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ROAD & TRAVEL Magazine: 2007 ICOTY Vehicle Nominees

by Martha Hindes

2007 Lexus LS 460
Car of the Year - 2007 Lexus LS 460

Personal taste is such an individual thing. Simply finding your top notch Lexus LS 460 luxury sedan at the ready has to be a treat. But when it's one that's been personalized with some 16 individual settings (all adjusted at showroom level without ever cracking open the owner's manual) that's even better. Sunroof, interior lighting, headlamp timing on Lexus's totally revised LS 460 flagship sedan all have varying degrees of separation from standard adjustments. Having the LS 460 pull into a tight parallel parking space -- hands free, with barely a touch on the brake pedal -- has to be the nicest touch of all.

Those are some of the reasons jurors found irresistible when choosing the LS 460 as ICOTY's 2007 Luxury - Most Respected car winner. Add to that the newly sculpted body lines, superb exterior finish gained in part by a hand-sanding paint process, plus rear seats that recline for comfort, and luxurious pampering is properly defined. While a large slice of the equation, such ambience of excellence is only part of the LS 460 story. Its exterior has been shaped to offer subtle shadings and perceptions from every different viewing angle. And inside, push button start and stop, power rear sunshades, and a 30-gig hard drive Bluetooth navigation system enhance the pre-collision and dynamic radar cruise control systems underneath. A world's first eight-speed transmission controlling the vehicle's V-8 power is an LS 460 story in its own right.

(Find Your Lexus LS 460 Now)

Honorable Mentions:

BMW 335i Coupe
Spot on performance is what any BMW driver has a right to expect. Winning an ICOTY 2007 honorable mention for such talent is 5 new twin turbocharged 335i Coupe, bringing a remembrance of thrilling 3 Series coupes of the past.

The new 335i Coupe flies through six manual gear points or teases performance from a six-speed STEPTRONIC auto with delicious abandon, as 300 newly freed prancing horses set a lively undercurrent of power. An exercise in limber luxury, its sleek body defines sportiness as a classic, perfectly balanced counterpart to unbridled driving enthusiasm.

Read RTM's Review of the 2007 BMW 3 Series
(Find Your BMW 3 Now)

Audi S8
The new S8 might be called Audi in Yankee guise. The understated German auto maker that usually depends on jaw dropping performance to catch the unwary off guard, has made sure the presence of its sport tuned dominator version of its A8 luxury sedan for American buyers is evident before it inches up to the starting line against the competition.

This limited edition rendition, that rides on road-owning 20-inch wheels, has a number of subtle but noticeable queues such as grille and rear spoiler variations and quad exhaust to distinguish it as the powerhouse special. Underneath is a 5.2-liter aluminum V-1-, good for 450-horsepower and 398-lb. ft. of grabbing, churning torque. A top speed of 155 mph is there to try out for the lucky driver West of the Atlantic who can find a place to test it out legally. Standard huge disc brakes or optional ceramic ones are there to make sure it can stop.

There's a six-speed Tiptronic, rear-weighted "Quattro" all-wheel-drive system plus three suspension modes from dynamic for driving prowess to automatic (normal) or comfort (a nice adjunct to the well appointed, lush leather interior.) All that hints that a heck of a ride is waiting for a punch of that great big "start" button.

(Find Your Audi S8 Now)

2007 ICOTY Awards Links