Luxury SUV – Most Powerful Crossovers and SUVs on Sale Today
Marc UrbanoCar and Driver
Room for the family. Good cargo space. A tall, commanding seating position. All-wheel drive. Safety. These are attributes that sell most crossovers and SUVs, and their sales continue to climb. But there’s also a growing list of SUV buyers who want big power and sports sedan performance. To meet the demand of these enthusiast buyers, there are more high-performance crossovers and SUVs to chose from than ever.
Finding an SUV with about 400 horsepower is relatively easy these days. That number just doesn’t impress like it once did. Today, super SUVs from the United States, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom are packing enough muscle to embarrass most muscle cars and out-super a good deal of supercars. We’re talking 500, 600, and even 700 horsepower. And some even seat seven. Here are the 20 crossovers and sport-utes currently for sale in the U.S. with the most horsepower.
(Quick note: we’ve used our test numbers to determine tie breaks when two vehicle have the same horsepower rating. The vehicle with the quicker zero-60-mph time during our testing wins.)
20. BMW X7 M50i – 523 Horsepower
You know the modern world is hellbent on big-power giants when the SUV parked in last place on this list has a 523-hp 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V-8. The normal BMW X7 uses a smaller 335-hp turbocharged inline-six, but add another $25,000 to that starting price and you can unleash a three-row X7 M50i that throws elbows. Although its launch to 60 mph isn’t the quickest on this list, 4.1 seconds in a 5742-pound SUV isn’t what we’d consider drowsy. A true X7 M doesn’t exist, though there’s an even more powerful and faster X7 from Alpina. BMW gave us an X7 M50i to brave 40,000 miles for our long-term road test, where its accumulated more than 10,000 miles in just two months.
MORE X7 SPECS
19. BMW X5 M50i and X6 M50i – 523 Horsepower
18. Range Rover Velar SVAutobiography Dynamic – 550 Horsepower
The Land Rover Range Rover Velar SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition not only features the longest name on this list, it gets the same supercharged V-8 and eight-speed automatic transmission as the larger Range Rover SVAutobiography Dynamic and its chassis mate, the Jaguar F-type SVR. In the hot-rod version of the Velar, the quad-cam 5.0-liter is rated 550 horsepower and 502 lb-ft of torque and thunders through a variable active exhaust system. In our testing, this Velar can hit 60 mph in 3.8 seconds. Jaguar claims a top speed of 170 mph.
MORE RANGE ROVER VELAR SPECS
17. Jaguar F-Pace SVR – 550 Horsepower
Although Jaguar was slow to the SUV game, it now offers three models, including the all-electric I-Pace. The F-Pace was the brand’s first, and it remains its most powerful. In Jag-speak SVR means power and performance, and the F-Pace SVR gets the same blown 5.0-liter V-8 and eight-speed automatic transmission as the aforementioned Land Rover Range Rover Velar SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition. Here the engine is also rated 550 horsepower and 502 lb-ft of torque. In our hands zero-to-60 mph arrived in 4.0 seconds. Jag claims a top speed of 176 mph.
MORE F-PACE SVR SPECS
16. Porsche Cayenne Turbo – 541 Horsepower
The third-generation Porsche Cayenne sets a high bar with a 541-hp twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 Turbo model. During our testing, the Cayenne Turbo got to 60 mph in just 3.4 seconds, making it one of the quickest SUVs we’ve ever tested. That time is also quicker than the 710-hp Dodge at the top of this list. The Cayenne Turbo can do a quarter-mile in 12.0 seconds at 115 mph too, thanks to its trick launch-control system that’s part of a $1130 Sport Chrono package. It has a towing capacity of 7700 pounds, perfect for pulling your other Porsche to a track day. But with performance like this, why not just race the five-seater?
MORE CAYENNE TURBO SPECS
15. Land Rover Range Rover SVAutobiography Dynamic – 557 Horsepower
With a starting price around $180,000, the Range Rover SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition sits at the top of the Land Rover’s lineup of short-wheelbase Range Rovers. It’s powered by the same supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 and eight-speed automatic transmission as the smaller Range Rover Velar SVAutobiography Dynamic, but here it’s rated slightly higher with 557 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. A 2016 Rover SVA we tested with 550-hp weighed in at 5950 pounds and jumped to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds, making it the slowest SUV on this list. Interestingly, Land Rover quotes the same acceleration time for models powered by the 518-hp version of the engine.
