The new breed of luxury suvs might not be pretty — but they go like stink.
It all started with the Porsche Cayenne. When the German marque launched its bulky SUV back in 2002, the response was unanimous: “That’s not a Porsche”. But 400,000 sales later, the second-generation Cayenne has proven the doubters wrong.
Instead of a death-knell it became Porsche’s cash cow, setting a standard that luxury manufacturers — from Bentley to Lamborghini — are still hoping to match. Here’s what’ll be coming your way, at high-speed, soon.
Lamborghini Urus (above)
As supercar sales slip, Lamborghini are looking to send out a life raft. Billed as the sportiest SUV on earth, the Urus’ concept body design bodes well for what to expect. Inside, it will no doubt share the same VW platform as the Touareg, the Audi Q7 and the Cayenne itself. It’s easy to see waiting lists building already for a new breed of “practical” Lambo. CEO Stephan Winkelmann is confident it would sell 3,000 a year — double the marque’s current total output.
Bentley EXP 9F
The long-time rumour of a Bentley SUV was confirmed at the Geneva Motor Show with this 23-inch wheeled concept beast with a 600bhp V12 Bentley say is as comfortable “at an opera gala, on the sand dunes and the overtaking lane of the autobahn”. And maybe the odd Premier League car park. Don’t expect much change from £150k.
Based on the Jeep Grand Cherokee platform, this concept has laid the groundwork for Maserati’s maiden voyage into SUV territory in 2014 — and most likely their first-ever diesel engine. Oh, the horror. What die-hard Maserati fans will make of it is one thing, but we can forgive that trademark grille pretty much anything.
Why drive one SUV off the forecourt when you can have two? Porsche’s baby 4x4, planned for next year, aims to tap into the SUV space below the Cayenne, as a rival to the Audi Q5 and BMW X3. Top of the line is slated to be a twin-turbo V6 producing 370bhp and confirming Porsche’s intentions to make this the tastiest SUV in town.
Words by Will Hersey