Fastest SUVs in the world 2021

We run through the fastest 4x4s and SUVs on sale right now

Gone are the days when SUVs were lumbering and slow. With huge advances in weight-reduction and drivetrain technology, even the biggest 4x4s can now compete with the likes of Lamborghini and McLaren when it comes to acceleration. Much like a supercar however, the performance of these ultra fast SUVs comes at a price, with the cheapest on our list of the fastest SUVs costing over £70,000.

Thanks to boxy design and general all-round bulk, even the average SUV wages a constant war against the laws of physics. What these top-performing models show is that a portly kerb weight and garden shed aerodynamics are no obstacle to some serious hustle, as long as enough raw power is applied. Just don’t mention the fuel economy.

SUVs are more popular than ever and almost every high-end manufacturer is offering a performance version of their SUV creations. Bentley’s Bentayga, the Lamborghini Urus, the electric Tesla Model X and the Porsche Cayenne Turbo mean there are a lot of choices out there. We’ve also got newcomers like Aston Martin and Ferrari joining in, and the ongoing power wars mean the fastest SUV today may not be the fastest SUV tomorrow.

Below we’ve ranked the top 10 fastest SUVs on sale in reverse order according to their official 0-62mph acceleration time. This works out as a better measure of pace as top speeds tend to be limited, and acceleration has more relevance to real-world driving for owners of these mighty behemoths.

Below you’ll find our list of the fastest production SUVs of the moment in reverse order…

Bentley Bentayga Speed

  • 0-62mph: 3.9s
  • Top speed: 190mph

The regular W12 Bentayga isn’t exactly slow, but Bentley saw fit to give it an extra 30bhp and turn it into the ‘fastest SUV in the world’. With a 3.9 second 0-62mph time, there are faster accelerating SUVs but no other SUV can match the Bentayga Speed’s 190mph top speed. 

All this performance comes at a premium however, as the Speed is £40,000 more than a regular Bentayga V8. However, in the world of Top Trump SUVs, this is definitely the Bentayga to have. 

Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S Coupe

  • 0-62mph: 3.8s
  • Top speed: 174mph

The importance of SUVs for luxury brands is well documented but in Mercedes’ case the SUVs have become a core part of its line-up. 

Whatever you think of the coupe-SUV design, there’s no arguing about the GLC 63 S model’s deeply impressive performance. A 503bhp twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 and 4MATIC four-wheel drive system help launch the GLC 63 S from 0-62mph in 3.8 seconds and on to a top speed of 174mph.

Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S

  • 0-62mph: 3.8s
  • Top speed: 174mph 

Despite being bigger than the GLC, the GLE 63 S matches it for acceleration and top speed. That’s perhaps less surprising when you factor in the GLE 63 S engine which has a 100bhp advantage at 603bhp. 

A twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 sends power to all four wheels via a nine-speed automatic gearbox and there’s also a mild-hybrid system providing an extra 22bhp and cylinder deactivation technology - although you’ll still only return 24.5mpg on the combined cycle.

BMW X5 M/X6 M Competition

  • 0-62mph: 3.8s
  • Top speed: 180mph 

Both the original X5 and X6 were pioneers in their own right. While the X5 showed BMW could make an SUV with surprisingly car-like handling, the X6 heralded the rise of the coupe-SUV class. 

Since then, BMW’s M division has tinkered with both, and the current versions are among the fastest SUVs in the world. Competition badged models have the twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 from the M8 Competition producing 616bhp. The 0-62mph times stand at 3.8 seconds and if you opt for the M Driver’s Package the 155mph speed limiter is lifted and you’ll roar onto 180mph.

Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid

  • 0-62mph: 3.8s
  • Top speed: 183mph

This Porsche Cayenne might be a hybrid but don’t let that fool you into thinking this is some eco-minded city runabout. A 542bhp turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 and 134bhp of electric motor never quite produce peak power simultaneously so the Turbo S E-Hybrid’s maximum output stands at 671bhp. 

