Ferrari F149

Meet Maranello's first front-engine V-8 road car.

Meet Ferrari's new baby! But don't call Maranello's latest an "entry-level" Ferrari. Actually, this front-engine rear-drive 2-seater is the Italian automaker's response to increasing concerns about the automobile's impact on the environment. Instead of pursuing more displacement and maximum power, the new philosophy concentrates on delivering a high power-to-weight ratio. As a result, this first front-engine V-8 road car in the company's history will take its place alongside the F430 in the lineup, perhaps priced marginally less.

While it shares some similarities with the larger V-12-powered 612 Scaglietti and 599 GTB, the shorter wheelbase and lighter weight of the car promise outstanding performance. Codenamed F149, the car also boasts a retractable hardtop. Contrary to speculation that the car would be marketed as a Dino, a Ferrari spokesman insists that this new model is a full-fledged member of the company's lineup. "It is a true Ferrari and will perform like one," the executive stressed. Expect the engine to displace 4.3 liters and produce something on the order of 450 bhp.

2009 Pontiac Solstice GXP Coupe

Slated for launch this fall.

When the Pontiac Solstice made its debut as a concept in 2002, there were actually two versions of the car, a roadster and a coupe. That vision has been fully realized in the Solstice Coupe, slated for launch this fall.

Although it has the same fastback shape as the concept, the production version adds a lift-out Targa panel between the windshield header and the B-pillar. In addition to that rigid panel (which is too large to store onboard and weighs 31 lb.), the car comes with a soft-top cover to provide protection from the elements if needed. The additional space beneath the rear window doubles the car's load area to 5.6 cu. ft.

The coupe is available in both base and GXP trim levels, which offer buyers a respective choice of a normally aspirated 173-bhp 2.4-liter four or a turbocharged 2.0-liter four making 260 bhp.

2010 Kia Koup

The front-drive Koup is directly aimed at the Honda Civic Si and the upcoming Ford Fiesta.

This stylish 2-door sports coupe concept from Kia is powered by a twin-turbo direct-injection 2.0-liter 4-cylinder, which pumps out an amazing 290 bhp and 289 lb.-ft. of torque. The engine is mated to a 6-speed automatic with a sequential paddle shift.

Based on a subcompact-size platform, the front-drive Koup is directly aimed at the Honda Civic Si and the upcoming Ford Fiesta. The Koup's nose features a large lower intake flanked by chrome inlets for the cross-drilled Brembo brakes. The car's flanks have sharp character lines, while the rear finishes off with a conventional trunk, giving the car a traditional coupe silhouette. Kia hinted that the Koup could see production "sooner than later."

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