Sat. Dec 10th, 2022
Top Five Performance SUVs in India

Car enthusiasts are always mad for mean machines. For now, if I just ask you to close your eyes and think of a performance car. Then, probably, most of us will be back with either a sedan or maybe a hatchback. Just to be more liberal we can even include the station wagons as well.

But, in recent times, tables have turned. To be precise, it has turned in a certain way that it is beyond our imagination. Ofcourse, here we are talking about the performance SUVs. Technology has played a dominant role for them. But, just imagine technology overpowering physics. Well, that is the performance SUV segment for you.

So how does this segment affect the Indian market? To start, this segment personally baffles me a lot. First of all, it is a perfect blend of aggression, practicality, luxury and ruggedness. On top of that, they are a perfect choice for the Indian roads as well. Another positive side of owning a performance-oriented SUV is that it is going to attract a lot of attention on the road.

Lamborghini Urus

Lamborghini Urus
Image Source: Media Lamborghini

“One of the fastest SUVs on this planet”. That’s what Lamborghini claims with those mad numbers. For starters, it comes powered by a 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine that produces 650BHP of power and 850Nm of torque. On paper, it does look like a mouth-watering deal. But in the real world, it is even better.

Those aggressive numbers are obviously one of the major reason behind the agility of this heavy SUV. To be precise, Lamborghini Urus weighs around 2200kgs. But, nobody could mess with the Italian brand when it comes to performance. This SUV can go from a standstill to 100kmph in just 3.6 seconds. Meanwhile, the top speed from the same stands at 305kmph. There are three drive modes available to alter the performance. Apart from this, it comes with four-wheel steering, roll stability control and an active rear differential just to make sure that the driving dynamics of this SUV remains sportier.

Inside the cabin, Lamborghini Urus is luxurious yet practical. It is available with a fully digital instrument cluster, a large infotainment display alongside another screen for AC controls. The only thing that can intimidate someone is the price tag of the Lamborghini Urus. In India, it is currently priced at Rs.3.10 Crores (ex-showroom, pan India).

Key Specs

Lamborghini Urus
Engine 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8
Power 650BHP
Torque 850Nm
0-100kmph  3.6 seconds
Top Speed 305kmph
Price (ex-showroom, pan India) Rs.3.10 Crores

Audi RS Q8

Audi RS Q8
Image Source: Audi Media Center

Even with a simple yet attractive design language, Audi RS Q8 does look better when compared to the Urus. Many of you might disagree. But it is what it is, at least for me. To begin with, just like the Lamborghini Urus even this SUV draws power from a 4.0-litre TFSI twin-turbo V8 engine. It is extremely capable of producing a massive 600BHP of power and 800Nm of peak torque while being mated to an 8-speed Tiptronic gearbox.

Performance-wise, Audi RS Q8 is an absolute hooligan. It can do a 0-100kmph sprint in just 3.8 seconds. Meanwhile, the top speed of this SUV is electronically limited to 250kmph. Want extra oomph? A dynamic package will be offered to you against some extra bucks and there the top speed rises to an unbelievable 304kmph. In terms of technology, it is not less than any of its rivals. To be precise, the SUV comes with active suspension, four-wheel steering and anti-roll control just to make sure that it is gripping all the time.

Features are the main factor where the Audi RS Q8 outperforms. The list includes Audi’s virtual cockpit, intuitive touchscreen infotainment system, touchscreen AC control, etc. among others. When compared to the Urus, it is cheaper by Rs.1 Crore with a price tag of Rs.2.07 Crores (ex-showroom, Delhi). Makes sense? For me it does.

Key Specs

Audi RS Q8
Engine 4.0-litre TFSI twin-turbo V8
Power 600BHP
Torque 800Nm
0-100kmph  3.8 seconds
Top Speed 250kmph (Regular); 304kmph (Dynamic)
Price (ex-showroom, pan India) Rs.2.07 Crores

Aston Martin DBX

Aston Martin DBX
Image Source: Road & Track

For the information, Aston Martin is one of the oldest carmakers in this lot. The British brand was founded by Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford in the year 1913. The company already has a history of over 100 years. But, it is the first time that the carmaker has tried its luck on an SUV.

