The time has come for luxury mag Robb Report to issue its latest Car of the Year. Being that the end of 2009 also marks the end of a tidy little decade, the editors at the magazine took the opportunity to bestow one important car with the title Car of the Decade – the first time in the 17 years that Robb Report has been handing out automotive awards that it's granted two in one year. So, who won?

First up is the Car of the Year, which goes out to the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. In taking the award, the SLS AMG beat out 11 other worthy contenders to the throne. Certainly not a terrible choice by any means, though this particular writer has yet to find himself lodged behind the Gullwing's leather-wrapped steering wheel. Moving on, then.

Robb Report's
Car of the Decade trophy has been awarded to the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport. A good choice? Click here to refresh your memory on what it's like to pilot a $2,000,000 drop-top cruise missile. Yeah, as good a choice as any, we'd say. Click past the break to read more commentary from the magazine and click here to visit the new RobbReport.tv, where you'll see a series of videos recorded during the crew's testing in Napa Valley. Official press release after the jump, high-res galleries below.


Related GalleryFirst Drive: 2010 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG

Mercedes-Benz photos copyright ©2009 Chris Paukert / Weblogs, Inc.

Related GalleryFirst Drive: Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport

Bugatti photos copyright ©2009 Drew Phillips / Weblogs, Inc.

[Source: Robb Report]
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ROBB REPORT EDITORS NAME MERCEDES-BENZ SLS AMG "2010 CAR OF THE YEAR"

AND BUGATTI VEYRON 16.4 GRAND SPORT "CAR OF THE DECADE"


Hitting newsstands today, Robb Report's March issue takes readers to Napa Valley for an insider's look at the luxury world's most exceptional new sports cars, sedans, and sport-utility vehicles.

MALIBU, CA (February 23, 2010)– For the first time in the 17-year history of Robb Report's "Car of the Year" competition, the panel of 50 VIP judges bestowed two honors, naming the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG as "2010 Car of the Year" and the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport as "Car of the Decade."

Robb Report's "Car of the Year" award is presented annually to an automobile, formally introduced in the previous year, whose technical designs, styling, and performance position it as the world's preeminent sports or luxury vehicle.

The selections resulted from extensive testing in California's Napa Valley by a panel of experts that included Robb Report editor in chief Brett Anderson, automotive editor Robert Ross, and correspondents Paul Dean and Paul Meyers. These journalists were joined by more than 50 privately invited guest judges, including executives and Robb Report readers.

An insider's look at this year's competition will be provided in the eagerly awaited March issue, which hits newsstands today. In addition, this date will mark the launch of "RobbReport.TV," which will debut with stunning "Car of the Year" footage and on-the-scene impressions from members of the judging panel. A firsthand look at the action from Napa Valley will be accessible at http://robbreport.tv.

In earning "Car of the Year" honors for 2010, the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG outdistanced 11 luxury and sports cars, topping the Audi R8 V10, Aston Martin DBS Volante, Lamborghini Gallardo LP 550-2 Valentino Balboni, Bentley Continental Supersports, Land Rover Range Rover Autobiography, Jaguar XKR, Porsche Panamera Turbo, Ford Shelby GT500 Super Snake, Allard J2X MkII, Spyker C8 Aileron, and BMW X6 M.

Recalling its 1950s predecessor, the new SLS AMG is a "neoclassic," according to Mr. Dean. "A superb melding of yesterday's styling with the technological sophistication of the 21st century, this new European idol steers precisely; has a peerless, powerful, and well-proven AMG power train with stronger pull than an Amtrak; and drives lighter than all its length, width, and tonnage might suggest."

Considered "the most eagerly anticipated" member of the class of 2010, the SLS AMG "is a most deserving Car of the Year and does not disappoint in either the performance or panache departments," said Mr. Ross. "The SLS is a substantive car in every respect."

The unprecedented decision to award winners for both the year and the decade "was uniformly agreed upon by our judging panel, which determined that the $2 million Bugatti Veyron defied all categorization, thus deserving its own distinct honor," explained Mr. Anderson.

Establishing an entirely new precedent as "Car of the Decade," the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport earned uniform praise from Robb Report's judging panel. "The Bugatti's mission-to celebrate unapologetically beauty and power-placed this contender in an altogether different arena," Mr. Anderson explained. "Over the course of our judging period, the Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport truly showcased mind-bending performance, while maintaining its ability to be imminently drivable. Such an impressive achievement is indeed a rarity."

These perceptions were affirmed by substantially all the judges as well as Mr. Ross, who was impressed by the Veyron's ability "to push engineering and execution to levels of sophistication more befitting a complicated Swiss watch than a ground-going conveyance. The Grand Sport redefines what is possible, something no car has done since the McLaren F1 was introduced almost two decades ago."

Robb Report

Now in its 34th year, Robb Report is the international authority and trusted journal of connoisseurship . Each month, the magazine reports on issues and trends affecting the affluent market, with coverage of exclusive events and features on exceptional automobiles, motorcycles, aircraft, art, jewelry, watches, fashion, travel, homes, wines, spirits, and cigars. Additional information can be accessed through the magazine's web site at www.robbreport.com.