The 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed kicks off next week but unlike previous years, there’ll be two new vehicles marking their first hill climbs. But why are these two specific vehicles interesting? Because they’re the Bentley Bentayga and the Lamborghini Urus, a pair of SUVs that are likely just the start of a new era of factory-built super SUVs. Rolls-Royce recently unveiled its Cullinan and the Porsche Cayenne keeps getting more powerful with each new generation. Aston Martin will soon launch its own SUV, as will Lotus.
The new Jaguar F-Pace SVR has 542 hp. But the Bentayga and Urus take things to another level for both output and general sophistication. The specific Bentayga coming to Goodwood is the record-breaking W12-powered model that just set a new time for a production SUV at the Pikes Peak hill climb. It also happens to have 600 hp. And then there’s the new Lamborghini Urus, also making its first Goodwood appearance. Combined with its 641 hp, the pair offer a combined output of 1,241 hp. Imagine what continued development of these super SUVs will bring a year from now? Five years from now? You get the point. And this begs the question: will supercar buyers start preferring these super SUVs instead?
After all, the latter are more comfortable, more capable, and even more luxurious. They also offer better value for the money because they can transport the entire family in fine style. Look, we all know supercars aren’t going anywhere, but the super SUV segment is just getting started. Who would have thought say, a decade ago, that we’d be seeing 600 hp or so SUVs charging their way up the Goodwood hill climb and even Pikes Peak? Even iconic SUV brands have taken notice of this new phenomenon. Best example: the Hellcat-powered 707 hp Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. Kind of a shame it won’t be at the Goodwood paddock this year.
But the very fact Bentley and Lamborghini are willing to bring their respective SUVs to the Goodwood Hillclimb alongside the many supercars speaks volumes; they can both more than hold their own. Are these exotic and supercar fans willing to accept high-powered SUVs into their fold? If so, and we think they are, then be prepared for an onslaught of all-wheel drive, raised body horsepower wars. Oh, and how could we forget, Ferrari will soon have an SUV of its own. Ferrari, Lamborghini, Lotus, Jaguar, Porsche, Bentley, Rolls-Royce – all already have or will launch SUVs very soon. Needless to say, the next few years are going to be very interesting for fans of high-performance exotic SUVs.