2 Midsize Cars Tie for Least Efficient
No matter what vehicle you’re shopping for, fuel economy is a factor. Fuel economy standards, gas guzzler taxes, and even the cost of gasoline weigh into the equation. For this reason, automakers have shifted to smaller-displacement engines with a combination of turbochargers, superchargers, and hybrid-electric power in their high-performance offerings. It’s a compromise but also a way to have your cake and eat it too.
The two midsize cars listed here tie for the least efficient, according to the EPA’s fuel economy ratings, because they refuse to compromise. Oh, sure, they’ve made some concessions with their base engines. But the most potent versions of the Bentley Flying Spur and Dodge Challenger SRT boast gas-guzzling horsepower that laughs in the face of fuel economy and $4-a-gallon gas.
The 2023 Bentley Flying Spur flouts fuel efficiency
The Bentley Flying Spur is a feast on wheels. Its cabin is a four-star hotel with only the best leather, wood, and wool. It offers decadent levels of comfort and luxury, all of which can be customized to the buyer’s wishes. The price of admission is more than $211,000. Much more, depending on what boxes you check.
One box you’ll want to check is for the twin-turbo W12-cylinder engine. The Flying Spur is available with a plug-in hybrid V6 or a twin-turbo V8, but the 12-cylinder engine with its 626 hp is astonishing. Car and Driver says it will leap to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and show its taillights to many sports cars in a drag race. It’s also surprisingly accurate, thanks to its adaptive suspension and rear-wheel steering.
The Bentley Flying Spur is virtually unstoppable until you need fuel. Eventually, the tank will run dry at an EPA-estimated rate of 12 mpg in the city or 19 mpg on the highway. According to fueleconomy.gov, the annual fuel cost is $4,300 based on a mixture of city and highway driving at 15,000 miles a year.
The 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Widebody chuckles at gas savings
On paper, the Dodge Challenger SRT Widebody couldn’t be more different from the Bentley Flying Spur. It’s a pure, unabashed old-school muscle car — the closest thing to a late’-60s Mopar in 2023. It’s built for three things: looking mean, cruise nights, and taking pink slips at the local drag strip. Yet it can be surprisingly docile and comfortable and can mind its manners if you need to run your grandmother to church.
Dodge offers a 305-hp 3.6-liter V6 and pair of V8s for the Challenger. The most powerful, a 485-hp 6.4-liter Hemi, will propel the Challenger to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds and down the quarter-mile in 12.5 seconds at 112 mph. If, like Dominic Toretto, you live your life a quarter-mile at a time, this is your ride.
Surprisingly, the Dodge Challenger SRT Widebody’s EPA fuel economy estimates are identical to the Bentley Flying Spur. It gets 12 mpg in the city and 19 mpg on the highway. With a mixture of city and highway driving, the annual fuel cost is $4,300 for drivers who average 15,000 miles a year.
The Bentley Flying Spur and Dodge Challenger are polar opposites but share 2 things in common
In addition to identical fuel economy numbers, the 2023 Bentley Flying Spur and the 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Widebody share another thing in common. They’re endangered species.
Both represent the heyday of powerful, large-displacement engines in V8 and W12 form. As such, they’re obsolete in an era of hybrid and electric powertrains. But even though the future of electric propulsion is here, and the sunset of powerful, large-displacement gasoline engines is on the horizon, there’s still a lot to appreciate and be thankful for.
Cars like these, which exist for our enjoyment, are increasingly rare. Even if gas were to become scarce and expensive, that enjoyment would still justify their existence. For people who have the means to buy a Bentley or a Dodge Challenger, it’s not about the miles per gallon but the miles of enjoyment.