LOS ANGELES, Nov. 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- MOTOR TREND today announced the Motor Trend Awards winners of the Golden Calipers for Car of the Year, Truck of the Year, SUV of the Year, and Person of the Year during a red carpet ceremony. An audience of industry executives and celebrity guests celebrated the winners at the Theatre at Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. The awards show was streamed live on the Motor Trend OnDemand SVOD service, YouTube, and the MOTOR TREND website. An OnDemand replay is available, which features award content, including complete details on the contenders, finalists, and winners, and a replay of the event broadcast.
"What an exceptional night to honor the best of the best in the industry," says Edward Loh, editor-in-chief of MOTOR TREND. "We are honored to present this year's coveted Car of the Year, Truck of the Year, SUV of the Year, and Person of the Year to some of the most well-deserving and innovative recipients we have had yet."
This year's finalists were evaluated against six key criteria: safety, efficiency, value, advancement in design, engineering excellence, and performance of intended function. Judges for each program came from the MOTOR TREND staff but also included two special guest judges for Car of the Year (legendary car designer Tom Gale and product development guru Chris Theodore) and one special guest judge for SUV of the Year (sales and marketing veteran Mike Accavitti). The Person of the Year was chosen from MOTOR TREND's annual Power List of the automotive industry's 50 most influential people.
The details of the awards are:
2017 MOTOR TREND Car of the Year Winner: 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV
For only the second time in the awards' seven decades, the sound of electrical energy being converted into motion and the sound of the automotive world shifting on its axis convinced the MOTOR TREND judges to select the Chevrolet Bolt EV as this year's Car of the Year winner.
The Bolt EV was the first battery-powered vehicle to be conceived by GM to be a viable, affordable, mass-market, game-changing electric car, and just two numbers show why. The EPA has certified the Bolt EV will travel 238 miles on a full charge, and it costs only $29,995 after taking into consideration a $7,500 federal tax rebate.
Following a week of testing at the Hyundai-Kia Motors California Proving Ground, the MOTOR TREND judges found, "the most impressive thing about the Bolt EV is that there are no caveats and no 'for an electric car' qualifiers needed in any discussion. It is, simply, a world-class small car, and that's before you factor in the benefits inherent in the smoothness, silence, and instant-on torque provided by the electric motor."
In awarding the Bolt EV its COTY status, Angus MacKenzie, International Bureau Chief for TEN: The Enthusiast Network, calls this year's winner a "roomy, practical, quiet, and comfortable compact hatchback; an energy-efficient small car; and a benchmark electric vehicle—all in one."
2017 MOTOR TREND Truck of the Year Winner: 2017 Ford Super Duty
Out of this year's three impressive finalists tested at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' Arizona proving ground, the MOTOR TREND judges named the 2017 Ford Super Duty MOTOR TREND's 2017 Truck of the Year winner.
The Ford Super Duty remains cool under extreme pressure, regardless of the circumstances. The design as a whole advances the direction of the previous generation without losing or abandoning its signature look or deviating from the consumer mission. The judges were extremely impressed with the performance of the F-350 dual-rear-wheel diesel as, despite weighing in at 8,643 pounds, it returned an outstanding 16.3/20.5/18.0 mpg city/highway/combined. The Super Duty's ability to extend blind-spot detection to cover a trailer adds an important layer of safety, as does the ability to monitor six trailer tires' pressures and the trailer lights on the dashboard.
"With its latest Super Duty, Ford has set new benchmarks for capability and functionality. We have no doubt the competition will race to meet Ford's new standard," says MOTOR TREND Associate Editor Scott Evans.
2017 MOTOR TREND SUV of the Year Winner: 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC
Mercedes-Benz SUVs are no strangers to the MOTOR TREND Of the Year awards. This year, the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC becomes the fourth Mercedes-Benz SUV to win the Golden Calipers as the MOTOR TREND SUV of the Year winner.
Thorough testing at Honda's recently renovated proving ground near Mojave, California, showed that, despite weighing in at 4,078 pounds, the GLC300 gets to 60 mph in a respectable 6.8 seconds and runs down the quarter-mile in 15.3 seconds at 89.7 mph. In addition, the C-Class interior is the best in its class, as the seats are sofa-soft yet still supportive. Its luxury is highlighted with fine leather and wood details. According to the judges, this is the first time a luxury SUV has been as good as or better than the equivalent price-category sedan it's based on.
Guest judge Mike Accavitti says, "Overall, this is a great vehicle. You know you're getting into a Mercedes as soon as you open the door to the GLC. The quality of the materials and the elegance of the design are very consistent with the Mercedes-Benz brand proposition and reputation."
2017 MOTOR TREND Person of the Year Winner: Elon Musk, CEO Tesla Motors
There is no other company or CEO generating more interest in the industry today than this year's 2017 MOTOR TREND Person of the Year. Jumping from last year's number six spot to number one for 2017, MOTOR TREND is honored to recognize Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors.
Not only is he CEO of the leading electric-vehicle company, Musk also leads companies that launch rockets into space and attempt to convert America's key energy source to solar. Musk continues to lure in tens of thousands of loyal followers willing to buy his products from the future.
Visit MOTOR TREND's media asset site at http://press.motortrend.com for downloadable PR materials including press release, logos, B-roll video, and photos for Car, Truck, SUV, and Person Of the Year awards.
About MOTOR TREND
MOTOR TREND, a media brand of TEN: The Enthusiast Network, was founded in 1949 and is internationally recognized as one of the leading names in the automotive category. The MOTOR TREND brand is composed of Motor Trend magazine; the award-winning website MotorTrend.com; Motor Trend OnDemand subscription video-on-demand service, Motor Trend Auto Shows; Motor Trend Audio; Motor Trend en Español; Motor Trend India; and the renowned Motor Trend Car of the Year, SUV of the Year, Truck of the Year, Person of the Year, and Best Driver's Car awards programs.
About TEN: The Enthusiast Network
TEN: The Enthusiast Network is the world's premier transmedia network of enthusiast brands, such as MOTOR TREND, AUTOMOBILE, HOT ROD, SURFER, TRANSWORLD SKATEBOARDING, and GRINDTV. With more than 60 websites, 50 publications, 50 annual events, the Motor Trend OnDemand subscription video-on-demand service, as well as the world's largest automotive and action/adventure sports media platforms, TEN inspires enthusiasts to pursue their passions. For more information, visit enthusiastnetwork.com.
CONTACT: Rob Quigley, Senior PR and Social Media Manager, Marketing, TEN: The Enthusiast Network, RQuigley@enthusiastnetwork.com or 310-363-4086
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SOURCE TEN: The Enthusiast Network