2018 AUTOMOBILE All-Stars: Meet the Contenders

There are no losers in this group, the best cars of the year

Each year we assemble a competitive group of the most intriguing new cars produced in the previous 12 months. For the second year in a row, we evaluated them on road and race circuit, specifically Nevada’s breathtaking Mount Charleston and the Speedvegas road course 15 miles south of the Las Vegas Strip. So although the places haven’t changed, something about this year’s crop of 26 combatants was palpably different. Namely, this might be the most impressive All-Stars contender lineup of all time, most certainly the strongest field of candidates in years.

To the test: Putting this many vehicles through the wringer in just a few days is no easy logistical task, but the picture that emerges is always fascinating.

So good is this assembly of machines that our editors at one point stood atop Mount Charleston, soaked in the introspection-inspiring views, and mumbled something about naming every car present an official All-Star, and it wasn’t the thin mountain air talking. We can’t be more clear about this: To receive an invitation to our annual shootout, culled from an initial list of dozens more, always means a car is massively impressive and already a winner worthy of recognition. This year more than ever, there are absolutely no losers in this group.

As always, our formula is simple: no price caps, no categories, and no convoluted point-scoring rules. We pride ourselves on being this industry’s most straightforward awards shootout: The vehicles that spark the most passion, inspire the biggest grins, and deliver an experience as true to their original intent as possible inevitably walk away with an All-Stars trophy.

Is it raw speed that matters most? Physics-defying handling? World-class interior appointments? Those things all count, but this isn’t just a numbers game. It’s a soul-searching quest to identify cars that stir emotions, achievable only by driving them and, more critically, feeling them, hearing them, even smelling them. Because oftentimes the most important elements to dedicated car enthusiasts aren’t apparent on a stopwatch, a dyno, or a score sheet but only through the heart.

Over four eye-opening days on the mountain and the track, our staff and contributors identified almost unanimously the absolute best of the best from around the world. We’ll tell you which ones went home with 2018 All-Stars honors on Saturday, March 10, at the 2018 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance—and right here on automobilemag.com. And in the meantime, we’ll provide daily introductions to each of the 26 contenders:

2018 Automobile All-Stars Contenders

2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Ti Sport AWD
2017 Audi RS 3 2.5T quattro S tronic 2018 Audi S4 3.0T quattro tiptronic
2018 Audi TT RS Coupe quattro S tronic 2018 BMW M550i xDrive
2018 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE 2018 Ferrari GTC4Lusso T
2017 Ford GT 2018 Honda Accord Sport 2.0T
2017 Honda Civic Type R Touring 2018 Kia Stinger GT
2018 Lamborghini Huracan Performante 2017 Land Rover Discovery HSE Luxury Td6
2018 Lexus LC 500 2017 Mazda CX-5 Grand touring AWD
2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club RF 2018 McLaren 720S
2018 Mercedes-AMG E63 S 2018 Mercedes-AMG GT R
2017 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS 2017 Porsche Panamera 4S
2018 Range Rover Velar R-Dynamic HSE 2018 Toyota Camry XSE
2018 Volvo V90 T6 AWD R-Design 2018 Volvo XC60 T8 E-AWD Inscription