Robb 2001 Winner: BMW's Z8

An unidentified member of the Hallandale Beach fire rescue assists a group of Haitian migrants at the Hallandale fire deparment in Hallandale Beach, Fla. Wednesday, March 28, 2007. The U.S Coast Guard confirmed that 102 migrants apparently from Haiti were being treated for dehydration Wednesday after their dilapidated, overloaded sailboat reached the Florida shore, officials said. One person died in the crossing.
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BMW's $130,000 Z8 sports car was named Robb Report's 2001 Car of the Year, beating out such perennial favorites as Ferrari, Porsche and Mercedes-Benz.

The selection was announced Friday at the Greater Los Angeles Auto Show, which begins a two-week run Saturday at the Convention Center.

Robb Report gives its distinguished Car of the Year honor to distinguished vehicles priced above $40,000 with technical designs, styling, and performance that position them as the world's best sports and luxury cars.

"The Z8 is the modern embodiment of Count Albrecht Goertz's 1955 BMW 507 roadster, considered by many to be one of the most beautiful cars ever built," said Daniel J. Phillips, president of Robb Report publishers Luxury Media Corp.

"The Z8's classic elegance, performance and handling, and contemporary technology combine to create a modern legend," Phillips said.

Finalists included the Ferrari 360 Spider, the Porsche 911 Turbo, the Lexus LS430, and three Mercedes-Benz models the CLK55, the CL500 and the CL600.

Powered by a 5.0-liter, 394-horsepower M5 V8, BMWs most powerful production engine ever, the $130,000 front-engine, rear-drive Z8 has a top speed of 155 mph.

"To be named 2001 Car of the Year by Robb Report is a great honor indeed," BMW of North America chairman Tom Purves said. "Being chosen out of a field of such outstanding competitors makes it even more significant."

Robb Report evaluates the products of manufacturers that specialize in the production of exclusive, high-performance, thoroughbred automobiles. A six-judge panel that includes Phillips, magazine publisher Paul Dean and contributing writers makes the Car of the Year selection.

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