MALIBU, CA – Praised as “an amalgamation of racing experience, engineering prowess and design bravado,” the Audi R8 has been selected by the editors of Robb Report as the magazine’s 2008 Car of the Year.
Scheduled to be formally announced at the 2008 North American International Auto Show in Detroit on January 13, the 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 car.
In addition to the Audi R8, finalists in Robb Report’s 2008 Car of the Year (listed in order of finish) included the Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano, Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet, Bentley Continental GT Speed, Aston Martin V8 Vantage Roadster, Mercedes-Benz CL63 AMG, Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupé, Maserati GranTurismo, Lamborghini LP640 Roadster, Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Roadster, Lexus LS600h L, BMW M6 Convertible, Saleen S302 Extreme, and Dodge Viper SRT10.
Selection of the Audi R8 resulted from a week of testing by a panel of experts that included Robb Report automotive editor Gregory Anderson, along with correspondents Paul Dean and Marco della Cava. Those journalists were joined by a panel of judges consisting of executives and Robb Report readers from throughout the world.
Outdistancing the highly competitive field of sports and luxury entrants, the R8 took top honors in what Anderson described as “the closest vote in the award’s recent history.” He said the newest addition to the Audi line “is a sports car that you could drive comfortably to work every day – taking the long route. And while Audi may not have the cache of Ferrari or Porsche, it can keep pace with a prancing horse on an empty stretch of tarmac.”
In earning the honor, the R8 was defined by Dean as “a technologically superior supercar that is both kitten and tiger, depending on a driver’s mood. “The R8, according to Dean, “shows a vital, voracious silhouette—which is a fine interpretation of the snub nose and pollywog tail of those old Auto Union racers.”
Dean’s opinion was echoed by fellow judge della Cava, who referred to the R8 as “a car in search of a track. Sure, it will hum along on empty country roads and idle contentedly in traffic, but, with all its midmounted eight cylinders, the R8 screams for off-camber apexes and long straightaways. The car also is exceedingly generous, offering a driver instant competence.”
"We are honored that Robb Report’s editors have bestowed us with the honor of Car of the Year,” stated Johan de Nysschen, eecutive vce pesident, Audi of America. “The Audi R8 and its performance are no coincidence. The R8 is the product of a well conceived plan that was superbly executed."
Scheduled to hit newsstands on January 21, Robb Report’s February issue provides discriminating automotive enthusiasts with an in-depth exploration of a wide array of new models and emerging technologies. Coverage also includes after-market products for the finest class of luxury cars and the most sought-after and elegant vintage vehicles.