How muscle SUVs claim their rightful place on the drag strip
Are you looking for a muscle car, but are you worried about having seats for the kids? Most of us just like a big, versatile, versatile SUV, but we also like power and performance. Manufacturers realize this and are starting to push the boundaries of what it means to have a muscle car. Just because your vehicle has to be practical doesn’t mean it can’t be fun.
The dawn of the muscle SUV
Photo of the GMC Typhoon in an urban residential environment
Performance SUVs began to hit the market in the 90s. Among the first models was the GMC Typhoonproduced from 1992 to 1993. This early version was powered by the LB4 4.3L V6 engine, featuring a single piston, cylinder head cover, head gasket, intake manifold, fuel system, manifold exhaust and a 48mm twin-bearing throttle body derived from a 5.7L GM small-block engine. In testing, the car did 0-60 mph in 5.3 seconds.
In 1998 Jeep introduced the Grand Cherokee 5.9 Limited at the market. Powered by the 5.9-liter Magnum V8 that produced 245 horsepower and 345 pound-feet of torque, the Grand Cherokee could hit 60 mph in 6.8 seconds. This made the model the fastest accelerating SUV on the market at the time. It was the first time that an automaker offered a bloated version of its “standard” SUV model.
Fast forward to today and aside from the gas-guzzling monsters, all-electric SUVs are also flooding the market. Performance SUVs are now a staple with most automakers, and while clocking very fast 1/4 mile times, these mid-range machines are more than capable of taking on the competition on your local drag strip.
2023 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat
A photo of a Durango SRT Hellcat
Start with something powerful and traditional from MOPAR. here is the Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat. Under the hood, there is a monster engine, a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 generating 710 horsepower and 645 lb-ft of torque. That smashing power is channeled through the eight-speed automatic transmission to all four wheels. The Hellcat’s engines breathe through a bloated exhaust system that amplifies its thunder. Plus, it’s capable of towing 8,700 pounds, more than any other midsize SUV. The Durango SRT Hellcat can demolish the 1/4 mile in 11.7 seconds and has a top speed of 180 mph.
2022 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392
A front 3/4 shot of a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392
As soon as you push the engine start button and hear the 6.4L HEMI(r) V8 come to life, you’ll know 470 horsepower of pure power is at your disposal. It’s the only 6.4-liter HEMI V8-equipped Wrangler to win 4-Wheel SUV of the Year honors for 2022. The Rubicon of the Jeep Wrangler 392 The mill produces 470 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque, guaranteeing it will be quick from 0 to 60 mph in just under 4.5 seconds. CarAndDriver was able to clock a 1/4 mile time of 12.9 seconds.
2023 Hennessey Ford Bronco Velociraptor 500
Hennessey VelociRaptor 500 Bronco in Side Green
One of the best upgrades for 2023 Velociraptor Ford Bronco comes from Hennessy and features an all-new intake and exhaust system, engine re-tuning and an improved front-mounted intercooler system. Hennessey’s performance takes advantage of the Bronco Velociraptor’s 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6, giving this iconic off-road vehicle thrills at high speeds. The new model is available with a power upgrade of 500 horsepower at 5,700 rpm and 550 lb-ft of torque at 3,900 rpm.
2023 Cadillac Escalade V
An action shot of a 2023 Cadillac Escalade V on the highway
Take control of the road with the supercharged 6.2L V8. A testament to legendary Cadillac craftsmanship, this high-output engine is entirely hand-built. Thrilling power that was once reserved for the track is now available for everyday use. The impressive 682 horsepower patiently waits for every command. The 653 lb-ft of torque helps the Cadillac Escalade-V Effortlessly go from 0 to 100 km/h in under 4.4 seconds and cover 1/4 mile in 12.7 seconds.
Tiles Tesla Model X 2023
An action shot of a 2023 Tesla Model X Plaid
In tune with the times, let’s move on to a model responsible for shaking up the performance SUV space. All electric Tesla Model X blanket. The three-motor torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive platform features three separate motors, each with carbon sleeved rotors, that maintain 1,020 horsepower up to the rev limit. This unprecedented blend of performance, range and efficiency gets you from 0-62 mph in 2.5 seconds and has a sub-10 second 1/4 mile time.
2023 Ford Mustang Mach E GT
A studio shot of a 2023 Mustang Mach-E Premium and Mustang Mach-E GT
The Ford Mustang Mach-E GT Performance Edition combines the power advantages of the combustion engine with the direct current capability of electric propulsion. The AWD (dual motor) electric drive system is more than just improving vehicle grip. AWD models use a main motor on the rear axle, with a second electrically assisted motor on the front axle, to improve performance. It’s rated to go from 0 to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds. MotorTrend was able to record a 1/4 mile time of 12.6 seconds.
2023 Rivian R1S
A dynamic photo of a Rivian R1S on a dirt road
With a ground clearance of 14.9 inches, the Rivian SUV can traverse just about any terrain. Whether crawling over rocks on a steep hill or wading through 3.0 feet or more of water, the Rivian R1S can handle it all. Plus, depending on the setup you choose, you can achieve a 0-60 mph time as low as 3.0 seconds and tackle the 1/4 mile in 11.6 seconds. This all-weather SUV is capable of proper acceleration and sports car-like handling.
2023 Dodge Hornets
A front 3/4 static shot of a 2023 Dodge Hornet in the city at night
A new kid on the block, the Dodge the Hornet can be considered as the most capable compact utility vehicle in its class. With its plug-in hybrid architecture, the Hornet R/T combines the gasoline power of its small 1.3-liter turbocharged engine with an electric motor and a segment-exclusive PowerShot mode unlocks an additional 25 EV horsepower, delivering up to 285 horsepower in total. horsepower and 383 total torque. According MotorTrend, 60 mph arrives in just 6.5 seconds.
2023 Chevrolet Blazer EV SS
A front 3/4 shot of a 2023 Chevrolet Blazer EV
Finally, on our latest model, it’s an incredibly fast SUV and a supreme display of design, both inside and out. However, many people wonder if the Chevrolet Blazer EV is worthy of the iconic SS badge. But the numbers are solid. Up to 557 horsepower offered. GM estimates up to 290 miles of range with Performance AWD, while the estimated 0-60 time is under 4.0 seconds when enabled with Wide Open Watts (WOW) performance modes.
So that sums up our list of some current and upcoming performance SUVs that would feel right at home on the drag strip. As a bonus, this Durango SRT vs Ford Explorer duel is an absolute treat to watch