Three carmakers have come away with top prizes at this year's North American Concept Vehicle of the Year Awards: Ford, BMW, and Korean upstart Hyundai.
The Korean carmaker had strong odds early on, with the competition in the top Concept Car category shortlisted to Hyundai's HCD-14 and Veloster C3 Roll Top concepts, against Honda's EV-STER and the Toyota Furia.
The eventual winner was the HCD-14, which also took home a second important award, with the judging panel declaring it the Most Significant Concept Vehicle of 2013.
"Hyundai's California Design center has been turning out some impressive work, and I think the HCD-14 is one of their best. The ultra-clean coupe-like styling has both flair and presence, and I like the grille; it reminds me of certain early Ferraris," Judge Chris Poole said of the Hyundai concept."
"The interior is wild, but I applaud the lack of a center stack - provided Hyundai has figured out new controls that are at least as user-friendly. If the next production Genesis is anything like this stunner, I say, bring it on."
Elsewhere in the contest, Ford's big Atlas concept took the win the 'Truck' category, beating out the Kia Cross GT, the Nissan Resonance and Volkswagen's CrossBlue.
"Ford, the perennial truck sales leader, showcases its Atlas concept with a massive chrome grill, making Atlas a worthy name for this concept truck. Behind the Atlas grill is Ford's next generation Ecoboost powertrain for improved economy," Judge Bob Kroupa said.
The Atlas is believed to offer a glimpse of Ford's next F-truck design, although the carmaker has yet to confirm a connection.
BMW also figured strongly, with its i8 Spyder concept judged the best offering in the Production Preview Vehicle category. To take the win, the i8 Spyder bested the Honda/Acura NSX, Subaru's muscly WRX STI concept, and the Tesla Model X.
"BMW has done a masterful job of building anticipation for the launch of its electric-vehicle brand. The i8 Spyder is a super car for the Green movement," Judge Mark Phelan said.
The i8 coupe is expected to make its official production debut later this year, with a global sales launch likely to occur sometime in 2014.
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