8 Super-SUVs Making Waves in the Auto Industry

I remember the first time I heard about the introduction of a large Lamborghini or Ferrari. The one question that popped in my head was “Can they really do that?” You mean, an SUV with a Ferrari or Lamborghini badge? A super-SUV?

In my head, supercars were meant to be just that, supercars. It was engraved in stone. A hidden commandment that was not to be broken. They were to be fast, sexy, low-lying, and sedan-like. Never large. Large meant slow, grotesque, and bulky – three things that supercars shouldn’t be. The idea was farfetched and utterly absurd.

But, change is inevitable. And, whether we like it or not, it must take place. So, when the first super-SUVs rolled out, I remember realizing that they weren’t that bad. After all, they were meant to arrive sooner or later, thanks to the growing demand for crossovers.

Of course, some of them came out uglier than ever. A couple were copy-paste versions of their supercar counterparts that were unfortunately and disgracefully botched in the design process. Others were supercars on steroids. But nevertheless, something is better than nothing. Plus who said the start of anything must be glamorous?

You may have heard about some of these cars, and seen others. There are those that are pretty new and foreign while others have been there for a while. Most are quite popular with petrol heads. Here’s a look at 8 super-SUVs I find worthy of acknowledging.

1. Lamborghini Urus

Powerful super SUVs
Photos courtesy of Lamborghini.

This is probably the most popular super-SUV on the market right now. That’s because it was the first modern super sport utility vehicle to be rolled out by a supercar company. We’ve all seen one on social media. If you’re one of the lucky ones, you may have come across it on the road.

Lamborghini Urus

At the time of its release, the Lamborghini Urus was hailed as the fastest SUV on the planet. This was partially true. I sometimes like to think people loved saying that because it carried the Lamborghini badge, and Lamborghini means speed. If you’ve watched enough race wars on YouTube, you’ll know the Tesla Model X carries that title. And, if you’ve gone further and watched more videos, you’ll know that there are people who’ve modified their ordinary factory SUVs into really fast machines.

Sporty Crossover

That’s not to mean the Lamborghini Urus isn’t fast. At its heart you’ll find a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine that produces about 650 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque. This is enough to get the super-SUV from 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in just 3.6 seconds. Considering the entire vehicle weighs 2,200 kg (4850 pounds), moving that much weight, that fast and over a short distance is impressive.

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According to Lamborghini, the Urus is based on a futuristic version of the Aventador with a touch of the LM002. The Lamborghini LM002 was an off-road truck that was built between 1986 and 1993. The company refers to it as the ‘mother’ of the Urus. And, from what we can all tell, the mother brought forth an attractive baby. The dynamic and artistic design of this SUV only spews performance. It’s a first impression that doesn’t mislead.

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I could go all day about this particular car, but enough. There are other super-SUVs to talk about. However, you should know that if you want to buy one, the earliest model of the Lamborghini Urus will set you back about Ksh 35,000,000 ($350,000).

2. Bentley Bentayga

Bentley Bentayga Super SUVs
Photos courtesy of Bentley.

At number two we have the second most popular super-SUV, at least that’s what I think. Fortunately, I’ve had the pleasure of seeing this one live on the streets of Nairobi. And, trust me, it’s a sight for sore eyes. Ever since Bentley Nairobi pitched their tent in Kenya, Kenyans haven’t shied away from displaying their opulence.

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I particularly really like this one. It’s named after the ‘Roque Bentayga’ in Gran Canaria and probably one of the few on this list that you can directly tell which company it comes from. This is thanks to a simplistic yet lush design that’s synonymous with Bentley. Inside, you get quilt stitching, plush captain seats, and remarkable walnut inlays.

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The Bentayga Speed, in particular, boasts a turbocharged W12 engine. This is a mash up of two six-cylinder engines. The resulting output is 626 horsepower and a top speed of 306 km/h (190 mph). The power output is enough to get the car from 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in just 3.8 seconds. This is 0.2 seconds slower than the Urus and that could be due to the fact that the Bentayga weighs 2,515 kg – 315 kg heavier.

Bentley Bentayga Super SUV

At the time of its release, the Speed was again hailed as the fastest SUV in the world. But, we aren’t doing that here because we know better. What you’ll surely get though is a whole lot of ultra luxury that you’ll pay top dollar for. Think of a large Flying Spur or Continental GT with sweeping curves, wireless connectivity features, rich wood trims, modern infotainment systems, actual metal accents, and supreme comfort. Price? Anywhere from Ksh 25 million to Ksh 50 million ($250,000 – $500,000) depending on the features you want.

