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Top 10 fastest family cars

It’s one of life’s common trends: You love quick cars, but as the kids come along, your 600hp Corvette is suddenly as much use as a machete for chopping onions. Its seats are too few and too buckety, the exhaust wakes babies instead of lulling them to sleep, and the suspension is more Monaco than Mothercare.

But don’t go and buy that diesel Alhambra just yet. With this list of cars you can drop off the kids on your way to Santa Pod, set a respectable quarter mile and then pick them up on the way back for tea. These are the fastest family cars, for all budgets.

Ferrari FF

Go big or go home. Big like 6.3-litres of Italian V12 and bigger bucks in the region of £2257,000 We love the fact Ferrari had the balls to build its first-ever four-wheel drive car in a shooting brake body style, with four seats and a top speed of 208mph. FF stands for ‘Ferrari Four’, but there are a few other F-words likely to emanate from the leather-clad cabin. Did we mention it has a 450-litre boot? And the seats fold flat.

Engine: 6.3-litre V12
Power: 660bhp
Torque: 683Nm
0-62mph: 3.7 seconds
Top Speed: 208mph
Price: £225,171

Audi RS6 Avant

Dog lovers beware – the RS6 Avant wants to kill Fido. It looks so respectable doesn’t it? Just another Audi estate with some big alloy wheels — except it isn’t. There’s a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 in place of the standard issue diesel motor, with a snorting 552bhp. The RS6 will chirrup all four tyres on its way to 62mph in 3.9 seconds, but please not with your fluffy friend on board.

Engine: 4.0-litre V8
Power: 552bhp
Torque: 700Nm
0-62mph: 3.9 seconds
Top Speed: 189mph
Price: £77,000

BMW X5 M

Back in the 90s we were glad if an off-roader didn’t roll over when driven enthusiastically, now the best can burn off a Lotus Elise. Angry with life? Get an X5 M and you can attack most things head on. Take speed as an example, this 547bhp beast will head butt its way to 155mph. Chelsea tractor? Chelsea Scud missile, more like.

Engine: 4.4-litre V8
Power: 555bhp
Torque: 680Nm
0-62mph: 4.7 seconds
Top Speed: 155mph
Price: £76,000

Ford Focus ST & Estate

OK, the list so far has been a bit grandiose. There’s no better way to come back down to Earth than the hot version of the UK’s best-selling family car. Not only that, but the latest Focus ST is a turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol which drinks in moderation, quite unlike the petrol swilling 2.5-litre ST of yesteryear. If you like to display a calm exterior, but have a wild side, go for the discreet ST estate in black.

Engine: 2.0-litre turbo
Power: 248bhp
Torque: 360Nm
0-62mph: 6.5 seconds
Top Speed: 154mph
Price: £21,995

Volkswagen Golf GTI Performance Pack

The Golf is ageing nicely isn’t it? Longer and sharper, the Mk7 GTI is German engineering at its best. Choose the Performance Pack (a bargain at £980) and you get 227bhp, bigger brakes and most importantly, an electrically controlled mechanical front differential – a piece of tech which essentially makes this Golf allergic to understeer.

Engine: 2.0-litre turbo
Power: 227bhp
Torque: 360Nm
0-62mph: 6.3 seconds
Top Speed: 155mph
Price: £24,000 (est)

MINI Countryman JCW

A controversial choice, the Countryman JCW, but no matter your opinion on the lardy MINI, there’s no arguing with its performance credentials. Once it has been given the John Cooper Works treatment, the family-sized Countryman has 215bhp, four-wheel drive and beefed up suspension. A top speed of 140mph is impressive, but its zero to 62mph in 7 seconds is brisk rather than properly quick.

Engine: 1.6-litre turbo
Power: 215bhp
Torque: 280Nm
0-62mph: 7 seconds
Top Speed: 140mph
Price: £29,000 (est)

Mercedes C63 AMG 507 Estate

The head honcho at Mercedes clearly believes there’s no replacement for displacement. With a 6.2-litre V8 nestled between the front wheels, this C63 AMG 507 estate does a great aural impression of an unlimited class speed boat with an engine bay full of hand grenades. Take your kids to Alton Towers in the C63 and they’ll wonder why the rides feel so slow.

Engine: 6.3-litre turbo
Power: 507bhp
Torque: 610Nm
0-62mph: 4.3 seconds
Top Speed: 174mph
Price: £68,160

Vauxhall Insignia VXR Supersport Sports Tourer

Vauxhall has a long tradition of building big bruisers like the Carlton, Cavalier Turbo, Vectra VXR and Monaro. Its latest is the Insignia VXR, which would be easy to mistake for a diesel if it weren’t for its huge alloy wheels and copious badging. With a 320bhp V6 it’s certainly not short of poke and it significantly undercuts the similarly-quick Audi S4 on price.

Engine: 2.8-litre turbo
Power: 325bhp
Torque: 435Nm
0-60mph: 5.6 seconds
Top Speed: 170mph
Price: £29,885

Porsche Cayenne GTS

You normally hear a Cayenne GTS before you see it, at which point the ripping V8 exhaust note seems completely at odds with the huge SUV it originates from. If 414bhp from a rorty 4.8-litre V8 wasn’t impressive enough, Porsche has fettled the handling to the point where this could be the best 4×4 to drive of all time.

Engine: 4.8-litre turbo
Power: 420bhp
Torque: 515Nm
0-60mph: 5.7 seconds
Top Speed: 162mph
Price: £68,117 

Aston Martin Rapide S

When you think ‘four-door saloon’ the image in your head is not of an Aston Martin Rapide S. And yet, this stunning car does indeed have four doors and a boot, as well as a sonorous V12 with no less than 550bhp. Sitting in the back seats at its 190mph VMAX must be quite an experience. Claimed fuel economy is just 19.9mpg, but you probably aren’t too worried if you can afford a £149,950 Aston.

Engine: 6.0-litre turbo
Power: 550bhp
Torque: 620Nm
0-60mph: 4.9 seconds
Top Speed: 190mph
Price: £150,000 (est) 

Bentley Continental Flying Spur

Say hello to the world’s fastest four-door. The Bentley Continental Flying Spur can officially crack the magic 200mph, courtesy of its 616bhp W12 power house. Its recent facelift has also neatened its appearance, which was a bit dumpy, and given its interior a tech overhaul. There’s now on-board WiFi and a Rear Seat Entertainment suite with a hand-held touch-screen remote control, so you can watch Strictly Come Dancing at 3.3 miles per minute.

Engine: 6.0-litre turbo
Power: 560bhp
Torque: 650Nm
0-60mph: 4.9 seconds
Top Speed: 194mph
Price: £133,200 

Maserati Quattroporte

If that Ferrari FF is a little too rich for your blood, check out the new Maserati Quattroporte. While the car might be built in Turin, its new 530bhp twin-turbo V8 is built by Ferrari in Maranello. Its stunning looks and sumptuous interior are sure to make family trips eventful, as is a nought to 60mph time of 4.7 seconds. At around £110k, it’s even something of a bargain.

Engine: 3.8-litre turbo
Power: 530bhp
Torque: 710Nm
0-60mph: 4.7 seconds
Top Speed: 191mph
Price: £108,125 

Lead image: Flickr

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