German automobile manufacturer, Audi, started the year with, not just one, two golden badge as What Car?’ magazine named its Audi A1 the supermini Car of the Year and the Audi TT the Couple of the year at its annual awards ceremony held at the glitzy Grosvenor House on London’s Park Lane.
According to ‘What Car?’ editor-in-chief, Steve Fowler, the Audi A1 is the car that hits the nail squarely and firmly on the head. “It’s the right car at the right time: a car that combines desirability and ability alongside frugal financials – the perfect combination,” said Fowler.
The Audi A1 (internally designated Typ 8X) is the Ingolstadt, Germany-based company’s supermini-class car launched at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show. The car, to be produced at the Audi factory in Vorst, near Brussels,Belgium, is built from the finest materials and features a powerful engine (All engines will include a start-stop system and energy recuperation system).
An electric variant of the Audi A1 was recently unveiled at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show. The Audi A1 e-tron is a series plug-in hybrid (PHEV), powered by an electric motor with a continuous output of 45 kW (61 PS; 60 bhp), and a peak output of75 kW (102 PS; 101 bhp). A fully-charged 12 kWh lithium-ion battery gives a maximum range of 50 kilometres (31 mi), after which a 254 cc Wankel engine is used to power a 15 kW (20 PS; 20 bhp) generator with a 12 l (3.2 USgal) fuel tank.This is estimated to provide an additional range of 124 mi (200 km).
Meanwhile, the Audi A1’s fellow winner, Audi TT is a two-door sports car manufactured by Audi Hungaria Motor Kft. in Győr, Hungary. The Audi TT, deriving its name its name from the successful motor racing tradition of NSU in the British Isle of Man TT (Tourist Trophy) motorcycle race, has identical powertrain and suspension layouts as its related platform-mates; this includes a front-mounted transversely oriented engine, front-wheel drive or quattro permanent four-wheel drive system, and fully independent front suspension using MacPherson struts.
Ford’s Mondeo also made it to What Car? Magazines top list. It won two category awards:Best Family Car and Best Estate Car. BMW’s cars were also conferred the golden badges, taking home two awards – the Z4 won Best Open-Top Car and the 3 Series was presented with the best Compact Executive award. Land Rover’s Discovery won the Best 4×4 award for the seventh consecutive year and the Jaguar XF scooped the Best Executive Car award for the fourth year running. Ferrari took home its first ever ‘What Car?’ award in the event’s 34-year history. The 458 Italia was named Best Performance Car by the judges.