Maxima plays up sportiness, a sexy Hyundai and more

What: A swoopy, rear-drive coupe with powerPedigree: This may be the best part: It doesn't really have one. This is the coupe version of Hyundai's grab for attention in the upscale car market where it has never competed. Personality:As sexy as Hyundai's California design studio could make it. Meant for true performance car lovers. When: On sale spring 2009 as a 2010 model. Why:Hyundai is trying to upgrade its image. This coupe, and an upscale Genesis sedan, are aimed to win buyers who've never considered the brand. Marquee features:An aluminum block V-6 with the power of a V-8. A design intended to save weight and make the Genesis agile as well as powerful. How much:Less than $26,000, firm price not yet announced.

Honda Fit

What:The smallest Honda gets a quick U.S. redo. Pedigree:The subcompact Fit was among a batch of new, tiny models to hit American shores about two years ago. They included Nissan Versa and Toyota Yaris. They were a big hit. Fit sales were up 68% for the first two months of the year compared to the same period last year, Autodata says. But Toyota sells twice as many Yarises. Personality:Practicality persists. The current Fit is known for its versatility and great gas mileage. The new Fit carries over a lot of the same features. When:In showrooms in the fall. Why:With gas prices headed toward $4 a gallon, Fit's size and thrift (34 mpg highway on the current model) couldn't be more right for the times. The quick redesign results from Honda having introduced it to the USA at a time when it was mid-stream in all the other countries. Now we'll have the new one about at the same time as everyone else. Marquee features:Based on the version shown in Tokyo, Fit will get a slightly roomier interior and keep some of the nifty things that make it stand out. Most important are seats that flip every which way to let sports enthusiasts more easily carry everything from skis to bicycles inside the car.How much:Not announced yet, but the current Fit goes for about $15,000.

Pontiac Solstice coupe

The 2009 Pontiac Solstice coupe, based on a concept Pontiac revealed in 2002, is set to hit dealerships early next year. Pricing hasn't yet been revealed, but the current Solstice starts at $22,785. The roof panel is removable for drivers who still want the convertible experience. The roof panel frame is made of lightweight magnesium and weighs 31 pounds. The coupe has a standard 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine with 173 horsepower. A high-performance GXP version has a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 260 horsepower.

Saab 9-X BioHybrid

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