What Is The Best Luxury Coupe Ever Made?

Illustration for article titled What Is The Best Luxury Coupe Ever Made?

Watching Lincoln's mid-eighties offering to the luxury coupe market earlier today got us thinking about the world of posh two doors. This weekend we want to know what you believe is the best luxury coupe.

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For our purposes we're defining luxury coupes as follows—two doors, at least four seats, and built/marketed with luxury as the main priority—even if performance was a nice added bonus. We'll leave the precise qualifications for "best" up to you.

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My choice for the best luxury coupe ever made is the Euro Spec E24 BMW 635csi. I've always believed the ideal luxury car is German and from the 80s—mostly because those are the ones I can afford and work on.

Of these I find it hard to disagree with the European version of the top of the line E24 for a top pick. Equipped with an M30, hard to find without a five speed, diving board free, classically styled and available with a red leather interior—what more could you desire from a luxury coupe?

What is the best luxury coupe ever made?

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DISCUSSION

My vote is for an often-overlooked choice - the 1995-1999 Riviera by Buick.

You all probably think I'm a bit insane for suggesting a relatively late-model Buick. Let me explain.

It was one of two cars to use GM's FWD G-body, the other is the Olds Aurora. The G-body is derived from the K-body, which was used in Cadillacs from the 1980 Seville up until the DTS was retired in 2011.

The G-body featured four wheel independent suspension, and was one of the strongest cars on the road at the time. During normal crush-to-failure tests done by automakers to evaluate body rigidity, the G-body's unibody construction broke GM's passenger car testing machine. They had to use one designed for heavy-duty truck frames, where it was found to exceed federal standards by two times.

The Riviera was available with the highest output Buick engine since the Grand National - a 240hp, 280lb/ft of torque 3.8L L67 supercharged V6. This power - sent to the front wheels through a beefy 4T65E-HD - let the Riv do 0-60 in under 8 seconds, and do the 1/4 mile in 15.5. Impressive figures, considering the Riv was over 17 feet long, 6 1/4 feet wide, and weighed in at 3,788 lbs. Even with all the power and size, the Riv was able to get 18 city/27 highway.

To give the true luxury feel, the Riv came with real wood dash inserts, a smooth, understated dashboard with round gauges inset into it, ABS, dual airbags, factory anti-theft system, six-speaker stereo, dual-zone temperature control, and electronic suspension leveling.

It was available with leather bucket seats and a console, adjustable lumbar support, steering wheel audio controls, cornering lamps, a glass power moonroof, and traction control.

It was the best personal luxury coupe Buick has ever made.