Your NXT New Car

Automakers launch hot new wheels—and maybe renewed confidence

With the start of a new year comes the notion that maybe the Great Recession is receding behind us, and perhaps it's time to get rid of that tired, old sled you've got sitting in the driveway. There are a number of new rides worthy of my attention and yours, and rather than waiting until the end of the month to peruse them at the auto show, why not see them now? Here's my preview of what we'll all want to drive in 2012, in no particular order:

• Lexus LFA: 202 MPH top speed. Imagine the morning commute to downtown. The only downside beyond price is that production is limited to 500 cars worldwide.

• Jaguar XK: A Chinese concern, Geely, building legendary English cars for the U.S. market. Truly world class. Starts at $84K and quickly accelerates to $132K for an XKR-S version.

• Range Rover Evoque: Lightest and most fuel efficient (28 MPG Highway/18 MPG city) Range Rover ever, the Evoque is available now for those who can't wait. Kevin Pack's next ride?

• Mastretta MXT: Turbocharged mid-engine design, composite body, carbon fiber floor and made in Mexico. Priced in the neighborhood of $60-$65K, Mastretta is setting up U.S. dealers now.

I cheated on these last two because as cool as they are, they're supposedly not available for sale—yet.

• Subaru BRZ/Scion FR-S: Rear wheel drive, boxer-inspired engine, the same platform is shared with the new Toyota AE86 and another variant from Scion, the FR-S. Which do you prefer?

In my next column, we'll reveal the results of the readers' survey and what the respondents won. Stay tuned. m

Got a cool car, a collection or an upcoming car show? E-mail Jason at Please allow at least two weeks in advance for your event to be posted.