Autosavant’s Ten Most Popular Articles of 2008
By Chris Haak
As a difficult and tumultuous 2008 comes to a close tonight, I thought it might be fun to list the top ten most popular articles on Autosavant during the past 12 months. This top ten list is not necessarily a list of my favorite articles – though I’m fond of many of them – but rather just a ranking of the most popular in terms of the number of people who have viewed them. Also, while most of these articles were written during 2008, a couple were written in late 2007 and just had incredible staying power.
10. Ford Will Retool US Factories for Switch to European Models. Autosavant was literally the first media outlet to report this news, something like six weeks before Ford made the formal retooling announcement. Others laughed at us at the time, but our sources are solid and we’re proud to have broken this story.
9. Suddenly Cobalt Beats its Competition. Again, Autosavant was on the forefront of the news of the Cobalt XFE’s debut – this time not because of any special sources, but because our astute writer noticed some quietly-released news that no other media outlets had been picking up on at the time.
8. 2008 Chevrolet Malibu Review. Our own Brendan Moore attended the media launch of the 2008 Chevrolet Malibu, and while the car’s popularity with online researchers clearly helped our cause here, the fact that Brendan had the opportunity to drive a pre-production 2.4 liter/six-speed automatic Malibu and report on its driving impressions before many others did make this article a good one.
7. Volkswagen Rabbit S Review. Of all the reviews that we’ve done (over 100 in 2008), the Rabbit S has been our most popular. One thing that made this review unique was that Brendan drove the car cross-country, so he had a lot of opportunity to experience the ins and outs of the car. I guess it’s just highly-ranked by Google or something, but we’ll take the pageviews no matter how they get here.
6. “Superman” Ford Taurus Revealed Early. This article was about the 2010 Taurus – which will be a far better looking, more luxurious version of the current car (built on similar underpinnings) – and how a blurry cell phone photo was leaked out of Ford’s offices and posted throughout the Internet. Ford’s busy legal department eventually asked us and many others to take the photo down, which we of course complied with.
5. Details Emerge on New Mustang GT Engine. Ford guru Igor Holas reported on some rumors that he heard surrounding a potential new 5.0 liter V8 engine for the 2010 Mustang. We now know that the 2010 Mustang has basically a carryover 4.6 liter V8 instead, but it’s possible we’ll see the 5.0 liter engine at some point in the future, if CAFE standards don’t kill its prospects.
4. Predicting the 2009 Ford Fusion. Back in 2007, it was expected that the Ford Fusion’s mid-cycle enhancement would take effect with the 2009 model year; instead, that refresh was pushed back to 2010. In spite of this article dating back to September 2007, so far everything predicted (aside from the model year) has proven true; refined styling, new and upgraded interiors, and new engines (3.5 liter V6, 2.5 liter I4, new hybrid powertrain) have all been announced. The two remaining new engines are the rumored EcoBoost four cylinder and V6 powerplants, though Ford has not yet officially confirmed either of those. The EcoBoost four cylinder is probably far more production-likely in the Fusion than would be the 340+ horsepower V6, but a gearhead can dream, can’t he?
3. The Ranger is Dead – Long Live the Ranger. Back in April, we reported that the Ranger would go away in late 2009, to be replaced by a new globally-sourced Ranger in 2012. Since this article was published, Ford announced a reprieve for the Ranger and its assembly plant for two more years, until 2011.
2. The Ford Taurus of 2010. You’d think that we were a Ford fansite, with many of our top articles being about Ford’s product plans. Of course, that’s not the case, but we do have a lot of contacts with the Ford organization. That being said, the big news released in this March 2008 article is that Ford was going to bring back the Taurus SHO with the 2010 model. Rapidly escalating gas prices and the collapsing economy may have put those plans on hold for the time being, but it’s nice to dream about a non-Homer Simpson Taurus that’s also light on its feet.
1. Honda Accord Diesel and New Hybrid Coming for 2009 Model Year. Although this news didn’t exactly pan out as expected (no US Honda diesels for 2009, the diesel was slated for the Acura TSX, no new hybrid model for the 2009 model year), this was the #1 most popular article of 2008 at Autosavant. While the tumult in the auto industry has changed many timelines (like the 2009 Fusion becoming the 2010 Fusion), Honda did most certainly investigate diesel powerplants for its US vehicles, and may still introduce them here. Meanwhile, the new hybrid model is on its way, but as a 2010 model: the reborn Honda Insight.
We at Autosavant wish all of our readers a healthy and prosperous New Year. Thank you for sticking with us in 2008, in a year that turned out to be by far the most successful in our brief history. We have some great stuff planned for 2009, starting with our blanket coverage of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in just two weeks.
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