DETROIT, Jan. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The votes have been tallied and the Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI) applauds the judges' decisions. The 2012 North American Car and Truck of the Year – the Hyundai Elantra and Range Rover Evoque – both feature advanced high-strength steel technologies. The winners were announced during a news conference held Jan. 9 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
The Hyundai Elantra's widespread use of advanced steel grades provide increased body stiffness at a lower body weight allowing the suspension to work optimally. At 2,701 pounds, the Elantra GLS equipped with an automatic transmission is lighter than its competitors, while also offering more interior room than similar vehicles. This weight-efficient steel unibody architecture allows the Elantra to achieve an estimated 40 mpg EPA highway rating, without the need for a special eco-model.
The Range Rover Evoque – also Motor Trend's 2012 SUV of the Year – incorporates advanced high-strength steel in key load-bearing areas. Safety and weight-saving technologies can be found throughout its bodyshell and chassis, including a steel monocoque frame that is reinforced with ultra high-strength boron steel and supplemented by impact beams in all passenger doors. Further, ultra high-strength boron steel in the A- and B-pillars enables the Evoque to achieve a slim profile without compromising strength or safety.
"The 2012 North American Car and Truck of the Year award winners clearly demonstrate that steel is the automotive material of the future," Ron Krupitzer, vice president, automotive applications for SMDI, said. "The winning vehicles are excellent examples of how advanced steel grades are the right choice in developing safe, fuel efficient and sustainable vehicles that meet both customer preferences and industry requirements. With the steel industry continuing to develop even higher strength grades and lightweighting process methods, steel will continue to help carmakers meet aggressive safety, design and performance targets for years to come."
According to the North American Car and Truck of the Year Organizing Committee, the winning vehicles were judged and selected by a jury of 50 automotive journalists from the United States and Canada who represent magazines, television, radio, newspapers and websites. The awards are designed to recognize the most outstanding new vehicles of the year. These vehicles are benchmarks in their segments based on factors including innovation, comfort, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction and value for the dollar. Eligibility requirements dictate that the vehicles up for consideration must be new or substantially revised for the 2012 and be available for sale in North America.
The Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI), a business unit of the American Iron and Steel Institute, grows and maintains the use of steel through strategies that promote cost-effective solutions in the automotive, construction and container markets, as well as for new growth opportunities in emerging steel markets. For more news or information, visit www.autosteel.org.
SOURCE Steel Market Development Institute