To start with, Aston Martin DBX comes powered by a Mercedes sourced 4.0-litre Bi-turbo V8 engine. Talking in numbers, it produces 542BHP of power and 700Nm of peak torque. Although it is an SUV, still the carmaker has managed to churn out dynamic riding characteristics from it. The performance numbers might look dull for this SUV. But still, it manages to go from 0-100kmph in just 4.5 seconds. On the other hand, top speed from the same stands at 291kmph.

Just like the other SUVs, it comes equipped with air suspensions, roll stabilisation and rear differential to name a few. Also, several features such as a 12.3-inch instrument cluster, 10.25-inch infotainment system and 14-speaker surround sound system on the DBX comes as standard.

Key Specs

Aston Martin DBX
Engine 4.0-litre Bi-Turbo V8
Power 542BHP
Torque 700Nm
0-100kmph  4.5 seconds
Top Speed 291kmph
Price (ex-showroom, pan India) Rs.3.82 Crores

Porsche Cayenne Turbo

Porsche Cayenne Turbo
Image Source: Besthqwallpapers

Porsche Cayenne range is available with multiple powertrains. To be precise, it is there with a 335BHP, 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 and a 434BHP, 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 engine on sale since a very long time. But, it is the Turbo variant with a 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine that is majorly performance-oriented. It is known for producing a massive 550BHP of power and 770Nm while being mated to an 8-speed Tiptronic gearbox.

Performance-wise, Porsche Cayenne Turbo goes 0-100kmph in just 4.1 seconds. Well, this number is not at all disappointing for an SUV that weighs 2260kgs. Even, the top speed of this SUV requires separate mention. The all-new Cayenne Turbo gets a staggering top speed of 286kmph.

Inside the cabin, it comes with a semi-digital instrument cluster, a large touchscreen infotainment display, voice command function and more. For rear passengers, it is one of the most spacious SUVs. Further, there is a lot of space provided by the carmaker for your luggage as well.

Key Specs

Porsche Cayenne Turbo
Engine 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8
Power 550BHP
Torque 770Nm
0-100kmph  4.1 seconds
Top Speed 286kmph
Price (ex-showroom, pan India) Rs.1.92 Crores


BMW X5 M Competition
Image Source: Press BMW Group

Can’t end this list without a BMW. Ofcourse, it is the X5 M Competition that has made its way up on this rivalry. It is cheaper when compared to any other SUV in this segment. But, has a lot to offer. Firstly, it is available in India with a 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine. Secondly, the power figures from this motor stand at 617BHP and 750Nm of torque. And, last but not least is its performance. Talking in numbers, this SUV takes only 3.8 seconds to go from a standstill to 100kmph. Sadly, BMW X5 M Competition comes with an electronically limited top speed of 250kmph.

The M1 and M2 switches just to alter the performance of this SUV is one of the coolest features on the list. Other equipment such as a fully digital instrument cluster, large infotainment display and leather upholstery to name a few add to the premium appeal inside the cabin. To lower down the human effort, it is also available with a powered tailgate as well.

Currently, BMW X5 M Competition comes with a price tag of Rs.1.94 Crores (ex-showroom). To many of you, that might sound like a value for money deal. This SUV in comparison to others is affordable, practical and rugged as well.

Key Specs

Engine 4.4-litre TwinPower Turbo V8
Power 617BHP
Torque 750Nm
0-100kmph  3.8 seconds
Top Speed 250kmph
Price (ex-showroom, pan India) Rs.1.94 Crores


Finally, ending this long journey to find a perfect performance SUV here. Hope you managed to make a choice among these. That’s it for now. Coming up with similar series every Sunday. See you soon!

Do let us know your favourite performance SUVs in the comment section below. And for similar updates, keep reading ‘The Indian Wire’.

By Harsh Rana

Full-time management student and a part-time automobile enthusiast. Not much happy about EVs taking over the V8, V10 and V12 motors.