Sexed-Up Race Cars Jim Henry 05.24.07, 12:01 AM ET Fasten your seat belts, folks. This story is racy. The markets sexiest race cars include hot wheels nobody can deny--Ferrari, say, and Jaguar--as well as more subtly sensual drives like the Ford Shelby GT500 Coupe and the Mercedes-Benz CLK63 AMG Black Series. And theyre a far cry from what youll see this weekend in Indianapolis or Monaco. "Sexy" and "race car," though, are often in the eye of the beholder. Or the hands of the driver. The Aston Martin is sexy. Just ask Bond. But its hard to imagine too many people actually racing in their Aston Martins. Rest assured, Aston Martin is certainly in the automotive Little Black Book, with four stars. Just not on this particular page, at this particular time. Instead, we included vehicles that met the following criteria: Each had to be a street-legal car which can be bought new and in which, without having to tear down and reinvent the whole car, some people actually race--or at least, given the cars' power, they could if they wanted. Under The Hood Size also counts, as evidenced by the mine-is-bigger domestic cars on the list. Pistons that are more than four inches--across. More than 500 horsepower. Eight cylinders. Ten cylinders. The neighbors will hear. Exactly the point. The Dodge Viper SRT10, for instance, has an 8.3-liter, 510-hp,10-cylinder engine. The Viper SRT10 also has big changes ahead for the 2008 model year, including even more power. The BMW M3 probably belongs, but it's out of production until next year, following a redesign of the 3 Series on which it's based. That makes a space for another V-10, the BMW M6. The M6 doesnt get raced as much as the M3, but the M6 sure is sexy, and when you buy one (or an M5), BMW throws in high-performance driving school at its track in Greer, S.C. Not bad. Yays And Nays Some cars that were qualified in other respects failed the "sexy" test, even though they get raced. (Sorry, Cadillac CTS-V.) And at least one acquired taste made the list, the Subaru Impreza WRX. The Impreza WRX STI is accessible (read: affordable--cheap, even). It's also a hoot to drive in the mud, ice and snow. And unlike those fancy-pants European exotic models, you dont have to be an International Man of Mystery to afford one. The WRX was originally created to compete on Asian and European road rally circuits, according to J.D. Power and Associates. The Porsche 911 GT3 RS is another example. Its suspension is so stiff, it's uncomfortable for a casual drive on a typical road, but the 911 GT3 RS is a sexy race car, which is legal to drive on the street, in which lots of people (by Porsche owner standards) race. Heck, in Europe you can buy one straight from Porsche with all the fancy stuff stripped out, a roll-cage welded in, plus six-point, racing-style seat belts and a fire extinguisher. Admittedly, this is a subjective exercise. There could have been a Top 12, or a Top 8. There's another challenge. If you could add two, what would they be? If you had to drop two? Let the arguments begin. BMW M6 Coupe Starting MSRP: $99,100 The BMW M6 Coupe is in the exclusive 500-horsepower club, thanks to a V-10 engine. Buy an M6 Coupe or Convertible, or an M5 sedan, and BMW throws in high-performance driving school at its track in Greer, S.C. The rear styling is not universally admired, but the M6 Coupe has got the racing pedigree. Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Starting MSRP (street-legal version): $70,000 The Chevrolet Corvette Z06 is GM's fastest production car. It's sexy in, shall we say, an in-your-face way. Its huge, 7.0-liter V-8 engine delivers 505 hp. Racing touches include lightweight parts made from titanium, aluminum and magnesium. Chevrolet races a version of the Z06, the Corvette C6-R, in the American Le Mans Series. Dodge Viper SRT10 Starting MSRP: $86,995 At the Chrysler Group, SRT stands for Street and Racing Technology, a division that makes racier versions of several Chrysler, Dodge and even Jeep models. The Dodge Viper SRT 10 has an 8.3-liter, 510-hp V-10 engine. The car goes from 0 to 60 mph in less than 4 seconds. Ferrari F430 Coupe Starting MSRP: $189,159 Ferrari organizes races for U.S. owners who want to get the most of the cars 4.3-liter V-8 engine. Need more juice? Add to the MSRP about $48,000 for the track-only F430 Challenge Stradale. Ford Shelby GT500 Coupe Starting MSRP: $40,930 The Shelby GT500 Coupe is the most powerful production Mustang ever, with a 500-hp supercharged V-8 engine, 30% more powerful than the late-1960s Shelby GT500. The tachometer swaps places with the speedometer, so the driver can see the tach better while shifting. Believe it or not, Hertz has a tamer version for rent should a track version not be your cup of tea.