With SUVs taking the automotive world by storm, our insatiable appetite for these high-riding machines has led to the creation of a new niche in the car industry. We’re talking about performance versions of these large and heavy vehicles, with models such as the Mercedes-AMG G63, Porsche Cayenne Turbo S, and the Range Rover Sport SVR representing three prime examples of the genre.
The folks over at Carwow decided to find out which of the three takes the crown in a drag race, but not just any ordinary drag race – one that takes place on a slippery surface. After all, these are all-wheel-drive SUVs and at least two of them are renowned for their off-road capabilities: The G and Range Rovers in general.
The first part of the video focuses on a conventional drag race between the latest and greatest Cayenne Turbo and the fastest version of the RR Sport. Big on power and weight, it’s a battle of numbers as the Porsche uses a twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 engine with 542 bhp and 568 pound-feet whereas its British rival pushes out 575 bhp from a 5.0-litre supercharged V8 capable of generating 516 lb-ft. At 2.25 tons for the Porsche and a little over 2.3 tons for the Range Rover, these two U.K.-spec SUVs are not exactly light.
Despite a sluggish start, the Cayenne Turbo takes an easy win by completing the standing quarter mile in 12.4 seconds while the RR Sport needed an extra half a second. In the subsequent rolling race from 50 mph and in the most comfortable driving mode, the two SUVs were neck and in neck even though the supercharged SUV had a better initial response. In the follow-up rolling race with the sportiest settings activated and manual mode turned on, it was an undisputed win for Stuttgart. The latter claimed another win (by a significant margin we might add) in the brake test.
And now we get to the most interesting battle of the video, the drag race also involving a Mercedes-AMG G63 to spice things up. The latest G prepared by Affalterbach retains the off-road prowess of its predecessor and ups the power ante to 577 bhp and 627 lb-ft courtesy of a twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 replacing the old 5.5-litre mill. Not only does it have more power than the model it replaces, but it’s also significantly lighter. That being said, it’s still the heaviest of the trio, weighing in at a hefty 2.4 tons.
Numbers don’t tell the whole story when drag racing, especially when it takes place on wet grass where tyres and the traction control system are crucial to the end result. The SVR didn’t stand a chance in the SUV showdown, while the battle between the two German speedy SUVs was extremely close from start to finish.