain, combining practicality, advanced technology, old school power and luxury.
So, what makes this a crazy fast station wagon? It’s the amazing specs. The combined output of its gasoline and electric engine is 680 HP, which goes to all four wheels for superior traction. Despite weighing over two tons, this Panamera is capable of a mind-blowing 3.2 seconds 0 to 60 mph time. This is faster than many current sports cars, easily making this futuristic vehicle the fastest production station wagon the car industry ever made.
1959 Pontiac Bonneville Safari
One of the coolest American station wagons is definitely the late 1950s Pontiac Bonneville Safari. Interestingly, Pontiac always named its long roof models “Safari,” which made them special compared to similar GM products.
One of the things that made the 1959 Bonneville Safari so desirable is the 389 V8 with 300 HP. That engine is what transformed this family cruiser into a proper station wagon muscle car.
Maserati Quattroporte Bellagio
One of the best luxury sedans that money could buy was the elegant Maserati Quattroporte. As all other cars in that class, Quattroporte is available only as a sedan. But in 2009, the famous Italian design house Carozzerria Touring presented an exclusive series of special wagon versions they called the Bellagio.
They built it on the base of a standard Quattroporte, so the Bellagio Touring had the same 400 HP engine. Also, it had an elegant interior and flowing lines but with a modified rear end And there was significantly more space in the back.
It is unclear how many they built, but some experts claim the total number was around 10 cars. But this Bellagio could outrun many sports cars and still look cool doing it.
Mercedes C63 AMG Wagon
Everything with AMG letters on the back is lightning quick. But, the C63 AMG Wagon is one car that belongs on this list. With its compact dimensions, almost stealth look, brutal performance and over 450 HP going to the rear wheels, this car is the definition of a muscle car.
The heart of the C63 is AMG’s glorious 6.2-liter V8 engine that sounds as good as it goes. With 451 HP and its fast-shifting automatic transmission, this car can achieve 60 mph in less than four seconds. Interestingly, the C63 came in a station wagon, sedan and coupe form.
Buick Roadmaster LT1
The legendary Roadmaster name returned to the Buick lineup in 1991 after a 33-year hiatus, gracing the freshly styled luxurious sedan and station wagon models. However, the car was basically the same as other offerings from General Motors in the same class.
But the Buick engineers found a way to install a Corvette LT1 5.7-liter V8 engine into Roadmaster’s engine bay. So the LT1 had 300 HP in the Corvette, but in the Buick, it had 260 HP. And that was more enough to turn this heavy wagon into a proper hot rod.
Mercedes CLA 45 AMG Shooting Brake
The CLA 45 Shooting Brake is a compact wagon with an angry 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine and all-wheel drive. This combo, along with 381 HP produced astonishing acceleration times and brutal driving dynamics.
Although this is a relatively small car with not as much interior space as you would expect, it is still capable of carrying a significant amount of luggage. And it can still beat a few sports car in those stoplight drag races.
Plymouth Roadrunner Wagon
Plymouth never officially sold the Roadrunner Wagon but some enthusiasts have converted quite a few cars. They built the Roadrunner on the Belvedere platform. This meant that every panel fit. So, some crafty muscle car fans took the ordinary Belvedere Wagon and put a Roadrunner front end on it.
Of course, the conversion wouldn’t be complete if the wagon retained the Belvedere drivetrain. So, they installed the Roadrunner engine, suspension and components, creating one of the fastest station wagons available. Some people even installed a Hemi engine to produce the fastest family cars in the world at the time.
These are the top crazy station wagons that are faster than a sports car. They can change any driver’s perception of what a station wagon should be. Be sure to get one of these vehicles if you’d like to shock other drivers at the stoplight.