Those who follow general performance automotive matters may know that the new Range Rover Sport SVR recently set a Nurburgring time of eight minutes and fourteen seconds.
Let's put that scarcely believable time into perspective given some other 'ring reference points:
Audi R8 V8 - 8:04
E92 BMW M3 - 8:05
B7 Audi RS4 - 8:09
E60 BMW M5 - 8:13
BMW 1M - 8:15
That's seriously impressive company, and a mind boggling feat for an SUV that weighs over 5,100 lbs.
On paper the answer is yes, but from the driver's seat there's more to the story.
If you've not had the privilege of piloting one of these super SUV's we can assure you that it's an awe-inspiring experience. Simply put, they're a triumph over physics. In fact, while some purists continue to bemoan their very existent, we'd argue the super SUV is one of the greatest automotive engineering feats of recent times.
It's easier to build a performance car when it's got GT3 ride height and aero properties. Now see what you can do with (close to) off-road ride height, room for 5 + luggage, and tow capacity.
But just because it makes the numbers doesn't mean equivalency or superiority from the driver's seat. On paper the Range Rover SVR is as quick as a BMW 1M around the track. We defy anyone to emerge from spirited drives in both and declare the Range Rover SVR the more fun, more connected, more engaging experience.
So no, we don't think that the sport SUV is a sports car equivalent or substitute, but they're worthy of our admiration nevertheless. The sport SUV also serves as a reminder to look beyond the numbers when it comes to automotive purchases and aspirations. Sheer capability doesn't always translate to fun and enjoyment.