Audi has pulled off a double triumph at the Golden Steering Wheel 2010 awards. The A1 among the Small Cars and the A8 in the Luxury Cars category were the models bringing home this brace of accolades. The Audi A7 Sportback finished runner-up in the Midsize/Full Size category, completing an outstanding tally of successes for the brand with the four rings. With 20 Golden Steering Wheel awards to its name over the 35-year history of the renowned competition run by Bild am Sonntag and Auto Bild, Audi is the most successful brand to feature in it. The awards were presented today, on Wednesday evening, at Berlins Axel-Springer-Verlagshaus.
Both the Audi A1 and the Ingolstadt manufacturers flagship model, the Audi A8, each of them successful new entrants to the market this year, fended off a stiff challenge from their respective direct competitors, repeating the success of the Audi A5 Sportback (2009), Audi Q5 (2008) and Audi A4 (2007) in preceding years.
Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG, took receipt of the award for the A8: We have been very sensitive in the way we have sought to refine the A8s design. It is a very elegant and subtle balance. The A8 embodies our collective skills in the fields of both design and technology. It is a genuine complete work of art and an excellent one at that.
Michael Dick, Member of the Board of Management of AUDI AG for Technical Development, collected the Golden Steering Wheel award for the A1, commenting: We are truly delighted to have received this distinction. Our A1 chimes perfectly with our times. Our sales figures reflect that, too.
This year the 50-strong jury for the Golden Steering Wheel, a line-up of VIPs, technical experts, professional motor racing and rally drivers and the editors-in-chief of the international offshoots of the trade publication Auto Bild, again had the opportunity to put all 42 candidate vehicles through their paces behind closed doors on a special proving ground.
The A1 scored particularly well among the editors-in-chief for its driving and seating comfort, driver assistance systems, ease of operation, and the flexibility and acceleration criteria. The technical experts gave the compact model top scores for build quality, quality impression, safety, ease of repair and environmental acceptability. The racing drivers applauded its engine, steering, suspension, brakes, gearshift and driver assistance systems, and not least the Audi A1s driving pleasure. The latter aspect also held great appeal for the VIPs, as did its design, spaciousness, interior noise, ease of operation and seating comfort.
In the luxury category the editors-in-chief praised the Audi A8 most notably for its ride comfort, driver assistance systems, ease of operation, variability and value for money. The technical experts acknowledged the A8s build quality, ease of repair and environmental acceptability, allround view, safety, fuel efficiency and value for money. The luxury sedan scored highly among the racing drivers for its engine, steering, suspension, brakes, gearshift and smoothness of drive. And the VIPs commended attributes such as rear seating comfort and social acceptability.
The Golden Steering Wheel has been awarded to the best new car models every year since 1975. Just in recent years, winners of the Golden Steering Wheel included the Audi A6 (2004), the Q7 (2005), the A4 Sedan (2007), the SUV Audi Q5 (2008) and the A5 Sportback. This year there was a field of 42 models in six categories.