Buick, Hyundai, VW pace concept car awards

Buick Avista designated as Most Significant Concept Vehicle for 2016

Published: August 1, 2016, 5:30 PM
Updated: April 29, 2018, 12:51 PM

Avista concept car - Chances are, when you hear the name Buick you don't automatically associate it with high-performance cars. But such was not always the case. For decades, Buick built performance icons – a heritage the brand is trying to reflect if not resurrect with the introduction of its Avista luxury sports coupe concept at the 2016 North American International Auto Show.

Automotive concepts have been recognized by the automotive media for their vision, interest and overall contribution to their respective segments and the industry in general, and the Buick Avista came out the big winner.

This marks the 15th year for the North American Concept Vehicle of the Year awards, which are awarded to concept vehicles premiering at North American auto shows over the course of the Auto Show season (typically November through April).

Presented at a ceremony during the Concours d’Elegance of America (at the Inn at St. John’s in Plymouth, Michigan), the annual awards recognize vehicles that show exceptional automotive design, engineering and market responsiveness, and are deemed most likely to shape the future of the auto industry.

Buick Avista concept

The Buick Avista beat out the Acura Precision, Genesis New York and the Genesis Vision G Coupe as Best Concept Car to give Buick its first concept vehicle award in four trips to the category finalist list. It was GM’s 14th category win in the awards’ 15 years, and the 38th time GM vehicles had been finalists.

As one of the category winners, Avista proceeded to the overall title showdown, where its highest score among its peers beat out the winners of the Best Concept Truck and Production Preview Concept categories, for the Most Significant Concept Vehicle for 2016. It was GM Design’s 7th trip to the top step of the podium.

Volkswagen Budd-e

The Volkswagen Budd-e beat out the Kia Telluride, Lincoln Navigator and Nissan Titan Warrior for the title of Best Concept Truck. It marked VW’s third win in eight trips to the short list. The Budd-e was warmly received by auto show audiences for its retro looks on a thoroughly modern electric platform.

The final finalist was the Hyundai Ioniq, which beat out the Honda Civic Hatchback, Subaru Impreza Sedan and Toyota C-HR for the Production Preview Concept. It was the fourth time in five that Hyundai has won a category at the awards.

Hyundai IONIQ

The awards are voted on by professional automotive journalists from throughout North America, representing dozens of outlets in various media segments, and they serve in a volunteer capacity.

To be considered for the Concept Car and Truck title, nominees must be advanced in design and/or engineering, and not just a concept version of an existing model. The Production Preview is a model that has been designated for production.

And with the blurring of segment lines, especially in concepts, Concept Car nominees must be for transporting passengers, while Concept Truck has the versatility of a user-configurable cargo area and added weight capacity.