A number of automakers are beginning to roll out gasoline engines that use direct injection. Oil-burning diesel engines have been using direct injection a bit longer. In a DI engine, the fuel is sprayed directly into the combustion chamber, allowing a computer to precisely meter the correct amount to use. Before DI became popular, and continuing to today, fuel was generally injected into the intake tract of an engine along with the air mixture before it entered the combustion chamber. There are a number of benefits to this seemingly small change, with improved fuel economy, reduced emissions and enhanced power taking top honors.

Speaking of honors, direct injection has snagged the award for Technology of the Year from Automobile Magazine. While the Car of the Year trophy from Automobile belongs to the Nissan GT-R, fuel economy is definitely a larger factor in determining what vehicles are winners than ever before. Direct injection satisfies both the power-hungry leadfoots and the hypermiling crowd all at the same time and is an advancement just as important as the move from carburetors to fuel injection.

[Source: Automobile Magazine]

AUTOMOBILE Magazine Names the Nissan GT-R Automobile of the Year

ANN ARBOR, Mich.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- AUTOMOBILE Magazine, America's leading automotive lifestyle publication and part of Source Interlink Media, LLC, a subsidiary of media and marketing services company Source Interlink Companies, Inc. (NASDAQ:SORC), announced today that the Nissan GT-R is the 2009 Automobile of the Year. The magazine also named the Audi A5 Design of the Year, Honda president and CEO Takeo Fukui Man of the Year, and Direct Fuel Injection Technology of the Year.
The winners are featured in the pages of the January 2009 issue of AUTOMOBILE Magazine, available on newsstands beginning December 2, 2008.

2009 Automobile of the Year: Nissan GT-R

The much anticipated Nissan GT-R is the first Japanese supercar to seriously threaten the reigning opposition, many of whom the GT-R bested on Germany's renowned Nurburgring. Editors noted that while the Nissan GT-R rides like a subway car, sounds like an appliance and weighs a ton, it still deserved to be named Automobile of the Year for delivering high-intensity fun and astonishing performance.

'For decades, previous versions of the GT-R were never exported to the United States. Now we know what we've been missing, and are we happy to be invited to the party,' said Jean Jennings, president and editor-in-chief of AUTOMOBILE Magazine. 'What we love about the GT-R is that it refuses to compromise. It is not comfortable, it is not trying to make friends and it is not trying to influence people. It exists for one reason only ' to go fast ' and it does.'

In awarding the GT-R its ultimate prize, AUTOMOBILE Magazine editors cited the car's 'neck-snapping acceleration,' 'super-accurate steering' and 'incredible value' by supercar standards.

Design of the Year: Audi A5

AUTOMOBILE Magazine's Design of the Year is notable for its restraint, elegance, and perfect execution on the interior and not just the exterior, according to editors. Initially, the editors were skeptical of Volkswagen Group design chief Walter de Silva's assertion that the Audi A5 is his best-ever design. It was on seeing the A5 on the road, however, that the magazine's editors could fully appreciate the quality of the A5's total design. Audi has indeed created a beautiful car.

'The first point of appreciation comes upon approaching the car,' said Design Editor Robert Cumberford. 'The second comes when the door is opened to one of the best interiors offered today, in any car at any price. The A5's elegance, stability, and sheer visual presence make it a clear winner.'

Man of the Year: Takeo Fukui - President, Honda Motor Company

In a year when the U.S. auto market has been challenged by fuel prices and the financial meltdown, Honda stands as an exception. With Takeo Fukui at the reins, Honda maintained a diverse model mix, especially in the small-car arena, and successfully positioned itself for the current marketplace.

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