Edi­tor’s Let­ter

Automobile - - Contents - By Mike Floyd

Sur­vey­ing the su­per­stars, present and fu­ture.

SU­PER­CARS, SPORTS CARS, and crossovers with plenty of cool. Even a wagon made an ap­pear­ance. Our 2018 All-Stars eval­u­a­tion was ar­guably the most stel­lar con­stel­la­tion of ve­hi­cles this pub­li­ca­tion has ever as­sem­bled in one place. Of the 26 on hand, this year we landed on eight to rep­re­sent the best the mar­ket has to of­fer, the ALL­STARS. You can take it all in be­gin­ning on page 34.

In the run up to our an­nual All-Stars event, we scan ev­ery ma­jor au­tomaker’s ros­ter and iden­tify the all-new, sig­nif­i­cantly re­vised, or oth­er­wise in­ter­est­ing vari­ants of ve­hi­cles on sale or about to be in the 12 months pre­ced­ing our test each De­cem­ber. Then we cull our ex­clu­sive list of in­vi­tees from there. While we aim to get ev­ery last car we’d like to eval­u­ate and think you’d en­joy know­ing more about, some­times we aren’t able to do so. For ex­am­ple, Dodge couldn’t pry loose a De­mon, Porsche wasn’t able to score us the 911 we wanted, and we couldn’t get our grubby hands on a Tesla Model 3. Bum­mer. Some cars hit the mar­ket just af­ter our test, so we en­deavor to have them along the fol­low­ing year, with the Alfa Romeo Gi­u­lia’s in­clu­sion this year be­ing one of the lat­est ex­am­ples.

In the spirit of the founders of Au­to­mo­bile, our All-Stars test is as rep­re­sen­ta­tive as pos­si­ble. So there are no rules about prices and no com­pli­cated and con­vo­luted cri­te­ria. Our only goals are to give ev­ery ve­hi­cle on hand an hon­est and thor­ough eval­u­a­tion and have a lit­tle fun—be­cause al­most ev­ery one of them is an ab­so­lute blast to drive, and they’re all spe­cial in their own ways. Sim­ply put, the ones that move us the most are the ones that make the podium af­ter our vote, with 19 judges sub­mit­ting bal­lots for 2018.

Since I’ve been in this po­si­tion, one of my great­est sat­is­fac­tions has been work­ing with our crack squad of staffers and con­trib­u­tors as we con­tinue to de­velop our sig­na­ture event. Each year we add more in­for­ma­tion on ev­ery car we bring for eval­u­a­tion, more video com­po­nents, more so­cial me­dia, and more pho­tog­ra­phy. (Check out our on­line pre­sen­ta­tion here: au­to­mo­bilemag.com /all­stars.) Our top flight cre­ative team is evolv­ing the All-Stars brand­ing, and we’ve part­nered for the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive year with the Amelia Is­land Con­cours d’El­e­gance for our awards pre­sen­ta­tion. In­deed, we’re al­ways think­ing of new op­por­tu­ni­ties, new ways of bring­ing the All-Stars to you.

This year was one of those star-align­ing times car-wise, with some of the most im­pres­sive high­per­for­mance ma­chines in the world avail­able to us. From the McLaren 720s to the Audi TT RS, the Fer­rari GTC 4 Lusso T to the Honda Civic Type R, there were su­per­star of­fer­ings in al­most ev­ery price range. In­ter­est­ingly, and go­ing against the grain of what’s hap­pen­ing in the mar­ket­place, no crossovers made the fi­nal cut, but the Volvo XC60 and Range Rover Ve­lar might have made it through had they not been in this batch of ve­hi­cles. It’s also prob­a­bly one of the last years where an all-elec­tric ve­hi­cle won’t be in the mix. The Bolt EV was a 2017 All-Star. There are more to come, with the Jaguar I-Pace headed into show­rooms pos­si­bly as early as this year.

De­spite the march to­ward elec­tri­fi­ca­tion and the doom and gloom sur­round­ing what many be­lieve to be a fu­ture where we’ll be au­tonomously chauf­feured around in shape­less, elec­tric-pow­ered pods, things still look bright for peo­ple like us who love to drive cars and want to learn more about ev­ery­thing from a Honda Ac­cord Sport to ex­otic un­ob­ta­nium like the as­ton­ish­ing Ford GT.

Next year’s All-Stars list is al­ready shap­ing up quite nicely. We’ll be all over the mon­strous Chevy Corvette ZR1, and just maybe Porsche will bestow a daz­zling 911 GT2 RS upon us. The new BMW M5 and 8 Se­ries, Fer­rari Portofino, As­ton Martin Van­tage, Audi RS 5, MERCEDESAMG GT sedan, and Mercedes Benz CLS Class are some of the other per­for­mance­ori­ented ma­chines also on the way. Buick is bring­ing a new Re­gal GS to show­rooms, and the Volk­swa­gen Ar­teon is set to spice up the Ger­man man­u­fac­turer’s lineup. Hyundai is rolling out a hot-look­ing N-per­for­mance branded ver­sion of its Veloster hatch, and Ge­n­e­sis will show off its all-new G70 sedan.

More com­pact crossovers are com­ing, of course, in­clud­ing the Jaguar E-Pace, Volvo XC40, and BMW X2. The new Jeep Wran­gler is headed for the trails, and the Mercedes G-Class, though ca­pa­ble enough to hang off-road with the Wran­gler, will do most of its work preen­ing in fash­ion­able lo­cales and fancy mall park­ing lots.

No mat­ter what ve­hi­cles show up in suc­ceed­ing years, there’s one thing you can be sure of: We’ll keep grind­ing away, keep build­ing, and keep the fo­cus on bring­ing you the best All-Stars pre­sen­ta­tion pos­si­ble. AM

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