Going To Extremes: the Short List for North American Car of the Year, Part Two

October 4, 2010
In part one of Going to Extremes, we covered the compacts, hybrids and electrics and a mid-size affordable sedan that appear on the short list for the North American Car of the Year (NACOTY). Here we cover the rest of the list.

Note how things suddenly change character. All these entries are luxury or upscale mid-size or large cars. From fuel-efficient and snazzy design to all-out mind-blowing performance and luxury, these NACOTY contenders aren’t pulling any punches. Check them out.

Audi A8 –Completely redesigned for 2011, the A8 is Audi’s flagship sedan and represents a new benchmark in the super-luxury vehicle category – says the automaker – featuring the best in engineering, design, technology, and performance. 

Available in A8 and longer-wheelbase A8 L, the 2011 Audi A8 is sleeker, yet more muscular in appearance, and has what many consider to be the best interior fit-and-finish of the premium brands. A8 also features numerous advanced safety technologies befitting a large luxury sedan. A8 carries starting manufacturer’s suggested retail prices (MSRPs) ranging from $78,050 for A8 4.2 FSI to $84,000 for A8 L 4.2 FSI.

Buick Regal – Aimed at drivers who want a little sport in their sedans, the all-new mid-size 2011 Buick Regal is priced in the affordable sedan category but competes with more upscale makes. Starting MSRP for the Regal CXL is $26,245. Handsome exterior looks, comfortable interior, and a good balance of fuel economy, performance, ride and handling and comfort make a strong statement for this latest product in Buick’s renaissance. Regal is a 2011 Top Safety Pick from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Infiniti M37/M56 – Infiniti M, the automaker’s halo sedan, is available in M37 and M56 models. The carmaker says this next-generation Infiniti M embodies all the best Infiniti traits: style, performance, technology, luxury, and craftsmanship. The 2011 Infiniti M is an IIHS 2011 Top Safety Pick. Pricing for the 2011 Infiniti M37/M56 starts from $46,250.

Jaguar XJ – In the super-luxury category of sedans, the all-new Jaguar XJ is far and away the most expensive of the 14 car contenders on the NACOTY. Four models are offered in the sleek and muscular, top-of-the-line large sedan: XJ, long-wheelbase XJL, XJ/XJL supercharged, and XJ/XJL SuperSport. Base MSRPs range from $72,200 for the 2011 Jaguar XJ to $113,200 for XJL SuperSport.

Volvo S60 – Dubbing the S60 as the “All-new Naughty Volvo S60,” the automaker puts the luxury sedan right out there with its racy looks, fun-to-drive and powerful turbocharged T6 engine, intelligent all-wheel drive, and a slew of safety technologies designed to keep driver and occupants safe. Volvo S60 is a 2011 IIHS Top Safety Pick. MSRPs start at $37,700.

Want to see the rest of the car contenders for the NACOTY? Check out Going to Extremes: The Short List for North American Car of the Year, Part One.

[Audi, Buick, IIHS, Infiniti, Jaguar, Volvo]

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