Audi R8 Sweeps Canadian Car of the Year Awards



    TORONTO, Feb. 13 /CNW/ -

    
    -   Audi R8 declared "Canadian Car of the Year" by Automobile Journalists
    -   AJAC's "Best New Design" award presented to the Audi R8
    -   Audi R8 also named winner of AJAC's "Most Coveted Vehicle" award
    

    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.

    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.

    More information on all Audi models can be found at www.audi.ca


    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at http://photos.newswire.ca.
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/





For further information:

For further information: Cort Nielsen, cort.nielsen@audi.com, (905)
428-5820

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