Hyundai, BMW and Ford win Concept Vehicle of the Year awardsSat, 06 Jul 2013 15:01:00 EST
More than two dozen jurors started with a pool of 23 concept cars introduced at the most recent Los Angeles, Detroit, Chicago, Toronto and New York auto shows, then pared it down to three winners in three categories for the twelfth annual North American Concept Vehicle of the Year Awards. The trophy-bearers are said to be those "vehicles most likely to shape the future of the automobile industry," and lead their classes in the Concept Car, Concept Truck and Production Preview divisions.
Hyundai had two cars as finalists for the Concept Car category, the competition boiled down to the Hyundai HCD-14 Genesis concept, Veloster C3 Roll Top, Honda EV-STER and the Toyota Corolla Furia. It won with the HCD-14 Genesis that was introduced at the Detroit Auto Show, a sharp sedan that sharply divided opinion between those who thought it was too much, those who thought it was too much Audi A7, and those who thought it was perfect. The award panel's judges, however, thought so much of it that it's got two awards in one sitting, not only taking concept car honors, but because it earned the highest overall score in the competition it also takes the crown for Most Significant Concept Vehicle of 2013.
The final selection in the Concept Truck category was down to the Ford Atlas, Kia Cross GT, Nissan Resonance and Volkswagen Cross Blue. The Ford Atlas took the silverware, after also winning the Eyes on Design award - shared with the Nissan Resonance - at the Detroit Auto Show where it was introduced.
The Production Preview Vehicle was swiped by the BMW i8 Spyder, which rolled silently away from the Acura NSX, the Subaru WRX STI and Tesla Model X. It was a year-on-year sibling affair, with the i8 coupe having won the same category in last year's awards.
There's a press release below with more on the awards and the reasons behind each choice.
2013 Concept Vehicle of the Year Award Winners Announced
Charlotte, NC, July 1 - The winners of the twelfth annual North American Concept Vehicle of the Year Awards were announced today. The awards recognize those vehicles most likely to shape the future of the automobile industry. More than two dozen jurors participated in a selection process that involved a total of 23 vehicles, each introduced to North America during this season's auto shows in Los Angeles, Detroit, Chicago, Toronto, and New York.
The Production Preview Vehicle category is for those vehicles based on a model that has already been announced or planned for production. The finalists in this category included the Acura NSX, the BMW i8 Spyder, the Subaru WRX STI, and Tesla's Model X.
Building on its prior success with a Coupe variant, BMW's i8 returns in a Spyder variant to take the honor of 2013 Production Preview Vehicle of the Year. "BMW has done a masterful job of building anticipation for the launch of its electric-vehicle brand," said juror Mark Phelan. "The i8 Spyder is a super car for the Green movement."
The Concept Car category recognizes those vehicles where passenger carrying is the primary intent. The finalists in the Car category were the Honda EV-STER, Hyundai's HCD-14 Genesis and Veloster C3 Roll Top, and the Toyota Corolla Furia.
Marking its fourth competition as a category finalist, and the brand's second visit to the awards podium, Hyundai takes the 2013 Concept Car of the Year award with its HCD-14 Genesis concept. "Hyundai's HCD-14 introduces future premium vehicle design, advanced 3-D gesture-based technology controls and spirited driving dynamics," said juror Bob Kroupa. "Its rear hinged back doors and fastback coupe design add to the WOW factor."
The Concept Truck category recognizes those vehicles where cargo carrying is a significant consideration. The finalists in the Truck category were the Ford Atlas, the Kia Cross GT, the Nissan Resonance, and the Volkswagen Cross Blue.
Marking Ford's ninth time as a finalist in the Concept Truck category, and the second time as the winner of the category, the Ford Atlas concept takes the 2013 award for Concept Truck of the Year. "Ford has put all its best big-truck thinking into this concept," said juror Chris Poole. "The Atlas certainly looks the business-big, buff and tough, yet nicely tailored too. And it brims with 'better ideas:' fuel-saving stop/start system, aero-enhancing active grille/wheel shutters, hitch and trailer backup assists, and lots more 'practical tech'."
