The largest auto show in North America has started!
The annual North American International Auto Show made opened January 9 in Detroit, Michigan at Cobo Center. One of the highlights of this event was the announcement of the Car, Truck and–for its first year–the Utility Vehicle of the Year. The jurors were made of 60 automotive journalists from the United States and Canada. The winner for each category was chosen based on innovation, design, safety, performance, technology, driver satisfaction, and value.
Let’s get to know the winners this year…
2017 Chevrolet Bolt Electric Car – Northern American Car of the Year
The Bolt (364 points) won the Car of the Year, beating the Genesis G90 (105 points) and Volvo S90 (101 points). Aside from this title, Bolt was also named as Motor Trend Car of the Year at the Los Angeles Auto Show, Green Car of the Year by Green Car Journal, Best New Car to Buy, and it also secured a place on the 2017 Car and Driver 10 Best Car list.
“The Bolt EV fulfills Chevrolet’s promise to offer an affordable, long-range electric. It is a game-changer that is not only a great electric vehicle; it’s a great vehicle — period, ” said Mark Reuss, Executive Vice President, GM Global Product Development.
With a starting price of $37, 495 before federal tax incentives of up to $7,500, this electric car offers an EPA-estimated 238 miles of range on a full charge, 60 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, 266 lb.-ft (360 Nm) of torque and 200 hp (150 kW) of motoring power, 7.05:1 final drive ratio that helps propel it from 0-60 mph in less than 7 seconds. It also has electronic precision shift, Regen on Demand™ steering wheel paddle, and a 10.2-inch-diagonal color touchscreen as its standard EV features.
Honda Ridgeline Pickup – Truck of the Year
Honda Ridgeline’s attempts to change the formula for pickups appear to be successful after bagging the Northern American Truck of the Year with 364 points against top contenders Ford F-series Super Duty (193 points) and the Nissan Titan (72 points). With a car-type structure and promoted as the “ultimate tailgater”, Ridgeline offers a smooth ride, good fuel economy, large storage compartment, audio speakers built into the truck bed, 400-watt power inverter made to energize a flat-screen TV or any other gameday gear, and a double-hinged tailgate that opens down or from the side.
When asked for a comment, John Mendel, Honda’s Executive Vice President said, “It’s always nice to be vindicated. We’ve never really been known as a truck company. It’s nice to get to get this sort of recognition going up against some very tough competition.” With the recent win, Honda is hoping for a greater stake in the U.S light truck market which favors the traditional pickup profile.
Chrysler Pacifica Minivan – Utility Vehicle of the year
2017 is the first year the Utility Vehicle of the Year was awarded in response to the surging consumer interest in SUVs. This category includes sport utility vehicles and passenger-oriented minivans. With 300 points, The Chrysler Pacifica won the Northern American Utility Vehicle of the Year against Mazda CX-9 (135 points) and Jaguar F-Pace (125 points). The Pacifica minivan replaces Chryslers’s 2 models in Fiat’s lineup. These two are the Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan. This plug-in hybrid model is the first electrified vehicle in the minivan category, achieves 84 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) in electric mode, and can go 33 miles on a charge to cover your daily driving needs.
One of the key selling points of the Pacifica is its kid-friendly features which include rear video screens for travel games and video playback. It also uses Chrysler’s Uconnect system for voice recognition, 360 degrees surround view camera, active noise cancellation, forward collision warning with active braking, parking assistance, and adaptive cruise control with stop and go.
This year’s show will run from January 9-22 with the following schedules:
- January 9-10 – Press preview: http://naias.com/about/press-preview/
- January 11-12 – Industry preview: http://naias.com/about/industry-preview/
- January 13 – Charity preview: http://naias.com/about/charity-preview/
- January 14-22 – Public show: http://naias.com/about/public-show/