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The best Newton-metres-per-dollar used cars

By Daniel DeGasperi, 01 Oct 2018 News

The best Nm-per-dollar used cars feature

Fancy a 1020Nm Bentley Mulsanne for less than half the price? Read on…

Last week we tackled the cheapest way to buy power. That’s nothing to do with electricity prices, mind, but the highest number of kiloWatts a used vehicle can offer you for the moolah. Now we turn to the statelier torque outputs – in Newton-metres-per-dollar.

Generally the domain of big-capacity turbo-diesels or multi-cylinder petrol engines from the ‘luxury’ side of the performance car equation – in other words, vehicles with more weight to haul than a proper sportscar – a value list for torque output can rather differ from power.

Enter 2009’s Audi Q7 complete with a 6.0-litre twin-turbo-diesel V12 engine producing 1000Nm between 1750rpm and 3250rpm. The 2665kg, 5.5-second 0-100km/h large SUV has one problem, though – there are none for sale at the time of writing. Guides suggest about $30,000 for the Ingolstadt hauler that once cost $250K, but accurate information is lacking.

Therefore its platform-sibling Volkswagen Touareg slips in with a (many times over) verified $20,000-plus pricetag, offering a 4.9-litre twin-turbo diesel V10 engine developing 750Nm, and helping the 2470kg behemoth achieve a (well, actually quite slow) 7.8sec 0-100km/h.

As ever, you want petrol if you want proper performance.

The decade-old Porsche Cayenne Turbo featured in our kW-for-the-dollar feature, with 368kW for $25,000-plus, and its 4.8-litre twin-turbo petrol V8 also makes an appearance in this Nm-for-the-dollar list, offering 700Nm for that Corolla coin, plus a 5.1sec 0-100km/h.

Then there’s a 2004 Mercedes-Benz S600L and back to 12 cylinders – this time with petrol.

Top 5 Used Cars: V10 and V12 bargains

With a 5.5-litre twin-turbo petrol V12, this upper-large sedan drives ‘only’ 800Nm through a five-speed auto to the rear wheels. But with a 4.8sec 0-100km/h, it’s much faster than the above Cayenne. It also costs $35,000-plus with 140,000km showing, which is epic for a V12.

Incidentally, and in terms of what is available currently in the classifieds, Benz buyers will need to spend almost double what the S600L asks to leap into 2008’s CL600 coupe, with the slinky B-pillar-less coupe using a version of that engine, now with 830Nm for $65,000-plus.

Other buyers would have to spend double again, on Jeep’s new Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, to get its 6.2-litre supercharged V8 engine making 868Nm, for a 3.7sec 0-100km/h. It even edges out HSV’s local production finale, the GTS R W1, which makes 815Nm from the same-sized engine with the same cylinder count and forced induction, but now asks $200K-plus.

Almost finally, it’s back to Benz with 2015’s S63 AMG Coupe that gets a 5.5-litre twin-turbo petrol V8 complete with 900Nm for a 4.2sec 0-100km/h. Once asking $409,000 plus on-road costs new, now with just 20,000km on the clock it requires a neatly half-price $200K outlay.

To go even higher from there, 2015’s S65 AMG Coupe and its 6.0-litre twin-turbo petrol V12 is required for a 1000Nm and a 4.1sec 0-100km/h – some $500K new but ‘just’ $300K now.

And to beat the plucky V12-powered diesel Audi SUV, a 2011 Bentley Mulsanne and its monstrous 6.75-litre twin-turbo V8 can do that, now for less than half its $662K sticker new, being the same price as the S65 AMG – $300K. It also packs an astonishing 1020Nm for the price of a 550Nm 911 Carrera GTS. That said, it weighs 2635kg, with a 5.3sec 0-100km/h.

What a way to get to triple-digit speed, though. Mega is the word.