In today’s day and age, automakers are able to pull off incredible feats of engineering with their vehicles, so much so that even off-road SUVs are now able to keep pace with the supercars of yesteryear. To find out exactly how much faster they are, Hagerty decided to drag race four of today’s fastest off-roaders against an 18-year-old Lamborghini.
On the SUV side, the contenders included the Ford Bronco Raptor, the Jeep Wrangler 392, the Mercedes-AMG G63, and the Land Rover Defender 90 V8, while the supercar in question is a Lamborghini Gallardo. The vehicles range in cylinder count from 6 to 10, but they all make at least 400 horsepower and send it to all four wheels in some way or another.
The first race was between the Bronco Raptor and the Wrangler 392 to see which of the two would represent America. Comparing their specs, the Bronco makes 418 hp (424 PS / 312 kW) and 440 lb-ft (597 Nm) of torque from a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6, and it weighs 5,731 lb (2,600 kg), while the Wrangler makes 470 hp (477 PS / 350 kW) and 470 lb-ft (637 Nm) of torque from a 6.4-liter V8, and it weighs 5,259 lb (2,385 kg). Seeing as the Wrangler had more power and weighed less, it won easily, so it was the one that got put up against the rest of the SUVs.
The king of these remaining SUVs was the vehicle that got the privilege of taking on the Gallardo. The G63 makes 577 hp (585 PS / 430 kW) and 627 lb-ft (850 Nm) of torque from a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8, and it weighs 5,783 lb (2,623 kg). The Defender 90 makes 518 hp (525 PS / 386 kW) and 461 lb-ft (625 Nm) of torque from a 5.0-liter supercharged V8 and it weighs 5,334 lb (2,419 kg). Given that, it was the G63 that won the race against the Land Rover and the Jeep, so it got to go up against the Lamborghini.
For reference, the Gallardo makes 493 hp (500 PS / 368 kW) and 376 lb-ft (498 Nm) of torque from a naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V10, but it only weighs 3,580 lb (1,624 kg), making it nearly a ton lighter than the next lightest vehicle in the whole competition. At first, the G63 really looked like it had the advantage over the Gallardo, but after the launch, where the Lambo had the disadvantage due to its manual transmission, the Italian supercar took off like a rocket and managed to cross the line 0.1 seconds before the G-Wagen.
That just goes to show how fast the Mercedes really is, as well as all the other SUVs for that matter. If you went back to 2004 when that Lamborghini was new and told them that even the slowest of these 2.5-ton SUVs finished a quarter mile just 2.3 seconds behind the V10 supercar, they’d be flabbergasted, and that truly shows how far modern automotive technology has come.