2013 porsche cayenne turbo-S
When you ask about the 10 fastest crossover SUVs, you might see a puzzled look on the faces of some people. However, while it may well seem a contradiction in desires, there is a certain subset of drivers for whom the tall profile and high seating position of the crossover SUV, along with its perceived superior utility are simply enhanced by the presence of a great deal of horsepower. In other words, some of y’all are straight up into having your just desserts and eating them too. While some might consider this much performance potential in an automobile of this nature somewhat superfluous, we get it. If you like to drive and you have to haul, you might as well have a ride that hauls—well, you know—too.
Power comes from a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 with 354 horsepower and 346 ft-lbs of torque. A manually shiftable eight-speed automatic transmission is employed to route power to all four wheels. The Audi’s zero to 60 sprint is quoted at 5.0-seconds flat. More than just fast, the SQ5 is set up with a suspension system tailored to ensure superior handling as well. Happily, it also manages to preserve ride quality. Naturally, the Audi is suitably luxurious too. Standard features include automatic xenon headlights, keyless entry and ignition, Bluetooth handsfree telephony and audio streaming, heated eight-way power adjustable sport seats, heated auto folding exterior rearview mirrors, smart windshield wipers, tri-zone automatic climate control, and adjustable drive settings. The three-mode drive settings system permits the adjustment of throttle response, transmission shifting algorithms, and steering effort. Pricing starts at $52,700.
Power comes from a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 with 567 horsepower and 553 ft-lbs of torque. All of this is routed to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. One of the most fleet of the 10m fastest crossovers, BMW quotes zero to 60 time at 4.0-seconds flat. In addition to acceleration, the X5 M delivers outstanding grip with limited body roll. Yes, BMWs masterful suspension technology plays a significant role here, but Michelin also developed a specific tire for the model with a different compound for each rib of the tire tread. Outrageous power, outstanding handling and a relatively benign appearance marks BMW’s X5 M as a true sleeper Q-ship. Standard features include 21-inch double-spoke alloy wheels with high performance tires, adaptive headlights, LED foglights, a leather wrapped BMW M steering wheel, 20-way adjustable sport seats, an alcantara headliner, and a glass moonroof. Pricing starts at $98,700.
If you prefer something a bit more outgoing in appearance, with BMW’s X6 M, you’ll find yourself in possession of one of the single most capable crossover sport utilities out there. Like its X5 M sibling, power comes from a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 with 567 horsepower and 553 ft-lbs of torque. BMW quotes zero to 60 at 4.0-seconds flat. In addition to otherworldly acceleration, the X6 M also delivers outstanding grip with virtually no body roll. Outrageous power, outstanding handling and a wholly outré appearance marks BMW’s X6 M as a true standout in any company. Standard features include 21-inch double-spoke alloy wheels with high performance tires, adaptive headlights, LED foglights, a leather wrapped BMW M steering wheel, 20-way adjustable sport seats, an alcantara headliner, and a glass moonroof. Pricing starts at $102,100.
Photo by BMW
The vast majority of the Jeep Grand Cherokee models are optimized for offroading (while still delivering outstanding comfort and stability on pavement), but the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT is tuned specifically to give all of these European high performance crossovers a real run for the money. While the Europeans all rely upon artificial aspiration, (be it turbocharging or supercharging; one even adds an electric motor to the mix) Jeep earns its spot among the 10 fastest Crossover SUVs through sheer displacement. Boasting a 6.4-liter V8 – the largest engine here – the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT’s swagger comes courtesy of 475 horsepower and 470 ft-lbs of torque. This is fed into an eight-speed automatic transmission and routed to all four wheels. The GCSRT owns a zero to 60 of 4.8 seconds. Pricing starts at $64,695.
Photo by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
For the 2015 model year, Land Rover introduced a completely reworked version of the high performance version of its highly regarded Range Rover; the all-new Range Rover Sport. And, the ultimate iteration of the Sport is the Range Rover Sport SVR, reputed to be the fastest, most agile Range Rover ever offered. Power comes from a supercharged 5.0-liter V8 good for 550 horsepower and 502 ft-lbs of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission programmed specifically for enhanced performance feeds power to all four wheels. Land Rover quotes a 4.5-second zero to 60. Going like no Range Rover has ever gone before, the Range Rover Sport SVR is fully capable of keeping pace with the finest sport sedans on offer today. Further, the model is equipped with an outstanding array of the most premium luxury features available. Pricing starts at $110,475.
