Concept vehicles stir the imagination of us all as they put a face on the future of the auto industry with their unique designs and innovative features. Each year the North American Concept Vehicle jury reviews the vehicles that were introduced to during the season’s North America auto shows in Los Angeles, Detroit, Chicago, Toronto, and New York.
This year more than two dozen automotive journalists reviewed the 34 concepts and selected their favorites in three categories:
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 Cadillac ELR, the Jaguar C-X16, and the Subaru BRZ STI.
A model much awaited after its brief absence from the market, Acura brings back their NSX “halo” car to take the honor of 2012 Production Preview Vehicle of the Year. “Like the original NSX, it emphasizes lightness over brute power, but with bolder, edgier styling that’s quite attractive in today’s context,” said juror Chris Poole.
The Concept Car category recognizes those vehicles where passenger carrying is the primary intent. The finalists in the Car category were the BMW i8, The Cadillac Ciel, the Fisker Atlantic, and the Lexus LF-LC.
Marking its fourth competition as a category finalist, and the brand’s second visit to the awards podium, BMW takes the 2012 Concept Car of the Year award with its i8 Concept Spyder. “With lines that remind me of icy water in a mountain stream, the BMW i8 takes open top driving into a new realm of environmental responsibility, with the mission of ultimate driving machine firmly embedded,” said juror Bill Schaffer.
The Concept Truck category recognizes those vehicles where cargo carrying is a significant consideration. The finalists in the Truck category were the Chrysler 700C Minivan, the Land Rover DC 100, the Land Rover DC 100 Sport, and the Smart for-us.
In this brand’s first-ever competition as a category finalist, and its first visit to the awards podium, Smart’s vision for an eco-friendly urban cargo carrier, the “for-us” concept takes the 2012 award for Concept Truck of the Year. “Smart leaps into the 21st century with their small electric-drive ‘for-us’, complete with pickup-like hauling capability,” said juror Bob Kroupa.
The Acura NSX posted the highest overall score to earn the top award as Most Significant Concept Vehicle of the 2012.
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.