A Lamborghini that bullies dirt roads? Why not with the Rally mode and you are literally blown away by how hardcore the Urus Performante is to drive. It is basically a supercar on stilts and with a razor-edged personality to match. Basically, Lamborghini took the Urus as a delectable canvas and thrown all its supercar DNA along with an avalanche of upgrades. It looks meaner, wider, and lower along with performance tyres which gives immense grip. It has a firmer suspension and the exhaust sounds angry.
You drive the Urus Performante with a mischievous grin on your face as it accelerates like no other SUV. The 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 produces 666bhp and that is brutal in its acceleration. To put it into plain numbers, the Urus S Performante does 0-100 km/h in just 3.3 seconds while the top-speed is comfortably above 300 kmph. To put that into perspective, this is a big luxury SUV but with the Lamborghini name it just transforms. Acceleration is very quick, and you are plain immersed into its personality. Honestly, you do not need an audio system as the loud exhaust takes over your senses. With a sports suspension, the Urus Performante is sharper and dances to your inputs perfectly. It feels more hunkered down and rawer with its driving experience.
The tyres also do a great job. On plain roads, you literally fly as the big Urus Performante time travels in terms of its acceleration. However, it is also surprisingly practical and user friendly when the roads end also. This is not some supercar as it also easily handles speed breakers and bad roads during our drive. Here is an SUV that you enjoy every day and relish its powers but without the fear of low ground clearance. Despite a sports suspension, the ride is not uncomfortable while being firm nevertheless. Design wise, there is a new bonnet and a sharper bumper while more cooling vents are added in terms of its performance upgrades. It looks wild, aggressive and makes no bones about its performance. The Urus Performante really is the boss of performance SUVs because it transfers the unfiltered joy and the visceral feel of a supercar directly within the canvas of an SUV. The fact that it can carry this off with panache is the best bit about this Lamborghini.
Porsche Cayenne Coupe
Porsche started the performance SUV segment when it launched its Cayenne a long time back. It was a game-changer because it gave birth to a new genre of cars which have since taken over the luxury space. The new Cayenne Coupe is an evolution of this driver focussed SUV while the styling is delectable within its coupe like rear styling. The new Cayenne gets some distinct upgrades namely the front-end with a new bonnet along with an upgraded Matrix LED headlamp set-up. The styling is lithe and muscular while the slanting rear adds in an element of sportiness to it. With Porsche you can customize the colours on offer and get a huge choice of wheels on offer. Regardless of the choice, the Cayenne is a handsome SUV and one that remains classy choice in the luxury space. The interior is typical Porsche and by that we mean, restrained and completely driver focussed now. That said, the new Cayenne has some big changes here with a new steering wheel along with a shortcut switch for the basic driver control menus along with a new Taycan like digital display which is crisp and beautiful. Then you notice the new gear selector and a new way of starting the car. What is all new is that the dashboard is festooned with screens including one for the passenger as well. The curved digital display though is our favourite. The Cayenne Coupe continues to be hugely spacious and the rear seat also has an ample amount of space on the inside plus a huge amount of cargo room too. In India, the Cayenne comes with a twin turbo V6 petrol engine which makes over 350bhp.
The driving positing is sporty but you also get a good view out. The engine is smooth and linear while performance is sharp as expected. The finer nuances are worth talking about where in terms of the steering and the handling. It is layered and perfect in terms of the steering wright and you are aware of the pinpoint accuracy. The engine is quick but the talking point here is the suspension plus the way it drives. The Cayenne Coupe is a pure Porsche and the new suspension is also well suited to our roads as well. Part luxury SUV and part sports cars, the Cayenne Coupe straddles between the two roles very well.
Forget the massive grille as the Lexus LX wows you with its stellar performance off-road which enables you to travel in luxury even when the road ends. Performance should not just be about plain straight-line speed as it is also about nonchalantly chewing through the roads or the lack of it. The Lexus LX does that and its lineage always has shown a distinct difference between this and other SUVs. The previous generation model was also adept for off-road conditions but the new model combines that with even more luxury along with more technology being added to the mix.
Part of the appeal is its brutish charm with that monstrous 3.3-litre diesel V6 which supplies power north of 300 horses which enables this beast to lunge forward. Despite its huge size and the girth, acceleration is brisk and it moves quite well- surprisingly so we might add. Of course, this is a huge SUV that is normally double the size of standard car but the automatic gearbox coupled with the torque rich diesel, enables it to give it the cruising qualities that it needs.
The big LX will happily sit at high speeds and cover cities without its occupants noticing. Sure, even though it feels like more of an old school SUV, the driving experience is unlike any other along with traditional steering feedback. Yet, over an off-road trail, the LX shines above its rivals because it is also comfortable here and not just good for posing.
There is proper off-road technology and you can raise the car while clearing big obstacles is just easy. Plus, despite the massive wheels, the ride quality is also comfortable and compliant. The reason for that is the rugged architecture that the LX has and that makes it stand out. It feels tough and it can withstand whatever you will throw at it which is somewhat missing in other luxury SUVs of today. Amongst the extrovert styling with its flamboyant proportions to the massive cabin, the LX is a proper off-roader which also dabbles in luxury. It is quite simply, in a league of its own.