|Best Luxury Cars:
Choosing the best vehicle in any category can be a daunting task, with so many worthy contenders and room for subjectivity. Nevertheless, the duPont Registry has once again chosen its 11 'Best of' winners in a range of categories, and claims to have found that cars in general are trending toward green ideals and away from raw horsepower.
It's an interesting conclusion to reach considering the list of cars that took the top 11 spots. Of the winners that are actually in production, only one - the Tesla Roadster - falls below the 450hp (335kW) mark, and it's purely electric. The remainder are big-power bruisers that offer little in the way of green redemption. Koenigsegg's 1019hp (760kW) CCXR burns ethanol, so it may rate as green depending on one's viewpoint, and the still-in-development Ronn Motors Scorpion is designed from the ground up to be an enviro-friendly supercar, but the remainder of the list is a veritable who's who of the clasically excessive.
The Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport, for example, tops the list as 2009 Car of the Year. It hardly requires explanation for the anti-green properties of a 987hp (736kW) two-seater to become obvious. Ferrari's new California - itself touted as a 'greener' Ferrari by its makers - ranks as best convertible, but its 460hp (343kW) V8 hardly qualifies as eco-friendly. Not even the Rolls Royce Phantom Coupe - one of the least powerful cars on the list - has any legitimate environmental credibility, and it still rates at 453hp (337kW).
But regardless of duPont's spurious claims of the death of horsepower, one clear trend has cemented itself at the forefront of the new list: the overall price of the best picks. Last year, the total price of the 11 cars was just $1.5 million. This year, the Koenigsegg CCXR alone added 50 percent to that total with its $2.3 million price tag. Adding the rest together brings the total past $4.5 million, thanks in large part to the special edition Veyron Grand Sport.
The 2009 duPont REGISTRY's "Best Of" winners are
2009 Car of the Year: Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport
Best New Performance Sedan: Bentley Flying Spur Speed
Best New Performance Coupe: Mercedes-Benz SL 65 AMG Black Series
Best New Convertible: Ferrari California
Best New Exotic: Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-4
Best Exotic Concept: Saleen S5S Raptor
Best Bang for the Buck: Corvette ZR1
Best New Luxury Coupe: Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe
Best Performing Green Exotic: Koenigsegg CCXR
Best Green Car Innovation: Ronn Motors Scorpion
Best Green Exotic: Tesla Roadster
By Nelson Ireson