You'd have to be either seriously jaded or suffer from a severe adrenaline disorder to find fault with the performance of Porsche's "standard" 911 Turbo. Apparently, there are enough of these sorry souls in North America to justify Porsche's latest automotive offering, the 911 GT2. Dispensing with the 911 Turbo's all-wheel drive system in favor of a lighter rear-drive platform helps shed more than 200 pounds, and the GT2's twin-turbo six-cylinder pumps out 456 horsepower and 457 foot-pounds of torque, a full 9 percent more than the Turbo. What do all these numbers mean? Zero to 60 in under four seconds and a top speed of 195 mph, that's what. As you might expect of a car with such a performance bent, the GT2 forgoes any amenity that might soften its edge. In fact, its nearly $180,000 price tag doesn't even include a spare tire; to save weight, the car comes equipped with only a flat-tire repair kit. Additionally, the stiff ride of the race-honed suspension will help keep your chiropractor's kid in college. Still, the simple knowledge that you're driving the fastest-ever production Porsche should ease the pain. (770) 290-3500 or www.porsche.com

MERCEDES SL 500
Exclusivity: 7
Euro flair: 9
Real world civility: 11
Makes you want to learn the language of its homeland: 6
Mercedes has never been short on technological innovation, but when it comes to geegaws and gee-whiz, the all-new droptop SL 500 takes the Teutonic cake. For instance, the SL 500 is the first production car equipped with electrohydraulic brakes (Mercedes calls the system Sensotronic Brake Control), which convey braking action via a brake-wire system that engages an electric pump to activate hydraulic brake fluid. The system can better respond to panic or otherwise abnormal braking situations. Essential as it may be, stopping is not nearly