Autobytel's Editor-in-Chief, Michelle Naranjo, recently doled out trophies for the Autobytel 2012 Car and Truck of the Year award winners at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show, and here's the crystal straight from the show floor to prove it!
In addition to the 2012 Car of the Year and 2012 Truck of the Year custom-designed crystal bowl trophies, 10 category winners received engraved crystal keepsakes designed to commemorate their accolades. Every one of the manufacturers were extremely gracious and excited to getting their awards and were also presented at the same time with the Autobytel awards window stickers that show off their awards at Autobytel partner dealships.
Autobytel Presents the 2012 Car of the Year to Hyundai
John Krafcik, CEO of Hyundai Motors, USA, accepted the Autobytel 2012 Car of the Year award for the 2012 Hyundai Veloster.
We can't wait to see how this smart and unique car is accepted by new-car shoppers this year especially now that a turbo version is due soon!
The design of the 2012 Hyundai Veloster is nothing less than show-stopping with the DNA of the Hyundai signature fluidic design showing its colors loud and clear. The 2012 Hyundai Veloster is proof that hot things can come in small packages.
Autobytel Presents the 2012 Truck of the Year award to Ford
Hermann Salenbauch, Director of Ford's Advanced Product Development and Special Vehicle Team, accepted the Autobytel 2012 Truck of the Year award for the 2012 Ford F-150 EcoBoost.
One of the few winners that got our appreciation this year at a trim level, the 2012 Ford F-150 EcoBoost is powerful and yet still manages to do the job with a V-6.
The new turbocharged and direct-injected engine allows the truck to deliver best-in-class towing capabilities without sacrificing fuel economy, and EcoBoost is offered on just about all of the F-150's various models ranging from the base F-150 XL up to the luxurious F-150 Platinum.
Autobytel Presents the 2012 Crossover of the Year Award to Mazda
Jim O'Sullivan, President and CEO of Mazda USA, was so excited about the Autobytel 2012 Crossover of the Year Award that he flew in Chicago to receive it for the 2013 Mazda CX-5.
The SkyActiv technology on the newly debuted crossover is sure to be a people-pleaser when it arrives in showrooms next month. We were fortunate enough to drive it back in November and it came dressed to impress.
Designed to be a replacement for the aged Mazda Tribute, the new CX-5 breathes sporty, stylish and fuel efficient life into the crowded compact crossover segment. Mazda points out that crossover segment often forces buyers to choose between styling, fuel economy, comfort and driving pleaser, but the new CX-5 manages to incorporate all into small crossover - all at an affordable price.
See more about the winner and the other two finalists for the Autobytel 2012 Crossover of the Year.
Autobytel Presents the 2012 Sedan of the Year Award to Kia
Michael Sprague, Vice President of Marketing for Kia Motors America, was on-hand to accept the Autobytel 2012 Sedan of the Year award for the upwardly trending 2012 Kia Optima.
Topping both the sales charts and the upper end of the battle of the MPGs in the mid-size sedan category is no easy feat but the 2012 Kia Optima is posed to continue it’s year-over-year successes in both.
Read more about the Autobytel 2012 Sedan of the Year and its stable mates.
Autobytel Presents the 2012 SUV of the Year Award to Jeep
We were pleased and surprised to be greeted by the CEO and President of Jeep, Michael Manley, when we went to present the Autobytel 2012 SUV of the Year Award for the 2012 Jeep Wrangler.
Available in two- and four-door configurations, the 2012 Jeep Wrangler now comes with a more powerful Pentastar V-6 engine that gives drivers a good mix of power and fuel economy.
Check out why we chose the 2012 Jeep Wrangler and the other two top SUVs in this article about the Autobytel 2012 SUV of the Year.
Autobytel Presents the 2012 Alternative Vehicle of the Year Award to Toyota
We were please to present the Autobytel 2012 Alternative Fuel Vehicle Award to Toyota's Sam Butto, Senior Product Communications Specialist, for the spacious 2012 Toyota Prius v.
Autobytel's Benjamin Hunting writes, "The 2012 Toyota Prius v is a new member of Toyota's hybrid family and one that aims to offer battery-powered car aficionados the chance to take advantage of wagon-like capabilities while still enjoying the excellent fuel economy that has become the Prius' calling card."
