The latest all-terrain ways to be king of the mountain.
From the rugged dirt trails of the Mojave to the snow-swept peaks of the Sierra Nevadas, few places demand more off-road performance and all-around utility from their vehicles than the Golden State. But we also prioritize looking good at all times, so upper-echelon marques are now offering terrain-capable, family-sized luxury SUVs that appeal as much to Lake Tahoe denizens as those braving the hinterlands of Beverly Hills. • NICOLAS STECHER
Mercedes-Benz AMG G65
Outfitted with a fire-breathing 621-hp, 6.0-liter V-12 biturbo for the first time, Benz’s legendary Geländewagen bumps even the newly minted Bentley in power moves. The revolutionary G-Class has come a long way since it first earned its stripes rolling through the Sahara and Arctic Circle over 30 years ago. If you ever plan to encounter anything more harrowing than a Whole Foods parking lot, this is your SUV. From $217,900. mbusa.com
Maker of some of the most beautiful performance cars in the world, Maserati has focused its ample talents on an SUV for the first time in its history. The Levante features all of the stunning design language that has made the Italian auto manufacturer famous, only with mountain-climbing ground clearance. It’s also the only SUV in the world with a Ferrari-built engine. From $72,000. maseratiusa.com
When Bentley announced it was getting into the SUV game, there was no doubt that the legendary British brand would deliver. What we got was a W12-powered, hand-built, leather-swathed rolling testament to opulence. And performance: With a preposterous 187-mph top speed, the Bentayga is the fastest SUV on the planet. From $229,100. bentleymotors.com
While the G-Wagen may be the most powerful SUV, and the Bentayga the fastest, Lamborghini’s jaw-dropping Urus is poised to be the most spectacular. Little is known thus far of the chiseled high-performance specimen, except that a twin-turbo V-8 gasoline engine is in play, with talk of a potential hybrid power train. Finally confirmed for production, the Urus is expected to arrive in showrooms sometime in 2018. lamborghini.com
Edited by Andrea Stanford.