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Audi R8 goes from 0 to Victory in 15,000 votes

15th February 2008 Print
British motoring enthusiasts have put the brakes on Ferrari and BMW by naming the German Audi R8 as ‘MSN Cars Car of the Year’. The online poll, available at, saw 42% of voters choose the German supercar ahead of Ferrari’s 430 Scuderia (13%) and BMW’s M3 (11%), firmly placing the Audi R8 as the most desired vehicle for 2008.

The annual ‘MSN Cars Car of the Year’ award was launched in 2005, with previous winners including the BMW 3-Series Coupé (2007), Bugatti Veyron (2006) and Britain’s own Aston Martin DB9 (2005). However, with foreign vehicles dominating the top 10 this year, it seems Brits have forgotten their 2005 winning manufacturer and the once beloved Jaguar - both were missing from this year’s hotlist, though Jaguar’s exciting new XF saloon just missed the cut off date for the award.

The Mini Clubman also lost favour with this year’s voters, dropping from the impressive fourth position achieved in 2007 for the new model Mini, to secure just 2% of votes this year, finishing in 8th position.

While journalists may have crowned the Fiat 500 the official European Car of the Year, the British public clearly prefer sexy looks and high performance, with the practical urban car failing to make the top five, with just 6% of the votes.

Ferrari, the Italian supercar supremo, has come up trumps again with its latest model, the Ferrari 430 Scuderia, which comes in 2nd place, following in the footsteps of its hugely successful predecessors, Ferrari 599 GTB, Ferrari F430 / Spider, and Ferrari 612 Scaglietti.

German manufacturer BMW has also scored consistently well in the annual poll, ranking in the top 6 for the past four years with the BMW 6Series (2005), BMW M5 and M6 (2006) and BMW 3-Series Coupe (2007) all hitting the mark with voters.

“The fact that the R8 has been voted Car of the Year by such a sizeable number of MSN Cars readers is another very positive sign that our first ever thoroughbred sports car has really hit the mark with British buyers,” said Audi UK’s head of public relations, Jon Zammett.

“We have been quite literally overwhelmed by the volume of exceptionally positive coverage the car has enjoyed in the media, but we never forget that it’s enthusiasts of the kind who follow MSN who have made a car like the R8 such a huge sell-out success.”

MSN Cars content manager Tom Evans said, ‘Our Car of Year online poll has once again received a great response from motoring fans who this year have voted for Audi’s first supercar. It’s a leader in its class, making the Audi R8 a popular choice. ’’

“When I first drove it a couple of months ago I was blown away by its exhilarating, sure-footed handling, the grunt of its performance, and the fact that every second person on the road gave it a long hard stare as we hurtled by. A brilliant car that fully deserves to follow in the steps of cars like the DB9 and Veyron to be an ‘MSN Cars Car of the Year’.”

The full results of the 2008 online poll are below:
Car % of vote
1. Audi R8 42%
2. Ferrari 430 Scuderia 13%
3. BMW M3 11%
4. Ford Mondeo 9%
5. Rolls-Royce Phantom DHC 7%
6. Fiat 500 6%
7. Mercedes-Benz C-Class 6%
8. Mini Clubman 2%
9. Mitsubishi i-car 2%
10. Mazda 2 1%