The winners of the 14th annual North American Concept Vehicle of the Year Awards were announced recently at the Concours d’Elegance of America, held at the Inn at St. John’s in Plymouth, Michigan. Taking the win in the Production Preview Concept of the Year category was Ford’s inimitable 2017 Ford GT supercar. This is Ford’s 20th time as a category finalist and fifth category win in the award’s long history.

The awards recognize vehicles “most likely to shape the future of the automobile industry,” employing a panel of over two dozen jurors to sift through a collection of 30 entries introduced to the North American market during the Los Angeles, Detroit, Chicago, Toronto and New York auto show circuit.

The Production Preview Concept category is for vehicle prototypes that are the basis for a model that’s already announced or planned for production. Finalists this year also included the 2016 Aston Martin Vulcan and 2015 Buick Avenir.

"The Ford GT is already one of the all-time great designs, with styling that is simultaneously breathtaking and aerodynamically functional," said juror Dan Carney. "A car for the ages."

Other winners included the 2015 Mercedes-Benz F 015 in the Concept Car of the Year category and the 2015 Hyundai Santa Cruz in the Concept Truck category.

Despite the heady competition, the Ford GT bested both the Merc and the Hyundai to also take home the award for Most Significant Concept Vehicle of 2015, earning the highest overall score among the three. It’s the second time Ford has won this top accolade, with the first coming in 2006 with the 2006 Ford Reflex Concept.

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Why it matters

When Ford dropped cover on the new GT at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this year, most of the other big models in attendance were instantly cast in its carbon-fiber and aluminum shadow.

In my opinion, the car world can never have too many halos, and against similar products from Honda, Audi and Chevy, this one is undeniably a fan favorite.

Even though cars like the new 2016 Acura NSX, 2016 Cadillac CTS-V,and 2016 Lexus GS F also made an appearance, FoMoCo’s latest halo product had clearly stolen the limelight.

So what is it about this car that seems to captivate the motor-minded among us? Is it the way it looks, with swoops and dips and dives in the body work that promise not only stares, but also a good deal downforce at speed? Perhaps it’s that twin-turbo V-6 mounted behind cockpit, which drops two cylinders in the name of efficiency but still manages to pump out over 600 horsepower. Maybe it’s the way it succeeds in mashing-up old-school cool with present-day technology, keeping a long resume of race-winning performance pedigree while thrusting ahead to the modern era.

In truth, it’s probably all of these things. In my opinion, the car world can never have too many halos, and against similar products from Honda, Audi and Chevy, this one is undeniably a fan favorite.

Ford has yet to reveal a final release date, but when it does, expect a refreshed burst of enthusiasm and head-to-head comparisons.

I can’t wait.

2017 Ford GT

2017 Ford GT Exterior
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You can read our full review here,

Press Release

The winners of the fourteenth annual North American Concept Vehicle of the Year Awards were announced this morning during a ceremony held at the Concours d’Elegance of America at St. John’s.

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 30 vehicles, each introduced to North America during this season’s auto shows in Los Angeles, Detroit, Chicago, Toronto, and New York.

The Production Preview Concept category is for those vehicle prototypes that are the basis for a model that has already been announced or planned for production. The finalists in this category included the Aston Martin Vulcan, the Buick Avenir, and the Ford GT.

Marking the brand’s 20th time as a category finalist, and fifth time as a category winner, Ford takes the honor of 2015 Production Preview Concept of the Year with its racing-bred Ford GT. "The Ford GT is already one of the all-time great designs, with styling that is simultaneously breathtaking and aerodynamically functional," said juror Dan Carney. "A car for the ages."

The Concept Car category recognizes passenger-centric, long-range prototypes designed to measure market reaction to future features and models. The finalists in this category were the Audi Prologue, the Mercedes Benz F 015, and the MINI Superleggera.

Earning its fifth spot as a category finalist, and marking the brand’s first visit to the awards podium, Mercedes takes the 2015 Concept Car of the Year award with its F 015 Concept. "The Mercedes-Benz F 015 goes far beyond an interesting redesign — it takes the definition of transportation to a whole new arena," said juror Bill Schaffer. "That’s what a concept car should do."

The Concept Truck category recognizes those concepts where cargo carrying is a significant design consideration. The finalists in this category were the Hyundai Santa Cruz, the Kia Trail’Ster, and the Mitsubishi GC-PHEV.

Bringing the brand’s fourth category finalist spot, and third honor as a category winner, the Hyundai Santa Cruz earns the 2015 Concept Truck of the Year award. "This (the Santa Cruz) is what the light-truck category needs," said juror Gary Vasilash, "loads of style for people without big loads."

From amongst the winners in the Concept Car, Concept Truck and Production Preview Concept categories, the Ford GT posted the highest overall score to earn the top award as Most Significant Concept Vehicle of 2015. This award marks Ford’s second time earning the top award in the competition; the brand’s first top honor was for the Reflex Concept in 2006.

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