SUV Demand Explodes

For better or worse, Aussies continue to fall for the sports utility vehicle

TIMES are telling when even Lamborghini’s developing a sportsutility vehicle (SUV – and yes, we know many of you still prefer to call them four-wheel drives). What was once a dirty word for sports car manufacturers, the SUV has proven so popular many can’t survive without one.

So it’s no surprise the SUV dominated February sales in Australia. In fact, SUVs outsold passenger vehicles for the first time on a monthly basis.

What Ferry Porsche would make of the Macan and Cayenne wouldn’t matter. His legacy wouldn’t have possibly survived without them. They outsold the iconic 911 by more than two-to-one. Meanwhile at Audi its four-variant Q range outsold its other 11 variants combined, with more than 941 SUVs shifted.

BMW boasts a similar story. The company sold 1134 SUVs, its X range proving 262 units more popular than its traditional hatch, sedan, coupe, and roadster line-up.

Bentley’s Bentayga doubled company sales despite an eyewatering $335,000 starting price and Jaguar’s F-Pace has made a similar impact. The XF on stilts has become the brand’s volume seller, its 126 sales in February surpassing the E by 45 units.

Maserati enjoyed identical success, the mid-size SUV Levante drumming up 66 sales compared to the Ghibli’s 15, the next-highest selling model.

Range Rover Sport sales, meanwhile, haven’t abated since the second generation landed in 2013, and Land Rover sold more in February than Holden did the Barina and Cruze combined.

Despite this overwhelming trend, there is a resistance mounting at Mercedes-Benz. The C-Class and A-Class remain its strongest sellers, the former coupe/convertible/sedan notching up 1052 sales in February, 773 more than the mini-SUV GLA-class. – LC

X What Ferry Porsche would make of the Macan wouldn’t matter

the HEAT

WINNERS AND LOSERS OF FEB 2017

Top ten losers

CAR JAN FEB YTD YTD +/- Caterham 0 0 0 -100% Maserati Coupe/Conv 0 1 1 -94% BMW 5 Series GT 1 2 3 -87% M-B G-Wagon CC 2 1 3 -85% Audi TT 13 7 20 -79% Hyundai Genesis 14 10 24 -74% Lexus LS 1 0 1 -67% BMW 7 Series 9 8 17 -66% M-B GLC-Class 111 247 434 -61% Chrysler 300 21 23 44 -58%

Top ten movers

CAR JAN FEB YTD YTD +/- M-B C-Class Cpe/Conv 255 307 562 999% M-B GLS-Class 85 59 144 999% Volkswagen CC 0 35 35 999% Rolls-Royce Coupe/Conv 4 1 4 300% McLaren Coupe/Conv 9 10 19 217% Nissan GT-R 8 10 18 200% Mercedes-Benz E-Class 124 193 347 173% BMW 5 Series 31 85 165 114% Lotus Elise 2 2 4 100% Mercedes-Benz SL-Class 4 6 10 100%

Coming Soon 2017

Q2

Porsche 911 GTS Aston Martin Vanquish S Lambo Aventador S Audi TT RS Debuts new hot fiver.

Audi R8 Spyder Rag-top V10 rocket.

Bentley Supersports W12 cops more power and extra trinkets.

Q3/Q4

Audi RS3 Sedan Audi RS5 Drops V8 grunt for Porsche’s twin-turbo V6.

Holden Commodore New European-built Commodore arrives.

Honda Civic Type R Manic turbo front-driver arrives on Aussie shores.

Hyundai i30 N Its first proper hatch hottie.

Kia Stinger GT A rear-drive, twin-turbo V6 to get excited about.

Lexus LC500 All-new Lexus flagship.

McLaren 720S Its Super Series evolves.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe Boasts a new platform.

Mercedes-AMG E63 S Drift-ready super sedan.

Mercedes-AMG GT C Steals a few GT R bits.

Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Packs 500kW to hit 100km/h in 3.4sec Range Rover SVAutobiography Land Rover slips SVR engine into its flagship.

Skoda Octavia RS245 Welcomes more power and dual-clutch ’box.

2018

Audi RS4 A wagon-topped RS5.

BMW M5 Ferrari GTC4Lusso T Let the bread van deliveries begin.

Ford Fiesta ST Now with turbo triple.

Porsche 911 GT2 RS Combines GT3 RS chassis with Turbo S-beating power.