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Fornasari RR99 - Click above for image gallery

Fornasari, the independent purveyor of exotic sport-utes, has been in the game since before Porsche came along with the Cayenne, but despite its blend of Italian craftsmanship with American muscle, the three-door body-style of the Fornasari RR450 and RR600 relegated the quirky exotic truck to the fringe. Now Fornasari, has come back with its first proper (or not) five-door SUV.

Dubbed the RR99, the latest from the Creazzo-based automaker is some 25cm longer than its three-door predecessors, but thanks to a lightweight tube frame, it weighs only 1850 kg (just over 4000 lbs), significantly less than competing performance SUVs. This despite the six-liter General Motors V8 sitting up front, which Fornasari says it has optimized for near-50/50 weight distribution, driving 610 horsepower to all four wheels with a 40/60 rear-biased torque split via limited slip differential and six-speed Borg Warner transmission.

Wheels are available up to 23 inches, packing optional Brembo brakes mounted to F1-style triangular suspension. But the most ambitious figures come down to the performance: Fornasari claims its exotic sport-ute can rocket to 62 mph in just 3.8 seconds en route to a 174 mph top end. Those are eyebrow-raising numbers, and if the RR99, with substantially-improved styling over its oddball predecessors (upon which we reported three years ago), can actually come anywhere near those projections, count us among the flabbergasted.

Gallery: Fornasari RR99

[Source: Fornasari via Italiaspeed]Fornasari intros five-door RR99 performance SUV originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 22 Nov 2009 20:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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