Tires. Keep that in mind because, as you'll soon see, tires are the key component in this three-way super-SUV drag race. Okay, they're a key component in pretty much any race involving wheeled vehicles with motors. But as Jason Cammisa keenly points out in his latest Hagerty drag race video, grip beats outright power in this showdown.
Let's consider the contenders. At 631 horsepower, the Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT has the lowest output of this SUV trifecta, though it's certainly no slouch. Porsche says its high-performance people-mover can reach 60 mph in 3.1 seconds, which coincidentally is exactly the same time Aston Martin publishes for the DBX707. It packs 697 hp under the hood, but it's also a couple of hundred pounds heavier than the Porsche. And then there's the Rivian R1S, which is a lot heavier than the Cayenne – 1,200 pounds to be exact. But it also delivers 835 hp to the ground through a quad-motor electric powertrain.
Now, about the tires. Of the three SUVs, the Rivian R1S is the only one equipped with tires befitting a vehicle that might venture off the pavement. Its all-terrain shoes have a very high treadwear rating, meaning they will last for miles and miles but aren't terribly sticky. Meanwhile, the Cayenne Turbo GT has ultra-high-performance tires with extremely low treadwear. They won't live long, but whoa, Nellie will they claw at tarmac until the bitter end. The Aston Martin is comfortably in the middle. You probably see where this is going.
If you guessed the Rivian would win, well, you guessed wrong. In fact, it's the Porsche crossing the line first, followed closely by the Aston Martin DBX in second. The R1S finishes last by a significant margin thanks to a speed limiter set to 110 mph, but it was trailing even before that electronic barrier.
Cammisa notes that the Porsche, despite having the lowest power rating in the group, launches ferociously thanks to those sticky tires. With a bit more grip from the DBX707, the race could go either way. As for Rivian, it wasn't that far off the mark despite having hard tires not-at-all suited for racing. Given a similar set of race rubber, it could well beat the GT. At least to 110 mph anyway.
For a bit of added context, the video concludes with a Maserati MC20 racing the Cayenne GT. Can the twin-turbocharged mid-engine supercar stave off the five-passenger family vehicle? In the quarter-mile at least, it's a photo finish.
Source: Hagerty via YouTube