3. Rolls Royce Cullinan

Rolls Royce Cullinan
Photos courtesy of Rolls Royce.

If you’ve ever paid attention to how Rolls Royce builds its cars you know that the company doesn’t play around. Every model means business. And to get a taste of this business, your pockets must be deep.

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The Rolls Royce Cullinan is no exception. Think of a large Phantom that has a lot more to offer in its enlarged body. Reading through its features feels like you’re going through a menu at a really expensive restaurant – Immersive seating with massage, 22-inch seven-spoke shadow wheels, champagne flutes, a whiskey decanter, lambs-wool carpeting, milled aluminium accents, bespoke 18-speaker audio system, dual 12-inch screens, rear picnic table, refrigerated drink cabinets and plenty of add-ons that the buyer can afford. That is, an extra buck for piano-white veneer, leather floor mats, and the likes.

Luxurious Super SUV

In every Rolls Royce, luxury must meet power half way. The two are not mutually exclusive. They must work hand-in-hand. Picture an automotive masterpiece pulled by a 6.75-liter V12 engine that produces 563 horsepower. While you may not need to go that fast in such a masterpiece, the Cullinan will get you from 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in 4.5 seconds.

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The drive is blissful and gentle. This is thanks to an air suspension system that adjusts the height of the car automatically courtesy of the info sent to it by road-scanning cameras. I can hear some of you screaming “vanity” from wherever you are. You poor things. How much for all this? The latest model starts at $330,000.

4. Aston Martin DBX

Aston Martin DBX
Photos courtesy of Aston Martin.

This is my least favorite super-SUV for one reason and one reason only, its looks. It lacks the visual allure you get from the Cullinan, Urus, and Bentayga. Looking at it reveals an almost faceless SUV. You’d easily mistake the design for an ordinary model from the East.

Aston Martin Super SUV

Don’t get me wrong though, the Aston Martin DBX has everything that qualifies it for the “super-SUV” title. That’s of course, if we take away the looks. At its heart is a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 built by Mercedes-AMG. It churns 542 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. This is enough to get it from 0-100 km/h (0-60 mph) in 4.5 seconds.

Super SUVs

The entire car weighs 2,245 kg (4,949 pounds) and has a top speed of 292 km/h (181 mph). According to Aston Martin, the DBX is built to carry its occupants in true Aston Martin style. It comes with all the latest technology to ensure you’re comfortable, safe, and in the middle of some sumptuous luxury. Oh, and it drives and sounds like a sports car too. Price? $192,986.

5. Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio

Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio
Photos courtesy of Alfa Romeo.

I remember spotting a few Alfa Romeo models on my way to school as a child. It was one of those rare cars in Kenya that brought out the curiosity in me. I wanted to know more about them. Unfortunately, they weren’t that many back then in Nairobi. And, neither are they now. Seeing an Alfa Romeo on the road today is a dream come true, leave alone the company’s super-SUV.

The Stelvio Quadrifoglio makes the cut into this list for a couple of reasons. For starters, its engine is built by Ferrari. It’s also owned by the same parent company – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

Alfa Romeo Super SUVs

You won’t see a large Ferrari on this list but you’ll come across two super-SUVs that are inspired by the brand. The Stelvio is the first. Unlike the rest, it comes with a 2.9-liter V6 engine. It’s the same engine found in the Ferrari 488 less two pistons. This allows it to pump out 505 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque which is enough to get the SUV from 0-100 km/h in 3.8 seconds. While dragging about 800 kgs (1800 pounds), it’s able to top out at 283 km/h (176 mph).

Powerful Super SUVs

The exterior design of the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio tries as much as possible to carry on the design integrity characterized by your average Alfa Romeo model. It may not exude luxury and class like the Cullinan or the Urus but definitely tries to showcase that it’s no ordinary SUV.

The Fastest Super SUVs

A lack of lushness and elegance means you don’t get as much comfort and quality as you do in the others. And neither will you pay as much. For this particular super-SUV, price starts from Ksh 8,000,000 ($80,000) all the way to Ksh 10,000,000 ($100,000) and above.

6. Maserati Levante Trofeo

Maserati Levante Trofeo
Photos courtesy of Maserati.

Maserati is a car brand that has a rich history. It was founded in 1914 in Bologna, Italy and has consecutively managed to embody great heritage and innovation in all of its cars. The Levante, in particular, isn’t a very new car when compared to these other super-SUVs. It debuted in 2016 and I’ve personally spotted one in Westlands, Nairobi. Just like its name, it is equally aesthetically appealing.

