Impressive SUVs for the ultra-rich

With the recent unveiling of the Bentley Bentayga SUV, the super-rich can now own a sports utility vehicle without the fear of having to drive something as common as a Mercedes-Benz or BMW.

Bentley says it will “redefine the SUV category” with the Bentayga, a market which is expected to grow in the coming years and through which car manufacturers make large margins.

“In the eyes of Bentley, the Bentayga is not just supremely capable in any environment, it is also supremely comfortable. It will let the world see through new eyes,” said Bentley.

With this in mind, we decided to look at which SUVs the super-rich would drive if they needed to mount a pavement or two.

Bentley Bentayga

Bentley Bentayga - Test Unit
Bentley Bentayga – Test Version

The Bentley Bentayga was officially unveiled in early 2015, and is set to go on sale sometime in 2016.

Reports on pricing peg the Bentayga as costing between R2.5 – R3.5 million, and it will initially sell with a W12 (12-cylinder) engine.

“We want to mark the peak of the SUV segment. It will be the fastest, the most powerful, the most exclusive,” said Wolfgang Dürheimer, Chairman and CEO of Bentley Motors.

“This sector-defining SUV will be able to introduce Bentley’s renowned modern British luxury to limitless destinations with an impressive combination of on and off road performance,” states Bentley.

A video of the Bentayga being tested in the desert is embedded below.

Lamborghini Urus

Lamborghini Urus
Lamborghini Urus

The Lamborghini Urus SUV Concept was unveiled in 2012, and is expected to go on sale during 2016.

According to reports, the Urus will have a turbo-charged V10 engine which will produce around 435kW – only 14kW less than the manufacturer’s Huracan LP 610-4.

Pricing is set to start at $200,000 (R2.3 million) for the Urus.

For those of you wondering about the car’s moniker, the name Urus comes from an extinct breed of giant ox – aurochs – that lived in Europe up until the early 1600s.

Maserati Levante

Maserati Levante
Maserati Levante

Maserati’s Levante is scheduled to go into production in 2015, with the Italian car maker hoping the SUV will help increase its sales numbers.

The Levante will be available in turbodiesel V6,  twin-turbo V6 petrol, and twin-turbo V8 models, with the latter expected to produce 411kW. All models will come with four-wheel drive as standard.

Not much has been revealed in terms of the car’s features and pricing, but according to reports it is set to compete against the BMW X6 and Porsche Cayenne – putting it in the £90,000 (R1.62 million) price range.

Jaguar F-Pace

Jaguar CX-17
Jaguar CX-17 Concept

The Jaguar F-Pace is scheduled to go on sale in early 2016, and is based on the manufacturer’s  C-X17 concept vehicle which was unveiled in 2013.

Jaguar has promised four-cylinder petrol and diesel engine models, along with a supercharged V6 version.

The F-Pace takes its name from the Jaguar F-Type, but will be more “family orientated” than the two-seater sports car.

“It is the ultimate practical sports car, blending exhilarating performance with intuitive technology and class leading practicality,” said Jaguar.

Pricing is expected to sit around the $40,000 – $50,000 (R580,000) mark, according to reports.

Rolls-Royce SUV

Rolls Royce SUV - Artist Impression
Rolls-Royce SUV – Artist Impression

According to a report by Automotive News, Rolls-Royce sent white-gloved chauffeurs around New York in February 2015 to deliver letters announcing its intention to build an SUV.

In an open letter from the luxury car manufacturer, it said the SUV will “offers the luxury of a Rolls-Royce in a vehicle that can cross any terrain” and “a car that appropriately reflects Rolls-Royce’s brand promise of effortless luxury”.

Not much else is know about the SUV, except that it is expected to compete with the likes of the Bentley Bentayga for market share.

Porsche Cayenne Turbo S

Porsche Cayenne
Porsche Cayenne

The first Cayenne was put into production by Porsche in 2002 and was the first V8-engine vehicle built by Porsche since 1995.

Today’s Cayenne Turbo S model – which sells for R1.72 million – has a 4.8 litre twin-turbo version of the V8 under the hood which produces 419kW.

Combine this with 800Nm of torque, and the Turbos S is good for a 0-100km/h in 4.1 seconds and a top speed of 284km/h.

Power is not the Cayenne’s only draw card, as sound enthusiasts will enjoy the SUV’s 585 watt, 14-speaker Bose system which comes as standard.

If that is not enough, Porsche does offer the Burmester High-End Surround Sound System which features 1,000 watts of power, 16 speakers, a 16-channel amplifier, and a 300 watt subwoofer.

Range Rover Sport

Range Rover Sport
Range Rover Sport

The Range Rover Sport HSE Dynamic packs a 5 litre V8 supercharged petrol engine which kicks out 375kW.

Four-wheel drive and an automatic gearbox come standard, along with a sliding panoramic roof, 21-inch rims, and 3,500kg gross towing load.

Despite it often being viewed as the SUV of choice for English Premiership footballers, the Range Rover Sport has serious off-road pedigree.

The HSE Dynamic comes standard with a twin speed transfer box, terrain response, hill descent control, reactive grounding response, and gradient release control.

While the initial price of R1.36 million doesn’t place it as high up the other SUVs on this list, the fact that it consumes just over 20 litres of fuel for 100km of urban driving means only the rich can afford to keep this vehicle running.

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Impressive SUVs for the ultra-rich