SPORT UTILITY VEHICLES ARE SIMPLY
family transport, right? They certainly used to be when they entered the market in the 1990s. Now 20 years on, the practicality and popularity of the SUV has not only maintained, it’s grown massively to where the likes of Porsche’s Cayenne helped save the company. Now with the likes of Alfa Romeo and even Lamborghini getting in on the current love of large SUVS, carmakers have also realised there’s a market for fast derivatives, too. Like the halo sports car, they may not sell in large numbers, but they help boost the profile of the brand, and tell a great story along the way. That the ‘slowest’ SUV here runs 0-100km/h in 3.8 seconds speaks volumes that in 2018, performance cars arrive in a whole new way. And the fastest one does it in a whole new world.
5 ALFA ROMEO STELVIO QUADRIFOGLIO 0-100KM/H: 3.8 SECONDS
With the Stelvio launching recently, we’re yet to officially see the top-spec model in NZ, but it’s worth waiting for. Powered by a 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 that was co-developed with Ferrari, it produces 375kw and 600Nm pushing through the rear wheels until the front wheels need it, making for extremely sports car-like handling, and aided by a relatively light weight of 1830kg. The Quadrifoglio (Italian for fourleaf clover) is also the Nurburging SUV lap record holder at 7min:51.7 seconds.
MERCEDESAMG 4 GLC 63 S 0-100KM/H: 3.8 SECONDS
Pushing an identical 0-100km/h time as the Alfa, the Merc jumps a spot on a double countback, offering the same 375kw as its Italian counterpart, but upping the torque total to 700Nm thanks to its use of a twinturbo 4.0-litre V8, which helps overcome its 2010kg kerb weight for the same 3.8-second sprint to 100.