MORE RANGE ROVER SVAUTOBIOGRAPHY DYNAMIC SPECS
14. Land Rover Range Rover Sport SVR – 575 Horsepower
Jaguar Land Rover sure gets its money’s worth from its supercharged V-8, and the company’s engineers keep extracting more and more power from the engine. In the Land Rover Range Rover Sport SVR, as well as the Jaguar F-type SVR sports car, the 5.0-liter is rated 575 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque. Enough, Land Rover says, to get the big SUV to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds and ultimately to 176 mph. Although the two models share the same chassis, that’s considerably more performance than you get in the heavier Range Rover SVAutobiography Dynamic. Plus the Range Rover Sport SVR is much less expensive with a starting price around $115,000.
MORE RANGE ROVER SPORT SVR SPECS
13. Mercedes-AMG G63 – 577 Horsepower
Mercedes-AMG also gets plenty of use from its twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8. It powers a long list of its sedans and SUVs, including the G63, the top version of Mercedes-Benz’s G-class. In the latest version of the G-wagen, which was just revamped in 2019, the engine is rated 577 horsepower and 627 lb-ft of torque. It works with a nine-speed automatic transmission and powers this leather-lined beast to 60 mph in only 3.8 seconds and through the quarter-mile in 12.4 seconds. That makes this the quickest G-class of all time. Did we mention is weighs 5783 pounds?
MORE G-CLASS SPECS
12. Maserati Levante Trofeo – 590 Horsepower
As the world patiently waits for Ferrari’s first-ever crossover, Maserati offers the Levante Trofeo. It isn’t Italy’s most powerful SUV, but it brings some impressive numbers to this party. Actually, there are two big-power versions of Maserati’s first-ever SUV, and they’re both powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V-8 paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. In the Levante GTS, the V-8 makes 550 horsepower and 538 lb-ft of torque. In the Levante Trofeo, the engine is cranked up to 590 ponies. In our testing, the GTS reached 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds, while the Trofeo did it in 3.5.
MORE LEVANTE TROFEO SPECS
11. Audi RS Q8 – 591 Horsepower
The Audi RS Q8 uses a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 with 590 lb-ft of torque. Quattro all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission are standard too. Audi claims the high-power Q8 can get to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds but we did it in just 3.2, trailing the more powerful Lamborghini Urus by just a tenth. It’s not just a straight-liner, either. It lapped the Nürburgring in 7:42 in 2019, a record for the fastest SUV around the Green Hell that it still holds today. Audi says the RS Q8 has a top speed of 190 mph and is available with wide 295/35R-23 tires to keep it stuck to the tarmac. It starts at $115,595, which is about $15,000 less than the 541-hp Porsche Cayenne Turbo and $106,409 cheaper than the Urus.
MORE RS Q8 SPECS
10. Rolls-Royce Cullinan – 600 Horsepower
Last year, the Rolls-Royce Cullinan, the brand’s first SUV, ranked 10th on this list. Its 6.7-liter twin-turbo V-12, borrowed from the latest Phantom sedan, makes 563 horsepower and 627 lb-ft of torque. This year, however, Rolls has cranks things up with the Cullinan Black Badge, a more powerful, range-topping version of the world’s most regal SUV. In the Black Badge, the V-12’s engine control unit is reflashed to produce 600 hp and 664 lb-ft of torque. The only SUV on this list with suicide doors is also the heaviest. During previous testing, the Cullinan tipped the scales at 6086 pounds and hit 60 mph in 4.5 seconds.
MORE CULLINAN SPECS
9. Mercedes-AMG GLE63 S – 603 Horsepower
The new, more powerful version of the Mercedes-AMG GLE63 S is a rocket. Gone is the twin-turbo 5.5-liter V-8, replaced with a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 with the brand’s EQ Boost motor-generator, which combines a starter motor and an alternator in a single electric motor mounted between the engine and the nine-speed transmission. Output jumps from 577 hp to 603 horsepower, and maximum torque increases from 561 lb-ft to 627. Our test of the more powerful AMG GLE63 S revealed a zero-to-60 mph time of 3.4. Top speed is electronically limited to 174 mph.
MORE GLE63 SPECS
8. Mercedes-AMG GLS63 S – 603 Horsepower
If you need to rearrange the organs of six passengers, the Mercedes AMG GLS63 S is the tool for the job. One of the few seven-seaters on this list, Mercedes’s largest SUV also ditches its 577-hp twin-turbo 5.5-liter V-8 for the brand’s new 603-hp twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8. As it does in the GLE63 S, the V-8 features the brand’s EQ Boost starter-generator system, and its two turbochargers are positioned inside the cylinder “V”. Its seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is also history, replaced with a nine-speed unit. Rolling on 23-inch wheels, the big AMG will blast to 60-mph in 3.6 seconds and cross the quarter-mile in 12.0 seconds at 115 mph.
