Super SUVs, like the BMW X5 M, Porsche Cayenne Turbo and Range Rover Supercharged, are something all Americans seem to love. And why not? They are the automotive epitome of the American Dream. It’s all about more. More space, more power, more luxury and more money. Sure, they are somewhat useless as SUVs and are pretty wasteful, but if you’ve got the money to afford one of these cars, you probably don’t care about useless or wasteful.
The Porsche Cayenne Turbo and Turbo S were the first cars to really enter the Super SUV world. The current model houses a twin-turbo, 4.8 liter V8 engine, making 570 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. That’s some mighty power to take little Timmy and his buds to soccer practice with. Despite its massive curb weight of 4927 lbs, the Cayenne Turbo S can rocket to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds. That’s faster than the claimed time of a BMW M4, in a car that weighs as much as a small aircraft carrier.
No doubt, these are some mighty impressive numbers. And it’s not all just numbers on a spec sheet either, everyone who’s driven the Turbo S has come away impressed with its duality. The fact that it can flat-out embarrass some of the best sports cars currently on sale, but it can actually handle a little bit of soft-roading in supreme comfort. And being a Porsche the steering is sharp and accurate and the body is very well controlled. All sounds great right? That;s until you see the price — a simply eye-watering $157,300 to start!
That is simply a ludicrous price. For that money, you can have a Porsche 911 GT3 AND a Volkswagen Golf. But what if you want to have a vehicle like that, but you’re just kinda rich and not uber-ridiculously rich?
With a twin-turbo, 4.4 liter V8, the X5 M produces a healthy 567 hp (that’s only three shy of the Turbo S, if you aren’t good at maths) and 553 torques (only 37 less). This will take the X5 M to 60 mph in 4 seconds flat which, while two tenths slower than the Turbo S, still faster than a manual-equipped M4. The X5 M also seats the same amount of people, has just as much luxury and is about equally as capable when the road disappears.
Where the X5 M sticks the dagger in the Turbo S is price. The X5 M starts at $98,700. That’s no small number, mind you, but the difference between the two is equal to that of an average American’s yearly salary. And that’s just to start. The X5 M comes pretty loaded as is, whereas everything on a Porsche is an optional extra. Want a Sports Exhaust? That’ll be $3,210. Want carbon fiber interior grab handles? That’ll be $1,640. Want a steering wheel and tires? That’ll be one hundred million dollars.
The X5 M is clearly the better alternative, price considering. It may not be the sharp, smooth handler that the Turbo S is, but it sure is damn close. And considering how close their performance numbers are, this seems like a no-brainer. I truly do love the Cayenne Turbo S, but I cannot overlook the brilliance-for-dollar advantage that the X5 M has over it. If I had the scratch to buy one of these, the X5 M is what’d I’d buy.