Whether surfing through sports sites, tabloid magazines or general news sites, it is clear that we are obsessed with sports celebrities and their lifestyles. And why not? Athletes make millions, live in great houses, travel all over the world and can buy any toy they want. Sure, professional athletes face intense pressure and criticism over their careers but we don’t really think about this when we are pretending to slam-dunk like Michael Jordan, hit a homerun like Derek Jeter or score the winning goal like Sidney Crosby.
Away from the field, stadium or arena, fans and the media remain obsessed with star athletes. Relationships, scandals and general lifestyle are all issues of intense speculation and scrutiny. Perhaps one of the less intrusive and ‘fun’ aspects of following the lives of athletes is seeing what sorts of toys they own and use. Specifically, the sorts of cars athletes own is always a big talking point. Whether football, baseball, soccer or hockey, we love seeing what kinds of cars athletes drive for a variety of reasons. First, there is the straight up voyeur attraction, as we love looking into other people’s lives. Second, we are interested to see if they drive ‘real’ cars – the kind of cars maybe we own, or could realistically own. Finally, we love seeing the over-the-top extravagant vehicles athletes tend to buy.
So, what do American football players drive? The following list looks at some of the most popular cars driven by the players of the NFL. As you’d expect, the exotic and luxurious brands are well represented. These are the cars you’d expect to see on any list involving multi-millionaire celebrities and athletes. Mixed in with these high-priced imports, however, are a blend of more practical vehicles and strong representation in the form of American muscle. There are no Hyundais, Kias or Mazdas here. There is no room for Colts QB Andrew Luck’s Honda Accord, Seahawks QB Terrell Pryor’s Nissan 350Z or Cardinals Cornerback Antonio Cromartie’s Toyota Prius. That’s not to say that these cars aren’t popular in general, they just aren’t popular among their fellow NFLers.
Click the button below to start this article in quick view
16 Honorable Mention: Smart Fortwo - $13,270 (base)
We wanted to put this one on the list but it got bumped out by all the other cars. So, we’ll give the Smart car its own spot. The Fortwo is smaller than a compact and is officially known as a city or kei car. First produced in 1998, the Fortwo comes as either a two door convertible or a three door hatchback equipped with a 800cc diesel or 1.0L engine with a turbocharged model available. It’s not flashy, it’s not expensive and it’s not a high-performance car but it is apparently good enough for free agent linebacker James Harrison and former wide receiver Chad Ochocinco.
15 Dodge Challenger - $26,495 (base)
When you think of American muscle cars, one of the vehicles which likely pops into your head is the Dodge Challenger. The Challenger is an icon of the 1960s-70s muscle car era. Large, powerful and a gas guzzler, these cars could be found on the street facing off against Chevrolet Camaros and Ford Mustangs. Today, the Challenger has been updated for a new market. Re-Released in 2008, the third-generation Challenger retains much of the look of the iconic muscle-era car. A variety of engines are available, from a 3.5L 250hp V6 to a 6.4L 470hp V8. No doubt NFLers will drooling over the planned 2015 Challenger Hellcat which will sport a 6.2L supercharged V8 putting out a massive 707hp and 650 lb-ft of torque. Until then, Ravens running back Ray Rice and 49ers tight end Vernon Davis will just have to make do with their ‘regular’ Challengers.
14 Chevrolet Camaro - $31,055 (base)
Staying on the topic of muscle cars, another icon of the American muscle car scene is the Chevrolet Camaro. Often labelled as a pony-killer because of its rivalry with the Ford Mustang over the decades, the Camaro has undergone major modernization for its latest release. The newest models of this car belong to the fifth generation which started production in 2009. The Camaro is powered by a range of engines from the 3.6L 312hp V6 to the 6.2L 426hp V8 found in the SS model. Special models include the ZL1 which has 580hp thanks to a supercharged 6.2L V8. There is also a Z-28 version which is powered by a 7.0L 505hp engine like that used in the Corvette. Of course, the special editions will cost more with the ZL1 alone running $60,555. The Camaro already has a big NFL following which includes Patrick Willis (49ers), Aaron Rodgers (Packers), Chris Johnson (Jets), Nate Clements (free agent), Delanie Walker (Titans) and Earl Thomas (Seahawks).
13 Range Rover Evoque - $41,100 (base)
Even NFL players need to drive their kids around and occasionally head out to the store to pick up some milk and bread. Combining stylish design, decent luxury and a name which screams “I spent a bunch of money on this thing,” the Range Rover Evoque is a favorite of athletes, including NFLers such as Darrelle Revis (Patriots) and Frank Gore (49ers). The Evoque was first produced in 2011. It retains the look of a traditional Range Rover but is smaller with a more aerodynamic styling. It comes with either a 2.2L turbodiesel or 2.0L turbocharged gasoline engine which produces between 148 and 247hp. All of this power goes to either a two-wheel or four-wheel drive transmission. Offsetting the fact that this high-end SUV is powered by a Ford Ecoboost engine is the point that the Evoque has been used in the world-famous Dakar rally.
