SUV and terrain vehicles, in general, are produced to help people transport huge weights over all types of terrain. When the first SUVs started emerging in 1935, they found their use mostly in the military. And this is exactly the perception most people have about SUVs - great for off-road, massive, all-around bulky, high-riding stances, and not very impressive performances. This however changed in recent years. Car manufacturers recognized the change in consumer demands. Therefore, a modern SUV has evolved into a sporty and luxury vehicle, one that you can take on long rides and have a pleasant city-riding experience. The only drawback is a usually awful fuel economy. Most of the fastest SUVs are crossovers, not pure terrain vehicles. Therefore, they usually have a bad off-road capability.
This article is about the fastest SUVs in the market. I consider myself a car fanatic. Yet, I was surprised to find out just how many SUVs are going from 0 to 60 in less than 5 seconds. This is a remarkable performance for terrain vehicles. However, this shouldn't come as a total surprise. Some of the most well-known supercar manufacturers like Lamborghini and Porsche entered this market in recent years. There were speculations about Ferrari considering an entrance into the sports utility vehicle market as well. Therefore, we can only expect even greater performances and faster SUVs in the future.
20 Lamborghini Urus
This year, for the first time, Lamborghini is entering the SUV market. Lamborghini claims this will be the first super-SUV in the world. This SUV has a unique but recognizable Lamborghini design. Lamborghini is owned by Audi, so Urus is built on an Audi Q7 platform. The engine is a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 that develops 641b hp and 850 Nm of torque. Like most SUVs, it's an all-wheel drive with an eight-speed automatic gearbox. All this provides a record-breaking acceleration from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.6 seconds. Inside, you can expect a crazy design and a lot of high tech. Urus also offers a great number of driver-assistance systems. "Lamborghini" is a synonym for "supercars" and now, "super SUVs" as well.
19 Mercedes-AMG GLA 45
This slick and nimble crossover SUV from Mercedes can compete with any performance SUV. GLA45 is a small brother of the Mercedes ML63 AMG. The Mercedes GLA 45 feels more like a hatchback than an SUV. This year, Mercedes give us minor but important updates. There are some changes in the interior. However, more importantly, there was an upgrade to the engine. Under the hood, you can find a 2.0-liter turbo petrol engine producing 376b hp. A seven-speed dual-clutch box helps you in accelerating this Mercedes-AMG from 0 to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds. GLA 45 has a four-wheel drive, and its height is raised. Handling is fun and smooth. Some updates, like high-performance braking, are responsible for that. Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 also offers a huge range of gadgets.
18 BMW X6 M
The new BMW X6 M combines a typical M performance with the flexibility of an X model. A fierce M TwinPower Turbo 8-cylindric 4.4-liter petrol engine gives the power of 575 hp. All this concentrated power is translated smoothly to the road thanks to the BMW's xDrive all-wheel-drive system. An eight-speed automatic M Steptronic transmission is also there to help the driver. BMW EfficientDynamics technology guarantees excellent performance combined with incredible efficiency. All this makes BMW X6 accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.2 seconds. Comfort and quality of design are qualities you expect from BMW. However, the BMW X6 is a crossover, not a pure SUV. It's best suited for city driving. In addition, this model isn't so bad when it comes to fuel efficiency.
17 Dodge Durango SRT
Dodge, as a company, was always unique. They have their own style, which is the loud and big engine on old-fashioned muscle cars. When it comes to SUV vehicles, they don't care about the small crossover SUVs or 'save the environment' trends. The new Dodge Durango SRT is a classic three-row crossover. The Durango SRt has a V8 engine capable of producing 475 hp. Despite being one of the heaviest vehicles in its class, the Durango can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds. It's also capable of towing around 8,600 pounds. No luxury SUV can offer anything similar to that. As expected, with a V8 engine and being so heavy, the fuel efficiency of the Durango is really bad. But Dodge still made a great sporty and also family-friendly SUV.
