The car of the year is a distinction given in almost any country and within those country this award is often given by several organization such as auto show, consumer organization or industry peers. So don’t be fooled by the fancy title.
2010 has been quite a year for the auto industry’s sports car segment. With auto brands becoming more and more aggressive in their pursuit of power, speed, and consumer preference, sports cars have become about as popular in 2010 as Justin Bieber’s hairdo.
So with all these choices, one can just imagine the painstaking labor we went through in determining our choices for the 2010 Sports Car of the Year. Of all the categories, this one was, without question, the hardest to agree on, especially when the multitude of choices available are considered.
In the end, we did find a common ground in selecting the five best sports cars of the year, despite the fact that there were some arguments along the way. Of the five that we chose - one of them is a one-off sports car - four of them came from Europe whereas the only non-European sports car on the list calls the Land of the Rising Sun as its home.
This much we know: the Ferrari 458 Italia isn’t having the year it was expected to have. With all the separate incidents involving burning 458 Italias all over the world, the supercar that was supposed to set Ferrari apart from its competitors has had to battle some pretty serious reliability issues, which, in the process, has tainted its standing as one of the pre-eminent supercars in recent memory.
Apparently, though, one British car magazine seems to think that the 458’s recent bout of “fire-itis” wasn’t enough reason for them not to pick the Ferrari supercar as this year’s Performance Car of the Year. The decision, short of saying, is a little questionable as far as we’re concerned. But since this is their award and they have free say over it, they can pretty much choose whatever car they deem as the best.
In the end, one car stood above everybody else similar to how the stallion on its badge seems to tower over its competition. The Ferrari 458 Italia is Auto Express’ 2011 Performance Car of the Year, even if the choice was a curious one at best.
Check out how the 20 cars ended up in the standings after the jump.
In the glorious country that is the United States of America, we have an interesting and ineffective way of naming our favorite vehicles. It seems every magazine - and sometimes states - gets to name their favorite car of the year. While this can be great for the automaker’s advertising, it can confuse the public just a tad. What car is better here, the winner of Magazine A or Magazine B?
In Europe, things go a bit smoother. Seven different publications from seven different countries pick what they think is the best car of the year. It takes a few months, but in the end you get one winner, which was the Opel Insignia last year.
Today at the New York Auto Show the Audi R8 V10 was declared 2010 World Performance Car. The other two finalists were Ferrari California and the Porsche 911 GT3. The Audi R8 V10 was chosen from an initial entry list of sixteen (16) entries nominated by fifty-nine (59) World Car jurors from twenty-five (25) countries throughout the world.
"We’re honored that the Audi R8 V10 was chosen by this distinguished group of jurors as the 2010 World Performance Car," said Johan De Nysschen, Executive Vice President of Audi of America. "This is the fifth year of the World Performance Car award and the R8 has won it twice. Whether you choose an R8 with a V8 or with a V10 engine, you get a World Performance Car award winner. The records also show that an Audi has won this award three times. The truly global nature of the World Car jury is evidence that Audi is hitting the performance car sweet spot of car lovers around the world."
With 525 HP under the hood, the R8 V10 can accelerate from 0 to 60 MPH in under 3.9 seconds and the R tronic semi automatic equipped V10 will reach 125 MPH from a standstill in another 8.1 seconds with a top speed around 197 MPH. Prices start at $146,000.
Finalists for the coveted "2010 North American Car and Truck of the Year" award have been announced, and the list includes a variety of automobiles starting with: Buick LaCrosse, Ford Fusion Hybrid and Volkswagen Golf/GTI in the North American Car of the Year category and the Chevrolet Equinox, Ford Transit Connect and Subaru Outback as finalists for North American Truck of the Year. The winner will be announced in January 2010 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
The New York Auto Show is has an odd placement. By the time of the show, most of the manufacturers have already revealed their big releases for the current year and are waiting for the fall shows (Frankfurt/Paris) to tease the big releases for the next year. So one thing that has become a big deal to come out of the show is the World Car of the Year Awards.
A jury of fifty-nine international automotive journalists representing Asia, Europe, North America, South America, as well as other parts of the world, selected the finalists by secret ballot. Usually ten are chosen, but a tie has widened the field to eleven.
Just because this was represented by international journalists, doesn’t mean the field is complete. They may have left a few cars out, so go ahead and write in your WCOTY vote here. It won’t effect the judging, but that hasn’t stopped anyone from arguing on the internet before.
2008 was the year of the car. The cheap speed seemed to be in full effect from 638 hp $106,500 Corvette ZR1s to 265 hp $25,000 Subaru WRXs; Lamborghini seemed to have more versions of vehicles than total production a few decades ago; and although the Nissan GT-R was our favorite last year, we didn’t get our hands on one until this year.
2009 doesn’t look as promising. The global economic meltdown has not just sent domestic automakers running for cover, but also has sent manufacturers worldwide cutting forecasts and/or looking for help. The fast and fun cars that we love usually sell in the smallest numbers and are likely the first to get slashed.
We hope our job of finding the Car of the Year may be as fruitful next year, because this year we had a fine crop to choose from. So let the dissention begin as TopSpeed’s 2008 car of the year is…
Emotion and raw charisma can forgive shortcomings, just ask Jeremy Clarkson. He described the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 as "not built very well", in the same Sunday column that he declared his car of the year.
Those lucky enough to live in Britain have already seen Clarkson discover what fun can be had with the ZR1 on Nevada’s roads. Ferrari performance, $106,500 price and everyday usability, keeps it in the running for our car of the year.