The Chevrolet Corvette Stingray was named the 2020 North American Car of the Year in Detroit.

In a year when so many things have been tossed up in the air, one thing remains consistent: the 50 U.S. and Canadian journalists who are part of the North American Car and Truck of the Year, or NACTOY, jury, will have plenty of new products to evaluate before announcing three winners next January.

A total of 36 new products were included on the list of eligible models on Tuesday, a broad mix of American, Asian and European cars, trucks and utility vehicles. If anything, jurors will likely have to amend the list to take on other models, however, as manufacturers struggling to deal with coronavirus pandemic adjust product launch schedules.

“Product introductions have slowed for a while, but that will change during the second half of the year as automakers release a large number of important new cars, SUVs and trucks,” said NACTOY President Gary Witzenburg. “Our jurors will be very busy over the coming months as they work to drive and evaluate all of these new models.”

(Truck of the Year winner Jeep Gladiator also a Mopar star.)

The Gladiator beat out the Dodge Ram 1500 HD and Ford Ranger.

During a webinar hosted by the Automotive Press Association, Witzenburg hinted he knows of at least four other products that could yet qualify for NACTOY juror consideration. And there could be more in the works from some industry newcomers. That includes Lordstown Motors, the start-up hoping to start building an all-new battery-electric pickup at the old General Motors plant in Lordstown, Ohio later this year.

Currently, 10 passenger vehicles are competing in the “Car” category, a relatively modest number reflecting not only the pandemic but the ongoing shift away from sedans and coupes to SUVs, CUVs and pickups.

Another 23 models fall into the “Utility” category, reflecting its rapid growth. Meanwhile, just three new pickups will compete in the “Truck” category, meaning all will move on to become finalists should no additional models come to market by year-end.

(Corvette, Telluride and Gladiator win North American Car, SUV, Truck of the Year awards.)

Jurors have already begun evaluating many of the products and will take part in a series of votes later this year, eventually paring things down to three finalists in each category. A last vote in January will result in three winners to be announced at the TCF Center in Detroit next January at an event co-sponsored by the North American International Auto Show.

Here are the initial candidates:

Car of the Year 

2021 Acura TLX
2021 BMW 330e and 330e xDrive
2021 BMW 430i, 430i xDrive and M440i xDrive
2021 BMW 545e xDrive
2021 Genesis G80
2021 Hyundai Elantra family (includes N Line and HEV)
2021 Lexus IS
2021 Mercedes-Benz E Class Sedan, All-Terrain, Coupe, Cabriolet
2021 MINI Cooper SE
2020 Nissan Sentra

 

Utility of the Year 

2021 BMW X2 xDrive25e
2021 BMW X3 xDrive30e and xDrive45e
2021 Buick Encore GX
2021 Cadillac Escalade
2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer
2021 Chevrolet Tahoe/Suburban
2021 Ford Mustang Mach E
2021 Genesis GV80
2021 GMC Yukon/Yukon XL
2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid
2021 Hyundai Santa Fe
2021 Hyundai Venue
2021 Kia Seltos
2020 Land Rover Defender 90 and 110
2020 Lincoln Corsair Grand Touring
2020 Mazda CX-30
2021 Nissan Rogue
2021 Toyota Venza
2021 Toyota Sienna
2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime
2020 Toyota Highlander
2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport
2021 Volvo XC40 P8 Recharge

 

Truck of the Year 

2020 Ford Super Duty
2021 Ford F-150
2020 Jeep Gladiator Mojave

(North American Car, Truck, Utility of the Year jury names finalists.)

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