Read more about the Autobytel 2012 Alternative Fuel Car of the Year.
Autobytel Presents the 2012 Sports Car of the Year Award to Ford
We got to meet with Hermann Salenbauch, Director of Ford's Advanced Product Development and Special Vehicle Team, so that he could accept the Autobytel 2012 Sports Car of the Year for the 2012 For Mustang Boss 302.
Autobytel's Sue Mead says, "Ford is taking its Mustang line-up back to the future with a no-apologies sport-performance heritage model. It’s not an “Apprentice.” It’s not a “Manager.” It’s the Boss. Specifically, it’s the 2012 Mustang Boss 302 that comes with a beastly 444-hp., 302 cubic inches and a 5.0-liter street-legal dose of V-8 adrenaline.
Autobytel Presents the 2012 Convertible of the Year Award to Audi
Mark Dahncke, Product and Motorsports Communications Manager at Audi, was on hand in Chicago to accept the Autobytel 2012 Convertible Car of the Year Award for the 2012 Audi R8 Spyder.
The 2012 R8 Spyder is not only fast thanks to its two powerful engine options (either a 430-horsepower V-8 or a 525-horsepower V-10), but it can also raise or the lower the top in just 19 seconds at speeds up to 31 miles per hour.
See more about the convertibles we considered for the Autobytel 2012 Convertible of the Year.
Autobytel Presents the 2012 Luxury Car of the Year Award to Audi
For the Autobytel 2012 Luxury Car of the Year, Mark Dahncke, Audi's Product and Motorsports Communications Manager, accepted the accolade reflecting our love of the 2012 Audi A7.
The A7 has arguably one of the best exterior designs of any luxury car which is accented by its sleek roofline and signature LED-trimmed headlights. Inside, the A7 has a luxurious cabin equipped with a surprising amount of technology including a Wi-Fi hotspot and a pop-up navigation system that incorporates Google Earth into the maps.
Read more about the Audi A7 and the other two contenders in this article about the Autobytel 2012 Luxury Car of the Year.
Autobytel Presents the 2012 Luxury SUV of the Year Award to Land Rover
Skip Pavlik, Product Manager for Land Rover, accepted the Autobytel 2012 Luxury SUV of the Year Award on behalf of the 2012 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, marking over 80 awards for the upstart crossover.
With tougher fuel economy standards on the way and the need to grow sales as the automotive industry continues its upward momentum, Land Rover engineers were given a difficult task of building a smaller model with the same level of luxury and off-road prowess expected from this brand. Meeting this seemingly daunting challenge, Land Rover recently started production of its all-new 2012 Range Rover Evoque and we think it is a winner.
Read more about the Autobytel 2012 Luxury SUV of the Year winner and top two finalists.
Autobytel Presents the 2012 Minivan of the Year Award to Honda
Mike Accavitti, Vice President of Marketing for American Honda, came to the Chicago Auto Show to accept the Autobytel 2012 Minivan of the Year for the 2012 Honda Odyssey.
As Autobytel's James Hamel explains, "The Honda Odyssey is like the superhero of minivans. How so? Well, it is able to avoid treacherous juice box spills in a single bound thanks to its built-in waste basket and can easily accommodate 8 weight loss reality TV show sized North Americans, all the while offering more driver enjoyment than most any other family SUV or minivan ever created."
Read more about the Autobytel 2012 Minivan of the Year.
Autobytel Presents the 2012 Wagon of the Year Award to Cadillac
Dave Leone, Global Vehicle Line Director to RWD Vehicles, GM, was on-hand to receive the Autobytel 2012 Wagon of the Year for the 2012 Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon.
The 2012 Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon is a high performance estate from the American luxury car builder that combines refined aggressive styling with a very utilitarian layout with room for five full size passengers inside and up to 58 cubic feet worth of cargo capacity, with the second row seats folded flat. Designed with the clean lines of the Cadillac CTS in mind, the more utilitarian CTS Sport Wagon is a luxurious solution to versatility.
Read more about the Autobytel 2012 Wagon of the Year.