Fisker's undeniably gorgeous Karma Sunset concept was named the 2009 Production Preview Vehicle of the Year at the North American Concept Vehicle of the Year Awards last night at the Automotive Hall of Fame in Detroit. Organized by the South East Automotive Media Organization, the jurors also lauded VW's Concept BlueSport Roadster as the 2009 Concept Car of the Year and named the Cadillac Converj the Most Significant Concept Vehicle of 2009. The Kia Soul'ster won Concept Truck of the Year.
Aside from the Soul'ster, the winners combine an alternative fuel powerplant (plug-in hybrid, diesel or ER-EV) with lust-worthy design. We'll see if this does anything to dispense with the myth that green = fugly. The jury considered 23 concepts and 11 production preview vehicles that were introduced during the 2009 auto show season before selecting the top cars. See more pictures of the winners after the jump.
[Source: Southeast Automotive Media Organization, Fisker]
2009 Concept Vehicle of the Year Award Winners Announced
DEARBORN, Mich., June 23 /PRNewswire/ -- The eighth annual North American Concept Vehicle of the Year Awards were announced this evening at the Automotive Hall of Fame. Organized by the South East Automotive Media Organization, the awards recognize those vehicles most likely to shape the future of the automobile industry. A jury of automotive journalists selected the winners from 23 Concept Vehicles and 11 Production Preview Vehicles that debuted during the 2009 North American Auto Show season.
A bellwether for the auto industry's second century, Fisker Automotive takes the honor of 2009 Production Preview Vehicle of the Year with its Karma Sunset Concept. According to juror Michael Bettencourt, "A company run by a designer should have beautiful cars, concepts and prototypes. Henrik Fisker's firm certainly does the Fisker Karma Sunset is just drop dead gorgeous."
Out of the eight competitors in the Concept Car category, Volkswagen made its debut at the awards podium with the open-air Concept BlueSport Roadster, winning the 2009 Concept Car of the Year award. Said juror Ashly Knapp, "Who'd have thought a diesel could be fast, economical and clean while powering the fun, little roust-about Volkswagen BlueSport."
Showing that small can still be fun and capable in a personal-use truck, Kia Motors makes its first trip to the podium with the beach-ready Soul'ster, taking the 2009 award for Concept Truck of the Year. "The Kia Soul'ster shows the playfulness of the designers from the initial design of the Soul," said juror Lou Ann Hammond.
More than ever this year, the Specialty Concept category recognizes vehicles where the technology, not necessarily the packaging, is the key story. Bringing GM's Advanced Powertrain Studio its fifth win in this category, the honor of 2009 Specialty Concept Vehicle of the Year goes to the Cadillac Converj. "Cadillac capitalizes on the popularity of coupe styling, but steps up several notches with electric propulsion technology, 2+2 seating, and profile-enhancing wheels on the Converj," said juror Bob Kroupa.
Amongst the category winners, the Cadillac Converj was the top-scoring vehicle, earning the accolade as the "Most Significant Concept Vehicle of 2009." This marks the fifth time that a GM concept has earned the top spot, backed up with an equally impressive record of 28 category finalists, and 11 category winners.
Additional information at http://www.northamericanconceptawards.org/.
Fisker Plug-In Hybrid Wins North American Concept Vehicle of the Year Award Category
Fisker Karma Sunset recognized over major manufacturer entries
IRVINE, Calif., June 23 /PRNewswire/ -- The Fisker Karma Sunset PHEV hardtop convertible coupe has been named 2009 Production Preview Concept of the Year, part of the North American Concept Vehicle of the Year Awards. Henrik Fisker, CEO of California-based Fisker Automotive, accepted the honors today during a ceremony at the Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn, Michigan.
The North American Concept Vehicle of the Year Awards, now in its eighth year, recognizes those vehicles most likely to shape the future of the automobile industry. A jury of more than two dozen automotive journalists selected the Karma Sunset over vehicles from seven other major manufacturers. The Production Preview category is for vehicles based on a model that has already been announced or is planned for production. The Fisker Karma Sunset was unveiled to rave reviews in January at the 2009 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Based on the same architecture and driven by the same Q-DRIVE(R) hybrid electric powertrain as the Fisker Karma -- scheduled to be the world's first commercially available Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) -- the Sunset's hardtop convertible coupe configuration gives it the perfect blend of style, sportiness and efficiency. It will be available in 2011 through Fisker's global retail network. The company is already accepting deposits on its website at www.fiskerautomotive.com
"We are honored the Karma Sunset has received such great recognition," said Fisker Automotive CEO and lead designer Henrik Fisker. "The Karma Sunset, along with the talented Fisker Automotive team that helped develop it, proves environmentally friendly vehicles can be fast and sexy, too."
"As the industry's emerging paradigm shift rewrites the book on how cars are designed and manufactured, the Fisker Karma Sunset concept is a bellwether for the auto industry's second century," said Tom Kelley, juror and founder of the North American Concept Vehicle of the Year Awards. Previous winners include the Aston Martin Rapide, Jaguar C-XF and Jaguar ALC.
ABOUT FISKER AUTOMOTIVE, INC.
Fisker Automotive, founded in 2007 by Fisker Coachbuild, LLC and Quantum Technologies (QTWW), is a privately owned American car company producing premium green automobiles, with Henrik Fisker as CEO. Global headquarters are located in Irvine, Calif. The company is backed by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Palo Alto Investors and the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA). More information is available at www.fiskerautomotive.com