2011 Lexus CT 200h

Lexus would have been about the last company we'd expect to debut a new compact hatchback, but that definitely describes the new 2011 Lexus CT 200h ($TBA). Aimed at the gas-sipping instead of tire-burning crowd, the 200h sports a total output of 134 hp, a rather pokey 0-60 time of 9.8 seconds, impressive 42mpg fuel economy, eco-friendly features like LED lighting, bamboo charcoal speakers, and bio-sourced materials throughout the cabin, no less than seven driving modes — including a snore-inducing "relaxing" setting — and a bespoke suspension design with a MacPherson strut front system and a new, fully-independent double wishbone architecture for superior handling should you ever get the car up to a speed at which you can actually take advantage of it.

  • 2012 Ford Focus

    Unlike previous iterations that saw Europe get a vastly different — and in most cases superior — version of the same model, the 2012 Ford Focus ($TBA; Early 2011) will be nearly identical across the world. This re-imagined descendant of Escort will boast an electric power assist system, Dynamic Cornering Control, the Sync connectivity package with an 8-inch MyFord touch-based control panel in pricier models, a new 2.0-liter DI Ti-VCT engine, and a dry-clutch six-speed Ford PowerShift automatic transmission. If the fuel economy on the standard models isn't good enough for you, Ford will also offer a fully battery powered electric version, with a driving range of 80-100 miles.

  • 2011 Audi A8

    As much a car as it is a gadget on wheels, with the 2011 Audi A8 ($TBA; late 2010) Audi has raised the automotive technology bar once again. The latest version of Audi's flagship sedan boasts standard features like quattro all-wheel-drive, a 4.2L FSI V8 engine good for 372hp, and an Aluminum Space Frame body. These traditional features are overshadowed by the car's technical prowess, however, thanks to additions like full LED headlights that adjust direction and throw length based on instructions from the navigation system, a touch-pad multimedia controller, tri-color ambient interior LED lighting, an available 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system, dual rear 10.2-inch headrest-mounted displays, available separate rear seats, an eight-speed Tiptronic transmission, lane change assist, night vision, and more. It's as close as you can get to a real-life KITT, and will likely carry a price to match.

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