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Sales Of Brutish Utility Vehicles Rise As Gas Prices Fall

Big SUVs are selling in huge numbers in the US in 2015, thanks in part to low gas prices. See the top five best-selling fullsize luxury SUVs in the US here.

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Luxury SUV and non-luxury car shoppers are the most inclined to consider alternative fuel vehicles. Not surprisingly, consumers looking for trucks are the least likely, according to a 2013 study from Phoenix Marketing International (PMI). Fuel-efficient "clean diesel" luxury SUVs from German automakers are warming up luxury SUV shoppers to alt-fuel powertrains like electric, hybrid, hydrogen or natural gas – but those options haven't been enough yet for truck shoppers.

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Well, that didn't take long. Just days after patent images leaked, Lexus has released pricing and images for its redesigned 2014 GX 460. Our first reaction is... wow, look at the front end on that! The updated luxury SUV features what Lexus calls "a new interpretation" of its now-trademark Spindle grille. The oversized hourglass shape is certainly unique, and whether for good or bad, it's sure to make the GX stand out.

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The on-again, off-again discussion regarding the rumored Rolls-Royce SUV seems to be back in the "maybe" camp now. In February, we heard that Rolls-Royce was considering adding an SUV, but then in April, another report said that these rumors had been shot down. Automobile is now saying that this ultra-luxury SUV could be determined by the success of the equally uncertain BMW X7 (on which the R-R SUV would be based), which we've heard little on since 2011.

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By the end of this decade, India is expected to be one of the top three car markets in the world, but automakers are already starting to duke it out for sales. In terms of premium brands, Automotive News says that Audi has jumped out to an early lead for sales in the country due in large part to the recent introduction of the Audi Q3 (shown above).

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When we see a vehicle like a Lamborghini Urus or the Bentley EXP 9 F concept, we may at first scratch our heads, wondering why an automaker would take this route. When the accountants see these vehicles, they see one thing: dollar signs. No matter what angle you come at it from, SUVs and crossovers are cash cows for carmakers, especially luxury brands. It's a truth that Kicking Tires laid bare in a recent article.

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Range Rover turns 40 – Click above for high-res image gallery

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