High performance SUV gaining popularity

BURBANK The Cayenne SUV has the famous Porsche crest on the front, big wheels, tires, brakes, a powerful engine, and a sporty interior, but it isn't a sports car. However, it manages to outsell all of the sports cars Porsche builds.

"It becomes a very good business play for them. Aficionados of the business hope they can turn that profit into better 911s, Boxters and Cayennes," said James Bell, IntelliChoice.com.

With the new GTS model, there are now four versions of the Cayenne. The GTS provides horsepower closer to the much more expensive turbo, and a choice of a 6-speed manual transmission -- a first for a V8 Cayenne.

Sport utility vehicles are declining overall as a segment, but the ultra-sporty ones have become a segment within a segment.

BMW recently came out with the X6. It is still pretty large in size, but with a sleeker shape thanks to the sloped rear hatch.

BMW even bills it as a "sports activity coupe," though there are four doors and a surprising amount of room in the cargo area.

There's also a new version of the Infiniti FX, the original came out right after the Cayenne about five years ago.

With its curving fenders and more aggressive stance, the new FX is essentially a sport sedan morphed into an SUV, much like the Porsche and the BMW.

The Cayenne has been around for several years now, and has done very well for Porsche. Now they have added the GTS model. It gives buyers a chance at an over 400 horsepower V8 with a 6-speed manual transmission. Essentially it is a sports sedan -- one that can also carry a lot of stuff.

"It kind of allows you to justify to your spouse that you are doing the right thing for the family, but on Sunday morning you can still go for a good drive. It plays both sides," said Bell.

The current state of the economy has hurt sales of pretty much all categories of vehicles, and SUVs have taken an especially hard hit.

But these ultra-sporty sport utilities are still popular enough to buck the trend in a tight race of horsepower and handling. They may not be the most practical of the SUVs, but for driving fun they stand out.


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The current state of the economy has hurt sales of pretty much all categories of vehicles, and suvs have taken an especially hard hit.

But these ultra-sporty sport utilities are still popular enough to buck the trend in a tight race of horsepower and handling. they may not be the most practical of the SUVs, but for driving fun they stand out.


MORE L.A. BREAKING NEWS, WEATHER, TRAFFIC, SPORTS

USEFUL LINKS:
SEND TIP || REPORT TYPO || TWEET @abc7 ||  WIDGET

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