Chevrolet, Mazda. The Chevrolet Malibu is the 2008 North American Car of the Year and the Mazda CX-9 the 2008 North American Truck of the Year. In case you're wondering, the vote tally broke down like this: Malibu (190 votes), Cadillac CTS (165) and Honda Accord (95). And for truck, Mazda CX-9 (201), Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid (140) and Buick Enclave (109).
Cadillac. In a moment of clarity, Cadillac declined to renew its sponsorship deal with the Masters golf tournament, according to Automotive News. Although AN reported that Cadillac got "aced out" of the deal, it was clear that the Masters jacked-up the price to the point that it just became silly and then Cadillac had to ask themselves the defining question: Would you miss it? Who is stepping in to replace Cadillac? Mercedes-Benz. Those GLKs are just going to look swell at Augusta, aren't they?
Mid-Engine Corvette Fans. Publisher's Note - BREAKING NEWS (First Posted at 6:30pm, 1/10/08): I have learned that the often-rumored, on-the-front-burner/off-the-front-burner mid-engine proposal for the next-generation Corvette (C7) has now officially been shelved because of costs associated with doing the program. The challenges that I reported as being "solved" last August on Autoextremist.com apparently grew more complex, and because of that the volume proposition for the mid-engine Corvette came apart. To do the car properly would have meant limiting its numbers to the point that it would put the car at a price point far beyond the historical value-performance equation that the Corvette has enjoyed almost since its inception, even beyond the price point of the recent Ford GT. It's not clear yet how much the new EPA regulations factored into the decision. So now, the next-generation C7 will be in a much lighter and slightly trimmer package size, with traditional front-engine/rear-wheel-drive configuration. Even though engine choices are fluid at this point in time, an aluminum V8 will remain an essential ingredient of the next-generation Corvette. But you can also expect a dramatic, advanced, "alternative" powertrain configuration to be a prominent option on the car. So there you have it, folks, the fabled mid-engine Corvette is dead for another generation. And one more thing, it is said that the death of the mid-engined C7 will not affect the ongoing development of the next-generation Corvette racing car that's being developed for the new "EVO" rules due to take effect at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2010. That racing program, which revolves around a mid-engined car designed to new technical regulations, is said to be continuing as planned. - PMD
Hyundai. The Korean automaker's American executives are contemplating pulling their ad off of the Super Bowl, according to Automotive News. Smart move. Car spots get lost on the Super Bowl broadcast because they're inherently not interesting unless they're outrageous and/or superbly done, and even then they barely move the USA Today ad meter.
John Thawley. Publisher's Note: The new look of Autoextremist.com was created by John Thawley. John's Creative Communications Group (located right here in Michigan) is a company specializing in graphic design for print and electronic online applications. Unlike traditional graphic designers, Thawley has pursued the integration of online communications with traditional media as a seamless language. John is also one of the top motorsports photographers in the world, and his work routinely appears in Autoextremist.com. Our heartfelt thanks goes out to John for all of his help and expertise, and reader feedback indicates that the new look, feel and navigation of Autoextremist.com is being well received. - PMD