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Maxim's RPM Awards: The 16 Best Cars of 2013

Between insane 217 mph supercars, 500 hp family sedans, and electric cars that go 0–60 faster than you can flip a switch, we’re living in the golden age of the automobile. Need proof? Here are 16 rock-solid arguments, from the affordable to the better-ransom-the-royal-baby.

THE ITALIAN STALLION

Alfa Romeo
4C

If you’re one of the most storied sports car makers in history, you don’t come half-assed when plotting a return of international proportion. Say buongiorno to the 4C, a mid-engined, rear-wheel-drive piece of rolling Italian art that will be Alfa Romeo’s first major U.S. rollout in almost 20 years. Founded way back in 1910, the legendary automaker comes from a racing tradition like no other. (Let’s put it this way: One of its top drivers from back in the day was a fellow named Enzo Ferrari, who went on to start a little car company of his own.) Fast-forward 103 years and Alfa’s tradition of speed, sexiness, and something else that starts with an “s” continues to grow. Now, this comeback model may have only four cylinders, but a turbocharger and an extremely lightweight carbon frame—the car is 2,100 pounds—translate to an almost unheard-of power-to-weight ratio of 1 hp/8.8 pounds. (That’s extremely good, trust us.) Alfa Romeo, Alfa Romeo. Wherefore art thou Alfa Romeo?
 
Spec Check
Base Price: $86,000 (est.)
Engine: 1.7-liter turbo 4
Horsepower: 240
Torque: 258 lb.-ft.
0–60: 4.5 seconds
Top Speed: 160 mph

BEST ELECTRIC CARS

McLaren P1
They’ve only been making production cars since the mid-2000s, but British automaker McLaren has been building some of the winningest Formula 1 racers since the ’60s. (If you saw Rush, it’s what James Hunt drove to take down mighty Ferrari.) The P1 is powered by a twin-turbo V-8 mated to an F1-style kinetic energy recovery hybrid boost system. We don’t know what that means, either, but we do get arriving at 60 mph in under three seconds.

Spec Check
Base Price: $1.15 million
Engine: 3.8-liter twin-turbo V-8 with electric motor
Horsepower: 727
Torque: 531 lb.-ft.
0–60: 2.9 seconds
Top Speed: 217 mph

Tesla Model S
The term game-changing is thrown around quite a bit, so when something revolutionary arrives, you really need to stand on the rooftops and shout. Well, picture us on your house bellowing at the top of our lungs. The Model S is for real. It’s fully electric, has a range of 265 miles, and goes 0–60 just as fast as a BMW M5...all in nearly silent style. Hey, auto­motive world, bow down to your new electric leader.
 
Honda Civic Hybrid
While the Prius may be the eco-friendly MVP thanks to celebrity fans—tip of the cap, Larry David—with an edgier look, a redesigned interior, and better body control compared with last year’s, the Civic Hybrid gets our vote for most improved. Its 111 mph top speed won’t leave anyone in the dust, but you’ll sleep better knowing that chunk of ice some polar bear is balancing on isn’t melting because of you.
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