MORE GLS63 SPECS
7. Alpina XB7 – 612 Horsepower
We all have that crazy friend we’re sure is the craziest kind of crazy someone could legally get. Like the 523-hp twin-turbo V-8 powered BMW X7 M50i. That’s crazy, but wait until you meet its family. The Alpina XB7 kicks-up an additional 90 horsepower thanks to larger turbochargers. And despite weighing almost 5864 pounds, the XB7 managed a 3.7-second launch to 60 mph during our testing. It’s a fun climb too, with 590 pound-feet of torque available from 2000 to 5000 rpm. A combination of big torque and smooth shifts from the eight-speed automatic means there’s plenty of fun to be had well under its nutty 180-mph top-speed limit.
MORE ALPINA XB7 SPECS
6. BMW X5 M Competition and X6 M Competition – 617 Horsepower
BMW’s M Division has laid it hands on the brand’s new X5 and X6 SUVs and has created the most powerful SUVs ever sold by BMW in the United States. Both the BMW X5 M and fastbacked X6 M are powered by a twin-turbo V-8 cranking out 600 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque. In the Competition models, the power number jumps to 617 ponies. BMW backs the 4.4-liter, which is the same engine used in the M5 sedan, with an eight-speed automatic transmission and says the SUV can accelerate to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds in 600 hp trim and 3.7 seconds in Competition spec.
MORE X5 M SPECS
MORE X6 M SPECS
5. Bentley Bentayga Speed – 626 Horsepower
Starting at just over $250,000, Bentley’s bug-eyed Bentayga is one of the most expensive SUVs on this list, and its one of only two with 12 cylinders. Powered by a twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter W-12 bolted to an eight-speed automatic transmission, the Bentayga is packing 600 hp and 664 lb-ft of torque behind its chrome grille. In our testing, the big Bentley charged to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds (we managed 3.3 seconds with the 542-hp V-8 ) and touch 187 mph. In the Bentley Bentayga Speed, the engine is dialed up to 626 hp, which drops its claimed zero-to-60-mph time to a conservative 3.8 seconds and increases the SUVs top speed to 190 mph.
MORE BENTAYGA SPEED SPECS
4. Lamborghini Urus – 641 Horsepower
Lamborghini’s first SUV since the Countach-powered LM002 of the 1980s is also Italy’s most powerful. Lambo is owned by Volkswagen, as is Audi, Bentley, and Porsche, and the Urus shares much of its underpinning with the Audi Q8. The wildly styled super SUV is also the only Lambo with less than 10 cylinders. It’s powered by a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 making 641 horsepower and 627 lb-ft of torque, which is bolted to an eight-speed automatic transmission. In our testing, it required a mere 3.1 seconds to reach 60 mph and tore up the quarter-mile in 11.3 seconds at 121 mph and is the quickest production SUV we’ve tested. Lamborghini claims a top speed of 190 mph.
MORE URUS SPECS
3. Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid – 670 Horsepower
Last year, Porsche’s most powerful SUV was the Cayenne Turbo, powered by a 541-hp twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 backed by an eight-speed automatic transmission. That model continues to offer 568 lb-ft of torque, and according to Porsche, a zero-to-60-mph time of 3.7 seconds (with the Sport Chrono Package) and a top speed of 177 mph. But there’s a new king in Porsche SUV Town: the Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid. The plug-in hybrid has a total output of 670 hp and 663 lb-ft of torque. With the optional Sport Chrono Package, we hit 60 mph in just 3.2 seconds, tying the the RS Q8 as the second-quickest SUV.
MORE CAYENNE S E-HYBRID SPECS
2. Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk – 707 Horsepower
When it was introduced in 2018, the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk was the most powerful SUV ever made. Things aren’t much different today. With a base price of $89,940, it’s also one of the least expensive SUVs on this list. Underneath its vented hood is a supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi V-8 bolted to an eight-speed automatic transmission. And it’s still the same iron-block, pushrod V-8 with just two valves per cylinder that has been powering the Dodge Charger and Challenger Hellcats since 2015. In the five-passenger Grand Cherokee, it’s rated 707 horsepower and 645 lb-ft of torque, just as it is in the Charger. That’s considerably more rip than you get in the 475-hp Grand Cherokee SRT. In our testing, the Trackhawk hit 60 mph in 3.4 seconds. Jeep claims a top speed of 180 mph.
MORE GRAND CHEROKEE TRACKHAWK SPECS
1. Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat – 710 Horsepower
The Safest Crossovers and SUVs Sold Today
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Luxury SUV – Most Powerful Crossovers and SUVs on Sale Today
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