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CarEnvy Cars of the Year 2009

Can you believe it’s already been a year since our inaugural COTY awards? Well it’s true. Last year at this time, we sat down and drew up an 8-category competition of the year’s best new cars. The category winners were as diverse as Apple’s App Store but only one car could walk away with the overall crown. In 2008, the Honda FCX Clarity appeared to have taken the glory for Japan, but then the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 clubbed the Honda in the back of the head and snatched the title for Italy (and indirectly Germany).

As you will recall from last year, the winner of each category need not be the fastest in a straight line, nor on a circuit, nor have the best brakes, nor the sexiest styling. The winner of each category is the most desirable car among the nominees. It’s intangible and ephemeral, yes, but it’s also why we love cars. Also, considering the economic events of the last 12 months, the winner should also be conscious of the market’s more frugal buyers. Or at least those who want to appear to be more frugal in these times of penny pinching.

This year, the number of categories has swollen to nine, adding Concept of the Year to the list. The nominees were determined by our collective staff and whittled down to just one by closing our eyes and pointing to the list. Or maybe we deliberated until the sweat stung our eyes, who knows. If you’re wondering why cars like the new Ferrari 458 Italia, Lexus LFA, and the Mercedes SLS AMG aren’t on the list, it’s because they weren’t on sale in 2009. But watch out for those three heavyweights in 2010.

Without further ado, we present the CarEnvy Cars of the Year for 2009.

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Top Gear Magazine Announces 2009 Cars of the Year – We Judge Them


Since hasn’t finalized its 2009 Cars of the Year, the second best publication around, Top Gear Magazine, will have to do for now. Their criteria are a little different than ours, and so are their categories, but we still value their opinion. Why? Because we have a subscription and the 1.5 centimetre thick, $13 magazines are worth it every penny, believe it or not. Also, unlike our awards, car companies actually care if they win the TG honours. Can’t say I’ve ever seen a CarEnvy award plastered on an advertisement. TG award? Definitely.

Follow the jump to find out who took top honours.

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Valentino Balboni Explains Why Lamborghinis Have Scissor Doors

Ever wondered if there were a good reason why Lamborghini originally chose to fit scissor doors to their cars? Valentino Balboni, the Lamorghini test driver for the last 40 years and the man for whom the most recent Gallardo LP550-2 model is named, explains the very practical reason for scissor doors.

Is that why I’ve seen Cavaliers with scissor doors? Because the rear visibility is so bad?

This is from National Geographic’s current series on the Murcielago LP670-4 SV, a car we’re pretty fond. Why? Because it’s hypercar royalty.

[National Geographic via 0-60]

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