Journal: Will Super SUVs Ever Be Thought Of As Classics Or Collectibles?

Will Super SUVs Ever Be Thought Of As Classics Or Collectibles?

Alex Sobran By Alex Sobran
April 2, 2018
10 comments

I spent an hour or two reading the first round of articles from the New York International Auto Show over the recent holiday weekend, and while there were a few nice surprises like the Hyundai Genesis Essentia (a beautiful GT-shaped concept with an unfortunate name reminiscent of a cheap bottle of perfume), there wasn’t all that much in terms of the big reveals one might find at an event like the Geneva Motor Show. It’s a show that’s typically consisted of new trim packs and a few new models from the more pedestrian and otherwise utilitarian side of driving. For instance, Jaguar announced a faster version of their SUV; the F-Pace SVR.

It’s got the standard upgrades you’d expect from a flagship performance model—more power under the hood, more scoops cut into the body, more quilted bucket seats in the cockpit, you know the drill—and the full package boasts 550hp, 502 ft-lbs of torque. When all that supercharged V8 power is sent to the four drive wheels, it lets the thing do 0-60 in just over four seconds. It’s quick and impressive, but it’s not groundbreaking.

Powerful luxury SUVs have been around for a while now, and like all expensive and complex vehicles with a few years of accumulated use, they depreciate on an aggressive schedule. It won’t be too long until first-gen X5Ms and Cayenne Turbos are sitting crooked in the backs of driveways on their caved-in air-and-magnet suspensions, and with the growing Chinese appetite for big and brash exclamations of wealth, there will be plenty of manufacturers trying to cash in on the trends set by the likes of Range Rover Sports and blinged-out G-Classes, so turnover will likely speed up if anything. Even Lotus has plans to build an SUV in the near future.

So thanks to the same forces of demand that gave us such frivolities as gold iPhones and designer dogs, the richest soccer moms on the block are now packing twin-turbo V12s to help them schlep the kids around. My question is whether or not any of these things will be sought-after once they aren’t so sparkly. I mean, the GMC Typhoon is a collectible now, but it was clearly built for a different time and purpose than the new slew. In the case of the GMC there’s certainly a layer of novelty that boosts the value (there simply wasn’t anything like it back then) but I think the same can be said of the current Jeep Trackhawk—707-horsepower in a Grand Cherokee is silly, but the pointlessness is what makes it interesting. To get at the question in the title then, it’s not hard to imagine another supercharged Range Rover falling into obscurity and low resale value, but perhaps the really wild SUVs like the Jeep will prove themselves memorable beyond the current model year.

Because it’s still a relatively young market though, we don’t really have any examples of staying power to test this. We’ve reached a point where it seems like we hear about a new one every few months—recall the recent Alfa Romeo Stelvio special edition to commemorate its Nürburgring lap record—so it’s conceivable that none of these SUVs will remain in the spotlight long enough to enter the zeitgeist as a specific model rather than a forgettable and short-lived entrant into the trend. What do you think? Are these new super utility vehicles just more examples of new cars destined for scrapyards once their computers get wonky?

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StraightJean-Noël FermaudChris CRDMcGLandroving Recent comment authors
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Straight
Straight

Bias, everywhere. Rarity does not make for value… the uber SUV (differentiated by capacity and competency as a TOY compared to sports cars, such as the already stated difference between a *yawn* 700hp Trackhawk or Bentayga and a MB Jeep or Unimog) will always suffer because the utility will become irrelevant and of less use the further in the future we go. There is a time that the D90 will command 80k… that’s today; but will that same D90 be worth 8k in ten years? Absolutely. The answer lies more in the “when” than in the “if”. If you’re banking… Read more »

Jean-Noël Fermaud

People love them now, people will love them then. That’s just the way it is…

Chris C
Chris C

Surely a super SUV is something like a Unimog or Pinzgauer?
Vehicles won’t be classics if you can’t drive them…

RDMcG
RDMcG

Very few in my view. The six wheel Mercedes will for sure be collectable as well as a few exotics like the Lambo but in 20 years time we will have far more numerous EVs and the IC engine will not be favoured. Just look how much VAG is spending on this stuff.
I will hang onto my conventional cars including an SUV but not optimistic that today’s kids will grow up with the same level of interest and car collecting as a hobby will decline.

Christopher Hazelwood

Of course they will be collectable, I have an 06 Cayenne Turbo S (600 worldwide) with 520 hp, that’s nearly doubled in value over six months. It’s not a sports car as you would know it but will outrun an RS4 Audi.

Landroving
Landroving

Saw one of those in Alpharetta GA last week, the red S caught my eye and I was wondering how rare they are, thanks for answering my question.

mees
mees

I think that they will be considered as classic cars or collectibles, maybe already in a few years. The Range Rover classic, Toyota fj60, fj55 and fj45 are popular collector cars nowadays. Some people say it’s because they are mechanical and not electrical. This could be the same for the super SUVs of today. There is a big chance that in 10 years all the SUVs will be electric like the model x. Maybe then the super SUVs will get popular again because they have big good sounding petrol engines instead of computer controlled electric power plants.

Landroving
Landroving

I would have never guessed that FJ40’s would pull in $80k at auctions or that a series Land Rover would do the same- don’t even get me started at what the Defenders bring here in the USA. This segment has always had a market, but that market has traditionally been those that use the vehicles in their intended role. I’m see that start to change to which the value of the trucks has their owners not taking than off road anymore and that’s a shame.

BrunoC
BrunoC

Niche cars always become classics.

Every G class is a niche car. All of them will be valued as classics in the future independently of the specs or engine.

It’s not the same with a X5, GLE or F-Pace. These are generic cars unless they are the sports versions M, AMG or SVR respectively. These special fast SUVs will be regarded as classics, the more common with smaller petrol or diesel engines will be disposable items.

Nigel
Nigel

It wasn’t that long ago that Range Rover Classics were seen as unstylish tubs of rubbish…now people will do anything to get one! However, there is a fringe of lunatics (like me) that adore Land Rovers and keep them running. Why? Because Land Rover has a HISTORY, and we keep that history going by keeping the cars going. Lotus does not have that type of history with SUVs. Land Rover over the years spent lots of money getting Range Rovers over the Darien Gap and what not to build a brand history they live off today. Will Lotus and all… Read more »