AUTOMOBILE Magazine Announces Audi A7 as 2012 'Automobile of the Year'


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ANN ARBOR, MI.--November 8, 2011: AUTOMOBILE Magazine, America's leading automotive lifestyle publication, today announced the Audi A7 as its 2012 Automobile of the Year. The magazine also honored winners of its Design, Man, and Technology of the Year. AUTOMOBILE Magazine President and Editor-In-Chief Jean Jennings will present awards for each of the categories during the Los Angeles International Auto Show next week.

“Today, its cars are well-made, good performers, and -- above all -- good-looking. That quality can essentially be attributed to one man, Peter Schreyer.”

In choosing the 2012 Audi A7 as its Automobile of the Year, the magazine's editors admit, "the A7 snuck up on us. It looks good in pictures, but it is much more striking in person. The front visage is both sleek and imposing; in the side view, the car appears elongated, as if tapered by the wind. Move around to the rear, and the A7 is simply captivating. Who ever thought a hatchback could be so sexy? The seduction was underway."

In addition to looking great, the hatchback offers easy access to SUV-like storage space when the rear seats are folded away. AUTOMOBILE staff were further impressed with the effortless acceleration provided by the all-wheel-drive Audi A7's supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 and eight-speed transmission, but they were also surprised by the car's athleticism and poise on the racetrack. Inside, the A7 employs a notable combination of Audi's customary top-grade design and materials with cutting-edge electronics, including a touchpad-operated navigation system that incorporates Google Earth imagery and doubles as a Wi-Fi hotspot. AUTOMOBILE editors concluded that this four-door luxury car embodies every expectation a potential buyer might have in terms of design, performance, and technology -- all complementing each other and operating in perfect harmony.

"The A7 is the sort of car that, when you look at it, you want it," says Jennings. "The closer you get to it, the more you love it. Every mile you drive, you cannot believe how beautiful it is inside. Audi has positioned it perfectly between the A6 and A8 as a great all-around car providing class-leading storage space, a great powertrain, and really compelling design. It's the culmination of everything Audi has promised."

Finalists for the 2012 AUTOMOBILE Magazine Automobile of the Year are established by a primary ballot vote of the senior editorial staff and contributing writers of AUTOMOBILE Magazine. While editors consider what potential contenders for the award signify for both the respective manufacturer and the automotive industry, the staff also considers pure desirability as well as matters like practicality, affordability, packaging, and fuel economy when determining the winner.

In addition to the Audi A7 being named the 2012 AUTOMOBILE Magazine Automobile of the Year, the brand also announced the following winners for Design, Man, and Technology of the Year. Full stories on all of the award winners can be found at automobilemag.com and in the January 2012 issue of the publication.

Design of the Year -- Fisker Karma

Much to the surprise of naysayers, the Karma is not vaporware or a black hole of unfulfilled promises backed by a half-billion dollars in federal loans. Henrik Fisker's car company set out with an ambitious goal and delivered on it.

The Fisker Karma is the brainchild of a designer who brought us such modern standouts as the BMW Z8 and Aston Martin DB9. The car that bears his name is no less dramatic than his previous creations and stands to become an icon, even without mention of its range-extended electric powertrain. The Karma, writes AUTOMOBILE Magazine Design Editor Robert Cumberford, "is a beautiful and highly dramatic automobile, unlike anything else on the road today and yet very much like dozens of the most beloved sports cars of the past." Cumberford points out the Karma's exaggerated proportions, with an elongated hood and a long wheelbase, the use of repurposed wood from sunken logs for the interior trim, and solar energy receptors in the glass roof as particularly interesting design features of AUTOMOBILE Magazine's 2012 Design of the Year.

Man of the Year -- Peter Schreyer

When German car designer Peter Schreyer became the Chief Design Officer for Kia Motors six years ago, the automaker was known for "nondescript tin boxes of no particular consequence," says AUTOMOBILE Magazine Design Editor Robert Cumberford. "Today, its cars are well-made, good performers, and -- above all -- good-looking. That quality can essentially be attributed to one man, Peter Schreyer." The staff of AUTOMOBILE Magazine unanimously arrived at the decision to name him as their 2012 Man of the Year.

As a veteran of the acclaimed Volkswagen and Audi design studios and as the owner of several very interesting personal cars, namely a V-12 E-type Jaguar and a supercharged Fiat 124 Spider, Schreyer was fundamentally responsible for injecting some of his own passion for driving and dynamic design into Kia's lineup. At the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, Kia introduced its first rear-wheel-drive car, the GT concept, demonstrating that perhaps the best is yet to come from the Korean manufacturer.

Technology of the Year -- The Turbo Tech Trifecta -- Turbocharging, Variable Valve Timing, and Direct Injection

AUTOMOBILE Magazine's 2012 Technology of the Year does not belong to any one manufacturer or product; in fact, it is not even one thing. The Turbo Tech Trifecta, as AUTOMOBILE has coined it -- Turbocharging, Variable Valve Timing, and Direct Injection -- delivers the holy grail of low emissions and high fuel economy, by combining small displacement and big performance.

Gone are the days of unreliable, inefficient, and un-drivable turbocharged cars. With the Turbo Tech Trifecta, each of the technologies has a multiplicative effect on the others, making them better collectively. Branded differently by different manufacturers -- Volkswagen's TSI and Ford's EcoBoost, for example -- the combination of the three technologies means the internal combustion engine can be smaller and more fuel efficient yet produce more usable power, which is good news for everyone, high gas prices or not.

The AUTOMOBILE Magazine Automobile of the Year celebrates its 23rd year with the announcement of the 2012 honors. In more than 25 years, the brand has won more awards of its own for writing, design, and photography than any other automotive enthusiast title.

About AUTOMOBILE Magazine

AUTOMOBILE Magazine, part of Source Interlink Media, LLC, is America's leading automotive lifestyle publication and reaches 4.6 million readers monthly; through its print, online, and digital components the brand counts an audience of over 6 million. AUTOMOBILE Magazine, which presents annual All-Star and Automobile of the Year awards, is written for the sophisticated enthusiast and profiles high-end vehicles with compelling editorial and photographic content. For more than 25 years, AUTOMOBILE Magazine has set the standard for automotive journalism, maintaining its devotion to auto adventure and an editorial approach that emphasizes "No boring cars!"

About Source Interlink Media

Source Interlink Media is the premier source of special interest media in the United States. With more than 70 publications, 90 websites, 400 branded products, 65+ events, and TV and radio programs, SIM is the largest provider of content to enthusiast communities interested in automotive, action sports, marine, and other niche activities. The division's strategy is to wholly focus on targeted audiences by leveraging and expanding upon its core market-leading brands through a multiplatform media approach.

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