Tesla Model S (© Tesla Motors, Inc.)

Tesla Model S

Creating beauty should be the goal of every car designer, and there are countless success stories out on the road. However, the most attractive machines tend be high-ticket exotic and luxury cars. Why? Well, because they are expensive machines, which means automakers can afford to produce more lavish designs, and those who buy them typically demand more stylish sheet metal for their money. So when we put together our picks for the five most fetching rides of 2010-2011, it didn't surprise us that the list was dominated by luxe brands. What did surprise us, however, was how much fun we had sifting through the choices. Enjoy the show.

Read:  The Beasts

Aston Martin V12 Vantage

Click to enlarge pictureAston Martin V12 Vantage (© Aston Martin)

Aston Martin V12 Vantage

The V12 Vantage is pure muscle-car theory in motion. Aston Martin takes its lightest platform, the V8 Vantage, and sticks a big-inch engine under the bonnet. Seductive body lines, classic retro-style grille work and aggressive wheel wells set the tone, while the powertrain delivers on the promise of something fast and furious. A 510-horsepower V12 engine is under foot, and the car's aluminum-based, carbon-fiber-adorned body has been aerodynamically optimized with lessons learned in Aston Martin's N24 GT racing program. It's beauty in motion.

Read:  First Drive Review: 2010 Aston Martin V12 Vantage

Ferrari 458 Italia

Click to enlarge pictureFerrari 458 Italia (© Ferrari S.p.A.)

Ferrari 458 Italia

Penned by Pininfarina, the 458 Italia has that classic Ferrari supercar silhouette. The 458's ornate rear fascia, with its protruding taillights, triple-pipe exhaust and V8-under-glass rear window, also contributes to the car's visual allure. The Ferrari magic continues with the 458 Italia's 4.5-liter 560-horsepower midmounted V8 engine and its enchanting 9000-rpm redline and soul-stirring V8 rumble. Ferrari's Formula One superhero, Michael Schumacher, was consulted throughout development, resulting in a car that challenges the lap times of a Ferrari Enzo, but offers a much higher level of comfort and sophistication.

Read:  2010 Ferrari 458 Italia — First Drive

Lexus LFA

The Lexus LFA is an eye-catcher. Its blend of soft contours and angular edginess just works, as the carbon-fiber-reinforced body offers new inspiration at every angle. The Lexus may have the lowest, widest look of any car on the road, and it backs up its menacing personality with a 4.8-liter V10 engine that generates 560 horsepower. Production is limited to 500 at a 20-per-month pace. Granted, $375,000 ain't cheap, but this beauty certainly has all the right moves.

View Pictures:  Lexus LFA

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG

Click to enlarge pictureMercedes-Benz SLS (© Mercedes-Benz USA)

Mercedes-Benz SLS

A tribute to the iconic 300SL Gullwing of the mid-1950s, the SLS AMG is remarkably true to its roots. The grille treatment, gills behind the front fender and gull-wing doors, taken directly from the original 300SL, make an immediate and stunning visual impact. Mercedes-Benz's latest iteration sports a 6.2-liter 570-horsepower V8 engine and an F1-spec gearbox. The SLS AMG's timeless design and technologically advanced powertrain make a hard-hitting combination. Looking back has never looked so good.

Bing Images: Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG

Tesla Model S

The all-electric Tesla Model S is a true mean "green" machine. Sleek and seductive with its long, smooth body, assertive front fascia treatment and low-slung stance, the Model S projects an aura of performance. There is seating for five adults and two children, and secondary storage under the hood. The car can be ordered with 160-, 230- and 300-mile range batteries and features 45-minute recharge times. Expect pricing to be in the supercar range.

View Pictures:  Tesla Model S

Evan Griffey served as an editor of Turbo & High Tech Performance, a pioneering publication about sport-compact tuning. Today Griffey freelances for Import Tuner, Sport Compact Car, Car Audio and Siphon.