Sometimes, too much is just enough.
Twin-turbos. 12 Cylinders. Supercharged V8s. More than 700 horsepower. It sounds like a list of exotic hypercars or a pack of super sedans, but we’re here talking SUVs. Family-friendly high-performance SUVs.
There has been an explosion of high-power family haulers over the last few years, mostly from Germany, but the British and Americans have also gotten into the fray. Some even seat seven, and they all benefit from all-wheel drive.
Here are the top 10 most powerful SUVs of 2018.
11. 2018 Mercedes-AMG G63
There are two Mercedes G-Wagens on this list. A reality justified by the fact that they use different engines. The AMG G63 is powered by a 5.5-liter V8 fortified by two turbochargers. The result is 563 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 561 pound-feet of torque, which is sent through a seven-speed automatic transmission.
Benz says the cubic G63, which costs $142,800, weighs 5,833 pounds and can accelerate to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds. Its top speed is limited to 130 mph. That makes it the slowest of this pack.
Research the 2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class
10. 2018 BMW X5 M
With a twin-turbo V8 cranking out 567 hp at 6,000 rpm and 553 lb-ft of torque, BMW’s X5 M and X6 M is the most powerful SUV ever sold by BMW in the United States. BMW backs the V8 with an 8-speed automatic.
Although its 4.4-liters makes it the smallest engine on this list, BMW says the X5 M weighs 5,260 pounds and can accelerate to 60 mph in 4.0 seconds, which is quicker than Mercedes quotes for its more powerful GLS 63 and GLE 63 S. Base price is $100,700.
Research the 2017 BMW X5
9. 2018 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S
Porsche’s most powerful SUV is the Cayenne Turbo S, which packs 50 more horsepower than the Cayenne Turbo model. It’s powered by a twin-turbocharged 4.8-liter V8 backed by an 8-speed automatic transmission. For 2018 the Cayenne Turbo S is rated 570 hp @ 6,000 rpm and 590 lb-ft of torque and Porsche says it can accelerate from 0-60 mph in 3.8 seconds and touch 176 mph. Base price is $161,600.
Research the 2017 Porsche Cayenne
8. 2018 Land Rover Range Rover Sport SVR
For 2018 Land Rover has turned up the boost on its competition, literally. The Range Rover Sport SVR gets an extra 25 hp from its familiar supercharged 5.0-liter V8. Output is now 575 hp at 6,000 rpm and 516 lb-ft of torque, making it the most powerful Land Rover ever.
Land Rover says the SUV, which uses an 8-speed automatic transmission, can hit 60 mph in 4.3 seconds and top out at 176 mph. The base price is $133,600.
Research the 2017 Land Rover Range Rover Sport
7. 2018 Mercedes-AMG GLS 63
One of the few seven-seaters on this list is the $125,300 Mercedes-AMG GLS 63. It’s also the largest SUV here at 203.2 inches long. Under the hood is a hand-crafted 5.5-liter V8 with twin-turbos making 577 hp at 5,500 rpm and 561 lb-ft of torque. It’s backed by a seven-speed automated manual transmission.
AMG says the combination can get the 5,800-pound SUV from 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds, which is slower than the BMW, the Porsche and the Land Rover.
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6. 2018 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S
Mercedes and AMG double dip with its twin-turbo 5.5-liter V8. The engine is also available in AMG versions of the five-passenger GLE and GLE Coupe. It’s rated 550 hp in the GLE 63, but in the GLE 63 S and GLE 63 S Coupe, it jumps to 577 hp at 5,500 rpm and 561 lb-ft of torque.
In all cases, the big V8 works with a seven-speed automated manual transmission. Smaller and 600 pounds lighter than the GLS 63, AMG says the combination can get the $102,550 GLE 63 S from 0-60 mph in 4.2 seconds.
Research the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class
5. 2018 Bentley Bentayga
With a base price higher than $235,000, the Bentley Bentayga is the most expensive truck on this list. It’s also one of the quickest.
Bentley says the Bentayga can do 0-60 mph in 4.0 seconds. Behind its chrome grille is a twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter W12 bolted to an 8-speed automatic transmission. The unique engine makes 600 hp at 6,000 rpm and 664 lb-ft of torque. Bentley says the Bentayga weighs 5,379 lbs and can hit 187 mph, which is the highest top speed of the bunch.
Research the 2017 Bentley Bentayga
4. 2018 Tesla Model X P100D
The Tesla Model X is the quickest SUV on this list. When in its much-publicized Ludacrous Mode, Tesla says the P100D can squirt from 0-60 mph in just 2.9 seconds. That’s quicker than a Corvette Z06.
Of course, the seven-passenger Tesla is fully-electric, and it’s the only truck here not powered by an internal combustion engine. The Tesla’s three-phase, four-pole AC induction motors add up to 603 hp and 713 lb-ft of torque. Base price is $138,800.
Research the 2017 Tesla Model X
3. 2018 Mercedes-AMG G65
With more power than the Bentley and a price tag almost as astronomical, the Mercedes-AMG G65 lives in some rarefied air. Packing the only V12 on the list, a twin-turbo 6.0-liter, it’s punching out 621 hp at 5,000 rpm. And its 738 lb-ft of torque, which is sent through a 7-speed automatic, leads the pack.
That torque number brings bragging rights, but the 5,924-pound G65 is heavy and its 5.3-second 0-60 mph time is the second-slowest here. Mercedes also limits the brick’s top speed at 143 mph. Prices start at $220,700.
Research the 2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class
2. Lamborghini Urus
Lamborghini made headlines when it announced the Urus, its first SUV since the military-grade LM002. With a 4.-liter 641-horsepower twin-turbocharged V8 engine, it's not quite the most powerful sport utility vehicle you can buy in America. But its top speed of 190 miles per hour make it the fastest.
It's not just about terminal velocity. Lamborghini claims a 0-60 time of about 3.5 seconds.
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1. 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk
New for 2018, the much-anticipated Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is the most powerful SUV ever made. At $86,995, it’s also the least expensive SUV on this list.
Underneath its vented hood is the same supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi V8, pushrods and all, that has made legends out of the Dodge Charger and Challenger Hellcats. The engine makes 707 hp at 6,000 rpm and 645 lb-ft of torque. The transmission is an 8-speed automatic. Jeep says the 5,300-pound SUV can hit 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and max out at 180 mph.