As vacation time draws near for most of us, automotive manufacturers from around the world are preparing to open one of the most diverse and intensive product launch schedules in their collective history. Intent on jump starting sales to accelerate the nascent recovery program, they'll soon be filling U.S. showrooms with cars we've been teased and tempted with for months at various international motor shows.

Many of the early-arriving members of this illustrious class of 2011 break new design ground while others rethink and revise well-established formulas in an effort to win friends and impress would-be owners. Here we've picked the 10 most intriguing summer sizzlers and present them alphabetically. Click through the links to check them out, and feel the heat.

Summer Sizzler #1

2011 BMW 5 Series Sedan

Modestly growing in size as well as status, the all-new 5 Series sedan line shares more platform architecture and styling elements with BMW's flagship 7 Series than ever before. The impressively packaged 535i (300-horsepower/3.0-liter single-turbocharged inline six) and 550i (400-horse/4.4-liter twin-turbo V8) variants will be the first to reach showrooms this month followed by the "entry-level" 528i (240-horse/3.0-liter naturally aspirated in-line six) in July. Although the clean-n-green 5 Series ActiveHybrid and the high-powered M5 models won't make their respective debuts until sometime in 2011, both of those "special interest" variants should be well worth the wait.

>NEXT: Summer Sizzler #2

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