Okay, I'll admit it: I have mixed feelings about “The List.”
On one hand, I'm proud to have lobbied for's parallel hybrid Prius. Technical innovation gets rewarded in this game, and we're acknowledging one powertrain advance toward the future; this is 21st century stuff we're talking about here, stuff America needs to embrace.
The problem I have is this baby boomer backlash against true, unadulterated power: The '01 Chevrolet Corvette Z06. I know it's enigmatic — how can one praise the eco-head, tree-friendly Prius then turn around and sanction a gluttonous, 350-cube V-8?
I'm not exactly sure myself, but I think it has to do with diversity. How many fours and sixes must we endure in the perpetual yuppie yearning for refinement? Blather!
I can intellectualize, as my elders have, that the modification of an antiquated, pushrod V-8 doesn't necessarily scream “benchmark.” Yet is there nothing redeeming in the ‘Vette's 0-to-60 mph in 4 seconds flat? Have you no sense of decency, sir? We're talking about a number that beats both theDB7 Vantage, the Ferrari 360 Modena F1 and nudges at the mighty Porsche 911 Turbo's scandalous 3.9 seconds.
Maybe next year there'll be enough editors in the throes of full-blown midlife crises, and the Z06 'Vette will be redeemed.
This year, I'd have nixed that Brady Bunch Audi allroad (though I admit you can't discount that torquish twin-turbo V-6 hauling it around) in favor of a man's car — noise, vibrations, emissions and all.