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Many of us are guilty of it. You know, fixating on a vehicle’s peak power output without even a cursory glance in the general direction of the torque column.
But, when it comes to often-hefty SUVs, maximum twisting force is essential to overall performance, both off the beaten track and on tarmac.
So, we’ve decided to take a look at exactly which SUVs currently on South Africa’s new vehicle market (we’ve had to exclude the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk since that monster is due to arrive only in 2018) produce the most torque. And, no, all are not diesel-powered…
1. Bentley Bentayga (W12 and Diesel): 900 N.m
South Africa’s torque king in the SUV segment is the Bentayga. Interestingly, both the 447 kW 6,0-litre, W12-powered petrol flagship and the 320 kW 4,0-litre V8 oil-burner make 900 N.m, although the former’s is on tap across a slightly wider rev-range, from 1 250 r/min all the way through to 4 500 r/min. The W12 sprints to three figures in a claimed 4,1 seconds and starts at R3 987 000, while the Diesel is about seven-tenths slower and a little easier on the wallet at R2 950 000…
2. Porsche Cayenne S diesel: 850 N.m
The third-generation Cayenne may have been revealed (although no word yet on a diesel derivative), but the outgoing model is still on sale in South Africa (deliveries of the new model start in June 2018). And specifying an oil-burning engine (from R1 347 000) will buy you a positively stonking 850 N.m. Thanks to the 283 kW 4,1-litre V8, you can expect a 0-100 km/h time of around 5,4 seconds. Of course, the petrol versions aren’t far behind in the torque stakes, with the Turbo variant offering 750 N.m and the Turbo S derivative raising that figure to 800 N.m.
3. Volkswagen Touareg V8 TDI Executive R-Line: 800 N.m
Although an all-new Touareg is very much on the way, the second-generation model (which is related to the Cayenne above) soldiers on in the meantime, with the diesel derivative churning out 250 kW and a considerable 800 N.m courtesy of a 4,1-litre V8 oil-burner, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. VW claims that this R1 232 500, all-wheel-drive SUV will hit three figures from standstill in 5,8 seconds, before topping out at 242 km/h.
4. Mercedes-AMG G63, GLS63 and GLE63 S: 760 N.m
Affalterbach’s 5,5-litre turbocharged V8 petrol engine finds itself under the bonnet of the G63 (R2 399 028), GLS63 (R2 378 352) and GLE63 S (R2 083 884), with the latter also available in pseudo-coupé form. In the GLS (0-100 km/h in 4,6 seconds) and GLE S (0-100 km/h in 4,2 seconds) derivatives, the eight-pot makes 430 kW, while the G63 (0-100 km/h in 5,4 seconds) makes do with a 10 kW deficit.
5. BMW X5 M and X6 M: 750 N.m
The X5 M and X6 M twins take the fifth and final place on the list. Each of the two BMWs – priced at R1 938 932 and R1 978 232 respectively – is powered by a 4,4-litre turbocharged V8 petrol engine worth 423 kW and 750 N.m. An eight-speed auto links this eight-cylinder unit to all four wheels, allowing a claimed 0-100 km/h time of 4,2 seconds (and an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h).
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