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AUTOMOBILE MAGAZINE Announces Its 2005 All-Stars; Editors Award Outstanding Performance in 13 Categories


WEBWIRE

ANN ARBOR, MI -- 12/20/2004 -- AUTOMOBILE MAGAZINE, America’s leading automotive lifestyle publication, today announced the winners of the 2005 AUTOMOBILE MAGAZINE All-Stars awards, recognizing outstanding performance in 13 categories. The recipients are featured in the 2005 February issue, on newsstands January 11, 2005.

“The industry as a whole has really stepped up to the plate with some of the most innovative and exciting vehicles and ideas we’ve seen in a long time,” said Jean Jennings, editor-in-chief of AUTOMOBILE MAGAZINE. “We’re proud to recognize this year’s All-Stars for their outstanding contributions to the evolving automotive industry and to our daily lives.”

For 2005, AUTOMOBILE MAGAZINE created a new category, the All-Stars Team, honoring seven industry leaders for their significant contributions:

-- Ulrich Bez - CEO, Aston Martin

-- Ralph Gilles - Design Director, Chrysler

-- Tony Kanaan - IRL Champion

-- Mike Neal - Development Engineer, Chevrolet Corvette

-- Jim Press - Executive VP and COO, Toyota Motor Sales

-- David Richards - Former Team Principal, BAR-Honda

-- Michael Schumacher - Formula 1 Champion

This year, top honors went to vehicles from Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Subaru, and Toyota. The 2005 AUTOMOBILE MAGAZINE All-Stars are:

-- Automobile of the Year: Chrysler 300C - At a time when the American auto industry needs heroes, the 300C wins the medal of honor, hands down. Chrysler’s 340-hp, Hemi-headed honey has taken America by storm.

-- All-Star Coupe: BMW M3 - The M3’s 333 hp is a lot, and so is nearly $50,000 - but the M3 is worth every penny because it rewards every bit of skill a driver puts into it.

-- All-Star Family Car: Subaru Legacy - The Legacy beat out the competition because it can be all things to all people: a refined, high-quality, comfortable freeway cruiser and a sporty back-roads car, with fine steering and brakes and a sweet shifter.

-- All-Star Luxury Sedan: Audi A8L - The A8L is impossible to ignore, to resist, or, for the foreseeable future, to surpass. Driving it is a no-fuss experience, and it engagingly does anything and everything asked.

-- All-Star Minivan: Honda Odyssey - Toyota, Nissan, and Chrysler have threatened the champ’s reign, but the all-new 2005 Odyssey delivers another knockout punch to the segment.

-- All-Star Pickup: Toyota Tacoma - The new Tacoma is the best truck in its set, offering more configurations than any competitor, with refinement and impressive engineering.

-- All-Star Small Car: Mazda 3 - This compact sedan has an attractive price and a spacious cabin, and enthusiastic drivers can enjoy it on roads where poise matters more than trunk volume.

-- All-Star Sports Car: Chevrolet Corvette - The sixth-generation Corvette yanks at the heartstrings of enthusiasts and turns heads wherever it goes. The car is so good that anyone can be a hero in it.

-- All-Star Sport-utility Vehicle: Cadillac SRX - With edgy styling that distinguishes it from its boxlike brethren, the driver-centric SRX is an uncompromising blend of performance and utility.

-- All-Star Sport Sedan: Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution MR - This vehicle offers major grunt, great gobs of grip, four doors, five seats, visceral performance coupled with a remarkably supple ride, and great fun, all at a price your CPA could love.

-- All-Star Design: BMW 6-series - This dramatic, functional, and exciting automobile stands out like a swan in a gaggle of geese.

-- All-Star Technology: Audi DSG - The Audi TT is the first to market with what could be the transmission of the future: the Direct-Shift Gearbox designed by BorgWarner, which combines the best features of manuals and automatics.

Criteria and Evaluation

The AUTOMOBILE MAGAZINE All-Stars are chosen by the AUTOMOBILE MAGAZINE staff, its worldwide bureau chiefs, and its contributors, following a three-day test drive of the year’s most innovative and important new cars. Vehicles eligible to be considered for the Automobile of the Year award combine the following traits:

-- Redefines an existing category or creates a new market segment

-- Offers excellent value and performance for the money

-- Is an exceptional design

-- Offers pure driving enjoyment

The award decisions are not made through an instrumented test process. After the 1000-mile road trip, winners are determined by a round-table discussion that results in a vote for the winner.

About AUTOMOBILE MAGAZINE

AUTOMOBILE MAGAZINE, a PRIMEDIA Inc. (NYSE:PRM) publication, was founded in 1986 by veteran automotive journalist David E. Davis, Jr., and has a circulation of 645,000 and a total readership of 4 million. Recipient of more editorial awards than any other major automotive publication, AUTOMOBILE MAGAZINE is designed to appeal to the interests of passionate automotive enthusiasts. Its diverse editorial mix includes behind-the-wheel experiences in the world’s most fascinating cars, as well as personalities, travel destinations, automotive art, vintage cars and industry trends.



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