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Chevy Bolt named 2017 "Car of the Year" at Detroit Auto Show

Jan 9, 2017

GM’s Chevy Bolt beat out the Genesis G90 and the Volvo S90 for the 2017 North American Car of the Year award. 

Sharon Carty of Automotive News was one of the jurors for the award.  She says it's no surprise the Bolt got the award.  It's the first long-range mass-market electric car to make it to the market.

"And it's great inside, it's super modern," says Carty.  "It's gonna definitely be a Tesla fighter." Tesla has announced plans for a mass market long-range electric car, but the vehicle hasn't yet been launched.   

The Bolt is an electric car which gets over 235 miles per battery charge, and sells for around $30,000 after federal tax credits.

Chrysler’s Pacifica beat out Jaguar’s F-Pace, and Mazda’s CX-9 for “Utility of the Year.”

And Honda’s Ridgeline beat out Ford’s F-series Super Duty, and Nissan’s Titan for “Truck of the Year.”  Carty says for some people, that will be a surprise. 

She says Honda got the styling right this time, and the Ridgeline is easy to drive. "I think its the kind of truck that most Americans want," says Carty.  "They want a truck that drives like a car." 

We put up a Facebook Live video of the award announcement, you can watch it here, or below:

The North American Car, Truck and Utility Vehicle of the Year awards are presented by a jury of automotive journalists from around the United States and Canada.

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They used to give out awards for “Car of the Year” and “Truck of the Year.” Now they’ve added a third category, “Utility Vehicle of the Year.”

One thing that got some attention at the unveiling this morning was the new trophy design for this year’s award.

It looks like this:

The new NACTOY award designed by Ed Welburn.
Credit NACTOY

It was designed by retired GM design director Ed Welburn. Welburn’s story to success is an interesting one. He knew he wanted to design cars from an early age. NPR’s Sonari Glinton profiled Welburn for his piece, From 'No Way,' To Global Success: The Inspired Journey Of GM's Design Chief.

More from Glinton’s piece:

In 1959, when he was 8, Welburn's parents took him to the Philadelphia Auto Show and changed his life.

When Ed Welburn saw a 1959 Cadillac Cyclone concept — think rocket ship on wheels — at an auto show in Philadelphia as an 8-year-old, he knew he wanted to design cars.

"I saw that car, and that car took me from being crazy about cars to this is it — this is what I wanna do,"