From super cars to compacts, we take a look back at the best production car news for 2008 in the end-of-the-year roundup.
Since we are rapidly approaching 2009, we decided to take one more look back over the past year. The editors at WCF selected these cars as the Top 10 Production Car stories of 2008.
10. Mercedes McLaren SLR Stirling Moss Revealed only one week ago, this swan song of the SLR series has taken us by surprise. Looking far better than expected the SLR Stirling Moss is a modern day tribute to its legendary driver Sir Stirling Moss and his Mercedes 300 SLR from 1955. It maintains the 650hp supercharged V8 from the 722 Edition while losing it's roof and windscreen for a historical effect. Only 75 examples will be built.
9. 2010 Mercedes E-Class Photos Leaked
Fans of Daimler got an early Christmas gift with the 2010 Mercedes E-Class photos that were leaked over a month prior to their scheduled release. Bigger and wider is not necessarily bad, especially when you're talking about an executive class car. New safety features, like a collision warning delivered through the brake pedal, are prominent here. The 600 horsepower AMG may be on this list next year.
8. 2010 Porsche Panamera
So, Porsche decides to make a luxury family car, and this is what they came up with. Porsche fans were maybe a little hard on the 2010 Porsche Panamera, forgetting that a car meant to compete with the Aston Martin Rapide will not look like a typical Porsche sports car. However, the years of waiting for this car are over. 300hp V6 or 500hp V8, rear wheel drive or 4WD, and a potential hybrid make this one of our top picks for '08.
7. Nissan 370Z Unveiled in Los Angeles last month, the new 350Z successor has been re-sculpted to show more muscle and aggression yet poised as a more nimble performer with a lighter and tighter body structure. A wider and shorter stance and added power from a new 3.7-liter VQ37VHR engine with 332 hp gets our nod of approval.
6. 2009 VW Scirocco
No other car on this list had such mixed reviews from the WorldCarFans community. While some people are clammoring for the powerful-yet-fuel-efficient sport hatch, others think it looks dated, or downright ugly. Engine choices produce between 120 and 198 hp, and sip anywhere from 5.4 to 7.7 liters of fuel per 100 km (31 to 43mpg). However, the third-gen Scirocco is priced a bit high, and may step on the GTI's toes.
5. Ferrari California
Wow. Just wow. One of Maranello's most eagerly awaited cars was criticized by some, but we love the Ferrari California. 0-100km/h in under four seconds, a top speed of 310 km/h (193 mph)... what's not to love? The Pininfarina exterior is one of the classiest Ferrari will ever produce. The company knows they have a winner: their first front-engined V8 car will make up over a third of all Ferraris produced over the next two years.
4. 2010 BMW Z4
A good year for BMW, this is the first of two cars on our top 10 list. Officially released just weeks ago, the new BMW Z4 Roadster comes with a retractable hard top. Although heavier, the car can still get to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 5.2 seconds. Adaptive M Suspension and Drive Dynamic Control also appear for the first time on the Z4.
3. Chevrolet Volt
GM is effectively betting their future on their plug-in hybrid. Angling to be the first plug-in released in the U.S., the production Chevrolet Volt looks like a four-door sedan would in a graphic novel. If you live twenty miles from work, you could drive the roundtrip without using any gas. From concept in 2007 to its September debut as a production model, the 2010 Chevrolet Volt could make or break its parent company.
2. New BMW 7-Series
BMW's fifth generation of their flagship car was one of the most anticipated vehicle releases of the year. With three engine choices immediately available, the new BMW 7-Series gets up to 407 hp. The power alone will let you play Transporter the minute you drive off the lot. Perhaps the BMW M7 will become one of our top stories of 2009.
1. Volkswagen Golf Mk VI
Our top production car story of the year has to be the new VW Golf. Just a few months after Volkswagen built their 25 millionth Volkswagen Golf, the company introduced the next generation of the popular compact. Responding to complaints about the fifth gen, the new Volkswagen Golf Mk VI gets a completely upgraded and redesigned interior, and an exterior harkening back to earlier versions.
Honorable mentions go out to the all-new third generation Toyota Avensis, Ferrari 430 16M Scuderia Spider, Mazda3, Renault Megane, Mercedes SL 65 AMG Black Series and the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4.