Earlier this month, Jeep took the wraps off the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, billing it as the most powerful production SUV ever built.
Thanks to a 6,2-litre supercharged V8 mill (yes, borrowed from the Dodge Challenger and Charger, in Hellcat flavour), the Trackhawk makes a whopping 527 kW and 874 N.m, sent to all four corners via a suitably upgraded eight-speed automatic transmission.
Interestingly, Chrysler Group SA has since revealed that the Trackhawk is "under consideration for the South African market". Colour us intrigued.
But this also got us thinking: what are the most powerful SUVs currently offered new in South Africa? We did a little research and came up with the following: the seven most powerful SUVs on SA's new vehicle market (and, unsurprisingly, there's some crossover with our recent list of the most expensive SUVs in SA)…
1. Bentley Bentayga W12: 447 kW
No prizes for guessing that the R3 987 000 Bentayga tops the list, with its 6,0-litre W12 churning out a mammoth 447 kW and 900 N.m. The dash from standstill to three figures takes a claimed 4,1 seconds, with the hefty SUV topping out at a smidgen past 300 km/h.
2=. Mercedes-AMG GLS63: 430 kW
Ah, the S-Class of SUVs, as Mercedes calls it. Priced at R2 378 352, the GLS63 employs a 5,5-litre turbocharged V8 worth 430 kW and 760 N.m. Electronically limited to 250 km/h (although the Stuttgart automaker will stretch that to 280 km/h if you open your wallet wide enough), the GLS63 gallops to 100 km/h in a claimed 4,6 seconds.
2=. Mercedes-AMG GLE63 S: 430 kW
The slightly smaller GLE63 S is equipped with the same blown V8, but comes in at R2 083 884 (or R2 170 312 if you prefer coupé-like styling). And, seeing as it weighs less than the GLS, it accelerates a little quicker too, completing the obligatory sprint in a claimed 4,2 seconds.
4. BMW X5 M/X6 M: 423 kW
Yes, the M-badged siblings swoop in to take fourth spot on the list, thanks to their use of BMW's 4,4-litre turbocharged V8. Regardless of body style (the X5 M costs R1 938 932 and its slipperier sibling R1 978 232), this engine is worth 423 kW and 750 N.m, resulting in a claimed 0-100 km/h time of 4,2 seconds.
5. Mercedes-AMG G63: 420 kW
Aerodynamically efficient it may not be, but the G63 still boasts a 420 kW/760 N.m version of Affalterbach's 5,5-litre turbo V8. It tops out at 210 km/h and sees off the sprint to three figures in 5,4 seconds. The price? Some R2 399 028…
6. Porsche Cayenne Turbo S: 419 kW
A 4,8-litre turbocharged V8 gives the R2 504 000 Turbo S version of the Cayenne peak outputs of 419 kW and 800 N.m, which translates to a claimed 4,1-second dash to 100 km/h. Top speed is a precise 284 km/h.
7. Rover Range Sport SVR: 405 kW
The final spot on the list goes to the SVR version of the Range Rover Sport (for the sum of R2 212 286). Jaguar Land Rover's 5,0-litre supercharged V8 makes 405 kW and 680 N.m, and is also available in a pair of Range Rover SVAutobiography models should this variant be a little too racy for your tastes. But in the SVR, it results in a claimed sprint time of 4,7 seconds...
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