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The Maxim RPM Awards

We exploded out of tollbooths, zipped across interstates, sped around racetracks, and cut off several pissed-off New York City cabbies to determine the fastest, sleekest, most jaw-droppingly awesome cars of the year. Gentlemen, start your drooling!



The Best Reason the U.S.A. Rules: SRT Viper GTS

The sickest Dodge in history is no longer a Dodge. Taking its name from Chrysler’s Street & Racing Technology division, the fifth-generation Viper boasts a hand-assembled 8.4-liter V-10 engine that combines big-time power with maximum efficiency. Engineers reworked the structure of the car using composite materials, resulting in a Viper that has shaved off more than 100 pounds from previous models. (Too bad those engineers can’t work on you, huh, tubby?) With its sinfully sexy exterior and a meticulously designed interior that looks like what would happen if an F-14 cockpit and a hip hotel lobby had a baby, this is one hell of a serpent.

SPEC CHECK
Price:  $95,000 (est.)
Engine: 8.4-liter V-10
Horsepower: 640
0–60: 3.5 sec. (est.)
Top Speed: 206 mph (est.)

Best Bargain Porsche: 2013 Porsche Boxster S

Bargains being relative things, you could justify the $60,900 2013 Porsche Boxster S as one if you compare it to its $110,000 sibling, the 911 Carrera S. The Boxster’s top speed is only 14 mph shy of the 911’s, and both handle like answered prayers. Though nobody was complaining about the previous Boxster—in fact it’s been a bestseller since it was introduced in late 1996—Porsche continues to tinker with it. This latest iteration is the lightest and fastest yet, and it actually performs better than the 2012, which is a real accomplishment. Achtung baby, indeed.

SPEC CHECK
Price:
$60,900
Engine: 2.7-liter six-cylinder
Horsepower: 315
0–60: 4.8 seconds
Top Speed: 162 mph

Best Guilt-Free Pimp Ride: Tesla Model S

It’ll be a breeze picking up speed-loving vegan girls in this Cali-made all-electric five-door hatchback. None of the 416 horses under the hood were harmed, though the pavement might be as you zip from 0–60 in 4.4 seconds.

Best Hybrid That Doesn’t Look Like One: Honda CR-Z Hybrid

Give Honda credit for not styling its new CR-Z hybrid so it whispers, “Environmentalist on board.” At 122 horsepower, it’s not going to set the streets afire, but it’s quick enough and gets an incredible 39 mpg on the highway.

Best Girlfriend Mover: Mercedes-Benz SL550

Let’s say you really messed up—like, hooked-up-with-your-girlfriend’s-sister-on-your-anniversary messed up—and you want to make things right. Stick this thing in her driveway with a bow on top and watch the reconciliation begin. Super powerful (thanks to a 429-horsepower twin-turbo V-8) but extremely smooth, wildly sexy but totally dignified, the sixth-generation SL left us with our jaws on its tastefully appointed carpet.

Best German-Made Go-cart: Mini Cooper S Roadster

Betting that no human has ever actually attempted to sit in the tiny rear seats of its convertible, Mini eliminated them in its S Roadster in favor of a narrow package shelf and used the space to create a more streamlined vehicle. Handling is tight and responsive, and with the S package’s turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder, it takes some effort to keep this go-cart under 80 mph. Is the Mini Roadster practical? Probably not. Is it fun? Absolutely.


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