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American Beauties

The car next door is all grown up--and going places fast.

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This story appears in the August 2007 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

A handful of sporty, image-enhancing business sedans are filling dealerships this fall and in early 2008. Among them are the Dodge Magnum R/T, the Ford Taurus (formerly 2007's Five Hundred) and the Pontiac G8. With powerful engines, automatic transmissions, seating for five, cavernous trunks increased by split rear seats, and a priority on safety, these vehicles are styled as executive-class performers.

Too stately to be called a wagon despite its liftgate, the 2008 Dodge Magnum R/T is a deceptively serious-looking car that hides a muscle-driven, 340-horsepower HEMI V-8 engine under its hood. When less power is needed, four cylinders automatically shut off, increasing fuel economy up to 20 percent. A Bentley look-alike, the Magnum R/T has 71.6 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats down and has a touring suspension for a smooth ride. Safety features include stability and traction control. Price: just over $32,000.

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