Crossovers are hot right now, and wagons have the hearts of enthusiasts, but SUVs still reign supreme in the luxury market. And competition among these high-dollar SUVs is heating up, with revised old models stepping up to meet new entrants. Here are ten high-end SUVs to watch for as they arrive over the next couple of years.
2015 Audi Q7
It's easy to forget that the current Q7 debuted in 2005; most likely that's due to the fact that it debuted in 2005 and has been in production for seven years without a replacement (although a facelift in 2009, pictured here, kept it fresh). That changes with the coming second-generation Audi Q7. Depending on the rumor mill you happen to visit on any given day, the new Q7 will either be presented in 2015 for a later release or is scheduled to hit the market in the summer of 2014 as a 2015 model. In any case, the new Q7 looks to achieve a targeted weight loss of 800 pounds over the current model, and could be offered with a hybrid powertrain option.
2014 Land Rover Range Rover Sport
Get your orders in now; the all-new 2014 Range Rover Sport is scheduled for its first deliveries this summer, and buyers are going to want every extra second they can get to enjoy the madness of this high-performance, ultra-lux people mover. The 2014 Sport's base engine, a 340-hp supercharged V-6, is nothing to sneeze at. It's the supercharged, 510-hpr, 0-to-60mph in 5 seconds 5.0-liter V-8 in the Autobiography and (appropriately named) Supercharged models that is raising eyebrows. A V-8-equipped 2014 Range Rover Sport just set a record time for a production SUV performing the Pike's Peak hill climb at 12 minutes, 35 seconds—comparable with some sports cars.
2014 BMW X5
The third-generation of BMW's X5 SUV—sorry, Sport Activity Vehicle in BMW parlance—is scheduled to arrive before the end of 2013 after an official debut at September's Frankfurt Auto Show. We know a lot about this new X5 right now, however, including the coming first-time-ever option of a rear-wheel-drive X5, and a turbocharged diesel X5 expected in the first quarter of 2014. The X5 will be greeted by a more fractious, subsegmented, and highly competitive luxury SUV market than ever before; by offering a multitude of powertrains and interior options (the choice of a 40/20/40 or 70/30 rear bench, for example) BMW hopes to draw customers away from less flexible rivals.
2016 Mercedes-Benz MLC
The BMW X6's combination of SUV capabilities, ride height, and blobby—sorry, sporting—looks have spawned a myriad of similar designs, and it looks like Mercedes-Benz is ready to throw its version in the ring. The MLC is based on the current M-Class—pictured here—and possibly slated for production in 2015 for a 2016-model-year release. But little is known about the MLC yet, down to whether the MLC moniker will even be its official name. Rumors have been swirling for over a year, and there is plenty of time for powertrains to be mulled over and for revisions to the M-Class to affect what the MLC will become.