• Watch Two Audi Q7s - uhh - We Mean a Lamborghini Urus and Porsche Cayenne Turbo Drag Race

Can the 2019 Lamborghini Urus smite the 2019 Porsche Cayenne Turbo or will the SUV beat the Super-SUV?

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As you might’ve noticed, we haven’t quite been knocked over by the 2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupe, but we’re still curious how it will perform on a drag strip. Before we get our answers, we have this video for you to serve as the benchmark. It comes from Russia, and in it, a Porsche Cayenne Turbo takes on the car that gave birth to the Super SUV segment: the Lamborghini Urus. What brand from the VAG Group will end up with its ego bruised after this half-mile tussle?

The Result is Predictable Although it’s Still Cool to See it All Unfold

Watch Two Audi Q7s - uhh - We Mean a Lamborghini Urus and Porsche Cayenne Turbo Drag Race
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Drag Racing is a straight-forward way to compare two (or more) cars in terms of acceleration. Of course, you’ve got to take into account the surface, the tires, the specific features of each car involved (some may not have clever launch control systems, for instance), and, ultimately, the living being behind the wheel whose reaction times may vary.

That's why the result of a drag race isn't always a given although, on paper, the odds can favor one car or another.

This is exactly why it’s not pointless to pit the Cayenne Turbo against the daddy of fast SUVs, the Urus. The Cayenne Turbo is, at the moment, the baddest Cayenne money can buy and by that, I mean that it’s the most powerful and the fastest of the lot - until the S drops, that is.

It features the same twin-turbocharged, 4.0-liter V-8 as the 2017 Cayenne Turbo albeit with some tweaks. For instance, max power is now 542 horsepower between 5,750-6,000 rpm, up by 30 horsepower and, as such, only 20 horsepower below the benchmark set by the last Cayenne Turbo S. Torque is also up to 568 pound-feet, 14 pound-feet more than before and 23 off the Cayenne Turbo S’ figure.

Watch Two Audi Q7s - uhh - We Mean a Lamborghini Urus and Porsche Cayenne Turbo Drag Race
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The catch is that the third-generation Cayenne Turbo is actually quicker than the second-generation Turbo S and, in part, that’s because it’s lighter tipping the scales at ‎4,797 pounds against the 4,927 pounds of the Turbo S. Put the $1,130 Chrono Sport Package on your $125,650 Cayenne turbo and it will accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds, 0.2 seconds quicker than it would without the package. The Turbo S could go from naught to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds en route to a top speed of 176 mph. The 2019 Cayenne Turbo can reach 177 mph either way.

The Cayenne Turbo Coupe should be just as quick since it's powered by the same V-8 mill and Porsche's Active Suspension system is onboard as well.

The Lamborghini Urus shares some bits with the Cayenne, most importantly VAG’s MLB Evo platform but Lamborghini’s first SUV in three decades is even faster. Under the creased hood in front of the cabin is a 4.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V-8 engine that is, to some extent, related to the Cayenne’s engine but it offers a whole lot more push.

Watch Two Audi Q7s - uhh - We Mean a Lamborghini Urus and Porsche Cayenne Turbo Drag Race
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The official figures are as follows: 650 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 627 pound-feet of torque from 2,250 rpm. Arithmetics are telling us that the Cayenne is trailing Lamborghini’s high-riding model by almost 110 ponies and almost 60 pound-feet. That’s crazy when you consider you can now go to a Chevy dealership and buy a brand-new Chevrolet Spark LS with a manual and its puny, little 1.4-liter engine is only good enough for 98 horsepower. Then there’s the base model Fiat 500 with a 109 horsepower 1.4-liter mill, exactly as much as the Cayenne lacks in comparison to the Urus!

The Rambo Lambo of the 21st century is said to top out at 190 mph and reach 60 mph from a standstill in just 3.4 seconds.

That’s barely 0.3 seconds quicker than the 3.7 seconds the Cayenne Turbo can achieve with the Sport Chrono Pack and the ’Performance Start’ feature activated. So, let’s see if this small difference in 0-60 times is reflected in the video. First off, it’s important to mention that the Unlim 500+ event takes place on a disused airfield and the vehicles cover half a mile, not just a quarter.

