Which cars will be turning heads on the street this year? According to Playboy's "2008 Cars of the Year," a high-performance hybrid surges past competitors, a European import squeezes to the top, and a luxury carmaker provides one of the most fuel efficient and affordable vehicles on the road. The selected cars were chosen by an expert team of automotive writers who traveled the world and test drove every new model hitting the showroom floor this year. The vehicles were taken on the sharpest turns, most challenging curves, and the steepest hills to properly separate the superlative from the mediocre. The vehicles featured in Playboy's January issue (on newsstands December 7) include:

PLAYBOY'S 2008 CAR OF THE YEAR: Audi R8

This mid engine sexpot boasts a 420 bhp, 4.2-liter V8, and hits zero to 60 in a sexy 4.4 seconds

BEST LUXURY SPORTS COUPE: Maserati GranTurismo

Features a 405 bhp, 4.2-liter double overhead cam V8 packs 339 foot-pounds of torque

SMARTEST PURCHASE: Smart Fortwo

Sits eight feet by eight inches long and weighs a whopping 1,807 pounds

BEST SPORTS SEDAN: Cadillac CTS

With a base engine of a 3.6-liter V6 that develops 263bhp, it is just as quick as the CTS-V

BEST SUV: Land Rover LR2

Equipped with a Terrain Response feature that adjusts the AWD and suspension for driving conditions

BEST CROSSOVER: Buick Enclave CXL

Proudly sits on 19-inch wheels and is available with a luxury package including articulated headlights

BEST CONVERTIBLE: BMW 335i

Not only does it whip from zero to 60 in 5.5 seconds, its light-weight steel top retracts in 22 seconds

BEST EARTH-DAY CAR: Mercedes-Benz E320 Bluetec

Outfitted with three catalysts and a filter in the exhaust that erases every trace of smoke and N2O

BEST PINT-SIZE PERFORMANCE: Volvo C30

Dances on the sporty side with its full-width glass hatch and clipped Manx bobtail

Source: Playboy

TAGS: 335i Audi Audi R8 Bluetec BMW Buick c30 Cadillac Cadillac CTS CTS E320 Enclave CXL ForTwo GranTurismo Land Rover LR2 Maserati Maserati GranTurismo Mercedes-Benz R8 Smart Smart ForTwo Volvo