The German car industry has always been led by three things: technology, innovation and power.
If a car is class-leading in any of those categories, there’s a decent chance it’s German.
The German horsepower wars have been going on for decades. And even in the age of electrification and changing habits in general car ownership, they’re still stronger than ever.
But which are the top contenders at the moment? We guarantee you’ll be fairly surprised at a few on this top 10 list.
10. Maybach S680 – 612hp
Germany’s answer to Rolls Royce has forever been renowned for its silky smooth powertrains. But no matter how silent and serene the 6.0 litre V12 engine is, it generates a bomb of power.
612 majestic horsepower and this 2.8-tonne mega yacht can go from 0-60 in 4.3 seconds. That’s some serious go for a car like this.
Perhaps an ultra-luxury limousine was always going to make a top power list. After all, they need it to shift all that weight!
9. Porsche Panamera Turbo S – 630hp
The 4-door supercar from Porsche disrupted the market back in 2009 as an exotic alternative to the likes of the big three. The Turbo S updated from 2021 is the Panamera’s ultimate form.
630hp makes this practical Porsche more powerful than the Carrera GT. It’s quicker too with a 0-60 time of just under 3 seconds!
Porsche was always going to put up a good fight to make the most dominant car in class. The Panamera Turbo S certainly fits that criteria very neatly. And best of all? You can have it in estate form, so your dog can be thrilled by the power too.
8. BMW M5 CS – 635hp
For nearly 40 years, the BMW M5 has been the ultimate dish in the fast sedan recipe. From the buzz of the early straight-six cars to the V10 howler, there is an M5 for everyone.
The ultimate of all however is the latest M5, the CS.
With 635hp on tap, this is the most powerful M series car BMW has ever made. And by far, the most extreme in terms of ethos.
An M5 was always going to be a runner-up for Germany’s most powerful car. We are therefore, very pleased to report that trend hasn’t changed.
7. Audi RS E-Tron GT – 637hp
With nearly 640hp, the RS E-Tron GT churns out nearly as much power as a Lamborghini Huracan Performante.
Considering nobody ever thought that it lacked in punch, it’s fair to say the beast from Ingolstadt isn’t what you’d call sluggish.
And how fascinating that it makes the list over its twin-turbo V8-powered siblings.
6. Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT – 640hp
Who would’ve predicted that one of the most powerful Porsche GT products would be an SUV? It’s fair to say that the answer is not many, but here we are.
The Cayenne Turbo GT is the most extreme flavour of the Cayenne ever made. And it has the powertrain to suit. The 4.0 litre twin-turbo V8 is pretty much the same as the Lamborghini Urus’ and churns out an enormous 640hp.
Like the Urus, it’s also stiffened from the bare bones. So, that on track, it does its utmost to be as un-SUV as humanly possible. And there’s solid evidence of that with a 7:38 lap time around the Nurburgring Nordschleife.
Whether you’re a fan of SUVs or not, this car is quite an engineering masterpiece.
5. Porsche 911 Turbo S – 640hp
The mid-1970s saw the introduction of the forced-inducted icon from Stuttgart. The early 930-generation 911 Turbos were pretty synonymous with being slightly dangerous, but five decades down the line and we have the uber-refined 992 model.
It’s a vast improvement over previous generations. With speed capable of re-adjusting your heart rate and grip that stiffens your muscles, the 911 Turbo was always a world-beater and still is.
The 640hp twin-turbocharged flat-six engine is quite down on numbers compared to rival cars from Italy. But it still makes the list of the most powerful Germans without breaking a sweat.
4. Mercedes AMG GT Black Series – 730hp
The Black Series iteration of Mercedes’ AMG GT is very different to any AMG that preceded it. While the brand may have been born on the race circuit, barely any road cars followed suit.
The AMG GT Black uses a flat-plane crankshaft in its clever 4.0 litre twin-turbocharged V8. The unit itself is derived from GT3 racing and it churns out an enormous 730hp. For a spot of context, that’s around 170 more than the then-most powerful AMG GT-R.
You can bet that whenever a Black Series Merc is in production, it’ll always be one of the most powerful German cars on the market.
3. Porsche Taycan Turbo S – 760hp
As per the Audi from earlier, the most powerful car Porsche currently makes is also absent of internal combustion.
And before you can say 918 Spyder, that went out of production seven years ago. Meaning at the moment, the full-EV is the current boss.
760hp makes the Taycan Turbo S substantially more powerful than the 911 Turbo S. But at the same time, it’s also substantially heavier at a mighty 2.3 tonnes…
2. Mercedes AMG GT 63S E-Performance – 831hp
Quite a catchy name, isn’t it? Nevertheless, it seems that Porsche’s neighbours at Mercedes are obsessed with power at the moment. Paired with F1-derived electric motors, the gigantic 831hp is mated to a torque output of over 1,000 lb.ft.
Those are pretty serious numbers for not only a 4-door sedan, but for the motor industry in general. The 4.0 litre twin-turbocharged V8 has 630hp on its own, but the 201hp electric powertrain system makes all the difference in outright oomph.
The GT63S E-Performance AMG (whichever way round it is), has to be one of the most insane production cars ever to come out of Germany. And in classic German fashion, it still retains a remarkable sense of subtlety.
1. Brabus 900 – 900hp
The 900 range in Brabus‘ portfolio represents everything that’s mad, but oh so lovable about one of the best German auto tuners.
As per the name, any of the 900 cars are equipped with 900hp versions of Mercedes AMG’s V8 (expanded to 4.5 litres rather than 4.0) or V12 engines. Making for an unforgettable sense of power when thundering down the autobahn as everyone watches in envy.
A ‘regular’ AMG is driven by someone who had achieved something. A Brabus 900 on the other hand? Well, those will be driven by those who achieved everything.