Buick Avista concept car of the Year

I remember seeing the Buick Avista concept car at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, MI, and couldn’t believe what General Motors had created. A stunning coupe that hasn’t graced the streets yet, and may never which is why it is called a concept. The 8-speed automatic transmission, 3.0L twin turbo V6, Rear Wheel Drive, Twin exhaust outlets have the sleek sculpture of an Audi A7. Congratulations Buick.

Not only did the Avista win concept car of the year, but it also won Most Significant Concept Vehicle of 2016.

Jurors quotes;

John Biel:
The Avista has an aggressive profile but still with cool class. The interior is futuristic, yet still relatable.

Ryan Gehm:
The Buick Avista is forward-looking without being too futuristic; you can picture this looker motoring down the highway and turning heads. The inside is clean and attractive, too.

Mark Phelan:
The Avista cements Buick’s surprising status as one of the auto industry’s most intriguing brands. Now the question is whether it can deliver on this promise with equally compelling production vehicles.

Gary Vasilash:
Buick design, post-Harley Earl, has had few hits and plenty of shrugs. But with the Avista Buick shows that it has style–to say nothing of more than a little swagger.

Ashly Knapp:
The Buick Avista is a true big American coup. The design harkens back to when General Motors was the most powerful automaker on earth. I can actually feel the heartbeat of General Motors style from the late nineteen fifties through the nineteen seventies. Immediately identifiable as General Motors style badged as a Buick. Acura and Genesis make a weak attempt to mimic the brilliant inspiration and flow originated by General Motors and made contemporary in the new century.

I love the beautifully clean power of electric. You won’t find that here. The Avista style demands hard pulsing power of a charged piston engine pushing powered down to the road via rear wheels that dig in like a horse powering out of the gate. I am absolutely certain that the brilliant designers and engineers have made a driveline that is as thrilling to push around and feel as this passenger craft is to look at.

The style, the thoughtfulness throughout demonstrates intuitive design like a jockey pulling the best out of the beast he’s riding. For fear of being sexist yet delighting in honesty this is a man’s car. The Avista wants to be handled, she wants to be pushed. I’ve driven and handled General Motors vehicles for decades I have a damn good idea how tasty and tossable this big American sport coupe might feel. The driveline and brakes will be satisfying my only concern is that the steering can be turned with a pinky or gives heavy dull feedback.

Better than heads-up technology is General Motors’ original idea of the smart windshield. One screen driving. This car can be built and sold today for under $35,000 making it affordable to most. But General Motors and Buick just won’t do that.

Screen-Shot-2016-08-01-at-12.10.24-PM-300x200 Buick Avista concept car of the Year Automobiles and Energy Buick Concept Car of the Year Hyundai Technology Volkswagen

Concept Truck of the Year
VW Budd-e

Concept Truck of the Year
VW Budd-e

Not only is the Volkswagen Budd-e receiving Concept Truck of the Year it also received Engadget’s “Best Innovation Award” as part of its “Best of CES Awards” at CES 2016. Some of the outstanding technology in this concept truck include;

* Volkswagen’s Modular Electric Toolkit (MEB) platform, giving us a glimpse of next-generation e-mobility, connectivity, and infotainment innovations.

* A concept with a Zero emissions drivetrain that can produce up to 233 miles of pure electric driving range.

* A breakthrough in battery technology allows the battery to charge up to 80 percent of capacity in 15-30 minutes.

Juror Quotes

Holly Reich:
Good work VW for thinking completely out of the box.

Gary Vasilash:
Maybe it is no coincidence that VW has rolled out with an electric vehicle concept, as a diesel would be more trouble than it is worth. It is long overdue that the company that once had almost iconic status with vans returns comes up with one that is both environmentally relevant and simply cool.

Tom Crosby:
VW Budd-e perfect if electric vehicles really spark a charge into popularity.

Bill Schaffer:
Volkswagen is leading the way into the electric vehicle future with the BUDD-e, and is dropping bread crumbs along the way.

Ashly Knapp:
Polluting petroleum has projected Volkswagen to accelerate electronics to the forefront. The BUDD-e electric Concept truck has set the minimum standard for every automaker.VW spread the heavy batteries across the bottom. Using the length and the width you’ve got power for distance and a low center of gravity for fun performance. Volkswagen insults the futurists losing efficiency and taking up interior space by not putting the motors in the wheel hub for the best performance. The phony engine compartment is old-fashioned.

BUDD-e’s platform makes it a winner not the look. This platform is more versatile than any electric vehicle available today. The design allows many different types of energy cells to power this bus. Furthermore it allows for modular changes to be done easily by owners if a Volkswagen lets you. Changing energy cells could be a cinch. All modular components could be easily plugged in or out with convenient location like Lego blocks. This could be the People’s wagon for all the volks.

Screen-Shot-2016-08-01-at-12.31.59-PM-300x133 Buick Avista concept car of the Year Automobiles and Energy Buick Concept Car of the Year Hyundai Technology Volkswagen

Production Preview vehicle of the Year
Hyundai Ioniq

Production Preview Vehicle of the Year
Hyundai Ioniq

I can’t wait to see this on the street, and it will be on the street. The Hyundai Ioniq is the production preview vehicle of the year because it has already been confirmed to go into production.

The Ioniq will come to market in three options – Hybrid (Coming this fall), Electric (Coming next summer), and Plug-In Hybrid (Coming this winter).

Juror Quotes

Arv Voss:
As the world’s first vehicle to be offered in three electrified versions, the Hyundai Ioniq presents itself as a boldly slippery styled 4-door sedan with the latest in connective technology.

About the Author:

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a member of the North American Car and Truck of the Year (NACTOY), Women's World Car of the Year (WWCOTY), and the Concept Car of the Year.