2013 North American Car and Truck/Utility of the Year finalists announced [w/poll]
2012 is almost in the books and automakers are spending December gearing up for the 2013 auto show season, which tips off next month at the Detroit Auto Show. Traditionally, the latter opens up with the announcement of the North American Car and Truck/Utility of the Year awards, and this year figures to be no different.
But up until this moment, we didn't know which six vehicles would be parked ahead of the stage as finalists, with executives and engineers waiting for the winners to be disclosed. Whittled down from October's "short list" of nominees (11 cars and 10 truck/utility vehicles), the finalists are as follows:
2013 North American Car of the Year:
2013 North American Truck/Utility of the Year:
As determined by a non-profit, independent jury of 50 US and Canadian journalists(*), the pair of lists above arguably feature a surprise or two, and they open up some potentially interesting story lines. Will the Ford and Honda, which compete against each other in the marketplace, split votes among jurors who only want to vote for one family sedan? Did the Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ twins miss making the finalists' list because they were listed as separate entries, or did they just not win over enough jurors? Until the voting patterns of the jurors are released (after the awards are announced), we won't really know if any of these scenarios played into the calculations.
What do you think of these six vehicles? Which would you vote for? Which do you think will win? Participate in our polls below by guessing which vehicles will win, then state your case for who should win in Comments.
*Full disclosure: Author is a NACTOY jury member.
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Next-gen Cadillac CTS-Vs caught in parking lot
A pair of camouflaged Cadillac CTS prototypes were spotted, and thankfully photographed, outside a grocery store in Southern California. From the image above - there are plenty more if you click over to TotalCarScore.com - it appears these could be testers for the 2014 CTS-V, but that is just speculation. We've seen the obvious "V" motif in the grille before, and there's what could be another "V" in the design of the side mirrors.
The hood on the car in the background appears to include two bulges, but the single shot that affords a tiny peek under the hood shows reveals only the airbox. Plenty of rumors, and the sight of an engine cover inscribed with the words "Twin Turbo," have caused people to wonder if a twin-turbo V6 will live under the production car's hood instead of the V8 currently there. In back, instead of the round tailpipes found outboard on all the CTS sedans, there's a pair of integrated tips in a parallelogram shape. A new shifter with contrasting stitching was spied in the cabin.
If predictions hold up it will arrive later this year. When it does, expect the body underneath all that camo to be softer on the eye compared to the current car - less science and more art. For now, hit the link to see more spy shots of what's coming.Permalink | Email this | Comments
2013 Cadillac XTS [w/video]
As confusing as most alphanumeric car names have gotten in recent years, at least one constant has been that the letter "X" is generally indicative of a crossover. Then why did General Motors use this letter on its new 2013 Cadillac XTS luxury sedan? Well, for that, we'll have to look to the world of mathematics where "X" stands for an unknown variable or a placeholder. Now we're talking. The XTS is just an interim product sitting at the top of Cadillac's four-door food chain until the brand gets a true flagship in place. That sounds like a lot of resources to spend on what will likely be a one-and-done model, but the automaker needed to get something - anything - to replace the DTS.
So here you have the 2013 XTS. A big luxury sedan that was created to bridge the gap between Cadillac's recent past and its pending future. Going into our week with this XTS knowing that it was a stopgap measure proved to be both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, we know (or hope) that this car will act as a baseline for future high-end Cadillac models, but at the same time, we couldn't help but be mindful of past stopgap models, albeit in more entry-level segments, like the Cimarron and Catera.Permalink | Email this | Comments