Guilty Pleasures

12 Gas Guzzlers We're Ashamed to Admit We Still Want

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Guilty Pleasures


On one hand, gas-guzzling sports cars, outsized trucks, and roaring muscle cars are obnoxious to own and selfish to drive. On the other hand, they're just so awe inspiring. Sure, every gallon of gasoline pumped tips the scales toward the slow, steady drip of planetary annihilation, but none of that matters when you're strapped into something powered by a Hellcat or Viper V10 engine. Here's a look at the air-polluting, carbon-emitting, Earth-destroying monstrosities that you'd gladly drive tomorrow if given the chance.

Note: Average fuel consumption estimates are based on the U.S. Department of Energy’s fuel economy data and auto industry trade publications. 

1960 Corvette
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1960 CORVETTE | 13.6 MPG

Seven years after Chevy first gifted the world with the original 1953 Corvette, one of the coolest automobiles ever conceived began rolling off the assembly line. Among the last of the vaunted C1 generation — the C2 emerged in 1963 — the 1960 was the first Corvette to feature an aluminum radiator. Few cars have ever been sweeter despite the need for frequent fill-ups.

2019 Bentley Mulsanne
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With a starting price in the low $300,000s, if you can afford a Bentley Mulsanne, the cost of gas isn't going to make or break you. And if you have the means, it's well worth the expense, considering that you — or more likely your chauffeur — will feel the power of 505 horses every time you leave the driveway, or whatever route you take out of your mansion. The ultimate in Bruce Wayne-ish luxury, every inch of the Mulsanne oozes opulence.

1963 Pontiac Grand Prix
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If you were able to rustle up $3,500 in 1963, you could have roared into the sunset with the car that would come to define posh performance — the Grand Prix, which the Pontiac Division of General Motors unveiled for the first time in 1962. In '63, the Grand Prix still had all the charm and elegance of the Catalina Coupe on which it was based, but this modernized machine ushered in a new era of Pontiac power. 

1963 Pontiac Bonneville
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The name Bonneville is believed to be an homage to the Bonneville Salt Flats, where land-speed records have long been made and broken. At GM, the name Bonneville once indicated a high-end trim package available on several models, but in 1958 the General Motors Pontiac Division introduced a new standalone car that it pushed as the company's answer to the Corvette: the Pontiac Bonneville. The Bonneville remained the most luxurious and expensive model Pontiac produced throughout the 1960s, but the '63 will forever be a favorite — it was, after all, the first year GM stacked the headlights vertically instead of horizontally.  

1992 Hummer H1
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1992 HUMMER H1 | Less Than 10 MPG (Varies)

In 1992, a macho monstrosity called the Hummer H1 hit the streets, and if you saw one, it was impossible to confuse it with anything else. The huge, heavy, bright, and loud civilian version of the military Humvee was both reviled and revered almost instantly. For high-testosterone alpha dogs (Arnold Schwarzenegger quickly bought a fleet of them), it was the physical embodiment of the no-apologies, in-your-face excess of outsized American consumerism. For environmentalists and anyone who had to drive or park near one, it was a menacing and gas-guzzling road-hog. Either way, it is an undeniable classic and a symbol of a bygone era where less was definitely not more.

1973 Cadillac Deville
1973 Cadillac Deville by That Hartford Guy from Hartford (CC BY-SA)


There's a reason that more than 70 percent of Caddys produced in 1973 were DeVilles. Actually, there are several reasons, and those reasons are pretty much the same reasons that the 1973 Cadillac DeVille turned in a paltry single-digit miles-per-gallon rating. Its overhead valve V8 produced 375 horsepower thanks to engine displacement of 500 cubic inches. 

Lamborghini Countach 5000 Qv


If you were a kid who hung a poster of a car on your bedroom wall in the 1980s or even the late '70s, chances are that car was a Countach. For those loyal to the legendary Lamborghini brand, the Countach is the first and only true supercar in history, and all that followed were just pretenders. The Countach 5000 Quattrovalvole (QV) is the granddaddy of them all, thanks to its many upgrades over previous models, the most important of which was that it boasted four valves — hence the name — per cylinder.  

1985 Ferrari Testarossa
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The Berlinetta Boxer was a dream come true for sports car enthusiasts obsessed with speed, precision, and social status, but the Boxer was not without its flaws. Those flaws, however, disappeared in 1984 when Ferrari unveiled a new Berlinetta: the Testarossa, a 12-cylinder, road-hugging, right-angled cheetah. Right up there with the Lamborghini Countach in terms of 1980s childhood fantasy cars, the Testarossa was engineered and named in honor of the legendary 250 Ferrari Testa Rossa, which won three out of four Les Mans championships held between 1958-61.

2005 Dodge Ram Srt-10
2005 Dodge Ram Srt-10 by Eddie Ford (CC BY)

2005 DODGE RAM SRT-10 | 9-12 MPG

If you're looking to drag race while towing a mountain, the 2005 Dodge Ram SRT-10 is calling your name. It is, after all, one of the only places you'll find a Viper V10 engine outside of a Viper. Although it didn't carry the name, the SRT-10 was a genuine, bona fide Hellcat, especially when you consider that the non-quad cab manual roared from 0-60 in less than five seconds, which would be quite a feat for any pickup today, much less 15 years ago. 

1998 Dodge Viper Convertible
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Referred to by Edmunds as "the ultimate babe magnet," but also "the ultimate cop magnet, too," the 1998 Dodge Viper convertible is arguably the most beautiful Viper in history. When the first Viper became available for public sale in 1992, the media swooned and celebrities scooped them up en masse. The most celebrated grand tourer since the original Mustang, the Viper name will always be synonymous with the unbridled power of the massive V10 engine.

2013 Jaguar Xjl
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2013 JAGUAR XJL | 13 MPG

When you use E85 ethanol with the 2013 Jaguar XJL, which is flex-fuel capable, you'll get just 13 miles per gallon, but the experience justifies the cost, hassle, and emissions. The XJ series first debuted in 1968 as one of the most prestigious luxury cars in the world, and the current generation still produces the growl that made the Jag famous. The 2013 XJL roars with a 470-horsepower supercharged five-liter V8 engine.

2013 Rolls-royce Phantom
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First produced in 1925, the world's most luxurious car is creeping up on its centennial anniversary. Now in its eighth generation, the Rolls-Royce Phantom nameplate is the oldest in the history of cars, and Kim Kardashian, the royal family, and Fred Astaire are just a few of the movers and shakers fabulous enough to insist on having one of their own. The 2013 came after the once-struggling Rolls brand was resurrected and reinvigorated by BMW, who bought the British automaker of kings in 1998.