Fit the Chrono Sports Package and you’ll see 62mph from standstill in just 3.8 seconds and an eventual 183mph top speed. To put that into perspective, the new 718 Cayman GT4’s 0-62mph is a comparatively sluggish 4.4 seconds.

Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio

  • 0-62mph: 3.8s
  • Top speed: 176mph

The Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio is the cheapest SUV in this list but you won’t be left feeling short-changed when it comes to the Italian SUV’s performance. 

A 2.9-litre twin-turbocharged V6 petrol producing 503bhp wouldn’t feel out of place in a Ferrari and can launch this 1,830kg SUV from 0-62mph in well under four seconds. 100 per cent of the engine’s power is sent to the rear wheels during normal driving with up to 50 per cent going to the front axle when slip is detected, furthering the Stelvio Quadrifoglio’s sporting credentials.

Audi RS Q8

  • 0-62mph: 3.8s
  • Top speed: 189mph

Featuring the same twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 petrol mild-hybrid found in the RS 7 Sportback, the RS Q8 has a total power output of 592bhp and a whopping 800Nm of torque.

That’s enough to get this hefty SUV from 0-62mph in 3.8 seconds and on to a top speed of 189mph - so long as you spec Audi’s optional dynamic plus package, which bypasses the 155mph speed limiter.

Ford Mustang Mach-E GT

  • 0-62mph: 3.7s
  • Top speed: 124mph

While an electric SUV carrying the legendary Mustang name has caused controversy for some, Ford has addressed enthusiast concern by fitting the new Mach-E GT with dual motors producing 480bhp and an enormous 860Nm of torque. As a result, this SUV easily gives its muscle car counterpart a run for its money, as it will accelerate from 0-62mph in just 3.7 seconds, even if it does lack that V8 rumble.

The GT’s top speed is limited to 124mph, so unless the tuner brigade manages to open the gates and let this Mustang run free, supercar-threatening acceleration is the name of the game.

Lamborghini Urus

  • 0-62mph: 3.6s
  • Top speed: 190mph

Even in this list of ostentatious SUVs, the Urus manages to stand out in true Lamborghini fashion. Yes, prices start from £132,000 which seems like relatively good value for a practical Lamborghini with supercar-baiting performance and genuine off-road capability, but you’ll be rocketing towards £200,000 with a few option boxes ticked. 

A twin-turbo V8 nicked from the Porsche Cayenne Turbo has been tuned to a stonking 641bhp. Select the sportier drive modes and you’ll be intoxicated by the noises coming out of the exhaust as you roar from 0-62mph in a scarcely believable 3.6 seconds.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk 

  • 0-62mph: 3.4s
  • Top speed: 190mph 

The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk might not have the brand appeal of some of the other cars in this list, but it more than makes up for it with 707bhp and 881Nm of torque on tap. The engine comes out of a Dodge Challenger Hellcat and it’s a raucous 6.2-litre supercharged HEMI V8. The soundtrack is sensational, so don’t be surprised to see your fuel gauge drop with every dab of the throttle. 

Despite having to haul around 2.4 tonnes, the Trackhawk manages to get from 0-62mph in just 3.4 seconds - that’s 1.4 seconds quicker than a V8-engined Ford Mustang.

Tesla Model X

  • 0-60mph: 2.7s
  • Top speed: 155mph

The Model X’s brutal acceleration has been well-documented online with multiple videos of the all-electric SUV embarrassing supercars in drag races. The most wickedly powerful Plaid model will see 60mph come and go in 2.5 seconds - although if you regularly do this the 340-mile range drops dramatically. 

This level of performance becomes all the more incredible when you bear in mind the Model X will seat seven and can cruise in near-silence.

Fastest SUVs in the world 2021

Which is your pick of the high-performance SUVs? Or take a look at the fastest accelerating cars in the world.

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