Model: Other Pickups
Each year at the Detroit Auto Show, the top vehicle designs are recognized with the prestigious EyesOn Design award for production and concept vehicles. This year, the 32 EyesOn Design judges (comprised of current and former vehicle designers including Chrysler designer and SRT president Ralph Gilles, Kia designer Peter Schreyer and retired General Motors designer Wayne Cherry) handed out three awards for the Best Concept Vehicle, Best Production Vehicle and Innovative Use of Color, Graphics, and Materials.
Beating out the Mercedes C-Class and Ford F-150, the 2015 Ford Mustang was named the Best Production Vehicle as the top auto show debut at this year's Detroit show. The 2014 Volvo Concept XC Coupe took home awards as the Best Concept Vehicle and for its Innovative Use of Color, Graphics and Materials.
Considering the Volvo's primer grey hue and subtle orange accents, it was a rather surprising winner for Innovative Use of Color, Graphics, and Materials over flashier concepts like the Toyota FT-1 and our Editors' Choice top pick, the Kia GT4 Stinger. Other vehicles in the running for the concept car award include the GT4 Stinger and Audi Allroad Shooting Brake
No Prius Killer
As much as we enthusiasts like to rail on the lowly Toyota Prius as the harbinger of death for all we hold dear, there's no denying the machine's absolute and interminable grip on the hybrid hatchback market in the United States. Toyota has so thoroughly sunk its teeth into the segment that you can clearly hear the automaker's incisors clacking against one another with the conclusion of each financial quarter. And there's little wonder why. Buyers can plop down less than $25,000 and have a runabout that can return up to an estimated 51 miles per gallon in the city, leaving every other entry on the market with precious little gristle to gnaw on.
Enter the 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid. With its claimed 47 mpg combined, the funky little hatch from Europe already falls behind the 48 mpg city offered by the Prius, but that marginal sacrifice in fuel economy could be a small price to pay for buyers who want a credible alternative to the stalwart Toyota. Unfortunately, like the Fusion Hybrid, the C-Max Hybrid had trouble even approaching its Environmental Protection Agency estimates during our time with the car.
The V8 grunt of the Mustang has defined Ford performance cars in the US for the last 50 years, but in Europe, the Blue Oval has nearly as a long history of building some of the best hot hatches on the market with the Fiesta, Escort and later the Focus. The latest Fiesta ST has just hit the roads on both sides of the pond and has been enthusiastically received thanks to its combination of a peppy, turbocharged engine and hatchback utility.
However, Europe is getting a bumper crop of hot hatches at the moment, including the forthcoming, third-generation Mini Cooper S. Should Ford have waited to launch the ST until it knew how the competition performed? That's the answer that Xcar is after in its latest video, and it took the Fiesta to the track and some very misty, Welsh roads to find out. Scroll down to find out whether the ST stacks up.