10 super SUVs that would do well in a drag race
Not so long ago, automotive journalists would race against sports cars or sports sedans to see which was faster. Today the super SUV is the most talked about segment in the automotive industry. With the sheer number of options available, we can clearly see why.
While the original Jeep Wagoneer is considered the first true SUV, the 1990s BMW X5 holds the title for the beginning of the modern SUV. Since then, most automakers have followed suit due to the absolute explosion in popularity of the segment. Mercedes-Benz has created its own niches in already existing niches and pocketed them all the way. BMW put a powerful engine in the front of its largest model and again started a trend that is still going strong. Today, the super SUV craze has even infected Porsche, Lamborghini and Ferrari, three automakers known for their 2-door sports cars and supercars.
As if to show the world that they’re still in charge of the segment, BMW recently unveiled its new M-only SUV, the XM – the most powerful of which will offer more power than Dodge’s ridiculous supercharged Durango or even the new V12. Purosangue from Ferrari. The question then becomes, which of the ten best super SUVs would win in a drag race?
10/10 Bentley Bentayga Speed
The Bentley Bentayga Speed is the top model, sitting above the “normal” W12, V8 and Diesel. The Speed features the same 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged W12 as the Continental and Flying Spur Speed models, which means 626 hp and 664 lb-ft of torque to all four wheels via an 8-speed torque converter automatic .
The Bentayga rivals the Lamborghini Urus, Audi RSQ8 and Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT in terms of performance, but against the Rolls-Royce Cullinan in terms of comfort. The Bentayga is probably the best blend of extravagant luxury and brutal sportiness in the segment.
9/10 Tesla Model X Blanket
The Tesla Model X Plaid currently holds the title of fastest super-SUV on the market, boasting an official 0-60 mph time of just 2.5 seconds. This incredible acceleration is provided by three electric motors – one in the front and two in the rear – generating a combined power of 1,020 hp.
While the Model X Plaid is the top model, the standard Model X doesn’t lack in performance. The questionable steering yoke aside, the Model X Plaid is a great family car thanks to its practicality. In a drag race, the Tesla is sure to be the fastest in the line.
8/10 Audi RS Q8
The Audi RSQ8 is built on the same platform as the Bentley Bentayga, but takes a different approach to performance. The Q8 shares much of its componentry with the Lamborghini Urus and Porsche Cayenne, but with a more aggressive design that looks positively sinister when specified in black-on-black-on-black.
The RSQ8 features a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 producing 591 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque, sending all of Germany’s horsepower to all four wheels through a reworked Quattro system. Like the Bentayga, the Audi uses a conventional 8-speed semi-automatic transmission. The official 0-60 mph time is just 3.8 seconds – not bad at all for a vehicle that weighs well over 4,500 pounds.
7/10 Maserati Levante Trofeo
The Maserati Levante Trofeo is the long-awaited high-performance V8 version of the Italian family SUV. It gets some subtle exterior upgrades such as a redesigned front and rear bumper, more aggressive side skirts and a roof-mounted wing on top.
Maserati triple air vents on the front fenders have red accents and the wheels are sportier to accentuate the car’s new stance. Under the hood is the 3.9-liter twin-turbo V8 from the Ferrari F8 Tributo, detuned to around 600 hp and 540 lb-ft of torque. The Levante is slightly heavier than the Audi RSQ8, which translates to a 0-60mph time of 3.9 seconds – a tenth slower.
6/10 Lamborghini Urus Performante
The Lamborghini Urus is already four years old and has only just received its first major update in the form of the Urus Performante. The sportier version adds about 20 hp to the standard Urus’ 640 hp and sheds over 100 pounds of weight for better driving dynamics around a track.
Lamborghini claims the Performante will complete the 0-100 km/h sprint in just 3.3 seconds, 0.3 seconds faster than the ‘normal’ version. The Urus P also gets more carbon panels and even more aggressive winglets and canards – all optional extras to add to the starting price of nearly $270,000.
5/10 Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT
One of only two cars tuned by the elite of Porsche’s GT division, the Cayenne Turbo GT currently holds the record for the fastest internal combustion engine production SUV on the market. The Turbo GT features the same 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 as the Urus and RSQ8, but produces 631 hp. It also gets bigger wheels, massive brakes, lowered suspension and Alcantara throughout.
The official 0-60 mph time is 3.3 seconds, but many journalists have clocked an impressive 3.1 and an incredible 2.8 seconds, destroying anything but a Tesla. Model X Plaid in the process. Granted, the Cayenne Turbo GT starts nearly $15,000 more than the Turbo S e-Hybrid, but it’s still $60,000 less than the cheapest Lamborghini Urus – whose performance it humiliates.
4/10 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat
The Dodge Durango is a big, sensible, and practical family SUV with enough room for five people and their stuff, or seven people and a few groceries. Then Dodge did the typical Dodge thing and improved it in every way except fuel economy – they stuffed a Hellcat V8 in it.
The result was the Durango SRT Hellcat which produced over 700 hp and completed the 0-60 mph sprint in just 3.6 seconds – on par with the 797 hp Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye. The Durango Hellcat completes the quarter mile in just 12 seconds – about as fast as a Chevy Corvette C6 ZR1. The Durango Hellcat will return for the 2023 model year as part of the Hellcatis the last hurrah.
3/10 Aston Martin DBX707
Aston Martin decided not only to build an SUV, but also to build the fastest SUV on the market. Enter the DBX707 – where the number in the name indicates the horsepower figure, much like some American cars do. The DBX707 still features AMG’s 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 instead of using the DBS’ 5.2-liter V12, but it’s still a rocket ship.
The DBX707 gains launch control – something the normal DBX doesn’t have for some reason – and can accelerate from a standstill to 60 mph in just 3.1 seconds, putting it on par with the Porsche Cayenne. TurboGT. As a bonus, the Aston also hits 193 mph flat out, making it the production SUV with the highest top speed currently on sale.
2/10 Ferrari Purosangue
The Ferrari Purosangue was recently revealed to the world, and everyone was surprised to find a naturally aspirated V12 under the hood. The Prancing Horse SUV – which Ferrari insists is not an SUV – is the first 4-door Ferrari in production if you don’t count the Maserati Quattroporte V.
Ferrari claims the Purosangue – which means “purebred” in Italian – produces 725bhp and will complete the 0-62mph sprint in just 3.3 seconds. This has yet to be independently tested, but we don’t doubt it. Another of Ferrari’s claims includes a top speed of 193mph – the same as Aston Martin’s DBX707. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens when someone ends up drag racing in a head-to-head test.
1/10 Red BMW XM label
The BMW XM has just been unveiled, and it’s currently a hugely controversial beast. The styling is such that enthusiasts will love it or hate it, but no one can argue with its performance. The XM introduces the new S68 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 mated to an electric motor between the transmission and the engine.
The regular version will produce 644 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of four-wheel torque via an 8-speed automatic transmission. This hybrid system is also used in the new BMW V8 LMDh car. The XM will accelerate from 0-60 in 4.1 seconds. BMW has announced the “Label Red” model, which will feature the same powertrain, but increased to around 740 hp, significantly reducing the 0-60 time. We’ll just have to wait and see for ourselves how a drag race between these super SUVs would go.