SUVs have adapted to every conceivable aspect of how cars are in general and by that, I mean they are a whole package and somewhat a bargain over conventional passenger cars such as sedans and hatchbacks. SUVs managed to match fuel efficiency of smaller cars and top of that they offer more like practicality, off-road capability, comfort, and space. In the performance department, they are close to what fast sedans and hatchbacks can do. Automakers now make performance SUVs that are generally overpowered and achieve remarkable top speeds.
These SUVs on this list are ranked according to the amount of horsepower they produce. We are mentioning only internal combustion engine powered vehicles meaning electric cars won’t be included.
- BMW X5 M & X6 M Competition: 617 hp (460 kW)
The duo from BMW M has been around for 10 years and the third generation M variants now pack a lot more power from BMW’s S63B44T4 V8 engine with a 4.4 litre displacement hooked to two turbochargers and as a result, it makes 617 hp (460 kW) and 750 Nm of torque. The power is shifted on an 8-Speed Automatic torque converter and delivered to all four wheels via the M xDrive system which has only two modes, 4WD and 4WD Sport. 0-100 km/h is achieved in 3.8 seconds and the top speed is 290 km/h. Both models were recently launched in South Africa with a price tag of R2 400 000 for the X5 M and R2 493 000 for the X6 M.
- Bentley Bentayga Speed: 626 hp (466 kW)
This should be the most luxurious SUV on this list and one of the fastest in terms of top speed reaching 306 km/h flat out. A 6.0-litre twin-turbo W12 engine manages to produce 900 Nm of torque transferred to all four wheels. The 0-100 km/h sprint time is 3.9 seconds despite the fact that it weighs 2 500 kilograms and making it as heavy as the hybrid Cayenne Turbo S and that’s packing some batteries. The Bentayga Speed is available in South Africa with a base price of R4 595 000 which makes it the most expensive SUV on this list.
- Lamborghini Urus: 641 hp (478 kW)
It was obvious that an SUV made by an Italian supercar manufacturer would make a list such as this one. A lot of folks say this SUV is just an Audi RS Q8 on steroids but even though they share the same 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine, the Urus produces about 50 hp more than the RS Q8. It is also pretty quick with a top speed of 305 km/h and a 0-100 km/h time of 3.6 seconds. This looks much sensible rather than “Lamborghini” crazy but that is not a bad thing because it performs like a hooligan. R3 495 000 before options is how much you need to pick up one of these.
- Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E-hybrid: 675 hp (503 kW)
This is a combination of the past and the present because an old school 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine mated to an electric motor can only lead to more power. The V8 engine produces 541 hp (403 kW) and the electric motor has 134 hp (100 kW) and as a bonus, 900 Nm of torque is produced. The peak top speed is 294 km/h and the sprint time from a standstill to 100 km/h in 3.8 seconds. The price for this is at R3 099 000.
- Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT-8 Trackhawk: 707 hp (527 kW)
You thought this would be number one, right? Unfortunately, there was a beast released just weeks ago and it took the throne but we will talk about that. There is no other way to say this but under the hood is a Hellcat V8 engine, 6.2-litres in size, and has a 2.4 litre capacity supercharger on the top. It comes with an 8-speed TorqueFlite Automatic transmission, launch control, and four-wheel drive. That combination allows the Trackhawk to sprint from 0-100 km/h in 3.7 seconds and that is absolutely insane and it’s priced at R2 200 000.
- Dodge Durango SRT-8 Hellcat: 710 hp (529 kW)
This shares most of its components with its brother the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk because they are both under the Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles company. The engine, chassis, transmission are derived from the Trackhawk but the Durango produces 3 more horsepower. 875 Nm of torque produced from the supercharged HEMI V8 is sent to all four wheels and that helps with completing a quarter-mile run in just 11.5 seconds. It has some upgrades to it which included an updated air cool duct and Brembo brakes for stopping power. Dodge is known to be the leader in making powerful cars and they did not disappoint with this one.