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New Trophy in Store for NACTOY Winners

Distinctive new award designed by retired GM styling chief Ed Welburn.

by on Dec.06, 2016

Ed Welburn displays the new trophy to be given to the 2017 North American Car and Truck of the Year winners.

New year, new category and new trophy.

It’s a big year for the North American Car and Truck of the Year. One of the most highly regarded among a slew of best-of awards handed out each year, NACTOY will not only be adding a third category for 2017 but giving winners an entirely new trophy.

Award News!

The statue, depicting an exotic concept vehicle is based on a design developed by recently retired General Motors Global Design Director Ed Welburn. It will be presented as part of the opening ceremonies at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Jan. 9, 2017.

“It was all about the Oscar. If Oscar had a car, this would be it,” Welburn told, explaining his inspiration for the new NACTOY trophy.

(Chevy Bolt one of nine finalists for NACTOY. Click Here for the story.)

The car and truck winners will, this year, share space on the podium with the first Utility Vehicle of the Year award from NACTOY. All three winners will be selected in the coming weeks by a panel of around 60 U.S. and Canadian automotive journalists representing a diverse mix of newspapers, magazines, websites and broadcast outlets.

Adding a new category to the annual awards in Detroit means a new trophy for the winners.

The awards are closely watched each way, but there could be particular interest this time around considering some of the three finalists in each of the categories.

That includes the Chevrolet Bolt, the first long-range, mainstream-priced electric vehicle. It has already picked up a number of kudos, among other things being named Motor Trend Car of the Year last month. It will go up against the all-new Genesis G90, the flagship for Hyundai’s new luxury brand; and the Volvo flagship S90 sedan.

(Click Here for details about Chevy Bolt taking Motor Trend’s COTY award.)

The S90 shares its underpinnings with the XC90 that was named North American Truck of the Year for 2016. This year, the truck and utility vehicle niches were split off. On the utility side, the finalists are:

  • The Chrysler Pacifica, an all-new take on the classic minivan and the first FCA model to offer a plug-in hybrid option;
  • The Jaguar F-Pace is the British maker’s first-ever sport-utility vehicle; and
  • The Mazda CX-9, which boast the latest iteration of Mazda’s Kodo design language.

The three truck finalists include:

  • The Ford Super Duty, which like the light-duty Ford F-150 before it, migrates from steel to a lighter, more fuel-efficient “aluminum-intensive” body;
  • The Honda Ridgeline, which is making its return for 2017 after several years off the market; and
  • The Nissan Titan, a light-duty version of the heftier Titan XD launched in 2016.

Jurors started out with more than 50 different all-new or significantly updated models before narrowing them down to nine finalists during two preliminary votes. Voting for the winners is now underway.

(GM, Hyundai/Kia take lead as NACTOY list narrows. Click Here for the story.)

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