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.”