Say what you want about the Porsche Cayenne, but this now-ubiquitous luxury SUV has pretty much single-handedly driven the German automakerâ€
Yes, the mid-size luxury crossover â€“ which shares its platform with the current Volkswagen Touareg and Audi Q7 â€“ is easily the posh brandâ€
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Of course, mainstream luxury manufacturers â€“ such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi â€“ have been building upmarket SUVs for quite some time. But now it seems most of the traditionally low-volume marques want a piece of the all-wheel drive action, too. And, when considering what the Cayenne has done for Porsche, one can hardly blame them.
In addition to the four vehicles outlined below, we expect Rolls-Royce and Aston Martin to join the SUV party sooner rather than later. But, in the meantime, the two British automakers have been excluded from this list since they’ve yet to confirm any concrete plans.
1. Maserati Levante
Back in 2011 in Frankfurt, Italian automaker Maserati dramatically whipped the covers off the Kubang concept. And the Levante â€“ which is scheduled to go on sale towards the end of 2015 â€“ will be the production version of this showcar, and ultimately Maseratiâ€
Rumour has it that the chunky Levante will employ a range of forced induction engines, including a twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre petrol V6, a twin-turbocharged 3.8-litre petrol V8 and a 3.0-litre V6 in turbo-diesel flavour â€“ each linked to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
As one would expect, the Levante will also boast an all-wheel drive system â€“ and thereâ€
2. Bentley Bentayga
The Bentley what, you ask? Yes, the British luxury automaker says it decided to name its first SUV after Roque Bentayga, a rugged mountain peak in the Canary Islands. Regardless of your feelings on the moniker, you canâ€
The Bentayga â€“ drawing inspiration from the EXP 9 F concept â€“ is due to hit showrooms some time in 2016, and will likely be offered with a variety of engines, including that familiar stonking 6.0-litre W12 mill. A 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 is also a distinct possibility, while the brandâ€
The Bentley Bentayga will in all likelihood be built at the firmâ€
3. Jaguar F-Pace
The F-Pace appears to be rather compact, and will thus probably compete against the likes of the BMW X3 and Audi Q5. Reports have suggested that it will be powered by forced induction 2.0-litre engines in both petrol and diesel flavours, with a supercharged 3.0-litre petrol V6 doing duty as the flagship.
The cabin is said to borrow numerous bits and bobs from the new Jaguar XE saloon, which will also serve as a platform donor. Oh, and F-Pace is set to be proudly British, with the automaker announcing that its production will help create around 1300 new jobs at its West Midlands factory. Splendid.
4. Tesla Model X
Tesla unveiled its SUV prototype in early 2012, stating that planned production was expected to start in 2013. Of course, this didnâ€
When the Model X eventually does become a production reality, it will, of course, be as an all-electric SUV. And itâ€
Interestingly, Tesla says the seven-seater SUV â€“ which will share plenty of parts with the Model S â€“ will also be the first electric vehicle with decent towing capability, lending the upcoming all-wheel drive Model X some valuable lifestyle credibility. Now, all that we have to do is waitâ€¦ again.