Compact SUV Drag Race
0-100kph in 3.8 seconds. A few years ago, one would not fathom that something as big and burly as an SUV would be capable of such performance. And if you think that’s quick, some are even quicker! This test shows three very different performance SUVs, that in theory, shouldn’t be competing with each other, but it is fun to watch the routes taken by different automakers.
3.8 seconds is precisely how long it takes the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio Verde to hit 100kph from standstill. Some publications have even managed a quicker time, but according to Alfa Romeo, it will bang in a time in less than 4 seconds all day long. Or until it goes into limp mode. Under its hood is a Ferrari-derived twin-turbocharged 2.9-litre V6 that produces a mammoth 375kw and 600nm, paired with an 8-speeder. Ever since it debuted a few years ago, it made waves but sadly none that correlated into sales. It’s certainly not cheap at R1 679 485, but you are buying a very special machine at the price.
Porsche has always proven that they don’t need to match their rivals in terms of power output, to be able to match their performance. The latest Porsche Macan Turbo is further proof of that. On paper, Porsche claims it will do the benchmark 0-100kph run in around 4.3 seconds, but in the real world – much like the 911 Turbo – it is far quicker. Much like the Stelvio, it uses a twin-turbocharged 2.9-litre V6, but only produces 324kw and 550nm. But don’t let that fool you, as the boffins at Zuffenhausen have endowed this performance SUV with the best transmission in the business, and probably the most consistent launch control system too. You certainly pay for this awesomeness, as Porsche has priced it from R1 719 000.
And last but not least, the baby of the bunch. With ‘only’ 294kw from its Audi RS3-derived 2.5-litre turbocharged 5-cylinder, the second-generation RS Q3 is capable of a 0-100kph time of 4.5 seconds. However, it is significantly lighter than its rivals here and it also has Audi’s highly-rated seven-speed S Tronic transmission which channels the power to all four wheels through a quattro all-wheel-drive system with wheel-selective torque control. While there is no local pricing available as yet, Audi South Africa does plan to launch the RS Q3 and its Sportback variant before the end of 2020.