CNBC Exclusive: Automobile Magazine's Car of the Year

Automobile Magazine
Automobile Magazine

Automobile magazine will announce its “Car of the Year” for 2007 in the upcoming issue, released on January 9th. But “Power Lunch” had an exclusive interview with magazine president, Jean Jennings today. Not only did she did she give up the car of the year secret to Bill Griffeth, she also told us what Automobile’s says is the best-designed car of the year.

And the best "Car of the Year" is? Volkswagen’s GTI. It’s a 200-horsepower, 2.0-liter compact that can go from zero to 60 mph in 6.6 seconds. The car has come a long way since its debut in 1982, when the then-original “pocket rocket” came with a whopping 90 hp. More importantly these days, though, it gets 30 miles per gallon. Jennings says the car can be had for somewhere in the low 20s.

As for best design, that prize went to the Aston Martin V8 Vantage. Automobile calls it “the best looking car manufactured in the last couple of decades.” Jennings heaped even more praise, saying it’s “without a doubt the most beautiful car on the road.” Ian Callum, who is now head of design at Jaguar, originally designed the car.

Jennings noted that as safety and quality become ubiquitous – even government-mandated – design will be the key distinguishing factor between automakers.