Fer­rari FXXK

Top Gear (UK) - - NEWS - Char­lie Turner ED­I­TOR-IN-CHIEF @TopGearEdi­tor

Af­ter last is­sue’s £2.5m, 1,479bhp Ch­i­ron ex­cite­ment, this month it’s time for some­thing a lit­tle more real-world. Sorry. We can all ad­mire the Ch­i­ron’s ca­pa­bil­i­ties and bound­ary-re­defin­ing en­gi­neer­ing, but it will be the pre­serve of the ex­clu­sive few. In stark con­trast, the stars of this month’s cover rep­re­sent the di­ver­sity of the fastest-grow­ing sec­tor in planet car, the SUV.

Last year, SUVs ac­counted for more than a quar­ter of new-car reg­is­tra­tions in Europe, while glob­ally they were even more pro­lific. Car man­u­fac­tur­ers keen to cap­i­talise on this boom­ing seg­ment have re­acted and cre­ated an SUV to tar­get ev­ery pos­si­ble buyer, and there’s more to come. The SUV mar­ket has be­come so fun­da­men­tal to an au­to­mo­tive brand’s fu­ture suc­cess that even those for whom cre­at­ing an SUV would have been laugh­able just a few years ago are cur­rently try­ing to wres­tle their hard-won brand DNA into a whole dif­fer­ent set of di­men­sions.

Rolls-Royce is look­ing to get muddy and re­de­fine off-road hy­per lux­ury with the Cul­li­nan. Mean­while, later in the year, we’ll see if it’s pos­si­ble to suc­cess­fully mi­grate the Lam­borgh­ini aes­thetic and 54 years of Ital­ian per­for­mance car cred­i­bil­ity to the seg­ment in the shape of the Urus.

SUVs are noth­ing new, with the 1935 Chevrolet Sub­ur­ban be­ing widely ac­knowl­edged as the fore­fa­ther. Built on a truck chas­sis, fea­tur­ing 90bhp and with bench seat­ing for eight, it es­tab­lished a num­ber of the key met­rics of the SUV as we know it today: a higher driv­ing po­si­tion, some off-road ca­pa­bil­ity and seat­ing for you and your ex­tended fam­ily.

This month, the plan was sim­ple – gather the broad­est set of SUVs to­gether and spend two days test­ing them un­til we found the best SUV in the world. Sounds sim­ple, doesn’t it? Many miles, some mud, one re­cal­ci­trant dog and a few ar­gu­ments later, we had a win­ner – a car that en­cap­su­lates the flex­i­bil­ity and ca­pa­bil­i­ties you ex­pect from an SUV. If we’re hon­est, we were as sur­prised as you will be with the re­sult, but that’s “democ­racy” and TG maths for you, and, while the pric­etag will make you wince, you can’t ar­gue with the win­ner’s ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

If you want a dis­trac­tion from the SUVs, don’t worry – nor­mal ser­vice is re­sumed else­where in the mag, as Chris Harris de­ploys the mildly sweary Fer­rari FXXK.

En­joy the is­sue,

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