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12 hottest tech cars of 2010

The automotive industry experienced hard times in 2009, but all signs are looking good for 2010. We've seen the highest tech cars yet at recent auto shows, cars that show incredible levels of engineering and new heights for cabin technology.

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Wayne Cunningham
Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET's Roadshow. Prior to the automotive beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine.
Wayne Cunningham
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1 of 12 Wayne Cunningham/CNET

2011 Chevrolet Volt

If the Chevy Volt works as advertised, it will make a huge impact on the worldwide automotive market, delivering excellent fuel economy and no compromises on range.

Hot tech: Electric car with a small gasoline range extender

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2 of 12 Josh Miller/CNET

2011 Nissan Leaf

Nissan is taking an early step in the electrification of the automobile, developing the Leaf for mass production by the end of 2010. The car is designed as a practical, everyday driver with seating for five and a hatchback for cargo.

Hot tech: Pure electric drive train gives the Leaf a range of 100 miles.

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3 of 12 Sarah Tew/CNET

2011 Fisker Karma

The Karma is the first car from a new company, a luxury series hybrid designed to give sports car performance and high mileage.

Hot tech: Q Drive composed of two electric motors driving the rear wheels, and a gas engine range extender

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4 of 12 Wayne Cunningham/CNET

2011 Porsche Cayenne Hybrid

Porsche's attempt to comply with tightening European CO2 emissions regulations, this car is Porsche's first attempt at a hybrid.

Hot tech: A supercharged 3-liter V-6 assisted by a 38-kilowatt electric motor produces 374 horsepower.

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5 of 12 Sarah Tew/CNET

2011 BMW ActiveHybrid 7

Similar to Porsche, BMW feels the need to address CO2 emissions with hybrid technology. BMW's flagship 7-series sedan gets this combination of electric and gasoline power.

Hot tech: A twin turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8 combines with an electric motor, putting fuel economy around 20 mpg.

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6 of 12 Sarah Tew/CNET

2011 Lincoln MKX

Lincoln's crossover vehicle, the MKX, gets an update for 2011. Beyond the looks, though, this car uses Lincoln's latest cabin tech interface.

Hot tech: MyLincoln Touch interface uses three LCDs for driver information, and Sync now interface with smartphone apps.

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7 of 12 Josh Miller/CNET

2011 Infiniti M56

Infiniti gives its M car a much-needed update for the 2011 model year, including a luxury makeover on the interior and a host of new driver aid technology.

Hot tech: Eco-pedal resists a heavy foot on the accelerator to save gas while lane departure prevention stops lane drift.

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8 of 12 Sarah Tew/CNET

2011 Audi A8

Audi's flagship sedan sports new styling for 2011, and LED headlights standard, but the real improvements are in the cabin, with a reduction in plastic surfaces.

Hot tech: Cabin tech interface uses a touchpad with handwriting recognition for entering addresses.

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9 of 12 Sarah Tew/CNET

2011 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe

The new coupe body for Cadillac's CTS is such a dramatic shape that the high-performance CTS-V model was inevitable.

Hot tech: One of the best traffic detouring features in the navigation system we've seen.

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10 of 12 Josh Miller/CNET

2011 Jaguar XJ

The new XJ is a radical change to a 40-year-old design and follows the reworking of the brand previously seen in the XK and XF.

Hot tech: LCD instrument cluster and Bowers and Wilkins audio system.

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11 of 12 Wayne Cunningham/CNET

2011 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG

Mercedes-Benz's previous supercar, the SLR was developed with McLaren, but the new SLS comes out of Mercedes-Benz's own tuning division, AMG.

Hot tech: Exquisitely engineered, the SLS uses a new double-clutch transmission and a carbon fiber driveshaft.

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12 of 12 Wayne Cunningham/CNET

2011 Ferrari 458 Italia

Ferrari's replacement for the F430, the new 458 Italia uses a similar configuration, but all-new design. This new car mates a V-8 engine to double-clutch gearbox.

Hot tech: Using its racing experience, Ferrari puts more controls on the steering wheel, and adds a color LCD to the instrument cluster

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