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Ranked: The most powerful SUVs in the world (Part 1)

For many years, performance and SUVs were incompatible. On one end of the spectrum, SUVs offered the unmatched ability to go far off the beaten path and return in one piece. On the other, sports cars were tailored for on-road speed, whether in a straight line or around a bend. These segments unexpectedly began to converge during the 1990s, and there’s no shortage of people-hauling off-roaders with supercar-like power to choose from in 2021.

Using horsepower as a yardstick, here are the most powerful SUVs available globally – we start at the ‘least’ powerful (relatively) and work our way up to the most powerful SUV right now:

BMW X5 M50i/X6 M50i (530 hp)

BMW positions the M50i versions of the X5 (pictured) and the X6 at the top of each model’s respective non-M-tuned range. Both proudly buck the downsizing trend sweeping across the industry with a 4.4-liter V8 twin-turbocharged to 530 hp, which is enough for a 4.3sec sprint from 0-60mph. While the M50is aren’t BMW’s most powerful SUVs, they’re markedly quicker than the average family hauler.


Aston Martin enlisted the help of Mercedes-AMG to design its first entry into the lucrative SUV segment. While the DBX fits right in with the rest of the firm’s range, it’s powered by a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 developed by AMG and tweaked by Aston Martin. It develops 550 hp in its standard state of tune, though executives have repeatedly hinted more powerful variants are in the pipeline.

Jaguar F-Pace SVR (551 hp)

Jaguar used eight cylinders when designing the F-engine Pace’s bay, but the V8-powered SVR model wasn’t available until 2018. The SVR label also denotes the existence of stronger springs, bigger wheels, a lighter exhaust system, and sports seats for the front passengers in addition to a 5.0-liter supercharged engine with 551 horsepower. It’s what fans anticipated from the company that gave them the F-Type.

Porsche Cayenne Turbo (551 hp)

While turbocharged engines are now standard across the entire Porsche Cayenne lineup, the Turbo symbol still designates a model that has significantly greater power than the entry-level model. The common twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 produces 551 hp in this instance, up from the Cayenne GTS’s 459 hp.

Land Rover Range Rover SVAutobiography Dynamic (565 hp)

Long gone are the days when Land Rover offered a Range Rover with a double-digit power output. This incredibly popular SUV, now in its fourth generation, is powerful regardless of how it is set up, but customers looking for the fastest possible vehicle should upgrade to the SVAutobiography Dynamic model. With 565 horsepower from its renowned 5.0-liter V8 supercharger, it can go from 0 to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds. Dynamic variants provide improved handling thanks to reduced suspension and more quick steering.

Rolls-Royce Cullinan (571 hp)

Despite being a member of the BMW Group, Rolls-Royce wisely avoided raiding the parts bin of its parent business when creating its first SUV. The Cullinan, so named after the largest gem-quality rough diamond ever discovered, gives drivers (or their chauffeur) control over a twin-turbocharged 6.75-liter V12 engine that delivers 571 horsepower to all four wheels through a permanent all-wheel-drive system.

Although it is the only engine choice offered, customers can directly work with Rolls-Royce to customize almost everything else, including the upholstery and trim; picnic seats are even offered for the rear hatch.

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