From amongst the segment winners in the Car, Truck and Production Preview categories, the Hyundai's HCD-14 Genesis posted the highest overall score to earn the top award as Most Significant Concept Vehicle of the 2013.
Additional information and details regarding the nominees, the selection jury and the award winners can be found by visiting http://www.northamericanconceptawards.org on the web.
Additional Juror Quotes -
Hyundai HCD-14 Genesis
Jim Scoutten - Hyundai Styling continues to advance, with the Mercedes S-Class as the target.
Chris Poole - Hyundai's California Design center has been turning out some impressive work, and I think the HCD-14 is one of their best. The ultra-clean coupe-like styling has both flair and presence, and I like the grille; it reminds me of certain early Ferraris. The interior is wild, but I applaud the lack of a center stack-provided Hyundai has figured out new controls that are at least as user-friendly. If the next production Genesis is anything like this stunner, I say, bring it on!
Thom Cannell - HCD-14 boldly inspires fear - in hearts of German and British luxury carmakers. We think it embodies the strength of German engineering with the bespoke sophistication embodied in older British and French classics. Presented in full modernity, the car simply deserves to be built as a World Class world vehicle.
Bob Kroupa - Hyundai's HCD14 introduces future premium vehicle design, advanced 3-D gesture-based technology controls and spirited driving dynamics. Its rear hinged back doors and fastback coupe design add to the WOW factor.
Jeff Taylor - Hyundai has stepped up mightily in their concept production and execution delivering two intriguing vehicles.
Ryan Gehm - Simple, sleek outside; cool, high-tech inside. The human-machine interface - fully functional eye-tracking and 3-D hand-gesture recognition, in lieu of traditional center stack/controls - makes this concept a standout.
Chris Poole - Ford has put all its best big-truck thinking into this concept. The Atlas certainly looks the business - big, buff and tough, yet nicely tailored too. And it brims with "better ideas:" fuel-saving stop/start system, aero-enhancing active grille/wheel shutters, hitch and trailer backup assists, and lots more "practical tech." Atlas is billed as a forecast of the next-generation F-150. I imagine it will cause a few sleepless nights for Chevy, GMC and Ram.
Bob Kroupa - Ford, the perennial truck sales leader, showcases its Atlas concept with a massive chrome grill, making Atlas a worthy name for this concept truck. Behind the Atlas frill is Ford's next generation Eco-Boost powertrain for improved economy.
Gary Vasilash - The Ford Atlas isn't simply about making a visual statement vis-à-vis what a contemporary light-duty pickup ought to look like, but it is well thought out from the standpoint of being a truck that people can live with (e.g., the active wheel shutters, for example, help with the aero, which helps with the fuel efficiency, which helps with the day-to-day use of the vehicle).
Mark Phelan - The furor around the Atlas shows just how much interest there is in improving the efficiency of pickup trucks. That class of workhorse vehicles is in for major changes. The Atlas may be a harbinger of where the industry is headed.
BMW i8 Spyder
Thom Cannell - Of all our final candidates, none reaches as far, as quickly, and as beautifully as the i8 Spyder. Fast, efficient, otherworldly gorgeous, this is a classic even before production.
Bob Kroupa - BMW presents their open cockpit beauty, the i8 Spyder. It is plug-in, hybrid-ready reaching 20 miles on the electric charge. A supplemental gasoline engine rated at 220HP moves the Spyder for an additional 380 miles. Gull-wing doors add to the sizzle of this around-town two-seater concept vehicle.
Tom Crosby - Stunning looks, green for the times (100 MPG), and sure to have BMW's awesome handling DNA.
Mark Phelan - BMW has done a masterful job of building anticipation for the launch of its electric-vehicle brand. The i8 Spyder is a super car for the Green movement.
By Jonathon Ramsey
See also: This is the final BMW M3 Coupe, BMW revisits its 8 Series, NHTSA closes investigations into Ford Taurus, Hyundai Santa Fe.