16 Rezvani Tank
Rezvani is a small company founded by Ferris Rezvani. They specialize in creating crazy vehicles. Seriously, check them out if you don't believe me. Their idea of an SUV vehicle is the Rezvani Tank. It looks like something a Bond villain would drive. Rezvani used Jeep Wrangler as a base. The engine that powers this beast is a 6.4-liter Fiat Chrysler V8. You can find one in the Dodge Challenger and the Durango SRT. There's no official data, but acceleration should be similar to that of the Dodge Durango SRT. The Rezvani Tank has a four-wheel drive and a fantastic off-road performance. There's a lot of high tech to help you as well. Most interesting is the FLIR-sourced infrared camera for driving at night. The only minus is a price of $146,000 for the basic version.
15 Toyota Land Speed Cruiser
Toyota isn't famous for producing fun and engaging vehicles. This is especially not expected from their biggest SUV. But it happened. The Toyota Land Speed Cruiser is officially the fastest SUV in the world. Confirmation came after a former Nascar driver, Carl Edwards, drove it on Mojave Air and Space Port in California. The Toyota Land Speed Cruiser achieved a top speed of 230.02 mph. This is faster than most supercars. What blasted off this crazy SUV was a 5.7-liter V8 engine with two turbochargers. This engine is capable of producing ridiculous 2,000-plus horsepower. People from Toyota also did some adjustments prior to this test run. Sadly, we can only buy the regular Land Cruiser. Of course, everyone willing to spend an extra $100,000 can modify this SUV to the Speed Cruiser's performance.
14 Mercedes Benz AMG GL63 S Coupe
When you buy a Mercedes, you expect great performance with exceptional luxury. And Mercedes delivers that even in the SUV category. The Mercedes Benz GL63 AMG is a combination of coupe styling on an SUV platform. This is the largest vehicle Mercedes ever made. Despite the weight, people from Mercedes managed to create an incredibly powerful and sporty SUV. The engine that powers this beast is a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6. It has 577 hp and is capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.8 seconds. You also get a seven-speed automatic gearbox. The GL63 S Coupe has an all-wheel drive and many high-tech features as well. Expect great suspension, soft steering, and adaptive braking. You also get a collision-prevention system to help you tame this beast.
13 Alpina XD3
Alpina XD3 is another SUV crossover on our list. Alpina is a small firm from Bavaria. They specialize in improving BMWs donor cars. In this case, it's a BMW X3 SUV. They improved the engine, the gearbox, and the suspension setup and gave small Alpina touches in the interior. The engine is a ramped BMW 3.0-liter straight-six twin-turbo diesel that's capable of producing 345b hp and an incredible 516 lb-ft. It propels this SUV from 0 to 60 mph in 4.6-4.9 seconds. The eight-speed automatic transmission is smooth and quick. Manual mode exists as an option. Handling is, after Alpinas treatment, simply fantastic. The equipment list is huge and the cabin is full of typical Alpina-design touches. The high-performance SUV market is competitive, but the Alpina XD3 definitely has its place.
12 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT
The Grand Cherokee is a very simple in its design. It's just slightly better looking than a box on wheels. When it comes to performance, this car is very American. The Grand Cherokee has a powerful engine, goes pretty fast in a straight line but isn't great when it comes to cornering. Its powerful engine is a 6.4-liter eight-cylinder HEMI. It's taken from a Dodge Challenger. This mighty engine propels Cherokee from 0 to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds. Cherokee is equipped with an eight-speed automatic transmission and an all-wheel-drive system. To tame this power, you have massive Brembo brakes at your disposal. The Jeep Grand Cherokee is a cheap option for a sporty SUV. Considering its price, it offers good comfort and a good equipment package.
