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The 24 Best Car Pictures Of 2011

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2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 with Green With Envy paint job

2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 with Green With Envy paint job

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We've always disliked the word "snapshot." A picture isn't an instant in time. It's the tail end of a lot of talent and preparation, a good measure of luck, and a little bit of magic. It can raise pulses and change minds. It even can turn some awkward-looking rides from the real world into mythic, gorgeous machines.

Pictures aren't always worth a thousand words--trust us on that one--but some are worth more than their pixel weight in chills.

With 2011's bumper crop of luxury and performance vehicles, we've spent more than a few hours editing down photos of some of the most beautiful, and not so beautiful, new vehicles in the new model year. We've even taken some that capture essence that's undetectable even in person, the SD card the only witness.

With the year drawing to a close, we're taking a look back at some of the most memorable car pictures of the past year, counting down the breathtaking images that had that real power, whether it was to show us a completely different side of a vehicle, or to reveal some of the magic we hadn't yet discovered.

We’re sure you’ll have your own favorites--some of which were probably plastered across your desktop at some point--but these are Motor Authority's top picks for the best car pictures of 2011:

Tesla Model S Alpha build

Tesla Model S Alpha build

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24) Starting off our list is the Tesla Model S "Alpha" build. It telegraphs how far Tesla has come since the original Roadster, and makes the upcoming sedan look simply brilliant.

2012 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor

2012 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor

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23) While many of us don't own pickups, we can always dream of heading off-road in a big and brawny truck to taste the freedom it brings. This image of the 2012 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor encapsulates that dream perfectly, while also staying upwind of a serious trail of dust.

2012 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe Black Series

2012 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe Black Series

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22) This one's a little more wistful. If only we had the chance to attack Circuit Paul Ricard in the new 2012 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe Black Series. As this picture reveals, it’s certainly a thrilling sight and with the circuit’s famous Blue Zone in the background, it abstracts into a Photoshop piece of Pop art.

Mercedes-Benz wind tunnel climate testing

Mercedes-Benz wind tunnel climate testing

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21) The Mercedes E-Class Coupe has had the opposite of a chilly reception--but here, its polar-oid pose, while undergoing climate testing, informs civilians of the extremes to which automakers go when testing new products.

Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 live photos

Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 live photos

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20) What would be a list of the best car images without at least one Lamborghini? In this case it’s the Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4, which we photographed at its world debut at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. In the news moment, it broke through the Geneva hubbub with the menacing look of its face, the doors that appear to form a pair of wings, and the bright paint finish.  

2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 with Green With Envy paint job

2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 with Green With Envy paint job

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19) We’re certainly envious of owners of the 2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392, and this image of the car in its ‘Green With Envy’ paint scheme is simply rubbing it in our faces.

The blur of the wheels also hints at the performance of the vehicle, which in this case is a 6.4-liter HEMI V-8 with 470 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque on tap.

We may never get to own such a beast, but at least we can dream.

(By the way, there are still 18 images remaining in our list so make sure you hit the "Next Page" button once you get to the bottom.)

2012 Audi R8 GT

2012 Audi R8 GT

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18) Moving down the list, we land on the spectacular 2012 Audi R8 GT. You wouldn't want this in your rearview mirror--that menacing attitude shoots through this electric image, putting the Audi supercar on the offensive.

Renault Megane Renaultsport 265 Trophy

Renault Megane Renaultsport 265 Trophy

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17) The Renault Megane Renaultsport 265 Trophy isn’t sold in the U.S., but after seeing this, we bet you’ll want that to change. It perfectly conveys the relationship of the French sports car with its Megane Trophy racing sibling.

2011 Nissan 370Z And 1990 Nissan 300ZX. Photos by Alex Bellus

2011 Nissan 370Z And 1990 Nissan 300ZX. Photos by Alex Bellus

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16) This sunset beauty was taken by talented photographer Alex Bellus. It silhouettes the evolution of the 1990 Nissan 300ZX to its current 2011 Nissan 370Z beautifully, and the setting sun the background makes it all the more special.

Aston Martin V12 Zagato race car

Aston Martin V12 Zagato race car

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15) Number 16 on our list is another race track snapshot, this time with the stunning Aston Martin V12 Zagato in race trim appearing as though it's about to jump out of the screen. The winding road of the Nurburgring-Nordschleife in the background clearly highlights the origin of this track-tuned special.

2012 MINI Cooper Roadster

2012 MINI Cooper Roadster

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14) MINI has certainly managed to make its new 2012 MINI Cooper Roadster look like a whole lot of fun with its image of the car cruising an empty road with its top down on what looks to be a perfect, sunny day.

The image also does a great job of making the car seem very sporty, although being a MINI we’re sure many of you would have thought that automatically.

If a Roadster's not your thing we think the images MINI has produced for its Cooper Coupe are pretty hot, too.

We’re now roughly halfway through our list so there’s plenty more still to come.

2012 Fisker Karma

2012 Fisker Karma

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13) This image of the 2012 Fisker Karma shows the range-extended electric sedan from an angle rarely seen. It shows it to be quite elegant, despite being rather long, but the real beauty is how the green luxury sedan is featured in front of a backdrop of greenery.

2012 Ferrari FF

2012 Ferrari FF

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12) You'll either love or hate the styling of the new 2012 Ferrari FF in the flesh. This image probably shows off the big shooting brake in its best light, taming the size of its +2 rear end and putting the rule of thirds into effect squarely on its prancing-horse logo.

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Comments (2)
  1. saw a white LFA in the Lexus shop yesterday and have to say in the flesh, the car is unbelievably beautiful. Agressive yet refined.
    Oh and the Porsche is majestic also, a wonderful evolution of the greatest car ever !!
     
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  2. well car yar
     
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