MALIBU, CA (February 23, 2010)– For the first time in the 17-year history of Robb Report’s “Car of the Year” competition, the panel of 50 VIP judges bestowed two honors, naming the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG as “2010 Car of the Year” and the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport as “Car of the Decade.”
Robb Report’s “Car of the Year” 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 vehicle.
The selections resulted from extensive testing in California’s Napa Valley by a panel of experts that included Robb Report editor in chief Brett Anderson, automotive editor Robert Ross, and correspondents Paul Dean and Paul Meyers. These journalists were joined by more than 50 privately invited guest judges, including executives and Robb Report readers.
An insider’s look at this year’s competition will be provided in the eagerly awaited March issue, which hits newsstands today. In addition, this date will mark the launch of “RobbReport.TV,” which will debut with stunning “Car of the Year” footage and on-the-scene impressions from members of the judging panel. A firsthand look at the action from Napa Valley will be accessible at http://robbreport.tv.
In earning “Car of the Year” honors for 2010, the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG outdistanced 11 luxury and sports cars, topping the Audi R8 V10, Aston Martin DBS Volante, Lamborghini Gallardo LP 550-2 Valentino Balboni, Bentley Continental Supersports, Land Rover Range Rover Autobiography, Jaguar XKR, Porsche Panamera Turbo, Ford Shelby GT500 Super Snake, Allard J2X MkII, Spyker C8 Aileron, and BMW X6 M.
Recalling its 1950s predecessor, the new SLS AMG is a “neoclassic,” according to Mr. Dean. “A superb melding of yesterday’s styling with the technological sophistication of the 21st century, this new European idol steers precisely; has a peerless, powerful, and well-proven AMG power train with stronger pull than an Amtrak; and drives lighter than all its length, width, and tonnage might suggest.”
Considered “the most eagerly anticipated” member of the class of 2010, the SLS AMG “is a most deserving Car of the Year and does not disappoint in either the performance or panache departments,” said Mr. Ross. “The SLS is a substantive car in every respect.”
The unprecedented decision to award winners for both the year and the decade “was uniformly agreed upon by our judging panel, which determined that the $2 million Bugatti Veyron defied all categorization, thus deserving its own distinct honor,” explained Mr. Anderson.
Establishing an entirely new precedent as “Car of the Decade,” the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport earned uniform praise from Robb Report’s judging panel. “The Bugatti’s mission-to celebrate unapologetically beauty and power-placed this contender in an altogether different arena,” Mr. Anderson explained. “Over the course of our judging period, the Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport truly showcased mind-bending performance, while maintaining its ability to be imminently drivable. Such an impressive achievement is indeed a rarity.”
These perceptions were affirmed by substantially all the judges as well as Mr. Ross, who was impressed by the Veyron’s ability “to push engineering and execution to levels of sophistication more befitting a complicated Swiss watch than a ground-going conveyance. The Grand Sport redefines what is possible, something no car has done since the McLaren F1 was introduced almost two decades ago.”
Now in its 34th year, Robb Report is the international authority and trusted journal of connoisseurship . Each month, the magazine reports on issues and trends affecting the affluent market, with coverage of exclusive events and features on exceptional automobiles, motorcycles, aircraft, art, jewelry, watches, fashion, travel, homes, wines, spirits, and cigars. Additional information can be accessed through the magazine’s web site at www.robbreport.com.