The Audi R8 won the “Best New Design” award for
2008 as presented by the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC).
The award was handed out as part of the 2008 Canadian Car of the Year (CCOTY) awards that opened the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto.
Canadian independent designer Paul Deutschman, Humber College automotive design professor Ken Cummings, and Automobile magazine’s design critic Robert Cumberford were appointed by AJAC as a panel of design experts. Their task was a difficult one: create a short-list of four “Best New Design” finalists from the full-slate of fifty-nine entries in the Canadian Car of the Year awards program.
They chose the Audi R8 (“A real tour de force in terms of design, materials, structure and performance” – Robert Cumberford), the Chevrolet Malibu (“If Chevy can’t recapture some market share with this handsome entry, the aging population is losing their eyesight” – Ken Cummings), the Infiniti G37 Coupe (“Hats off to the Infiniti designers- they have succeeded in creating a design language that is both original and desirable” – Paul Deutschman), and the Volvo C30 (“Volvo is breaking into a new egment with a funky wagon that offers practicality and strong originality” – Paul Deutschman).
AJAC journalists then selected the winner from the design expert’s short-list based on a combination of aesthetics, function, and brand essence. Each parameter was rated separately for each of the design finalists. The aesthetics score reflects the sheer beauty of the design. The function score assesses the manner and degree to which it accommodates the practical requirements of the vehicle type. And brand essence considers its success in conveying the image, heritage, and values of the specific brand.