- Alfa Romeo
- Aston Martin
- Land Rover
We might have some fancy cars over here in the USA, but there are quite a few vehicles overseas that we can’t help but think are desperately missing from our shores. More than a few are niche market models perfect for auto-enthusiasts, while others are more stylish or practical than what’s currently available in the US. And some are both.
Writing about cars all the time can do some funky things to your taste in wheels, invariably automotive journalists flock to the best of the best. The funny part is that those parameters get warped pretty easily, leaving one writers idea of an ideal car miles away from another.
The only Japanese manufacturer to ever win the prestigious 24-Hours of Le Mans so far has been Mazda with its 787B. Toyota has been wanting to change that for nearly two decades now. Their last effort in the LMP1 class failed, but next year they’ll be back with a vengeance, using a hybrid racer.
It’s that time of the year again as Car of the Year begins the laborious task of whittling down new Car of the Year contenders for 2012.
A total of 59 journalists, representing automotive authorities across 23 European countries, have been recruited for the task of choosing top car. The number of journalists to represent each country is based on the relative size of the said country’s car market. Countries like Spain, Germany, Italy, and Great Britain have a well established market, and each will be represented by six journalists.
As for cars, only completely redesigned new models that have launched within the twelve months before the contest are counted. Each car must be available in at least five European countries and must have an expected sales volume no less than 5,000.
Categories considered include design, safety, performance, and price. This year, says the judging committee, technical innovation and value will be especially influential. What also makes Car of the Year unique is the absence of separate genres for its candidates. Rather than selecting the best of the compacts or the best trucks, vehicles with all sorts of engine size and body types will be vying for the same allotment of points.
Comparison testing of the vehicles will be performed in Sweden.
The following 35 candidates selected for the 2012 Car of the Year award include:
When it comes to bizarre concept cars, the Tokyo Auto Show might be the traditional winner, but when it comes to production time, often things end up looking like a Camry. Not so for those baguette-loving Frenchmen (and women). From Citroen, to Renault, to Peugeot, their production cars are plenty strange and the concepts that inspire them look straight out of science fiction.
OK, so they don’t sell it here, nor are they ever going to, but you have to admit the Peugeot RCZ is a pretty cool ride … for a French car. For 2012 Peugeot will be hosting its own one-make racing series, allowing teams to field their own race-prepped Peugeot RCZ car.