Concept vehicles drive future design

2013-07-27T16:18:00Z Concept vehicles drive future designTom Kelley Special to The Times
July 27, 2013 4:18 pm  • 

CHARLOTTE, N.C. | Winners of the 12th annual North American Concept Vehicle of the Year Awards were recently unveiled.

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 vehicles based on a model that has already been announced or planned for production.

Finalists in this category include the Acura NSX, BMW i8 Spyder, Subaru WRX STI and Tesla's Model X.

Building on its prior success with a Coupe variant, BMW's i8 returns in Spyder form 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," says juror Mark Phelan. "The BMW i8 Spyder is a super car for the Green movement."

The Concept Car category recognizes those vehicles where passenger conveyance is the primary intent.

Finalists in the Concept Car category are the Honda EV-STER, Hyundai HCD-14 Genesis, Hyundai 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," remarks 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 moving cargo is a significant consideration.

Truck category finalists are the Ford Atlas, Kia Cross GT, 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," declares juror Chris Poole. "The Atlas certainly looks the business-big, buff and tough, yet nicely tailored too.”

Among 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 for 2013.

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