Even without David Hasselhoff, the new Knight Rider remake has been a modest ratings success, and NBC has given the green light for a full season's worth of episodes. That the star of the show is KITT - this go-around portrayed as a talking, sentient 2008 Ford Shelby GT500KR Mustang - proves the enduring appeal of souped-up crime-fighting vehicles. KITT is just one of the sweet rides that have fired up our imaginations while keeping bad guys on the run over the years. Here's our buyer's guide for the superhero, private dick, undercover cop, or international spy in your life:
1. The Batmobile - Then: Undeniably, it's one of the coolest cars ever if you like gadgets, but since it was built in 1966, it's missingthe most important feature of a modern crime-fighter's car: cupholders.
2. The Batmobile - Now: More a tank than the traditional superhero sports car, this will get you to the scene of the crime or through rush-hour traffic better than just about any do-gooder's ride, but parking's a nightmare.
3. STARSKY & HUTCH'S Ford Gran Torino: The sexiest '70s undercover cop car. Perfect for tight maneuvers on city streets, cutting the wheel hard to the left, and then making a sharp right. Go full-throttle, baby.
4. THE DUKES OF HAZZARD'S GENERAL LEE: If you want to get airborne, the Dukes' car is the one for you. Bo and Luke Duke could barely keep this puppy's wheels on the ground.
5. MAGNUM'S FERRARI TESTAROSSA: Magnum, P.I., knew how to catch the crooks and get the girls. So if you're looking for pure testosterone, the Testarossa is the one for you. If a car could have a moustache and chest hair, this one would.
6. THE A-TEAM VAN: If you have a team (especially one that includes a guy the size of Mr. T), some fancy-schmancy muscle car just isn't going to cut it. So for you big crime-fighting groups, we highly recommend the spacious (albeit gas-guzzling) van option.
7. HARDCASTLE & MCCORMICK'S COYOTE X: If driving a car off the lot isn’t hip enough for you, we recommend doing it up Hardcastle & McCormick-style. Their Coyote X was a kit car originally based on the McLaren M6BGT, but through the run of the show it incorporated features from the Porsche 914, DeLorean DMC-12, and even the VW Beetle. Customized crime fighting. Gotta love it.
8. MIAMI VICE’S Ferrari 365/GTB/4 Daytona Spyder: Sonny Crockett’s wheels are the perfect fit for a private detective who wants to look good while busting bad guys. If you can cuff the crook without getting a spot on you crisp white suit, this is the car for you.
9. KNIGHT RIDER’S KITT: Perfect for the lonely cop who isn’t satisfied with the company of a radio D.J., and you don’t have to share your coffee and donuts with your partner.
10. JAMES BOND’S ASTON MARTIN DB5: If you like to look good, impress the ladies, and you hardly ever get shaken OR stirred, we recommend that you pick up a vintage Aston Martin DB5 just like Bond, James Bond.
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