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.
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.
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 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 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.
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 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 Volkswagen Golf VI beat out the Ford Fiesta and Toyota IQ for title of World Car of the Year Awarded at the New York Auto Show. In sub-categories, the Nissan GT-R won for Performance WCOTY, the Honda FCX Clarity won for the green car, and the Fiat 500 won for design.
Press release after the jump.
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.
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
2008 was the year of the car. The cheap speed seemed to be in full effect from 638 hp $106,500 Corvette ZR1s to 265 hp $25,000 Subaru WRX s; Lamborghini seemed to have more versions of vehicles than total production a few decades ago; and although the Nissan GT-R was our favorite last year, we didn’t get our hands on one until this year.
2009 doesn’t look as promising. The global economic meltdown has not just sent domestic automakers running for cover, but also has sent manufacturers worldwide cutting forecasts and/or looking for help. The fast and fun cars that we love usually sell in the smallest numbers and are likely the first to get slashed.
We hope our job of finding the Car of the Year may be as fruitful next year, because this year we had a fine crop to choose from. So let the dissention begin as TopSpeed’s 2008 car of the year is…
Badge engineering is when one company slaps their logo on someone else’s car without changing much else. We’re pretty sure it happens when auto executives go strolling around the auto shows and then say, “Hey, that looks good, can I get one too?” A phrase that works fine when a car exec spots an ice cream cone, but doesn’t work well for car manufacturing.
Sometimes this has worked out fine for auto manufactures (like the Porsche Cayenne /VW Touareg /Audi Q7 ), and other times are a little half-baked (GM still apologizes for the Cadillac Cimarron.) This list celebrates the latter.
We give leniency for to many of companies who sell the same car under different names to different markets (Daewoo, we’re looking at you.) This list is more about the thinly rebadged for another company, the same company using cars that directly compete, and cars that didn’t need to be repeated. The rules for this one are simple, the car had to be for sale somewhere in the world in 2008 and be another company’s bastard lovechild.
2008 was a tough year for the car industry, and not everyone made it out alive. Some cars will be missed, but these are not them. It’s the top ten mercy kills of 2008.
The rules for this are pretty easy. The car had to be for sale in the U.S. in 2008 but is not around to celebrate 2009.
Merry Christmas. Here are ten cars that you won’t be under the tree this year; it’s the top ten cars not sold in the U.S.
The rules for this one are simple, the car cannot be available for sale in the United States. We do know our readers are international, so its okay for those outside the U.S. to rub it in if you can buy one in your home country. Even better, in the spirit of the giving season, you can make us feel better by sharing cars that you wish were available in your home country.
We’re hopeful that maybe if we’re really, really good, Santa will drop some of the following cars in our driveway next year.