Photo by Benjamin Hunting
As if to singlehandedly prove that looks can be deceiving, the Mercedes-AMG G63 SUV is one of the 10 fastest sport utilities money can buy, even though it looks like it isn’t. Power comes from a handcrafted 5.5-liter twin turbocharged V8 capable of producing 536 horsepower and 560 ft-lbs of torque. Mercedes quotes a zero to 60 of 5.3 seconds. An AMG-tuned seven-speed automatic transmission ships power to all four wheels. The oldest platform in the Mercedes lineup, the G-Class was originally designed to serve as a military vehicle for the Israeli army back in the 1970s. As a result, many of the modern features we take for granted in contemporary luxury models ain’t there. What is there though is exceptionally robust construction, and a look unmatched by anything else currently on the market. (Because everything looking even remotely like it was killed years ago.) Pricing starts at $137,150.
Considerably more modern than its G-Class counterpart, the Mercedes-AMG ML63 is a cutting edge crossover sport utility with road manners like a car – in addition to an outstanding array of comfort and convenience features. With a claimed zero to 60 time of 4.7 seconds, the ML63 enjoys a 5.5-liter twin turbocharged V8 good for 518 horsepower and 516 ft-lbs of torque. Add the AMG performance package and you’ll shave another tenth of a second off the zero to 60 run thanks to an output increase to 550 horsepower and 560 ft-lbs of torque. Among the fitted AMG go faster features are an Airmatic suspension system with adaptive stabilizer bars and a set of 20-inch performance tires and alloy wheels. Comfort and convenience niceties include lane tracking, parking assist, and special leather upholstery for the ventilated sport seats. Pricing starts at $98,400.
Porsche quotes a zero to 60mph time of 4.4 seconds for the Macan Turbo when equipped with Porsche’s Sport Chrono package, which makes the Macan Turbo the one of the 10 fastest crossover sport utility vehicles money can buy from a mainstream auto manufacturer. (And, the quickest compact crossover SUV–period.) All of this quickness is provided courtesy of a twin-turbocharged 3.6-liter V6 capable of producing 400 horsepower and 406 ft-lbs of torque. Porsche’s seven-speed Doppelkupplung (PDK) dual-clutch automated manual transmission routes power to all four wheels. An active suspension system gives the Macan the handling traits one expects from a Porsche-badged automobile, while also preserving a comfortable ride quality. Pricing starts at $73,900.
The only hybrid model on this list of the 10 fastest crossover SUVs, the Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid boasts a zero to 60 of 5.4-seconds. This places it just a few ticks behind the Audi SQ5. A plug-in hybrid model, the Cayenne S E-Hybrid is also capable of running on electrical power for approximately 20 miles. Shared with the Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid, the Cayenne S E-Hybrid’s powertrain is capable of speeds of up to 83 miles per hour in electric-only mode. The powertrain is comprised of a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 and an electric motor boasting a total system output of 416 horsepower and 435 ft-lbs of torque. Porsche’s eight-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission routes the power output into the all-wheel drive system. Pricing starts at $77,200.
Treated to a refresh for model year 2015, Porsche’s Cayenne Turbo gets more output from its engine without an increase in displacement; a redesigned suspension system to improve ride quality while preserving handling, and updated styling. The higher performing Turbo S and GTS models are on hiatus for 2015, though they are expected to return for the 2016 model year. Power for the Turbo comes from a twin-turbocharged 4.8-liter V8 with 530 horsepower and 553 ft-lbs of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission routes power to all four wheels. According to Porsche, this makes the Cayenne Turbo good for a run from zero to 60mph in 4.2 seconds. With the Sport Chrono package’s launch control system, this time is shortened to 4.1 seconds. Pricing starts at $114,700.