- Number 10: GM, Ford and Chrysler are still around
- Say what you will about the decisions of CEOs past and present, but we are genuinely happy that the Detroit 3 will (probably) enter the new year building cars. Today, American-built cars are very bit as good as those from any other country, and there isn't a single destination in this world that can claim as many engineering milestones and timeless designs as The Motor City. We aren't entirely sure that we'll be able to say that in 2010, so let's be thankful that we've got Detroit while it's still around.
Number 9: The return of affordable fuel
- Number 9: The return of affordable fuel
- It can be argued (and indeed it has) that cheap gas is a bad thing. There are a number of reasons why, but the main thrust is that interest in fuel efficient vehicles rises or falls in the opposite direction of gas prices. Still, things were getting awfully tight on our purse strings a few short months ago. There's nothing our economy needs less right now than $4 a gallon gas. With that in mind, now is the time to get yourself ready for the next rise in gas prices and enjoy a bit of downtime until it strikes.
Number 8: Dual Clutch Transmissions
- Number 8: Dual Clutch Transmissions
- Time marches on. As much as we love ourselves a good old fashioned clutch pedal, there is something to be said for the latest advancement making waves in the art of shifting: the dual clutch transmission. German automakers such as Audi and Porsche have been working on the technology in racing applications for quite some time, and all of that development is really paying off. Such amazing performers as the Nissan GT-R, Bugatti Veyron and the latest Porsche 911 all use this technology to good effect and the tech is trickling down to cheaper cars at an amazing rate.
Number 7: The Autoblog Podcast
- Number 7: The Autoblog Podcast
- We love recording the Autoblog Podcast. There's practically a fight every week over who gets to be on the show. The best news is that you all love the podcasts too, which is what really makes it all worthwhile. We took a little recording hiatus a few months back but have managed to get episodes out the door for each of the past two weeks, and we have no intentions of slowing down again.
Number 6: Great driving roads
- Number 6: Great driving roads
- What's the point in pouring over all the details of each car in the world if you don't enjoy getting out and driving them? Your appreciation of the finer points of driving, however, has much to do with where you happen to be piloting your two-ton chunk of metal. That amazing stretch of road you see above is known as the Stelvio Pass. It's in Italy, far away from our home bases here in the States, but Top Gear recently proclaimed this particular stretch of serpentine asphalt the greatest road in the world. For those looking for something a bit closer to home, we suggest checking out our weekly Sunday Drive series.
Number 5: Price is no object supercars
- Number 5: Price is no object supercars
- What we have here are the most pure examples of automotive excess available. No list of the world's ultimate supercars would be complete without a mention of the Bugati Veyron, which we managed to snag the keys to ourselves late last year. Other notable examples include the Pagani Zonda and anything wearing a Koenigsegg badge. All you need to know is that these are the most drool-worthy cars in the universe. Price? You know what they say: if you need to ask...
Number 4: Affordable supercars
- Number 4: Affordable supercars
- We just honored the very top of the automotive food chain, the price-is-no-object supercar. Not everyone can afford such exotic machinery, and even those who can might choose not to if there were a cheaper alternative. Guess what? There is. Chevrolet has been building Corvettes since the 1950s, and its survived all this time with a simple M.O.: offer world-class performance at an attainable price. Nissan has recently stepped up its game releasing the GT-R here in America for the first time ever. It's breathtakingly fast, outperforming nearly everything within, oh... about twice its asking price. Enter the mighty ZR1, a fire-breating beast from The General that apparently isn't willing to give up the crown without a fight. Round 3 is scheduled to begin any moment now.
Number 3: The return of the Pony car
- Number 3: The return of the Pony car
- You can't afford to blow your entire wad of cash on a Bugatti Veyron and even the Corvette ZR1 is a bit out of your range. We understand and it's fine, as America has a penchant for dropping the largest possible engine into the smallest package available and selling it for the price of a mid-size sedan. It all started back in 1964 with the launch of the Pontiac GTO, the first muscle car ever. A few short months later, Ford countered with the Mustang and hasn't looked back since. These days, the modern Mustang, Chevy Camaro and Dodge Challenger still sport a big V8 option underhood, but unlike their old bias-ply siblings, Pony Cars can now handle and stop with the best of 'em too. These cars really represent the Golden Age of Performance, Part II.
Number 2: European Fords
- Number 2: European Fords
- Let's get back to reality. We've had our fun ooh-ing and ahh-ing over performance cars, but sometimes it's just not practical to park the newest V8-powered hotness in your garage. For those who need something a bit more mainstream and realistic to lust after, may we suggest the European Ford line? Yeah, we live here in the States too, but the Blue Oval is serious about selling its best European products on our side of the Atlantic, starting with the 2010 Ford Fiesta. It's a small car that doesn't use a ton of gas, but it's also fun to drive and has plenty of room in back for as many frozen turkeys as you want.
Number 1: Eco-friendly performance
- Number 1: Eco-friendly performance
- As much as we love basting ourselves in high-octane petrol every morning, the reality is that we Turkeys can't sustain our current oil-guzzling ways forever. The wonderful and intoxicating sound of a well-tuned internal combustion engine may soon be replaced by the winding shriek of electrons as alternative-powered cars begin to proliferate the marketplace. The future's not all electric, though, as hybrids and clean diesels act as stop-gap measures and pave the way for future biofuels, renewable electricity and possibly even hydrogen to make their way to a filling station near you. Car's like the Tesla Roadster also prove that green doesn't necessarily mean boring, and that's something we can truly be thankful for.