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We might be looking at the end of an era in European performance models. Mercedes-Benz is doing away with the SLS in favor of a rumored smaller and cheaper SLC, and Porsche has said that a new 911 GT2 isn't necessarily a sure thing, which means another 911 GT2 RS is even farther away. In its latest video, Evo's Jethro Bovingdon pits the ultimate versions of these German sports coupes against each other and finds two of the fastest cars the magazine has ever lapped around its track.
In one corner, there is the Mercedes SLS AMG Black Series that sits as the pinnacle of the company's halo model. It relies on the classic setup of a V8 mounted in front powering the rear wheels. On the other side, there is the 911 GT2 RS with a turbocharged flat-six mounted at the back, spinning the rear wheels. It was conceived to be Porsche's ultimate expression of a turbocharged 911, and while it's a few years old, Bovingdon shows that it's up to the task of racing a more modern rival.
Both of these rear-wheel-drive monsters are more than capable of some fantastically smoky power-slides, but they also show how great the last generation of sports cars was. Scroll down to check out the video.
Magnus Walker has stopped by the Big Dog Garage again to pay Jay Leno a visit in the latest episode of Jay Leno's Garage. This time, the Porsche builder brought along his 1972 911 72STR 002. Walker calls the machine his best build to date, and the car is a rolling "best of" from Porsches past, rocking some of the more attractive elements pulled from a wide arc of 911 model years. Of course, the machine also wears a few signature Walker touches, including flush-mount turning indicators, a center-hood fuel filler and plenty of louver work.
Unlike some of Walker's other creations, the 72STR 002 is clean enough to lick. Leno seems suitably impressed with the creation, and while apparently isn't typically a fan of Porsche models in general, Walker's tastefully modified 911 has him singing a different tune. You can check out the car in the video below.
Porsche is having a good sales year in the US, with 25,129 vehicles delivered year-to-date coming off the automaker's best July sales ever. That's a 31-percent increase over the same period last year (19,253 deliveries). With year-to-date Panamera sales a surprising 36 percent lower than last year, what possibly could be driving Porsche's sales surge? If you answered Cayman and Boxster sales, you're right. But dealerships are noticing another factor: more women are coming in to buy Porsches, CNBC reports, the bulk of whom picked up new Cayenne SUVs. The German automaker's sales to women in the US have more than doubled in the past two years, increasing from 7 percent to 15 percent. This has helped year-to-date Cayenne sales reach 11,082 - 31 percent higher than the same time last year.
Porsche executives have been trying to tap into the women's market, as evidenced in part by the company's move to pick professional tennis player Maria Sharapova as a brand ambassador. Porsche maintains it has not moved to dramatically change its brand image, but it has shown a number of ads in recent years that uncharacteristically emphasize its vehicles' practicality under the "Engineered for Magic. Everyday" banner - some featuring female drivers.
Be sure to watch CNBC's video report on Porsche's female movement below - you'll also find one of the aforementioned Engineered For Magic ads as well as an interesting case study video on the campaign from ad agency Cramer-Krasselt.