There was a time when an SUV and a supercar were two very different prospects, but in recent years the boundaries have become blurred.
That’s because there’s been increasing demand for hugely powerful SUVs – offering scintillating levels of performance and flamboyance, yet still being practical tools that can be used every day and even as family cars.
But what are the most powerful SUVs on the market today? Let’s take a look.
Ferrari Purosangue – 715bhp
Ferrari was incredibly hesitant to produce an SUV and it won’t even call its new Purosangue one – rather, a ‘four-door, four-seater car’. But for the sake of argument, we’re classing it as one here, and it earns the title of the most powerful SUV on sale today.
Using a huge naturally aspirated V12 engine (it’s the only ‘SUV’ on sale today that features 12 cylinders), it pushes out a significant 715bhp, allowing for a 0-60mph time of just 3.3 seconds. Ferrari promises ‘vehicle dynamics inspired by the Prancing Horse’s most extreme sports cars’, with a price tag to go with it – you won’t see much change from £400,000.
Aston Martin DBX707 – 697bhp
Aston Martin’s first SUV was also a long time coming, but the covers were finally pulled off the DBX in 2019. That SUV was already a fantastic package, but the British brand sweetened the deal further with the introduction of the DBX707.
Far from being just a trim level, the DBX707 boasts a 155bhp upgrade on the standard car, taking the total up to a monstrous 697bhp from its highly developed Mercedes-AMG-sourced 4.0-litre V8 engine – unlocking a 3.1-second 0-60mph time. It’s worth noting the ‘707’ relates to the DBX’s power in PS or metric horsepower.
Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid – 671bhp
Porsche was arguably the first sports car brand to venture into SUVs, and though the Cayenne might have proven controversial at the time of its introduction in 2002, two decades later Porsche is still reaping the benefits.
In the power stakes, it’s the Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid that is the real talking point, with Porsche using electrification to its advantage. Powered by a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 engine and an electric motor, the combined output is 671bhp, and equates to a 3.6-second 0-60mph time. Yet, if the battery is charged, it can travel up to 25 miles purely on electricity.
Lamborghini Urus Performante – 657bhp
Lamborghini entered the SUV market in 2018 with its wild Urus, and it’s gone on to be the firm’s most popular car. Although based on Audi underpinnings, it gets the brand’s trademark outrageous styling inside and out.
There’s also recently been the new Performante version – a lighter, more focused model that gets a raft of carbon accents to bring the weight down and a slight power hike from its 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 engine. That takes it up to 657bhp, giving it a 0-60mph time of just 3.1 seconds.
BMW XM – 645bhp
BMW’s ‘M’ division has been producing performance SUVs for 15 years, but the XM arrives as the firm’s first bespoke ‘M’ SUV – meaning it’s not based on an existing model. Its exceptionally bold design won’t suit all, but it’s the brand’s most powerful car ever – and also one of its most expensive at £145,000.
The XM is another performance SUV that uses electrification to its advantage, with its 4.4-litre V8 hybrid setup producing 645bhp, allowing for a 0-60mph time of 4.3 seconds. It’s also got a bigger battery than the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid, meaning it can travel for a claimed 55 miles on electricity.
Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT – 631bhp
Although the Turbo S E-Hybrid might be the most powerful Cayenne, if you want the biggest thrills behind the wheel it’s the Turbo GT version you want to look at. There’s no electrification here but an uprated V8 engine that kicks out 631bhp. Getting to 60mph takes just 3.3 seconds – meaning it’s the quickest Cayenne in the line-up.
It’s one of the most performance-focused SUVs ever made, too, and the fastest to ever lap the famous Nurburgring circuit in Germany.
Bentley Bentayga Speed – 626bhp
Last but by no means least we have the Bentley Bentayga Speed. This SUV might traditionally be a more luxurious and comfort-focused option but the ‘Speed’ nameplate signals something a little sportier.
It’s now the only Bentayga to retain Bentley’s legendary 6.0-litre W12 engine, which puts out 626bhp and allows a 0-60mph time of just 3.7 seconds. The downside is that despite being produced in Crewe, Bentley won’t sell you a Bentayga Speed in Britain or continental Europe, as demand isn’t high enough for the 12-cylinder engine.