11 Maserati Levante S Grand Sport
Maserati is another legendary sports car manufacturer trying their lack in the growing SUV market. Levante is built on a Quattroporte and Ghibli platform. Maserati is continuing its trend of offering great-looking, sporty, and semi-luxurious cars (now SUVs). When it comes to performance, Levante is nothing exceptional. The most powerful S version has a Ferrari's 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged engine that produces 424 bhp. The Levante S version is capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds. Handling is smooth and precise with a soft steering. This isn't an SUV you can drive just on the street. Surprisingly, the off-road capability of the Levante isn't that bad. The Levante is a good first effort for Maserati. Nevertheless, there are more luxurious and faster options on the market.
10 Range Rover Sport SVR
Range Rover is probably the most legendary SUV maker in the world. Its simplistic in its design and incredibly capable on any kind of surface. People from Range Rover are aware of their reputation, so their vehicles have always been incredibly expensive. The Range Rover Sport SVR has a 5.0-liter eight-cylinder engine that produces 543 bhp. This engine is also as thirsty as it is powerful. Like most SUVs, it has a full four-wheel-drive system. The handling of the Range Rover Sport is among the best in the class. Its brakes aren't as big as those of most SUVs but are incredibly good. Exceptional lap times at Nurburgring are the proof. Let's not forget, Range Rover Sport accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds.
9 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio
Alfa Romeo is another surprising name in the SUV market. Their first offering is the Stelvio Quadrifoglio. This SUV is built on Alfa Romeo Giulia's Quadrifoglio platform. The Stelvio has a 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 engine. It produces 503 bhp and 442 lbs of torque. It also has an eight-speed auto gearbox and four-wheel drive. All this power makes Stelvio one of the fastest SUVs in the world with an acceleration from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.8 seconds. Stelvio is lighter than the most SUVs. Therefore, handling is fast and agile. Its brakes can be a little inconsistent, but they give a great stopping power. Like every Alfa, the Stelvio looks fantastic from the outside and from the inside. The Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio is a great crossover SUV that tries, as much as possible, to give you a sports car driving feel in an SUV.
8 Porsche Macan Turbo
Porsche is well known for its sports cars and supercars. But Porsche's entry into the SUV market was incredibly successful as well. The Macan and the Cayenne models are among the most popular on the market. The most powerful version of the Macan has a Performance Package. This is the version that interests us. Under the hood is 3.6-liter bi-turbo V6 engine that produces 436 bhp. Macan also has a Sports Chrono pack with launch control and updated front brakes. Thanks to it, handling on the road is fantastic. Porsche claims that the Macan with the Performance Package accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds. You get a great deal of comfort and space in the Macan as well. The only downside is bad fuel economy. However, the Porsche Macan Turbo with the Performance Package is one of the fastest SUVs on the market and is still well worth its price.
7 Porsche Cayenne Turbo
The Cayenne is Porsche's premier SUV model. This year, we got the new version of a car that shocked Porsche fans back in 2002. The Cayenne is one of the fastest SUVs in the world but also one of the priciest as well. Any sports car would have a hard time trying to outpace the Cayenne. The engine is a Porsche twin turbo, eight cylinder that has 550 hp. Porsche also put this engine in the new Panamera Turbo. The Cayenne accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds. Like most SUVs, the Cayenne has an all-wheel drive. Handling is also superb, thanks to the eight-speed automatic transmission, the smooth steering, and the adjustable suspension system. You can expect great comfort and luxury in the Cayenne. Its fuel economy is surprisingly good, too. The Porsche Cayenne could be the best full-size SUV you can buy today.
6 Audi RS Q3 Performance
Audi presents an interesting high-performance SUV offering with the RS Q3 Performance. This is one of the fastest SUVs in the market. Being Audi, it offers nice comfort and high tech as well. The Audi RS Q3 has a turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine. It can produce 362b hp, handled by a seven-speed auto gearbox. The Audi Q3 has a standard-fit Quattro all-wheel-drive system. It can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds. However, its handling surprisingly has some issues. Steering is hard, and you feel every bump in the road. Also, the Audi Q3 has a tendency to understeer. Nevertheless, the Q3 provides a good number of gadgets and passenger comfort even if its interior shows its age. In addition, it can be noisy in the cabin, and Audi is asking a high price for Q3.