Off the line, the Lamborghini emerges as the clear favorite, but that’s also because its driver was the one who got going first with a reaction time of 0.62 seconds compared to the man in the Cayenne who only got going after 1.09 seconds had elapsed already. From then on, the Urus keeps on going at a blistering pace covering 60 feet in 1.79 seconds (2.11 seconds for the Porsche) and the quarter-mile in 12.15 seconds. The Cayenne is already 1.7 seconds down at the half-way point, and it doesn’t get better from here on out. Lamborghini’s pride is avenged, and the Urus wins with a time of 18.90 seconds at a speed of 143.6 mph. The Porsche takes quite a blow finishing second, over two seconds after the Lamborghini at a speed of 137.4 mph.

So, how could this be? Well, you could argue that it was a foregone conclusion. After all, in spite of the weight disadvantage (the Urus is about 100 pounds heavier than the Cayenne Turbo), the Urus is a lot more powerful and has more torque which translates to a quicker 0-60 time. But the difference isn’t as big, according to the manufacturers. Or is it? You see, manufacturers sometimes overestimate a car’s performance and, some other times, they underestimate it for whatever reason. In the case of the Urus, it’s the latter situation that applies. We wrote back in November 2018, how someone in a stock Urus accelerated from naught to 60 mph in 2.93 seconds. Again, with no modifications done to the SSUV whatsoever, just the launch control and the Corsa mode enabled.

Watch Two Audi Q7s - uhh - We Mean a Lamborghini Urus and Porsche Cayenne Turbo Drag Race
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With this in mind, you can understand how the Lambo was over a second quicker across the quarter-mile.

I mean, even if you ignore the 0.4 seconds-worth of lag on the side of the Porsche driver, you'll still have the Urus pass by the 1/4 mile marker some 0.7 seconds ahead of the Porsche.

Coincidentally, 0.7 seconds is exactly the real difference between the Cayenne Turbo and the Urus in terms of 0-60 times. All you have to do now is ask yourself if 0.7 seconds are worth the $200,000 base MSRP of a Urus. To put it into perspective, if you load a Cayenne Turbo with options, you still won’t pay $170,000 with the destination tax included.

How Do the Other Really Quick SUVs Stack Up?

Watch Two Audi Q7s - uhh - We Mean a Lamborghini Urus and Porsche Cayenne Turbo Drag Race
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The SUV isn’t a new thing. Jeep first used the term back in the mid-’70s when describing the Jeep Cherokee SJ. You can even find older vehicles that somewhat adhere to the definition of the SUV (with minimal amounts of sportiness) such as the 1955 Gaz M-72 ’Pobeda,’ the first series-produced monocoque four-wheel drive vehicle. But, in my view, the first genuine SUV is the newer XJ-series Cherokee developed by AMC and launched in 1984. That’s because the XJ Cherokee was the first Jeep to feature unibody construction and it was also compact enough to make sense in the inner cities, whereas the SJ was a full-size truck that was an inefficient alternative to a station wagon.

One of the first crossovers (all-wheel-drive vehicles with body-and-frame chassis) that were true to the ’S’ in SUV was the GMC Typhoon. In production for only two and a bit years, the Typhoon is a bit of a rare bird today as only 4,697 units were ever made. It cost $29,470 when new which is about $54,693 in today’s money. This wasn’t too much at a time when a BMW (E30) M3 cost $35,900, and it was slower to 60 mph.

Watch Two Audi Q7s - uhh - We Mean a Lamborghini Urus and Porsche Cayenne Turbo Drag Race
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The Typhoon was powered by the same 4.3-liter, turbocharged, LB4 V-6 as the Syclone Pick-Up and, with 14 psi of boost, it put out 280 horsepower at 4,400 rpm and 360 pound-feet of torque at 3,600 rpm. By comparison a $95,850 Ferrari 348 put out 306 horsepower from its 3.4-liter V-8, was 515 pounds lighter, and it needed six seconds flat to reach 60 mph. The Typhoon? Just 5.3 seconds as tested by Car & Driver, a whole 1.3 seconds quicker than the U.S.-spec M3 and just 1.4 seconds slower than the fresh Cayenne Coupe Turbo. The Typhoon was, then, the pole-bearer for a whole generation of sporty utility vehicles but, in spite of its lack of popularity (and the fact that quite a few perished during the Cash for Clunkers years), the segment is now booming.

