Remember the days when buying an SUV meant that you were looking for something with a combination of pulling capacity and passenger seating? You wanted something big and heavy that would make you feel safe. Or maybe you were looking for something that was better in the snow with some offroad capabilities. You wanted the cargo capacity and felt like getting an SUV held a little more appeal than a boring old station wagon. All the while you realized that big heavy vehicles with large passenger and towing capacities are designed with practicality in mind, not performance. And what they lacked in fuel efficiency, they made up for in all around usefulness. In the back of your mind you wanted that sports car. The adrenaline junkie in you wanted to have the thrill lever easily accessible at the end of your right foot, but when it comes to SUVs and fun-mobiles, those two worlds are mutually exclusive. Or are they?
It’s definitely impressive when a car manufacturer is able to turn a small sports coupe or sleek sedan into a 12 second dragster, but it’s a whole other world of impressive when they pull off the same feat with a 5000lb ship container-like SUV. And that’s why we created this gallery. The horsepower crazed kids of the past, are now horsepower-crazed engineers of the present, with the ability to make dreams a reality. No longer must you settle for boring practicality and sensibility at the expense of heart palpitation inducing speed and all around good times.
Whether you’re goal is to get the kids to little league in a hurry, beat the crowd to the Michael Kors shoe sale at the local mall, or just to make it home before rush hour, there’s a big powerful, fire-breathing dragon waiting for you at your local dealer. And forget the fact that most of these brutes use gasoline like it’s going out of style(they’re working on that), or that they can be mostly obnoxious and somewhat wasteful. That’s not why you’re here. You’re here to see some physics-defying funmobiles that can double as family haulers or grocery getters while leaving that sports coupe or sleek sedan in the dust. So let’s have a look at 15 of the fastest luxury SUVs on the market.
Cadillac EscaladeThe Escalade is no-brainer addition to any luxury vehicle list. Cadillac has re-engineered the 6.2 liter V8 to put out 420hp and 460 ft lbs of torque. Mileage is decent despite it’s considerable heft, 14mpg city and 21mpg highway. The silky smooth 6-speed automatic makes great use of the engine’s power, as it hustles this 5870lb giant to 60mph in just 6.1s. Where it really shines though, is in it’s styling and interior design. Oppulent features abound, from heated and ventilated seats to orchestral-quality audio, the list goes on and on. The Escalade trumps all in the game of go big or go home.
Mercedes-Benz G63 AMGWith nearly 6000 pounds curb weight to haul around, the Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG is basically a tank on wheels. Luckily it has the massive power to balance out it’s heft with a 5.5 liter v8 that cranks out 536hp and 560 lb/ft of torque. This beast is a favorite of celebrities, and with a price tag of $135k+, you’ll need celebrity money to put one of these in your garage.
Audi SQ5The SQ5 comes in at a relatively lithe, for this list anyway, 4400lbs. It’s v6 mill puts out 354hp and needs just 5.1s to bring the SQ5 to 60mph. This Audi’s nimbleness is due in no small part to Audi’s highly effective quattro all-wheel drive system. Other than a badge or two that give away it’s true identity, most will be hard-pressed to tell the difference between a regular Q5 and this much sportier iteration…that is until they drive it!
Range Rover Sport SuperchargedRange Rover is just one of those brands that comes to mind when you think luxury suv. With it’s stylish, upscale presence and immense array of technologically advanced appointments, the Range Rover Sport Supercharged is one loaded leadburner. Such features as adaptive cruise control, blind spot detection, and lane departure warnings are available from the factory, but there’s no doubt it’s the 5.0 liter V8 with 510hp and 460lb ft of torque that will ignite the enthusiast’s desire and get you to 60mph in 5s flat. The Supercharged is one of the best handling SUVs on the market. And with it’s luxurious swagger you can arrive in style.
Infiniti FX50SInfiniti’s FX50S looks a little like a bloated cheetah, but it’s performance is far from sluggish. With only 4500lbs to motivate, this animal can move. The sprint to 60mph comes up in just 4.9s with the 390hp, 5 liter v8 providing just the right blend of power and smoothness. Ideally suited for the road, the FX50’s elegant curves and sophisted high-tech nature make it the chariot of choice for those who appreciate subtlety.
BMW X5 xDrive50iThe X5 xDrive50i is BMW’s fastest SUV offering untouched by the company’s legendary M division. It comes out of the box as a 4.4 liter, 445hp V8 muscle machine before any tweaking hijinks and still manages to clip 60mph in a hair under 5s. The fact that it starts at “just” $68k and offers all the finest in BMW luxury appointments while generating 480lb ft of torque for some serious towing capacity, makes this horse a fantastic all-rounder to add to any stable.
Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8The quintessential “super ‘ute”, the SRT8 is arguably the biggest bang for buck in our entire Fast SUVs gallery. A 470hp, 6.4 liter Hemi V8 gets this monster to 60mph in a superfast 4.8s. It weighs over 5000lbs, but it’ll still do 0-100-0 in just 16.3s, so the massive rotors and calipers are definitely up to the task. Aggressive styling, massive tires, and a finely-tuned cabin geared towards peformance, all at a price of more than $20k less than anything even close to being considered a competitor. Enough said.
Mercedes-Benz GL63 AMGThe GL63 AMG is Mercedes largest, most powerful SUV to date. The fact that it can hit 60mph in 4.8s is truly astonishing given it’s mass. A 550hp 5.5 liter AMG v8 allows you to hang with many sports cars, albeit, in a straight line. But utility and versatility are the two chief attributes of this powerhouse people hauler. However, whenever you’re feeling playful, big fun is just a foot extension away.
Porsche Macan Turbo SFor all intents and purposes, the Macan Turbo is a baby Porsche Cayenne. Porsche’s first midsized offering boasts a powerhouse twin-turbo V6 engine that generates 394hp and hits 60mph in only 4.6s. The Macan Turbo shares it’s basic architecture with the Audi Q5, but it’s quicker thanks to the additional power and Porsches awesome 7-speed PDK transmission. Top speed is a blistering 164mph and thanks to it’s car-like proportions and sport-tuned suspension, the Macan Turbo is just a much fun in the twists as it is in a straight line. The ultimate crossover.
Range Rover Sport SVRThe fastest Range Rover ever! The SVR is the crazy-fast version of the already swift Range Rover Sport. It hasn’t technically debuted, but it’s already one of the fastest SUVs ever to round the Nurburgring with a time of 8:14s. Land Rover’s special vehicle team took the Range Rover Sport and performed a series of upgrades to make sure that the SVR takes the brand’s flagship crown. With it’s 543hp and 502lb ft of torque, the supercharged, 5.0liter v8 has already proven itself in the best sports cars from Jaguar. Add to that an upgraded transmission, 22inch rubber, and a glorious exhaust note, the SVR is sure to impress.
Porsche Cayenne TurboTen years ago, who’d have thought, you’d be able to buy a Porsche that can seat your whole family and handle speed bumps with ease? The Porsche Cayenne Turbo isn’t exactly an off-road rebel, but it will certainly hit the spot for those needing the utility of an SUV while craving the hyper performance of a Porsche 911 Turbo. The 4.8 liter turbocharged V8 defines the Cayenne’s personality transforming it into a mega performer when coaxed. The scoot to 60mph takes just 4.4 seconds. To think that 20 years ago, you’d be hard-pressed to find a Ferrari that fast. Add to that an impressive 15mpg city and 22mpg highway fuel economy, with room for the kids, and this Carrera on stilts starts to make alot more sense.
Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMGThe ML63 is Mercede’s mid-size luxury missile. It has a 5.5liter V8 heart that produces a prodigious 518hp and catapults the ML63 to 60mph in just 4.7 seconds. Shifts are seemless with AMGs 7-speed automatic transmission. Aggressive design hints help to differentiate this beast from the rest of the ML pack. With reliable practicality and fire-breathing ferocity, the ML63 is definitely leader of the pack.
Porsche Cayenne Turbo SThe Porsche Cayenne Turbo S takes top 3 in the fastest SUV for 2014 line-up. It hits 0-60mph in 4.3s and goes on to a top speed of 175mph. The twin-turbo 4.8 liter V8 from the base Turbo has been massaged to make 550hp in the S after a series of performance tweaks. Handling is nothing short of heavenly thanks to an adjustable suspension, highly communicative steering setup, and a world class braking system. If the Cayenne Turbo STILL isn’t enough to satisfy you…welcome to the next level.
BMW X6 MThe X6 M is a contradiction on wheels. It’s an irrational proposition from BMW – an SUV that goes 0-60mph in 4.3 seconds with a performance-tuned suspension that makes it handle like a sports car on the track. It can tow up to 6000 pounds, and yet it can drift with the best sports cars. The heart and soul of the X5 M is a 555hp, 4.4 liter v-8. It will slaughter all but the fastest sports cars in a straight line. So call it irrational or impractical, just don’t call it slow.
BMW x5 MBMWs X5 M is a super high-performance SUV that handles more like a sports sedan. It gets the same twin-turbo 4.4 liter V8 found in the X6 M, that makes a whopping 555hp and 501 lb ft of torque. It can hustle to 60mph in just 4.3s, but adds a level of practicality that makes the X5 just seem that much more reasonable than an X6. Well, at least it makes for a stronger argument when broaching the subject with your significant other.