The automotive industry love to distribute Awards. From the prestigious car of the year to the best door knob manufacturer. We will keep you informed on the most interesting ones.

Every year the L.A. Autoshow asks manufacturers from around the world to envision the car of the future and then to display their forward thinking designs for all of Los Angeles to see. Every year the theme differs a bit form the year before, this year’s LA Design Challenge is all about what first time drivers will be behind the proverbial wheel of in 2030. While all of the Youthmobile 2030 entries delivered a variety of solutions to future transportation, the judges have spoken and it looks like we will be driving on the GRID because the Nissan V2G will take home the top honor. The 2030 Nissan Vehicle to Grid offers consumers everything from social media to tuner transformations with its infotainment interface and off-GRID gadgetry that allows owners the ability to tailor their future electric vehicles to their specific tastes.

Press release after the jump.

Even if the diesel burning Audi A3 just arrived in U.S. last month, the alternatively fueled hatchback already has a huge following around the world. And it hasn’t taken long for the other A3 to find success being named the 2010 Green Car of the Year by the Green Car Journal and the website at the 2009 LA Auto Show. The 2.0 Liter TDI four cylinder engine delivers a maximum output of 140 HP and because it is a diesel, significantly more torque, 236 lb-ft to be exact. Yet despite the excessive amount of thrust, the green A3 is able to get an EPA estimated 42 MPG on the highway.

Audi A3 TDI - 2010 Green Car of the Year

According to the President of Audi of America, Johan de Nysschen, "We consider the Green Car of the Year® title one of the most important industry accolades. It is of paramount importance for us to develop vehicles that achieve the very touchstones this award stands for fuel efficiency and environmental impact. Rather than novelty features, we consider these attributes imperative to the future of automobile design. We are honored with this recognition for the Audi A3 TDI." With a shift towards premium compacts and fuel efficient car shopping, Audi look like they are on the right track towards selling these green A3s like hot cakes.

Press release after the jump.

Posted on by Terence 9

It is no surprise that the latest mid engine offering from Maranello has caught the attention of the motoring press with its dramatic new styling and revolutionary 4.5 Liter V8 engine equipped with a traditional flat style crankshaft that giving the new super car Ferrari’s signature top end bark producing 570 HP at an astonishingly high 9000 RPM. Tipping the scales at just over 3000 pounds, the new Ferrari 458 Italia will rocket from 0 to 60 MPH in just 3.4 seconds and won’t stop until it reaches a top speed of 202 MPH. For these reasons and a whole lot more, the BBC’s crack team of automotive scrupulators from Top Gear have selected the all new Italia as their car of the year for 2009.

The 458 was unveiled earlier this year at the Frankfurt Motor Show and it should arrive in showrooms here in the U.S. by the beginning of next summer. In reference as to why the Italia was chosen as the 2009 Top Gear car of the year, responses ranged from the 458 being “a game changing car” and “the new benchmark in getting from A to B as rapidly as possible” to being chosen as “our winner because the scope of its abilities is absolutely breathtaking” and that it “isn’t just a worthy winner, it’s off the scale!” We couldn’t agree more.

Press release after the jump.

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Jaguar showed off their 2010 XJ at the 2009 Miami Auto Show. Although they had already unveiled the new Jag in London with our favorite late night funny man Jay Leno and super model Claudia Schiffer to take wraps off the new cat, the new XJ was just as stunning in South Florida. This particular model was the very first of the special edition XJs built for Neiman Marcus and quite possibly put the car over the top with its wraparound wood interior and cat claw inspired rear tail lamps. The 2010 XJ is the first Jaguar model to be built using Jaguar’s aerospace-inspired aluminum body technology and will be available with a stretched wheelbase option as well as a choice of new ultra-efficient Gen III classification petrol and diesel engines consisting of a 3.0 Liter diesel V6, a 5.0 Liter naturally aspirated V8 as well as the almighty 5.0 Liter supercharged 8 cylinder power plant.

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The pride and joy of General Motor was slowly pinning around front and center amongst a field of Cadillacs at the Miami Auto Show. Although the Converj concept car made it’s debut at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this year, it’s slipery shape and and jaw dropping presence was good enough to stop us judges dead in our tracks and take the trophy for the 2009 Concept Car of the Show. This plug in gas/electric hybrid vehicle was almost disqualified as one of the judges deemed it to be too production ready for the concept award, and it did loose some points for wearing too narrow rear rubber, however streamlined shapes and low rolling resistance is what an efficient future is all about. Maybe it was the 21st century luxury car’s plush interior and electroluminescent gauges or the roof mounted solar panel the put theCadillac Converj over the top.