12 Hummer H2 - $63,090
From 1992 to 2006, the original Hummer H1 grew in popularity. Its use as a military vehicle and celebrity ownership by people like Arnold Schwarzenegger made the Hummer desirable. GM picked up on this and modernized the design to make it more appealing to a larger part of the population. From 2003 to 2009 the H2 found its way into the garages of soccer moms and those who have probably never been off-road in their lives but want the challenge of fitting into a parking spot at the grocery store. The H2 was a more suburban friendly super-SUV which also came in a pickup truck style similar to the Honda Ridgeline or Chevrolet Avalanche. It is powered by either a 6.0L or 6.2L V8 producing between 316 and 393hp. Players who prefer the H2 over smaller SUVs include free agent Nate Clements and recent NFLer Chad Ochocinco.
11 Cadillac Escalade - $71,695 (base)
Another favorite of the high-end soccer mom and rap star, GM’s Escalade has become an icon of wealth and conspicuous consumption. Since 1999 it has been based on either GM’s Suburban or Avalanche platforms. The Escalade came with either rear-wheel or four-wheel drive to tackle the challenging road conditions found in the suburbs – like really steep entrances to the mall. Equipped with everything from a 5.3L to a 6.2L V8, the Escalade could even be had in a hybrid version. The higher end ESV models (based on the Suburban platform) are the most expensive and generally start around $74,695. In the NFL world players like Peyton Manning (Broncos), Taylor Mays (Bengals), Vernon Davis (49ers) and Michael Strahan (retired) all love their Cadillac Escalades.
10 BMW 7-series - $74,000 (base)
When you think of well built, reliable and comfortable cars, it’s hard not to think of BMW. The German company have a history of building sporty and luxurious cars with plenty of accessories and power. Perhaps no cars better fit the full-sized luxury role than BMW’s flagship 7-series. Starting in 1977, the 7-series usually received the newest technologies and designs found in later BMW models. Engines vary and depend of the specific model and trim. That said, everything from a turbocharged inline 6-cylinder to a 6.0L turbocharged V12 have powered these cars. The newest 7-series vehicles were released in 2008 and continue to today. With a high level of luxury and capable of producing over 500hp, it is unsurprising that players like Michael Oher (Titans), Patrick Willis (49ers) and Larry Fitzgerald (Cardinals) all own a 7-series car.
9 Porsche Panamera - $78,100 (base)
The Porsche Panamera takes a 91, gives it more comfort and the ability to carry more than two people. Critics and car enthusiasts are divided over this car. For people who want a Porsche but need four-door ability, this car ticks all the boxes. For the purist, this is an eyesore which doesn’t fit any category, it is heavy and fails to deliver performance you’d want from a 911 or the space you get in the larger Cayenne SUV. Engine options include a 3.0L diesel and everything from a 300hp 3.6L V6 to a 4.8L V8 twin-turbocharged motor which puts out 550hp. There is even a hybrid version. NFLers who don’t care that this car has upset the world of Porsche purists include Vernon Davis (49ers) and Calvin Johnson (Lions).
8 Mercedes-Benz S550 - $98,000 (base)
Like the BMW 7-series mentioned earlier, the Mercedes-Benz S-class vehicles provide high-end comfort with a lot of power. This blend of styling, comfort and power makes the S-class an obvious choice for the rich and famous. The world’s best-selling luxury sedan, these cars have gone through a number of modernizations and revisions since 1954. Today’s S550 (known as the S500 outside North America) is powered by either a 4.6L 450hp twin-turbo V8 or a 5.4L 383hp V8. This performance allows players like Joe Haden (Browns) and Aldon Smith (49ers) to go from 0-60 in just over 5 seconds.
7 Audi R8 - $115,000 (base)
This is the car that Iron Man / Tony Stark drives when he isn’t using his high-tech suit to fly around. Back in the real world, the Audi R8 caused a stir when it was released in 2007. The car uses a mid-engine all-wheel drive design for increased performance and handling. There are two types of engines to choose from. The 4.2L V8 produces 414-430hp (depending on model and year) and can go 0-60 in under 5 seconds. A 5.2L V10 produces anywhere from 525 to more than 560hp (model and year dependent) and can get the car to 60mph in 3.6 seconds. The car has found itself onto the professional racetracks around the world and, with its sporty looks, has attracted many car enthusiasts. Owners include Tom Brady (Patriots), Jay Cutler (Bears) and Bernard Berrian (free agent).
