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Match personality to 2012 head-turning cars

By Marty Aquino, Contributing writer
Published On: Dec 28 2011 11:06:53 AM CST
Updated On: Jan 04 2012 01:00:00 AM CST
yellow sports car closeup

Anton Malan/SXC

Cars are reflections of people. Supercars are no exception. Car manufacturers use supercars as flagship-models that stand at the vanguard of their automotive offerings.

Automakers use these finely-crafted specimens to showcase their car-building prowess and latest industry innovations. Supercars are powerfully-equipped with state-of-the-art tech built from exotic materials to stand up to break-neck speeds and allow them to maneuver under incredible conditions.

Not surprisingly, these high-performance machines evoke emotion and can give some insight on the owner's persona, dreams and lifestyle. Psychology breaks down the many variances of emotions into five major dimensions of personality traits, also known as the "Big Five": extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism and openness to experience.

Whether you are in the supercar market or just wishing you were, one of the following cars is for you.

2012 Ferrari 458 Spider

No. 5: Extraversion

People who love attention are well-suited to the 2012 Ferrari 458 Spider. These talkative, assertive and energetic individuals will appreciate the 458's latest evolution.

It's uncompromising and evocative looks demand attention. Meanwhile, extraverts the world over will appreciate the upgraded "engine soundtrack" courtesy the thoroughbred 562-hp naturally-aspirated V8 specifically sound-configured for the Ferrari-topless mode.

Ferrari goes on to say that the rear window, once convertible mode is engaged, substantially reduces wind-noise and is effective at speeds of up to 124 mph. This is yet another bonus for extraverts, who find themselves extra-talkative because of speed-infused adrenaline.

It also comes equipped with F1-Trac traction-control and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic that allows it to negotiate curves with agile precision. This Italian "Spider" will speed to 62 mph from a dead stop in less than 3.5 seconds, topping out at around 198 mph.

Extraverts can take comfort that owning this car will keep onlookers squarely focused on them, but what about the kind and caring type?

2012 Fisker Karma

No. 4: Agreeableness

A 2012 supercar for the kind and caring type, you ask? Absolutely.

People, who fall in the agreeableness category will exhibit traits such as sympathy, kindness and affection. The eco-friendly choice is the 2012 Fisker Karma. This plug-in hybrid sedan consumes no petroleum for the first 50 miles, according to Fisker.

The appropriately named Karma is always electrically driven with the gasoline used only to power the generator. Kind and caring, doesn't mean it's a pushover, though. It has a 20-kWh American-made lithium-ion battery supplemented by a generator powered by a GM four-cylinder engine.

Additionally, it has twin AC motors over the rear axle generating 402 hp to the differential. It moves from 0-60 in 5.9 seconds, despite an equivalent mge (MPGe) in electric driving of 30+ mpg, so agreeableness-types can enjoy its good-looking design and low-rpm torque without feeling eco-guilty.

Now, on to the cool and calculating type ...

2012 911 Porsche

No. 3: Conscientiousness

The no-nonsense type also has a supercar match. Conscientiousness-centered people exude tendencies that are organized, thorough and precise. This function-craving supercar-enthusiast is a great match for the 2012 911 Porsche (991).

The body-design has changed only slightly since its original 1963 design, which is a testament to Porsche's "function-first" build mentality. Precision-loving individuals can appreciate the 911 as an ongoing evolution of getting more out of less.

The 991 design makes use of materials like aluminum, magnesium and steel to create a stronger yet lighter 911 as compared to its predecessor. The result is an estimated 3.9 zero-to-60 mph time and a gain of 5 horsepower over the 997 version despite decreasing the overall engine size from 3.6 to 3.4 liters.

The flat-six GTS engine produces 408 hp and redlines at a respectable 7800-rpm. Arguably the best 911 ever offered technically, this supercar is bound to stand up to thorough analysis.

Next, a supercar for tense and brooding personalities ...

2012 Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4

No. 2: Neuroticism

The 2012 Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 is angst embodied in supercar form.

People in the neuroticism dimension display traits including being tense, moody and anxious. The latest Lamborghini offering is named after a fighting bull that entered into battle and earned the "Trofeo de la Pena La Madronera" for its outstanding courage.

The Aventador commands a V12 engine that pumps out an angry 700 horsepower and has the highest power-to-weight ratio of any car in its class, according to Lamborghini.

This fighting bull's contained fury will propel it from a dead stop to 62 mph in 2.9 seconds with a top speed of 217 mph. The extreme styling seems as if its barely containing the near-sinister behavior that lurks within.

Moody-types will also relate to the monstrous six-piston carbon-ceramic brakes needed to swing any unwanted momentum.

Finally, now the 2012 choice for the dreamers ...

2012 Pagani Huayra

No. 1: Openness to experience

People under this category are the creatives of the bunch. They have wide interests, vivid imaginations and are insightful. The 2012 Pagani Huayra is the supercar match for these dreamers -- as made by the gods.

The twin-turbo V12 is named after the god of wind in the Andes. Its flamboyant design replete with its gull-wing doors and carbon-titanium construction are sure to inspire individuals reaching for the stars.

The Huayra also produces a jetlike roar through its rocket-thruster-like-exhaust as way of funneling the power produced by the 700-hp AMG-tuned twin-turbo 6.0-liter Mercedes V12. It will reach zero to 62 in 3.3 seconds and top-out at 230 mph. Dynamic aerodynamic flaps have also been added and move independently to channel the airflow around the car at speed.

Imaginations are realized with the Huayra, teasing at what it might actually be like to be in command of a force of nature.

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