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Ford F-150 SVT Raptor R

When the blue oval’s high performance engineers were given the option of either producing another tire shredding SVT Lightning or something completely different, they opted for plan b. Instead of a supercharged work truck that can blow the doors off of most sports cars in a straight line, the SVT group chose to build an off road version of the F-150 that would be competitive in the Baja 1000 right out of the showroom, and actually ended up earning a spot on the podium. Now Texans know a thing or two about pick up trucks, with their starry skies and wide open spaces residents of America’s third coast get plenty out of their pick up trucks. So it was quite an honor when the Texas Auto Writers Association named the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor as their 2009 Truck of Texas. This marks the seventh consecutive time that a Ford F-Series pick up truck has won the award from TAWA.

Ford Motor Company’s president of the Americas, Mark Fields was particularly pleased when he heard the good news. “Winning the Truck of Texas is a distinct honor… Texans know their trucks, and this award is further proof of why the F-Series remains America’s number-one selling pickup. We built F-150 SVT Raptor for truck enthusiasts. And we’re gratified it’s gaining recognition for both its unequaled off-road performance and confidence-inspiring on-road demeanor." The Raptor combines extreme off road capabilities with an aggressive on road package that should only get better in 2010 when Ford puts the more powerful 6.2 Liter V8 version on sale at the beginning of next year.

The candidates for the 2010 North American car and Truck of the Year was recently released and as with any awards categories, this one includes a steady dose of expectant favorites, underdogs, and the proverbial dark horses.

All in all, 37 vehicles have been nominated for the two categories. The country with the most nominations is Japan with 12 – which includes a rare Suzuki Suzuki entry with the Kizashi. Japan is followed by two regions fielding 11 cars each: the US and Europe. Rounding out the field is Korea with three entries with the Hyundai Genesis, the Kia Forte and the Kia Soul.

Noticeably absent from being nominated in the two categories is Chrysler, despite having a slew of cars and trucks in its roster.

Both Hyundai and Ford figure to defend their titles as Car and Truck of the Year after winning the two awards last year with the 2009 Hyundai Hyundai Genesis and the 2009 Ford F-150, respectively. While the 2010 Genesis remains in the hunt for a back-to-back showing, the F-150 conspicuously was left among the entries for the Truck of the Year, meaning that it’s up to the Ford Transit Connect to defend Ford’s title.

Continued with list of nominees for the 2010 North America Car of the Year after the jump.

Source: Edmunds
Posted on by Michael Sheena 0
Porsche Panamera

In J.D. Power and Associates yearly survey of new car buyers who have owned a 2009 model year vehicle for 90 days, Porsche pulled in a second place ranking with 90 problems per 100 vehicles behind Lexus which had 84 problems per 100 vehicles. Last year Porsche had been ranked number one.

In general domestic manufacturers scored improvements. "Even in the face of unprecedented challenges, the Detroit automakers are keeping their focus on designing and building high-quality vehicles, which is a precondition for long-term success," said David Sargent, vice president of automotive research at J.D. Power and Associates.

Some industry experts take issue with the IQS and its effectiveness in providing meaningful data. For example, the study not only looks at defects (things that should be fixed) but also annoyances (things that must be endured). MINI was slammed one year for having poor cup holders, hardly a deal breaker in most people’s eyes. Jaguar Jaguar took an elevator ride to the basement this year dropping from 8th to 28th on the weakness of its XF model. Three of the top five issues with the XF included glove-box operation, the fuel-filler flap and customer questions on brake dust.

Whereas Consumer Reports does not allow its test results to be used in advertising, J.D. Power does, so top ranking manufacturers are more than happy to crow about their success, no matter how arbitrary that success might be.

The New York Auto Show is has an odd placement. By the time of the show, most of the manufacturers have already revealed their big releases for the current year and are waiting for the fall shows (Frankfurt/Paris) to tease the big releases for the next year. So one thing that has become a big deal to come out of the show is the World Car of the Year Awards.

We got the first 11 finalists back in January, and now the jury has narrowed the field to three:
- Ford Fiesta
- Toyota iQ
- Volkswagen Golf VI .

There are also sub-categories, and one that we are particularly interested in are the three finalists for the performance car of the year are: Corvette ZR1 , Nissan GT-R and Porsche 911 Carrera . For those who have gone eco-friendly, the finalists for green car are:Honda FCX Clarity , Mitsubishi iMiEV and Toyota iQ . Best design nominations: Citroen C5 , Fiat 500 and Jaguar XF .

Winners will be announced April 9th.

Press release after the jump

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