The auto industry is a man's world, one in which office chitchat is a constant, spirited discussion of cars, cars, some sports, and more cars, and Motor Trend would be no different — except that there is a handful of women on staff as well. Since not all vehicles that excite our male colleagues have the same effect on us, I polled my fellow females and compiled a list of the vehicles we find strikingly sexy, ranging from real-world practical cars to fantasy rides. While in the end, the guy behind the wheel is what ultimately attracts us, driving the right piece of hot metal definitely makes a guy even hotter.
Audi R8 GT
"It's rude to stare, but with the R8, I just can't help myself," says Sanchez. "This is the perfect gentleman's car, and it exudes pure seduction. The R8 is as sexy as an expertly tailored men's suit that shows off a chiseled male physique. With a 5.2-liter V-10, it's not just a pretty face. The more exclusive 5.2 GT churns out a thrilling 560 hp, and can sprint from 0-60 in 3.5 seconds — just enough time to steal my heart."
MT Take: "The power is mesmerizing, and on-ramps blow by in an orchestral blur of sound and fury. Sitting low in the R8 gives you the sensation of being down in the car, not on top of it. You never feel like you are being pulled out of the seat by your shoulders, but more like you're checking your hip in the side of the car. The R8 rolls around you, not under you. Audi managed to capture the feeling of sitting down in the tub of a Le Mans race car. You really can trick yourself into thinking you're charging out of the last corner on the last lap to take the checkered flag, when in reality you are just heading to the store for milk. It's all about the experience."
Porsche Cayman S
"I love, love, love the Porsche Cayman S, manual, preferably in Atlas Gray Metallic with the 19-inch Carrera Classic wheels. It has 320 hp, 273 lb-ft, and a 171-mph top track speed. In my dream, he'd hand me the keys any time I wanted - which would be all the time," says Sandoval.
Good luck. The driver of this car would want to keep those keys all to himself to enjoy the Cayman's 0-60 average of 4.5 seconds, thanks in part to its direct-injected 3.4-liter engine.
MT Take: "The risk Porsche engineers have taken all along with the Cayman is that, sooner or later, they'd dial its performance up so high its natural advantage in mid-engine balance and trimmer-scale would finally propel it into outshining the iconic 911 Carrera. Personally, I think that moment has arrived. Lithe on the road, fluidly seductive in appearance, and positively alive in your hands: It's now, in my humble opinion, very simply the best sports car in the world."
Range Rover HSE
Yang thinks this luxurious SUV shows off a well-established man with fine taste. "It's not too masculine and it's well-equipped for a family outing or a night on the town for two."
But the lavish SUV can also get a little dirty, thanks in part to the Terrain Response upgrades. Sand launch control and Rock Crawl mode will allow this admirable family man to take the kids into the mountains for a weekend of camping.
MT Take: "The new Range Rover continues the vehicle's heritage of off-road prowess and ritzy cabin, and while pricing has not yet been announced, you know it won't be cheap. However, you can expect it won't be too much more expensive than the outgoing model and, as good as it was, now has a lot more to offer than it ever has before."
Photography editor Julia LaPalme says, "The price, cargo capacity, and EPA numbers show a guy is practical and financially sensible; the AWD indicates he's most likely outdoorsy, or at least up for a little adventure."
With four and six-cylinder offerings, this sleek rig is up for all kinds of adventures. The 2.5-liter boxer four can be paired with either a CVT or a new six-speed manual, and with the CVT, it has an impressive 22/29 city/highway EPA mpg.
MT Take: "For the first time since any of us can recall, an automaker has claimed the Motor Trend Sport/Utility of the Year title two years in a row. Last fall, deftly balancing efficiency and size, the all-new 2009 Subaru Forester went home with the Golden Calipers trophy. For 2010, fighting off several tough adversaries -- and undoubtedly some unspoken but very real bias among our judges against repeat winners -- Subaru's new, fourth-generation Outback scored a decisive 10-1 victory in the final voting."
"Nothing is sexier than seeing a man who can handle a hunky, full-size SUV," says associate online editor Carol Ngo. "It makes him look manlier." Starting around $37,980, the brawny Tahoe defines masculinity with its utility and versatility. In prince-like fashion, the Tahoe stands ready to save the day. It has an impressive towing capacity of up to 7000 pounds, thanks to a 320-hp, 5.3-liter V-8. Although it roars ruggedly, road and engine noise are muted in the cabin, making it easier to hear all the sweet nothings your guy is whispering in your ear.
MT Take: "So it's encouraging that GM can create a vehicle line that moves to the head of its class right out of the gate instead of just blending in with existing offerings, only to be trumped when the other team comes out with something newer. Has GM hit a gusher? Too soon to say. But the Tahoe is exactly what GM needed -- a bigger, stronger, safer, more fuel-efficient sport/utility with a decent interior — finally."
Honda Accord Coupe
It's no wonder the Accord is one of the best-selling vehicles in the United States. Associate online editor Sheree Yang likes that it's reliable, sleek, and cost-efficient. The coupe variant proves the guy behind the wheel is practical and stable, but still likes to have a little fun, especially if he upgrades to the 271-hp, 3.5-liter V-6. This sporty coupe packs a punch, but does it ever so modestly.
MT Take: "The 2008 Honda Accord Coupe is a now bona-fide sport coupe, with the specs to back it up: control-arm front suspension, six-speed manual transmission, and a 268-horsepower V-6 engine capable of churning up lung-searing clouds of tire smoke in seconds. Does it matter that it's the front wheels that are smoking and that it holds five passengers? Nope. Honda's latest coupe is the real deal, no longer a pretender to the cone."