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Performance vehicle sales up 70% in the United States since 2009

Despite tightening emissions laws and fuel economy requirements, sales of performance cars and truck in the U.S are on the rise.

Sales of high-performance models in the U.S. have outpaced global growth since the teeth of the recession in 2009, according to Dave Pericak, director of Ford Performance.

“Performance vehicle sales around the world continue to grow — with sales up 70 percent in the United States and 14 percent in Europe since 2009,” Pericak said.

Demand for some vehicles is so white hot that automakers can’t keep up: Dodge recently announced it was suspending new orders for its 707-hp Challenger and Charger Hellcat models until it could validate orders and fulfill its backlog. And at the New York auto show, traditionally a bastion of luxury car reveals, automakers touted performance models in virtually every segment, from the affordable Ford Focus RS to the new McLaren 570S supercar.

It’s not just a desire for magazine covers and 0-to-60 bragging rights driving this trend; automakers and analysts say performance cars are good business. They offer fat profit margins and draw different, younger buyers who can spend more, and they cast a high-performance halo on an automaker’s more prosaic offerings.

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