Car of the Year 2014


Car of the Year: 14 Marvels of Modern Engineering Chase the Title

From This Issue

FrontRunners: Renaissance Writer

The fourth pen in the company’s Great Characters collection, the Montblanc Great Characters Limited Edition Leonardo ( honors the Italian artist, scientist, and inventor Leonardo da Vinci. Many of the $3,615 pen’s details refer to Leonardo’s fascination with flight. The nib displays a reproduction of his drawing of a bat in flight, and the grip […]

FrontRunners: Cowboy to City Slicker

An El Paso, Texas, company that has been making exceptional cowboy boots for 130 years has slipped into shoes for city slickers and released the Lucchese footwear collection ( The line includes the oxford, the Chelsea boot, and other classics, as well as the Massimo boot shown here. It is a calfskin style inspired by […]

FrontRunners: High-Mileage Fashion

Among the many options for BMW’s new plug-in i8 coupe is a set of designer luggage that fits the car’s compact spaces as precisely as puzzle pieces. Each set of Louis Vuitton i8 travel bags ( includes four lightweight, scratch-resistant pieces in the brand’s signature Damier logo canvas. The bags (starting at $4,375 each) are […]

FrontRunners: Plenty of Pickup

Delivering modern-day high performance while displaying midcentury design, the Icon Thriftmaster ( pickup truck is the newest addition to the Southern California–based company’s stable of vintage-inspired made-to-order vehicles. The Thriftmaster’s exterior styling is based on that of the 1947 Chevrolet 3100, one of the most popular pickups of the post–World War II era. However, there […]

FrontRunners: Shutter Priority

Two new travel experiences with a focus on photography. Exclusive Exposure: The destination club Exclusive Resorts has partnered with the camera company Leica to host a series of Destinations in Focus journeys ( Priced from $2,999 per person, the four-night programs will debut in July with workshops at the club’s private compound in Costa Rica’s […]

FrontRunners: Suite Centennial

To commemorate Beverly Hills’ 100th anniversary this year, five hotels—the Peninsula Beverly Hills, Montage Beverly Hills, L’Ermitage Beverly Hills, the Beverly Hills Hotel, and the Beverly Hilton—have each created a new suite that reflects a defining era in the Southern California city’s past. The Suite 100 collection (, which debuted in March and is available […]

FrontRunners: Cellar Notes April 2014

Radical Expression Marco Caprai’s obsession with tradition made him at one point something of a radical in the eyes of Italy’s viticultural establishment. The onetime student of political science cultivated controversy in the late 1980s when he took over the management of Arnaldo Caprai, his father’s estate in the Umbrian town of Torre di Montefalco, […]

FrontRunners: Water Powered

Most Scotch-whisky experts agree that a few drops of water in a dram can release complex flavors and aromas hidden within the spirit. Now Uisge Source ( is producing bottled waters drawn from Scotland’s three major whisky regions: Speyside, Islay, and the Highlands. Each varies  naturally in mineral content and pH, and is intended to […]

Car of the Year 2014: A Sweeping Success

Landslides are called more often in the premature pontifications of modern live election coverage than they ever have been by the officials actually tabulating votes. Most performances on the U.S. political stage are decidedly undramatic; and when drama does unfold, its tenor is generally more comic than heroic—particularly where presidential contests are concerned. Yet occasionally, […]

Car of the Year 2014: Ferrari F12 Berlinetta

No Contest Though we have been involving readers in our Car of the Year events for a decade, we continue to be surprised by the emotional reactions—good and bad—that certain entries elicit from them. Some models could seemingly incite an angry mob to wield pitchforks and hoes, while others spread pandemics of praise so infectious […]

Car of the Year 2014: Audi R8 V10 Plus

Familiar Finish The R8, in various variants, has competed in four of the last seven Car of the Year events and finished second each of the last three times after claiming victory at its Napa Valley debut in 2008. Evidently our judges find something magical about the combination of a fiery, Lamborghini-derived V-10 engine and […]

Car of the Year 2014: Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 Roadster

More than Enough To borrow a phrase from the Seder, if Lamborghini had delivered only the Aventador, dayenu—it would have been enough for us. But instead, the carmaker created a roadster version of Robb Report’s 2012 Car of the Year that is even more audacious because of the addition of a featherweight two-piece removable hard […]

Car of the Year 2014: Jaguar F-Type V8 S

Back in the Game It had been a long time since Jaguar built a sports car—some four decades, in fact. This hiatus came after the company had produced the SS100 in the 1930s, the XKs in the ’50s, and the E-Types in the ’60s and into the ’70s. Does the F-Type—specifically the V8 S variant, […]

