The AutoWeek editorial staff presented Porsche with the 2011 NAIAS AutoWeek Editors' Choice Award for Best in Show this morning. The award marked the return of Porsche to the Detroit auto show and honored the certain star of the show, the Porsche 918 RSR concept.
"The 2011 Detroit show had more than two dozen new models and reinforced the new normal in the automotive business," said AutoWeek executive editor Roger Hart. "There were no fancy, pie-in-the-sky, dreamlike concept cars. Nearly everything billed as a concept looked as if you could buy one tomorrow at your local dealership and drive it home."
For more than 20 years, AutoWeek editors have walked the show floors in Detroit, Geneva, Paris, Frankfurt and Tokyo, selecting winners in four categories: Best in Show, Best Concept, Most Fun and Most Significant. This year, awards were presented during the 17th AutoWeek Design Forum, held at the College for Creative Studies.
The 2011 AutoWeek Editors' Choice Award winners for the best of Detroit are:
BEST IN SHOW: Porsche 918 RSR Concept
"Porsche marked its return to the Detroit auto show in a big way with the 918 RSR concept, and—like the 918 Spyder concept revealed last year in Geneva—it was the undisputed star of the show," said AutoWeek editor Wes Raynal. "Porsche is clearly looking at going back to Le Mans in 2012, and the 918 RSR gives us clues to a production coupe coming in 2013."
Others considered: 2012 Audi A6, 2011 Chrysler 300, Ford Vertrek concept, Mini Paceman.
BEST CONCEPT: Ford Vertrek
"Ford has been so focused on serious stuff such as small cars and fine-tuning production models that it hasn't had a lot of time to craft concepts capable of turning heads at auto shows," said Hart. "Enter the Vertrek. It blends European styling with the practical needs of Americans. The best part is that Ford design boss J Mays says this concept is very close to the look of the next Escape."
Others considered: Honda Civic coupe, Mini Paceman, GMC Sierra All Terrain HD, Toyota Prius c.
MOST SIGNIFICANT: Chrysler 300
"It's hard to overstate the significance of one car to one company, but the 300 is critical to Chrysler's very survival," said Hart. "To us, that's pretty significant. That the car can be had with Hemi power also makes the 300 a car AutoWeek readers will crave."
Others considered: 2012 Audi A6, 2012 Buick Verano, 2012 Toyota Prius v, 2012 Volkswagen Passat.
MOST FUN: BMW 1-series M Coupe
"Sometimes a concept wins our Most Fun award, and sometimes it's a vehicle that gets the driver in us excited," said Hart. "In this case, it's clearly the latter—we can't wait to drive this car!"
Others considered: Cadillac CTS-V race car, GMC Sierra All Terrain HD concept, 2012 Hyundai Veloster, Mini Paceman, Porsche 918 RSR concept.
The full report from AutoWeek appears in the Jan. 24 issue of the magazine. For more information on the Editors' Choice Awards, past winners and extensive Detroit auto show coverage, visit autoweek.com/autoshows.