Throughout the course of its 30-year run, the North American International Auto Show in Detroit’s Cobo Center became known as a “designers’ show” because of the large number of concept cars that emerged during the annual press preview.
For 2019, the tradition carried on with the annual “Eyes on Design” Award singling out three vehicles, one from Infiniti, one from Lexus and one from Ford for honors.
One of the big winners this year was Infiniti, which walked off with honors in three separate categories.
The Infiniti QX Inspiration Concept was awarded “Best Concept Vehicle” and Inspiration also received the award for the “Innovative Use of Color, Graphics or Materials” award.
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Infiniti also won the “Best Interior” for the second year in a row at the 2019 North from the panel of designers, acting as the judges for the Eyes on Design awards. The QX Inspiration concept combines has been described an electrified all-wheel drive powertrain with SUV body and introduces a new form language for the electrified era.
It offered, “A new and fresh look that show extraordinary sophistication and simplicity,” the judges said over the overall design. The judges also said the interior offered, “True inspiration and functionality, while the use of color, “Embodies a modern take on material while retaining a clean Japanese sensibility.”
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The annual award for the “Best Production Vehicle” in the show went to the Ford Mustang Shelby GT 500, which the automaker will put on sales later this year. The judges described the GT500 as “the next best tribute to the Mustang.”
The Lexus LC Convertible Concept, which made its global debut during the press preview, was also give an award for the “Best Designed Exterior Lighting.” The lighting was “beautifully done,” judges said. “It is a concept car that looks like it’s ready for production,” the judges added in their comments.
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The judge for this year’s awards included Joel Piaskowski, global director design, cars and crossover for the Ford Motor Co.; Steward Reed, Transportation Design Chair, ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California; Paul Snyder, Helen Farago Chair of Transportation Design, College of Creative Studies in Detroit and Dave Marek, Acura Global Design Director, Honda R&D America Inc.