Audi R8 Sweeps Canadian Car of the Year Awards
Audi Canada captured the triple crown of Canadian automotive awards with the all new R8 mid-engined sports car. At the opening press conference of the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto, the spectacular Audi R8 was presented the 2008 “Canadian Car of the Year” award by the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC). The triumphant Audi R8 was evaluated against a long list of discerning criteria amidst a group of strong eligible competitors. The Audi R8 beat 11 other “best new” category winners, announced December 4th, to secure the prestigious Canadian Car of the Year honours.
The excitingly new Audi R8 was also declared the winner of AJAC’s “Best New Design” award for 2008. In addition, Canada’s leading automotive writers and editors, forced to revise their list of ‘dream cars’, also selected the Audi R8 for the rarely presented AJAC “Most Coveted Vehicle” award.
The AJAC Canadian Car of the Year competition gathers over 60 prominent Canadian automotive journalists in Niagara-on-the-Lake for several days in October for the annual “TestFest” event. This program has received a high praise from journalists and consumers alike because the evaluation and voting processes are carried out in a professional, extremely fair, serious and equitable manner.
The participating journalists have the opportunity to test drive all the entries back to back in identical conditions. An extensive list of important criteria is assessed by the journalists and all active participants vote for their individual choice as car of the year.
AJAC consulted with three design experts (Robert Cumberford, design critic, Automobile Magazine, Paul Deutschman, Independent Canadian designer and Ken Cummings, a professor of automotive design at Toronto’s Humber College) requesting that they select their “Top Four” choices for best new design from among the 59 Canadian Car of the Year entries. Each expert created his own short-list based on three parameters: aesthetics, function and brand essence. The respective short lists were then made into a design ballot which was given to all voting AJAC journalists. Each journalist was then asked to select their personal choice for the Best New Design from the four finalists according to the same parameters as the design experts. The Audi R8 was the overwhelming choice of these highly-respected automotive critics.
Participating AJAC members were also asked to select one vehicle from the 59 Canadian Car of the Year entries as their dream car, truck or SUV. The AJAC “Most Coveted” award was created to acknowledge a true dream car; a vehicle that stirs the souls of true auto enthusiasts. In other words, if you won the lottery today, which of the entries would be your dream car, truck or SUV?
In order to win this award, the majority of the 74 voting journalists had to cast a ballot and, of those, two-thirds must have voted for the same vehicle in order for AJAC to make a “Most Coveted” award presentation. If the two-thirds criterion had not been met, the award would not have been presented. This award is not bestowed on an annual basis and, in the 23 years AJAC has conducted its Canadian Car of the Year competition, the Audi R8 is only the second vehicle to have ever been so honoured.
According to a number of AJAC surveys, the Canadian Car of the Year Awards have a significant influence on the purchase decision of Canadian car buyers.
“We are absolutely delighted to have been accorded this prestigious honour and would like to thank the membership for their support,” said Diego Ramos, Executive Vice President of Audi Canada, “especially when you consider the other fine automobiles with which the R8 was competing.” He added, “To win these awards today, is a defining moment for the Audi brand in Canada. In the past, the question has been asked, when will people realize just how good Audis are? I believe that time is now thanks to everyone at AJAC.”
The 2008 Audi R8
Audi’s first ever premium mid-engine sports car began appearing in Canadian Audi retailer showrooms last September.
“Inspired by every great idea Audi has ever had, the all-new R8 will create a higher profile for Audi in Canada,” said Karsten Ruwaldt, Audi Canada’s Director of Marketing and Product Management. “Equipped with the expertise that Audi has garnered through its involvement in motorsport and from building sporty premium-class automobiles, the R8 is a precision sports car that embodies Audi’s superlative road manners, pioneering technology and advanced design.”
The incredible R8’s lightweight aluminum chassis, high-revving 420-hp 4.2L FSI V8 engine, race-inspired suspension, quattro all-wheel drive system, and low centre of gravity combine to make the R8 handle in an unparalleled manner.
With a base price of $139,000 for the 6-speed manual version and $150,500 for the automatic R tronic edition, the 2008 Audi R8 is positioned very competitively considering its technological standards, road performance, high quality and its extensive standard equipment levels. Audi’s R8 production facility at Neckarsulm, Germany is geared up to build just over 20 cars a day.
About Audi Canada
Audi’s history in Canada dates to 1971, when the brand was first introduced on the Canadian market. Today, a network of over 37 Audi retailers nationwide sell and service a range of premium vehicles that include the Audi A3 sportback; the sporty A4 sedan, Avant and Cabriolet models; the high performance S4 sedan, Avant and Cabriolet models; the pulse-quickening RS 4 sports sedan; the design-leading A6 sedan and Avant; the Audi Q7 performance SUV; the all-aluminum Audi A8; the V10-powered S6 and sovereign S8 performance sedans; and the all-new 2008 TT Coupe and Roadster models and the incredible new R8 mid-engined sports car.
Audi Canada is headquartered in Ajax, Ontario and markets a line of luxury cars built in plants in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm, Germany, Bratislava, Slovakia and Gyor, Hungary. The parent company, AUDI AG, is headquartered in Ingolstadt, Germany.