5 BMW X5 xDrive50i
This is one of the fastest BMW models that aren't modified by the M department. The BMW X5 xDrive50i is a midsize luxury SUV. Performance isn't a priority, yet the BMW X5 delivers in that department as well. Under the hood is a 4.4-liter twin-turbo eight-cylinder engine that can produce 445 hp. The XDrive50i has an eight-speed automatic transmission that spreads this power to all four wheels. The BMW X5 accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds. Its handling is excellent, thanks to the stability and traction control, the BMW Assist and Remote Services emergency telematics, the Active Steering option, and the anti-lock brake system. The BMW X5 xDrive50i doesn't get high remarks for comfort, but luxury and the number of gadgets are a big plus.
4 Tesla Model X P100D 'Ludicrous Speed' Upgrade
Electric car companies are winning customers fast and the SUV market is no exception. The Model X was created to appeal to customers through its body style and comfortably quiet ride. Tesla's Model X is an interesting take on a luxury SUV/crossover. Despite being a four-wheel drive, this is a strictly street SUV. Moreover, the acceleration Model X is getting from its electric engine is astonishing. It can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 2.8 seconds. We're talking about the fastest version of Model X with a 'Ludicrous Mode' addition. This is incredibly impressive for an SUV vehicle. Sadly, Model X isn't that fun to drive. Handling is good, but at higher speeds, you feel like you're driving a heavy SUV. Its price is also high, and like every electric vehicle, it's still not practical.
3 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk
Jeep is constantly trying to improve its reputation in terms of performance, luxury, and comfort. The Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is living proof of that. The Cherokee Trackhawk got a 6.2-liter V8 engine from the Dodge Challenger Hellcat. It can produce 697 bhp with 875 pound of torque. On a four-wheel drive, that's some serious power. The Cherokee Trackhawk accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.4 seconds - faster than a lot of sports cars. However, power is nothing without control, and the Cherokee Trackhawk has decent handling although its steering isn't very responsive. The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk offers good comfort and a great number of gadgets. With a lower price than its class rivals, the Cherokee Trackhawk is a good luxury and great sporty SUV option.
2 Bentley Bentayga
Bentley is another supercar manufacturer that decided to venture into the SUV market. Their first effort called ''Bentayga'' is a great start. It's a good-looking, refined, and comfortable car. It even has good off-road ability. Customers have two engine options to choose from. The more powerful one is a 6.0-liter W12 updated from the Continental GT version. It can produce an astonishing 600 bhp and 900 Nm of torque. The easy-to-use eight-speed auto gearbox offers an acceleration from 0 to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds. Handling is smooth and stable, with the only problem being hard braking. It's strange to see the luxury car of this design in off-road conditions, but it's surprisingly capable on mud. However, its fuel economy and running costs are expectedly not that great.
1 Bowler EXR S
Bowler Motorsport is a small company from Derbyshire. They specialize in making racing and high-performance all-terrain vehicles. Rally cars modified for commercial use are some of the best cars ever made (Lancia Stratos, Audi Quattro, Subaru Impreza or Mitsubishi Lancer), and the Bowler EXR S is no exception. People from Bowler made sure every component is the best possible. Under the hood is a supercharged and remapped 5.0-liter V-8 from the Range Rover Sport. It produces 550 horsepower and an estimated 700 pound-feet of torque. Bowler EXR S is capable of going from 0 to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds. Its driving is incredibly “reactive,” thanks to its soft but firm suspension. Bowler handles fantastically in off-road conditions. Actually, there's no better SUV for off-road driving on the market. The only drawback is its high price and special-order status.
Sources: Wikipedia; CarandDriver; Top Gear