The next wave

AN SUV TSUNAMI ROLLS IN

The Weekend Australian - Magazine - - LIFE - philip king

Is there a car-maker worth the name that doesn’t have an SUV in its line-up, or the prospect of one? Give your­self a gold star if you said “McLaren”, be­cause aside from Europe’s fringe play­ers that’s about the ex­tent of the list.

Even the least likely can­di­dates are tak­ing the plunge with SUVs, in­clud­ing Lo­tus, whose new Chi­nese own­ers have en­dorsed the idea, and Ferrari, which has been itch­ing to ex­pand since a stock ex­change listing two years ago. Con­firm­ing the project last month, Ferrari chief Ser­gio Mar­chionne stressed the need to bal­ance “ex­clu­siv­ity” and a broader range. He referred to the car as an “FUV” – Ferrari Util­ity Ve­hi­cle.

Good luck with that one. For years BMW has tried to cat­e­gorise its high-rid­ers as Sports Ac­tiv­ity Ve­hi­cles, or SAVs, but the term has zero cur­rency out­side its own mar­ket­ing de­part­ment. Re­gard­less of how you tag them, there’s a tsunami of SUVs on the way.

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