All luxury manufacturers offer today a fast SUV. Mercedes glues the AMG badge to any and all of its crossovers, big and small, including the imposing G-Wagon. BMW, likewise, will introduce a new X5 M soon that’s tipped to boast ’at least 600 horsepower’. The VAG Group itself has a third hot SUV in its pocket in the 2020 Bentley Bentayga Speed that’s one mph faster than the Urus (on paper), and that cranks out 626 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque from a 6.0-liter W-12 mill. With almost 30 fewer horsepower than the Urus, though, the Bentayga speed is some 0.3 seconds slower to 60 mph (officially), but this doesn’t mean it’s less of an amazing vehicle.

Watch Two Audi Q7s - uhh - We Mean a Lamborghini Urus and Porsche Cayenne Turbo Drag Race
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Then there’s the Jeep Cherokee Trackhawk with its 6.2-liter supercharged Hemi V-8 engine that pumps out 707 horsepower and 645 pound-feet of torque. Jeep says the Trakchawk can sprint from naught to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds although it’s about 600 pounds heavier than the Urus. I guess that the extra oomph wouldn’t help it in a head-to-head drag race, but nobody’s attempted one yet so we’ll have to wait and see. Also, you can’t talk ludicrous SUVs without mentioning the only one that actually has the ’Ludicrous Model’: Tesla’s Model X P100D.

We wrote about the P100D testing its might against Ferrari’s most powerful front-engined car, the 812 Superfast, back in October 2018 and the result was impressive. The P100D in the video sports the top-of-the-line drivetrain with 588 horsepower and 920 pound-feet of torque. In spite of its 5,700-pound weight and the fact that it lacked 200 horsepower that the Ferrari didn’t, the Tesla got away first and that’s because, as you can see here, the Model X P100D can go from naught to 60 mph in three seconds flat which is right in the ballpark of the Urus.

Watch Two Audi Q7s - uhh - We Mean a Lamborghini Urus and Porsche Cayenne Turbo Drag Race
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Of course, there are other contenders for the title of ’fastest SUV out there’ like the Stelvio Quadrifoglio that not only is the fastest production SUV around the Nordschleife but it’s also capable of going 0 to 60 in 3.4 seconds. More contenders are on the way, too, in the form of Aston Martin’s DBX and others. Expect more electric SUVs to pop up with very competitive 0-to-60 times in the near future.

Lamborghini Urus Porsche Cayenne Turbo
Engine type twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 Twin-turbocharged V-8
Drivetrain configuration front-engine, 4WD front engine
Transmission 8-speed automatic gearbox, characteristic depending on drive mode 8-speed Tiptronic S
Horsepower 650 HP @ 6,000 RPM 541 HP @ 5,750 - 6,000 RPM
Torque 627 LB-FT @ 2,250 RPM 568 LB-FT @ 1,960 - 4,500 RPM
0-to-100 km/h (62 mph) 3.6 seconds 4.1 seconds
Top Speed 190 mph 177 mph

Further reading

The 2019 Porsche Cayenne Turbo: An SUV with Attitude and Sports Car Performance High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2019 Porsche Cayenne Turbo.

2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupe Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupe

2019 Lamborghini Urus Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Read our full review on the 2019 Lamborghini Urus.

Michael Fira
Michael Fira
Associate Editor and Motorsport Expert - fira@topspeed.com
Mihai Fira started out writing about long-distance racing like the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans. As the years went by, his area of interest grew wider and wider and he ever branched beyond the usual confines of an automotive writer. However, his heart is still close to anything car-related and he's most at home retelling the story of some long-since-forgotten moment from the history of auto racing. He'll also take time to explain why the cars of the '60s and '70s are more fascinating than anything on the road today.  Read full bio
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