Back when the Audi RS Q8 first debuted, it claimed the SUV lap record at the Nürburgring, with a lap time of 7:42. That really impressed a lot of enthusiasts, as its time was five seconds faster than the more powerful Lamborghini Urus. However, Porsche — Audi’s Volkswagen Group sibling — said “hold my bier” and decided to develop an SUV that could beat that time. Now, the world has the Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT, which now holds the record of the fastest SUV to ever lap the ‘Ring.
Right after Audi’s announcement, BMW execs quietly claimed the BMW X6 M Competition could beat the Audi’s time, though they never put their money where their mouths were. Now that the Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT is here, BMW might want to stand up and at least attempt to beat the record.
The Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT isn’t actually developed by Porsche’s legendary GT division, so don’t let the name fool you, but that doesn’t matter much. The newest Cayenne is an absolute animal. Its 4.0 liter twin-turbocharged V8 makes 631 horsepower, which is more than the BMW M5 CS — BMW’s most powerful car in history. It also gets an eight-speed ZF automatic and all-wheel drive, like every other performance German car. According to Porsche, the Cayenne Turbo GT can get from 0-60 mph in 3.1 seconds but expect it to be a bit quicker than that.
However, the real kicker is the GT’s Nürburgring time — 7:38.9. Fast SUVs are easy to make but fast SUVs that can also handle like proper supercars are not easy to make. That ‘Ring time is proof that the Cayenne Turbo GT is no joke. But don’t just think it’s some big, highly electronic, overly complex SUV. Well, actually it is all of that but it’s also more than that. According to recent reviews, the Turbo GT’s steering is so much sharper than any other SUV’s, its chassis and handling balance is above and beyond every other SUV in its class, and it feels as fun as a genuine sports car.
So the question that must inevitably be asked is — should BMW try and take it down?
The BMW X6 M Competition, as good as it is, isn’t capable of beating the Cayenne Turbo GT. It’s too cumbersome, too violent, and not sharp enough. That’s not to say it can’t be as good as the Cayenne Turbo GT, with some tweaking, but it isn’t right now. Admittedly, the Porsche is about double the price, so it’s not as if any BMW customers will cross-shop it. But if BMW wants to make a limited-run, uber-high performance X6 M to take on the Cayenne Turbo GT, it would certainly get enthusiasts excited.
BMW does have the upcoming XM, the M Division’s first-ever bespoke model that also happens to be an immensely powerful SUV, but we don’t know if that will have the handling chops of the new Cayenne. It’s not likely BMW develops anything to take this new Porsche head on but it would absolutely be interesting to see. Should BMW try and take it down? Yes. Will it? Probably not.