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Ford GT claims two more awards

Concept awards recognize supercar as Most Significant

Published: July 28, 2015, 6:00 AM
Updated: April 29, 2018, 1:47 PM

2015 NAIAS - Ford GT - 2017 Ford GT Ford is celebrating its commanding 1-2-3 at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans with a new GT supercar. But this latest GT will feature intensive carbon-fibre construction, sophisticated race-spec torsion-bar and pushrod adjustable suspension, carbon-ceramic brake discs, and lightweight 20-inch wheels with ultra-sticky Michelin Pilot Super Sport Cup 2 tires. The sleek styling echoes not only the original GT40 racers of the ‘60s, but also the excellent Ford GT follow-up a generation ago. But where the new GT differs from its predecessors is in the engine bay where the expected V-8 has been replaced by a 3.5-litre EcoBoost V-6 engine. But don’t worry: with Ford promising over 600 horsepower in its final tune, this will be one exceedingly rapid ride.

The Ford GT has added two more awards to its glowing trophy case, taking home the Best Production Preview Vehicle award and taking home top honours as the Most Significant Concept Vehicle of 2015.

Hyundai Santa-Cruz Crossover Truck Concept - Hyundai Santa Cruz Concept Hyundai has been leery of jumping into the pickup truck market, but its new Santa Cruz “crossover truck” concept could provide a safe point of entry. In a modern take on the Ford Ranchero and Chevrolet El Camino, the Santa Cruz offers plenty of neat usable features, like rear-hinged rear doors and plenty of tie-downs around the bed and rails, while the tailgate can slide out – like a drawer – to accommodate longer items. Perhaps most intriguingly, the Santa Cruz uses a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine with 190 horsepower and 300 lb-ft of torque, combined with HTRAC all-wheel drive. No word on which platform it would be based on, but Hyundai says it offers “typical CUV driving character” so almost certainly a front-drive unibody rather than a separate body-on-frame construction like traditional pickups.

The awards were bestowed upon the coming supercar at the 2015 North American Concept Vehicle of the Year (NACVOTY) awards, the 14th annual version of the program that sees 30 North American auto journalists evaluate the concept vehicles unveiled during the model year. Awards were also handed out to the Hyundai Santa Cruz as Concept Truck of the Year and the Mercedes-Benz F015 as Concept Car of the Year.

Already slated for production, the GT was a given for the Best Production Preview Vehicle, with its extensive use of carbon fibre and a new high-output version of the turbocharged Ecoboost V6. The radical sexy styling and widespread acceptance by critics and the public was what made it Most Significant.

The Hyundai Santa Cruz set the pickup market gears in motion again with the thought that Hyundai was entering the segment with a purposely compact vehicle based on the widely successful Santa Fe sport utility. Hyundai claims it reflects a completely new interpretation of unspoken truck utility for a new generation of buyers Hyundai calls “urban adventurers.”

Mercedes-Benz F015

The Mercedes F015 is an exploration of an autonomous vehicle taken to the extreme – where people can network in a cabin without having to worry about driving. It’s full of new ideas, including a steering wheel that retracts out of the way until it is needed for driving chores, and four rotating seats to make the cabin more like a train compartment.

The hardware was handed out at the Concours d’Elegance of America at St. John’s, in Plymouth, Michigan.

Founded in 2002, the NACVOTY Awards annually recognize concept vehicles that make the strongest impact in design, engineering and market responsiveness. To be eligible for the awards, a concept vehicle must make its North American debut during the current model year’s auto show season (which historically runs from November through April).