"I love the freedom and independence of driving,” says Alyssa Arce in her native South Carolina drawl. “Actually, the truth is I’m a speed demon.” Growing up near a racetrack in Myrtle Beach, Alyssa caught the need for speed at a young age. She rode go-karts, dirt bikes and four-wheelers as a kid. Then she got her driver’s license. “My mom says I have a lead foot,” she tells us. “She’ll be sitting in the passenger seat, going, ‘I wish I had a brake over here!’ The fastest I’ve gone on a highway is 120 miles an hour. It felt fantastic. Such an adrenaline rush!” The past four years, however, Alyssa has been on the fast track in the modeling world, signing contracts with top international agencies Wilhelmina and Ford. She has the perfect exotic look for fashion (her father is Honduran). Still, she’s happiest wearing no designer labels at all. “I’ve always been comfortable with my body,” she says. “And I’ve always loved nude modeling. Throughout my career my friends have asked, ‘Why haven’t you done Playboy?’ ” Now she has. Given her lust for velocity, we photographed Alyssa at Willow Springs International Raceway in the California desert, on a gorgeous day with some hot machinery—a Ford GT and a Magnum, P.I.–era Ferrari. From the moment Alyssa stepped in front of the camera, her engine was humming. “I’ve never felt so sexy!” she says. And it shows.