Automobile Magazine Names the Audi R8 Automobile of the Year - VIDEO ENHANCED
ANN ARBOR, Mich.December 26, 2007; Automobile Magazine announced yesterday that the Audi R8 is its 2008 Automobile of the Year. The magazine also named the R8 Design of the Year and GM’s Two-Mode Hybrid System Technology of the Year.
To watch The Auto Channel's exclusive 3-part interview with Audi of America's Exec. Vice President aboad the R8 CLICK HERE.
Audi’s first foray into the sports car arena impressed the editors with its depth of abilities, which include straight-line speed, deep reserves of power, generous suspension travel, laser-like directional stability, and the surefootedness of all-wheel drive. The R8’s glass-encased, 420-hp, 4.2-liter V-8 engine has the sound of a traditional Italian supercar. Editors called it a great real-world sports car in the vein of the Porsche 911, but with the exotic presence of a Ferrari.
“The R8 absolutely captivated the automotive world this past year,” said Jean Jennings, President and Editor-in-Chief of AUTOMOBILE MAGAZINE. “It propels Audi into a whole new league of driving dynamics, and it emphatically caps Audi’s steep ascent from the somnambulant lull in which it languished in the early 1990s. The R8 is a thrilling new sports car from a company that’s stronger than it’s ever been.”
Design of the Year: Audi R8
The arresting R8 features a bright metal blade on its side, an unmistakable and dramatic design feature shared with no other car. For Design of the Year, AUTOMOBILE MAGAZINE looks for innovation, style, beauty, engineering, dynamics, heritage and public approbation, and editors noted that the R8’s design is outstanding in almost every way.
“We honor the designers and the engineers who have so perfectly realized a truly civilized grand touring coupe,” said Design Editor Robert Cumberford. “It is far more comfortable than cars of equal performance, and it features a highly focused environment for the driver but a relaxed and more open space for the passenger.”
Technology of the Year: GM’s Two-Mode Hybrid System
AUTOMOBILE MAGAZINE editors also called General Motors’ Two-Mode Hybrid System the most significant gasoline-electric propulsion advancement since the original Toyota Prius. With oil approaching $100 per barrel, big trucks that don’t guzzle gas on an ordinary commute could be a God-send.
“Two-Mode blends the best attributes of internal combustion and battery-powered electric motors,” said Technical Editor Don Sherman. “Chevrolet Tahoes and GMC Yukons equipped with the technology can achieve 20 miles per gallon or more, which is equivalent to the capability of a four-cylinder mid-size sedan in city driving.”
Sherman noted that because Two-Mode is a second-generation approach conceived by transmission experts instead of engine specialists, gasoline and electric power sources are more ingeniously combined with fixed and variable gear ratios to achieve higher efficiency over a broader range.
Since GM partnered with BMW and the former DaimlerChrysler to develop Two-Mode for front-, rear-, and four-wheel-drive applications with gasoline and diesel engines, consumers should begin to see it in more cars, pickups, SUVs, and crossover vehicles.