Hong Kong summers are always demanding on cars and their owners. The heat and damp that used to blow Jaguar gaskets and reduce MGBs to rust now challenge Japanese and German electronics. Then there's the stifling pollution and the risk of typhoons and their detritus on drives. But some cars can help you through the sticky season, and for reasons you might not hear in local showrooms. Toyota Alphard This eight-seater is large and hard to park without beeper electronics but its air conditioning and purifier are a godsend after a morning's summer shopping. Fitted with a 3.5-litre Dual VVT-i engine the Alphard (HK$572,840) is fast, airy with two moonroofs, and comfy with a powerful eight-speaker stereo and luxurious seats. Maserati GranCabrio This 4.7-litre V8 four-seater is the car to be seen in at sunset this summer. Styled by Pininfarina, the GranCabrio gives sleek muscle on 20-inch wheels and a luxurious interior. The HK$1.938 million Maserati GranCabrio automatically labels you an A-list motorista. Mercedes-Benz SLK The four-litre, variable-roofed 200 Kompressor (HK$515,000) has 184 horsepower, which is just fine for weekend runs. It'll reach 100km/h in 7.9 seconds, corners well and sips 11.5l/100km for a carbon dioxide spew of 196g/km. The marque also offers the six-cylinder, 231hp SLK 300 (HK$619,000), the 305hp SLK 350 (HK$680,000) and the eight-cylinder SLK55AMG (HK$1.02 million). Lexus IS250C Lexus says this plush ride has the world's fastest variable-roof mechanism, with 15 motors and 35 sensors dropping the top in 20 seconds. This Lexus is just the car for people who prefer comfort rather than speed. The 2.5-litre, 205-horsepower, V6 version takes you to 100km/h in about nine seconds, but the stereo's terrific and the seats are among the comfiest in town. Prices start at HK$359,000. Golf GTI This is the slick, HK$318,000 ride for people who realise the folly of driving behind lorries with the hood down in Kowloon Tong's tropical heat. The two-litre fastie's speed is legendary but it is also handy and easy to park when you are competing for spaces at the beach. Porsche 911 Carrera 4S The old rear-engined 911s often spun around corners in the rain, so Porsche developed an all-wheel drive system that might flatter your driving in Hong Kong's wet. The cabriolet version (HK$1,818,100) looks good but stick with the coupe (HK$1,854, 509) and avoid the fug. Range Rover 5.0 SC Range Rover's biggest model hits 100km/h in 6.2 seconds and seems overpowered in this city, but it is handy during typhoon season when its wheel-spin controls, rear-axle boosts, hill descent and gradient release controls promise to keep you moving home on flooded, debris-strewn hillside roads. Its 700mm wade height could also prove useful in the storm run-off on the Tung Chung Road, or if Tsim Sha Tsui floods again. Add a shiny shovel for effect. Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 You get 5.2-litre V10 with four-wheel drive and a six-speed, paddle-shift sequential gearbox that promises 100km/h in 3.7 seconds. It might not achieve the HK$3.38 Gallardo's top speed of 325km/h in Hong Kong but you'll brighten many a fellow motorist's cloudy day at the lights.