• Dec 26, 2007
click above for more high-res images of the gorgeous Audi R8

It's that time of year where everyone's prognosticating like Nostradamus about what the coming year will hold. The authoritative ink slingers at Automobile magazine have decided that Audi's R8 deserves the dual honors of 2008 Automobile Of The Year and Design Of The Year, as well. While infused with the generous spirit, Automobile named General Motor's Two-Mode Hybrid rig Technology Of The Year.

The R8 is Audi's sports/GT that looks like a supercar and radiates a glow across the entire Audi model line. Not only does it have neck-snapping visual presence, with a 420 horsepower V8 between the axles, there's a deep well of accelerative force to go along with a finely-tuned AWD chassis that doesn't scramble the occupants. Park the R8 next to some rosso italiano, and the lithe German with its metal side blades, straked vents front and rear, and muscular stance might just steal all the thunder.

Big trucks that return 20mpg in the city have been about as realistic as Tinkerbell, until now. General Motors partnered with BMW and the artist formerly known as DaimlerChrysler to develop a flexible hybrid architecture for a wide variety of applications. The second-generation system, with lots more transmission trickery added to the bag of fuel-saving techniques, is allowing the GMT900 platform to post city EPA mileage numbers not far behind four-cylinder midsizers. Because of the system's joint development, we should start seeing this hardware popping up in a variety of different vehicles soon. We're sure that not everyone will agree with Automobile's picks, so fire away with your own suggestions.

Press release after the jump.


PRESS RELEASE

AUTOMOBILE MAGAZINE NAMES THE AUDI R8 AUTOMOBILE OF THE YEAR

--Audi R8 also captures Design of the Year; GM's Two-Mode Hybrid System named Technology of the Year--
(ANN ARBOR, Mich.-December 26, 2007) - AUTOMOBILE MAGAZINE, America's leading automotive lifestyle publication (www.automobilemag.com) and part of SOURCE INTERLINK MEDIA, today announced 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.

The winners are featured in the pages of the February 2008 issue of AUTOMOBILE MAGAZINE, available on newsstands beginning January 2, 2008.

2008 Automobile of the Year: Audi R8


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.




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  • 13 Comments
      terry
      • 7 Years Ago
      i guess everybody want to be in a foreign country keep voteing the foregin crap top cars and see what happens to the american jobs and this country i hope u all are proud of yourselfs
        • 7 Years Ago
        @terry
        Those damn foreginers voteing for crap cars...And they can't even write american neither. Geez...
      • 7 Years Ago
      The Audi R8 is definitely a worthy car. Fantastic automobile.
      • 7 Years Ago
      But there are 371 days until the end of next year. There has to be others within that time frame. That's like saying that I'll live beyond December 31, 2008. Great selection for '07 nominees, but at least wait until the end of July before saying that they are '08 awardees.
      rtrrocket
      • 7 Years Ago
      None of these "green" vehicles are truly "green". Think about it. It take 4 times as much energy to produce a gallon of hydrogen than that gallon of hydrogen produces! That's not green no matter how you look at it. It would take every tillable acre of land in the U.S to produce the amount of ethanol that we would need if every gallon of gasoline was half ethanol (where are we going to get our food? Mexico?). Where are you going to put the 6,800 lithium/ion batteries that the Tesla electric car runs on when they die? (in the landfill of course). Plug in vehicles? Forget it. If we all plugged in our electric cars for 8 hours every night every coal fired power plant in the U.S. would be working at twice the capacity they are running now (spewing twice as much pollutants into the atmosphere than ever). Until some radical form of propulsion is utilized, only more efficient internal combustion is the true answer
      • 7 Years Ago
      I can't disagree with their selections. The R8 is an awesome car and the dual mode tech is state of the art. GM actually invented this technology and put it in city buses. They did not have the cash to develop it further so they had to bring in additional companies. I suspect part of the deal was they get to use it first. Even with all of their problems GM has always done automatic transmissions well.
        • 7 Years Ago
        ...and once Allison transmissions had developed and marketed their hybrid transmission GM sold them for quick cash. the allison hybrid system is pretty good in city busses but i think the sale of allison was a bit premature.
      • 7 Years Ago
      UAW loves GM selling off it's great engineering wins, more
      bucks for benefits ! Yeah, so we are doomed, but we will
      go down rich !
      • 7 Years Ago
      I believe their cut off is calendar year 2007
      • 7 Years Ago
      The Audi is a joke for 100k! When you name a car of the year it should be one that people can really afford to buy! The GM was a great choice because it will really provide a savings to the public and provide future savings to three compainies that burn a lot of gas. GM was also first to the race shoing that they do have a great bunch of people building cars right now, its just a shame that BMW chose to duplicate the 3 series with a car that weighs the same but has no real back seat and the C class is just that now a c class car compared to the rest.
      • 7 Years Ago
      And how many R8s will be sold?

      A couple dozen?

      This "award" is just a way for a couple writers to "show" their "attitude".

      Sure it's a fine car but who cares when it makes no impact on the market.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The R8 looks amazing and is definitely much different than most cars and a very bold approach to design, especially a current German manufacturer, that I would also call it the design of the year. I am not much a fan of Automobile mag, but this choice is dead on.
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