With the recent release of the Lamborghini Urus Performante, we decided to look at the most powerful SUVs available in South Africa. Here are the top 10…

1. Aston Martin DBX 707 – 520 kW


Billed as the world’s most powerful luxury SUV, the DBX 707 tops the list. For its apex DBX, Aston Martin has fettled with AMG-sourced V8, equipping the twin-turbocharged petrol powertrain with the largest turbochargers ever fitted to a 4.0-litre AMG engine. The DBX produces 520 kW and a whopping 900 Nm of torque, 115 kW and 15 Nm more than the standard model. The British marque says these figures allow for a claimed 0-100 km/h sprint time of 3.3 seconds and a top speed of 310 km/h. 

2. Porsche Cayenne Turbo S e-hybrid – 500 kW


For the Cayenne Turbo S e-hybrid coupé, Porsche has equipped the Turbo model’s 4.0-litre V8 internal combustion engine with an electric motor, resulting in a total power output of 500 kW. The petrol-electric arrangement produces 900 Nm of torque, available from a lowly 2 100 r/min, allowing the 2.5-tonne, coupé-styled SUV to blast to the three-figure marker from a standstill in 3.8 seconds and on to a top speed of 295 km/h. In addition, although boasting such enormous power and torque outputs, the hybrid powertrain sips a mere (claimed) 3.9 L/100 km. 

3. Lamborghini Urus Performante


The recently-revealed Urus Performante takes the bronze, with the Raging Bull brand’s pinnacle Urus kicking out 490 kW and 850 Nm. Lamborghini says the 4.0-litre V8’s outputs allow a claimed 0-100 km/h sprint time of 3.3 seconds. The top speed is rated at 306 km/h. However, what sets this model apart from the other SUVs mentioned on this list is that it boasts a rally mode! 

4. Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT – 471 kW

The quickest SUV to ever lap the Nürburgring, the Cayenne Turbo GT boasts the most powerful internal combustion 4.0-litre V8 in Porsche’s arsenal. (Remember, the Cayenne Turbo S e-hybrid coupé’s V8 produces 404 kW before the electric motor’s outputs have been added to the equation.) The unit powering the first GT-badged SUV in Porsche’s portfolio produces 471 kW and 850 Nm for a 0-100 km/h acceleration time of 3.3 seconds and a top speed of 300 km/h. 

5. Bentley Bentayga Speed – 467 kW


Boasting a 6.0-litre W12 engine, the Bentley Bentayga Speed churns out 467 kW and 900 Nm. The top-tier Bentayga completes the obligatory 0-100 km/h sprint in a claimed 3.9 seconds before reaching a top speed of 306 km/h. 

6. BMW X5 M Competition/X6 M Competition – 460 kW

What is a list of sports SUVs without BMW M models? Coming in sixth place, the X5 M Competition and its coupé-styled sibling, the X6 M Competition, is equipped with the Bavarian firm’s familiar 4.4-litre V8 powertrain. The twin-turbocharged unit is endowed with 460 kW and 750 Nm, the latter available from a mere 1 800 r/min. The engine’s outputs allow for a 0-100 km/h blast of 3.8 seconds and a top speed of 290 km/h. 

7. Mercedes-AMG GLE63 S 4Matic+/GLS63 4Matic+ – 450 kW

The GLE 63 S and GLS63 share seventh place on this list, with both of these Three-pointed Star sports SUVs sporting 450 kW and 850 Nm. However, it’s worth mentioning that short bursts of an additional 16 kW are available thanks to mild-hybrid tech. Mercedes claims the GLE63 S sprints to the 100 km/h marker from a standstill in 3.8 seconds before reaching a top speed of 250 km/h. However, tick the correct option box, and the top speed is lifted to 280 km/h. The GLS63 completes the 0-100 km/h sprint in 4.2 seconds. The maximum speed is similar to that of its smaller sibling. 

8. Audi RS Q8 quattro – 441 kW

Producing 441 kW and 800 Nm of torque, the RS Q8 ranks eighth on this list. The Ingolstadt-based brand’s pinnacle SUV blasts to the three-figure marker from 0 km/h in a claimed 3.8 seconds. The maximum speed is electronically governed to 250 km/h. But, like the AMG models listed above, the RS Q8’s top speed can be lifted to 280 km/h. 

9. Mercedes-AMG G63 – 430 kW

Again Affalterbach’s familiar 4.0-litre V8 comes into play; this time in the iconic G63. In the AMG-badged G-Wagon, the twin-turbocharged unit produces 430 kW and 850 Nm, allowing the nearly 2.6-tonne SUV to launch to 100 km/h from a standstill in 4.5 seconds. The top speed is rated at 220 km/h. However, like its AMG stablemates, this can be lifted; here to 240 km/h. 

10. Maserati Levante Trofeo – 427 kW

The second Italian SUV on this list, the Maserati Levante Trofeo, is the tenth most powerful SUV on this list. It is equipped with a 3.8-litre V8 engine producing 427 kW and 730 Nm. Maserati claims its apex Levante has a 0-100 km/h sprint time of 4.1 seconds and a top speed of 300 km/h.