And they're off! ... again. Car and Driver magazine is rolling its annual "10Best Tour Across America" into malls across the nation. The tour stops next in Philadelphia at the Plaza at King of Prussia, May 5-7. Mall hours are: Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

For eighteen years, Car and Driver has been selecting the 10Best vehicles sold in America. This year 63 nominees were selected from the nearly 300 vehicles offered on the market. They were gathered for an intensive week of objective and subjective testing after which 15 editors rated every vehicle. This year's 10 winners are: the Audi A6 2.7T/A6 4.2, Audi TT, BMW 3-series, BMW 5-series, Chrysler 300M, Ford Focus, Honda Accord, Honda S2000, Porsche Boxster and Lexus GS300/GS400.

"The car industry is red hot and ultra-competitive. With this year's outstanding crop of cars and trucks, our 10Best selections were more challenging than ever," said Csaba Csere, (pronounced: Chubba Chedda), editor-in-chief of Car and Driver. "The tour provides anyone in the market for a new vehicle with an excellent opportunity to learn about some of the best cars available, by reading our evaluations, studying the manufacturers specifications, and examining several of the cars in the metal."

The exhibit features five of the 10Best selections along with interactive kiosks, graphic displays, and product specialists. Vehicles that will be on the tour are the Chrysler 300M, Ford Focus, Honda S2000, Audi A6 2.7T/A6 4.2, and Audi TT.

"The tour allows us to bring the editorial pages of our 10Best issue to life," said Peter Saad, vice president/associate group publisher, Car and Driver. "The combination of interactive displays and exhibits along with a product specialist for each of the vehicles lets consumers evaluate each car in a non-pressure environment. The specialists, trained by Car and Driver, are totally versed on the vehicles. If they do not have the information that you need, they can direct you to where you can get it. The interactive program allows you to go through the process of selection, and read reports from the manufacturer on why they believe their product was chosen."

The 10Best award is given only to those 10 models that best address the driving habits, lifestyles, and budgets of their intended buying audience while also meeting the discerning standards of Car and Driver's enthusiastic readers.

Contenders must go on sale by the end of January 2000. Base price, including freight, dealer prep, luxury and gas-guzzling taxes, if they apply, must not exceed Car and Driver's price cap of $61,000 for this year. The cap ensures that the list is not populated by vehicles that only Donald Trump can afford.

Last year's winners are automatically re-nominated provided they are still for sale and under the price cap. Information is gathered through new-car introductions, press kits, and data banks to identify all the models that have been significantly upgraded since the previous year.

Members of the Car and Driver staff give vehicles making the final cut a week long test. They rate each vehicle on a scale of 0 to 100.

For updates, manufacturing reports and information regarding designer and engineering "chat room discussions" with some of this year's 10Best winners, enthusiasts can visit: www.caranddriver.com , or the dedicated 10Best website: www.10Best.com .

Car and Driver magazine, headquartered in Ann Arbor, Mich., is the world's largest circulation automotive magazine and the premier source of information for automobile enthusiasts. Content includes everything from new car previews, road tests and features to industry news and automotive humor.