Car of the Year 2014: SRT Viper GTS

Snake Bit The fifth-generation Viper, the flagship of Chrysler’s Street & Racing Technology (SRT) division, represents three years of reengineering by Ralph Gilles and his team to create a track tyrant that looks as though it was styled in a wind tunnel. As our judges discovered, even in its more refined GTS form, the Viper […]

Car of the Year 2014: Steering Committee

OUR SPONSORS Robb Report wishes to thank the following companies for their support of the 2014 Car of the Year event: Carl F. Bucherer, Chopard, Gaggenau, Garia, Graff, Jet Aviation, Jewelers unBLOCKed, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet, Korean Air, Lalique, Pal Zileri, and Paul & Shark.   The following Robb Report readers were among […]

High Time for Sri Lanka

The GippsAero GA8 Airvan floats nimbly through the clouds, sweeping over the paddies and craggy mountains of the Sri Lankan countryside. Traveling north from the island nation’s seaside metropolis of Colombo to its famed Cultural Triangle, the aircraft soars past Adam’s Peak—a jagged, cone-shaped mountain whose footprint-like indentations have for centuries prompted holy pilgrimages—then veers […]

A Voyager, Even Now

At the beginning of the 20th century, the maker of the most stylish and practical custom luggage in Paris was not Louis Vuitton or Goyard, but Pauline Moynat. The only prominent female practitioner of the era, Moynat created distinctively curvaceous bags and witty conceptual pieces, such as a round trunk designed to hold a spare […]

Treasured Discoveries

Jessica McCormack’s Victorian townhouse looks like a tasteful private residence in London’s posh Mayfair district, but this address happens to be home to some of the most elegant and versatile jewelry in the city—or indeed any other. “I love the idea of people coming into a home where they are inclined to slow down and […]

Sea of Green

Most yacht owners like the idea of eco-friendly design, but in practice few are willing to sacrifice comfort or performance in the name of cutting fuel consumption. The Columbus 40 S Hybrid—a versatile new 131-foot model from Italy’s Columbus Yachts—may quell any such concerns with a space-saving design and a range of possible speed-and-efficiency combinations. […]

Show and Sell

The organizers of the Arizona Concours d’Elegance have huge ambitions for their event, whose inaugural edition was held in January at the Arizona Biltmore resort in Phoenix. “Our goal is that within three years, car owners will be asking, ‘Are you going to the Biltmore this year?’ ” says Kevin Cornish, a Phoenix-based health-care consultant and […]

Gotham Revival

Building luxury hotels in Gilded Age New York became a habit for the Astors. The family’s first foray into the field was made by John Jacob Astor, whose Astor House, erected in 1838, was an unapologetically bourgeois bastion that his two aristocratically inclined great-grandsons would have disdained. These cousins, William Waldorf Astor and John Jacob […]

Skin Peaks

Known for its decadent chocolates and fine timepieces, Geneva recently added to its arsenal of indulgences with the debut of the world’s first Spa Mont Blanc. The 30,000-square-foot facility—which opened in October within a two-story, glass-enclosed rooftop space at the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues Geneva—looks out to the Jura Mountains and the spa’s namesake […]

Cognac Concoctions

The simple but balanced sidecar, perhaps the best-known Cognac-based libation, is widely believed to have originated in early 20th-century Paris, at either Harry’s New York Bar or the Ritz Paris. Nearly a century later, gifted mixologists such as Josh Davis of Chicago are crafting exquisite modifications of the archetypal recipe. Davis’s Spoken Word combines bright […]

On Par

It seemed only a matter of time before the market for Masters memorabilia reflected the annual feeding frenzy for Masters tickets. A turning point may have come last year, when three exceptional Masters-related items made their auction debuts. The most coveted was the green jacket that the Augusta National Golf Club presented to Horton Smith, […]

Kermit Lynch

The Son of a fundamentalist preacher, Kermit Lynch found his calling in the pursuit of pleasure—and inspired a cult following of his own. Starting with a small wine shop in Berkeley, Calif., Lynch became one of the world’s most influential wine importers and the man who introduced Americans to the concept of terroir. The 25th-anniversary […]

Secret Spot

As the founder and owner of Tropicsurf, Ross Phillips travels the planet in search of the surfing world’s most elusive species: a good break with no crowds. Scarcer still, says the 45-year-old Australian—whose company leads luxury surf trips to tropical destinations from the Maldives to Mexico—is finding this combination directly in front of a first-rate […]