How pricey can an American car get? As General Motors continues revealing the cost of its 2015 lineup, the boundaries of pricing are being stretched along with the heights of performance and comfort. Cars and utility vehicles at the top of GM’s line are not shying away from extravagance. Ford and Dodge, the other major players in the history of American automobiles, have proven equally happy to push the performance (and cost) of their most exhilarating cars in recent years. Then Tesla rolled into town…
The high performance of these American gems comes at a high price. Here are ten of the most expensive cars and trucks made by American automakers.
For this list, the Chrylser Group was considered a U.S. automaker. Only cars in production were used (alas, no Shelby for now). Cars and trucks were selected at their base price point (with one exception that couldn’t be resisted). In other words, many of these cars aren’t getting off the lot without six-figure price tags attached. If there was a convertible available, that option was taken because, hey, what’s a few extra grand when dealing with the most expensive cars this country produces?
10. 2014 Corvette Stingray Z51 ($57,000)
The North American Car of the Year (base MSRP: $53,000) is highly regarded by everyone who has driven it, but a recurring theme is the must-have quality of the Z51 performance package. A Z51 Corvette Stingray offers larger wheels, a dry sump oil system, electronic limited slip differential, larger brakes, and many other upgrades.With performance exhaust, the 6.2-liter V8 hits 460 horsepower in the C7 ‘Vette.
9. 2015 Lincoln Navigator ($61,480)
Ford’s priciest Shelby Mustangs may no longer be in production — and thus were left off this list — but the luxury division of the Blue Oval has an expensive package on offer for the 2015 model year. That would be the 2015 Lincoln Navigator, which houses a 3.5-liter V6 turbo EcoBoost engine capable of 380 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. Luxurious interior materials, wood inlays, and an available reserve package will bump up the price that already begins on the high side, but this three-row SUV is all about that comfort.
8. 2015 Chevy Suburban LTZ ($61,700)
The enormity and opulence of the 2015 Chevy Suburban LTZ was too tough to resist, so it became the one vehicle that was chosen in its luxury trim for this list. That selection bumps the base Suburban ($47,595) to another cost category. A 5.3-liter Ecotec V8 engine with active fuel management (355 hp, 382 lb-ft of torque) powers the ride, but the LTZ trim takes the considerable safety and comfort features of less pricey model and pushes the envelope with daytime running LED lamps, 12-way power adjusted heated (and cooled) seats, 20-inch wheels, and other upgrades that are worthy of the price point.
7. 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT ($64,380)
The Tesla Model X hasn’t made its appearance yet, so the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT will have to serve as the sole example of an American performance SUV. On that front, this Jeep is a utility vehicle that has the specs of a sports car. It packs the 6.4-liter Hemi V8 only the brashest Dodge musle demons would carry, so 470 hp and 465 lb-ft of torque come standard. Performance numbers are dizzying. The Grand Cherokee SRT can blast from 0-60 in 4.8 seconds and run a quarter-mile in 13.5 seconds, according to Dodge. Its top speed is 160 mph, which is obscene in a Jeep, but it is priced accordingly.
6. 2015 Cadillac Escalade ESV ($71,695)
Anyone who thought the large luxury utility segment was on its way out, meet the 2015 Cadillac Escalade. Extravagant would only begin to describe what Cadillac has done with its newest, but let’s give it a shot anyway. Hand-crafted woods, artisanal seat stitching, and a 16-speaker Bose stereo system make the cabin a cozy place to chill. A 6.2-liter V8 (460 hp, 460 lb-ft of torque) means there will be no issues with power or towing capabilities, but the Nappa semi-Aniline leather interior (in the first two rows) makes the platinum Escalade ESV a passenger’s treat most of all. Packages will easily eclipse six figures.
5. 2014 Cadillac ELR ($75,000)
The Cadillac ELR has taken its share of criticism for its Volt powertrain, soaring price point, and embarrassing marketing campaign. So be it. If a Cadillac driver wants a car that avoids gas on most trips, this car is the one to choose. Indeed, any jaunt under 30 miles would be no problem for the luxurious ELR on electric power, which means it’s the greenest (well, the only greenish) Cadillac ever made. Critics love the interior appointments and exterior styling, so it certainly looks and feels like a Cadillac of yore. Its advanced powertrain makes it one of the priciest American cars on sale, but being ahead of the curve comes at a premium, n’est ce-pas?
4. 2015 Camaro Z/28 ($75,000)
With 505 hp and 481 lb-ft of torque, it may sound like the 2015 Chevy Camaro Z/28 has no equal, but it actually has a lower output than the 2015 Camaro ZL1 (580 hp). The difference is in the track capabilities of the Z/28, which make it a faster car than its muscle-bound sibling. In fact, the Z/28 ran the Nürburgring lap in 7:37.47 despite conditions being compromised by inclement weather. Street legal or not, the Z/28 was built for racing, though it costs a pretty penny (well, about eight million pennies) to get a hold of one.
3. 2015 Corvette Z06 Convertible ($83,995)
When the pricing of the 2015 Corvette Z06 ($78,995) was released, it sounded a bit high, but Chevy reassured consumers that they would be buying the most powerful Corvette — and thus the most powerful GM model — in the company’s production history. In that case, it’s time to get the top down, which will run buyers $83,995, but it’s the thunder under the hood that will attract more attention. A 2015 Corvette Z06 is able to produce a monstrous 650 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque, which is even more impressive considering that is more power than the outgoing ZR1 (MSRP: $111,600) at a much lower price.
2. 2014 Tesla Model S 85 kWh Performance ($94,570)
At a glance, it would appear the Tesla Model S 85 kWh performance model has everything a car lover could want. It produces 416 horsepower and can blast from 0-60 in 4.2 seconds; it hits a top speed of 130 mph; and even offers the pull of 443 lb-ft of torque. Now that its ferocity has been settled, it’s time to see if Model S owners will find themselves stranded in the Hamptons due to limited electric range. Well, the P85 Model S has that covered as well with 265 miles of gas-free range. Somehow, it makes sense that all this perfection rings up at over six figures at the cash register.
1. 2014 Dodge Viper SRT ($102,485)
The most expensive American production car has had trouble wooing buyers in recent months. That may be a sign that consumers are waiting to see what the next Corvette models (namely, the Z06) would deliver and at what price. The verdict is settled now that the ZO6 is out of the bag. Unfortunately for the SRT team, the 2014 Viper’s 8.4-liter V10 doesn’t match the Z06 in power though it does start at about $25K more.
Nonetheless, the Viper SRT is a god among cars that offers 640 hp and 600 lb-ft of juice that will settle most arguments on the road. It will flash from 0-60 in just over three seconds, run the quarter-mile in about 11.5 seconds, and hit a top speed of 206 mph. At 60 mph, the Viper needs just 106 feet to come to a complete stop. The options for customization start sending the price of this car into outer space, so it can easily hit $150K before it’s all said and done. For now, it’s the king of American automobile extravagance.