Maserati Super SUV

It comes in four trims, which are Levante, Levante S, Levante GTS, and Levante Trofeo. The Trofeo is the special child among the four. It’s the chosen one. It debuted in 2019 and bears the super-SUV title for its 3.8-liter twin-turbo engine built by Ferrari. Churning as much as 590 horsepower and 538 pound-feet of torque, the Trofeo can get from 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in just 3.9 seconds. The power is also enough to achieve a top speed of 304 km/h (189 mph).

Luxurious Maserati Levante Trofeo

Inside and outside, you also get a bit of the super-SUV treatment. From rapid acceleration, a rumbling exhaust, safety and convenience features, spacious second row, to reasonable practicality; the signature Maserati design cues are evident. The interior is a bit tackier when compared to the other SUVs.

Fastest Maserati Levante

And, for that, the price is fair. The Trofeo starts from Ksh 17,000,000 ($169,980). This is about half of what you’ll have to part with when it comes to the Urus or Cullinan.

7. Dodge Durango SRT

Dodge Durango SRT
Photos courtesy of Dodge.

The Dodge brand is a powerful brand. And, I’ll tell you why. The carmaker has been behind some of the most outstanding muscle cars on the planet. Every model knows how to announce its arrival and might. This is often seen in the build quality and the growling yet powerful engines.

Dodges aren’t built to be efficient, and the Durango SRT is a large order for non-efficiency. It’s the crossover solution for those whose needs can no longer be met by a two-door muscle car. At its core is a 6.4-liter Hemi V8 that makes as much noise as it can. We get 475 horsepower – enough power to get the SUV from 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in just 4.7 seconds.

Dodge Durango SRT Super SUV

The interior is highly updated. Dodge included heated and ventilated leather and micro-suede seats, driver-assistance features, a 10.1-inch infotainment system, and a redesigned dashboard for 2021.

For a three-row SUV that weighs 3946 kg (8700 pounds), it is unapologetically quick. This is considering that most three-row SUVs are meant for families. It also sounds quite thunderous and brutal. You’re bound to feel like the racing champion you dreamt of being behind the wheel.

Fastest Dodge SUV

That said, maintaining this super-SUV doesn’t come cheap. The 6.4-liter is a thirsty power unit that will sip fuel without any regard for your pocket. So, after paying a starting price of Ksh 6,000,000+ ($64,490), prepare thyself for some expensive fun.

8. Jaguar F-Pace SVR

Jaguar F-Pace SVR
Photo courtesy of Jaguar.

Jaguar has really come a long way since its old days. From the early Jaguars that were built like classics to some modern-styled vehicles, the brand is really competing well. The parent company is now known as Jaguar Land Rover, a partnership that could be behind the inspiration of some super-SUVs.

Jaguar F-Pace Super SUV

The F-Pace SVR is a sports SUV built by Jaguar’s Special Vehicle Operations (SVO). It combines cutting-edge technology with thrilling performance and exceptional luxury. Its 5.0-liter supercharged V8 engine is built to release deep, dramatic race-car inspired sounds.

This is matched by 550 horsepower and 502 pound-feet of torque that gets the SUV from 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in just 4.1 seconds. Its responsive handling, comfortable driving, precise steering, and superb acceleration make it a high-performance sports SUV that is worthy of recognition.

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Inside, you get everything that’s synonymous with Jaguar. This includes a heated steering wheel, dual-zone climate control, keyless entry, push-button ignition, heated and cooled front seats, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. A SiriusXM satellite radio system and a 10.0-inch touchscreen complement the overall interior look. Price starts from Ksh 8,000,000 ($80,000).

Conclusion

There are several other super SUVs that make the cut but aren’t included on this list. They include the Mercedes-AMG G-Wagen, Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, Range Rover SVAutobiograohy, BMW X7, Porsche Cayenne Turbo S, and many more.

Those I’ve talked about in this article are the ones I felt came from companies with a history of making special cars that had something incredible to offer. Or, maybe they are just my favourites. Let me know which one appealed to you the most!

15 thoughts on “8 Super-SUVs Making Waves in the Auto Industry”

  1. The Cullinan will always take the day …
    We love expensive menus, Will… This is a fire 🔥 review though… Loving it….!!!!

  2. How much is a kidney? Coz I’d trade mine with the Cullinan. This is a great review… I looove it! 💥💥

  3. Informative piece. I have learned alot from the piece and improved on the little that I knew. .

    God gave us two body parts for a reason . Am already tempted to sell one kidney that Bentley got me good

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