6 Maserati Gran Turismo - $143,400 (base)
First launched in 2007, the Maserati GT looks like an Italian sports car. With its front-mid engine and rear-wheel drive setup, the GT is well balanced and handles very well. The engines are from the Ferrari / Maserati family of V8s and benefit from the race pedigree expected from these two companies. Depending on trim type, power can come from either a 399hp 4.2L V8 or a 4.7L V8 which produces between 434 and 454hp, giving a 0-60 time of 5.2 seconds or less. Production is scheduled to end this year which makes Clinton Portis (retired) and Antrel Rolle (Giants) very lucky people.
5 Mercedes-Benz CL63 AMG - $154,600
Another high-end German car, the Mercedes CL63 AMG has found its way into a number of NFlers’ garages. The CL63 is powered by a 5.5L twin-turbo V8 which produces 536hp in the ‘regular’ AMG version or 563hp in the AMG Performance Package edition. This power helps propel the car from 0-60 in around 4.4 seconds. Helping control and manage this power is a seven-speed gearbox. Inside, the car is loaded with more accessories, high-end materials and electronics than we have room to list here. Like the other German cars on this list, the CL63 AMG combines luxury and styling with a lot power. For this level of money, however, you get Audi R8 power with S-class comfort. That’s good enough for Patrick Willis (49ers), Ray Rice (Ravens), Delanie Walker (Titans) and Deon Grant (retired).
4 Bentley Continental GT - $187,900
When you think Bentley, you think luxury. Since 1952, Bentley has produced the Continental with some variants becoming the world’s most expensive cars. The company was bought by Volkswagen in 1998 and the Continetal GT we see today shares a platform with the VW Phaeton. That said, this Grand Tourer luxury car still has a very British feel. The Continental GT is powered by either a 4.0L V8 twin-turbo or a 6.0L W12 twin-turbocharged motor which produces anywhere from 500 to 626hp. All of this power meets the road through a permanent four-wheel drive system. The result is a car which looks like a luxury automobile but performs and handles better than you’d think a high-end luxury car would. NFLers who own one of these beasts include Darren McFadden (Raiders), Robert Griffin III (Redskins) and Joe Haden (Browns).
3 Rolls Royce Ghost - $263,200
Like the Bentley, anything from Rolls Royce conjures up images of a massive car with a large engine and emphasis on comfort and luxury. The Ghost began production in 2010 and has become a favorite of celebrity and sports figures all over the world. Designed to be a smaller and more affordable Rolls Royce, the Ghost still commands a quarter-million dollar price tag. What do you get for that much money? You get a modified BMW 6.6L V12 twin-turbocharged engine that produces 562hp. With the 8-speed transmission the car can get to 60mph in 4.7 seconds - Not bad for a 5,500lb car. We could tell you all about the interior or you could just ask Tom Brady (Patriots) and Joe Haden (Browns) what it’s like.
2 Lamborghini Murcielago - $354,000 (original)
Out of the luxury, we end this list with ridiculously expensive and highly exotic. Up first is the Lamborghini Murcielago. This car, like almost every Lamborghini, looks fast whether sitting still or flying down the road. The Murcielago was built from 2001 to 2010 with only 4,099 examples made available. For the first five years, the all-wheel drive car was powered by a 6.2L V12 which produced 572hp and sent the car from 0-60 in 3.3 seconds. After 2006, a 6.5L V12 was used and produced anywhere from 631 to 661hp. These later version could get to 60mph in 3.1 seconds or less, depending on the model. Not built for comfort, this car is all about speed and handling. Owners include Joe Haden (Browns) and Michael Bennett (Seahawks).
1 Lamborghini Aventador - $397,000 (base)
Top spot on this list belongs to yet another Lamborghini exotic – the Aventador. This car was designed to replace the outgoing Murcielago and began production in 2011. Like its predecessor, the Aventador was mid-engined, all-wheel drive and used a 6.5L V12 engine. The Aventador’s engine is uprated to 690hp and can get the car from 0-60 in a blistering 2.9 seconds. The roadster edition of this top-performer will run you an additional $50,000 above the ‘regular’ Aventador. This car has been positively received by car enthusiasts and critics and is so popular that production can’t keep up with demand. While Joe Haden (Browns) and Reggie Bush (Lions) are unlikely to hoist the Vince Lombardi Trophy any time soon, we’re sure hanging onto the steering wheel of this beast has eased the pain.
Leave A Comment
Looking for an AD FREE EXPERIENCE on TheSportster?Get Your Free Access Now!