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2014 L.A. Auto Show: Porsche, BMW to unveil high-performance SUVs

2015 Porsche Cayenne GTS
The 2015 Porsche Cayenne GTS switches from a V-8 to a twin-turbocharged V-6 that makes 440 horsepower. It will make its world debut at the 2014 L.A. Auto Show.
(Porsche)

L.A.’s hometown auto show will see a bit of a turf war in the high-horsepower world of performance SUVs when it opens its doors to the media in two weeks.

Porsche and BMW have announced they’re going to debut all-new models better suited to lapping a racetrack than they are crawling a rocky trail, not that their owners will take them to either setting.

Porsche will bring an updated version of its Cayenne GTS SUV to the L.A. Auto Show. Used on various Porsche models throughout its lineup, the GTS trim aims to give buyer a suite of performance-oriented options that would otherwise be more expensive if ordered a la carte.

In the case of the 2015 Cayenne GTS, the SUV jettisons its throaty V-8 in favor of a 3.6-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 that pumps out 440 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque.

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The update means the GTS trims 0.5 seconds off its 0-62 mph time, making this run in 5.2 seconds now (5.1 seconds with the optional Sport Chrono package).

Other upgrades include a standard sport exhaust system, lower and retuned suspension, brakes from the Cayenne Turbo, 20-inch wheels painted black, a redesigned front bumper and various Alcantara suede elements throughout the interior.

The Cayenne GTS is to go on sale in early 2015.

On the BMW side of things, the Bavarian automaker is using the 2014 L.A. Auto Show to debut its X5 M and X6 M SUVs.

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These models share a potent engine that BMW says is the most powerful it’s ever developed for an all-wheel-drive vehicle. Using 4.4 liters of twin-turbocharged V-8 power, the Ms have 567 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque.

With an eight-speed automatic transmission sending this power to all four wheels, this M duo will do 0-60 mph in four seconds, BMW said.

Exterior updates are aimed at keeping this powertrain cool, with larger, more aggressive front bumpers and air inlets. Out back, four polished tailpipes poke out of the rear bumper. The brakes have been upgraded, and high-performance tires, launch control and a stability-control system that allows “controlled drifts” are all included.

Inside, upgraded seats, paddle shifters and various bits of high-end leather and aluminum trim and M badging are sprinkled throughout the cabin.

The X5 M will start at $99,650, almost double the price of a base X5. The X6 M -- think a four-door coupe/SUV thing that is truly impractical -- will start at $103,050. Both models are to roll into dealerships next spring.

The L.A. Auto Show opens its doors to the media on Nov. 19-20. 20. It will be open to the public Nov. 21-30.


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