DETROIT – The Ford Atlas and Nissan Resonance tied for best concepts, while the Cadillac ELR took best production vehicle in the Eyes on Design Awards at the 2013 North American International Auto Show on Tuesday.
Design Excellence Awards were presented in two categories this year, and, in an unexpected twist, design judges called a tie between two concepts.
Bob Lutz, former General Motors vice chairman, won the third award – the Catalyst Award – Empowering Great Design. The award was presented by Wayne Cherry, one of the judges and retired vice president of design for GM.
"I've always been passionate about beautiful objects, especially beautiful vehicles because it's the industry I'm in," Lutz said while accepting the award.
He added that because safety, fuel efficiency and other aspects of vehicles must adhere to government-mandated standards, "what's left is design."
The awards were followed by a panel discussion featuring Eyes on Design judges Dave Marek, director, automobile styling division, Honda R&D Americas Inc.; Ralph Gilles, senior vice president, product design, Chrysler Group Inc.; Anne Asensio, vice president of design experience, Dessault Systemes; and Franz von Holzhausen, senior design executive, Tesla Motors, who shared their thoughts on future design trends.
"Cars' silhouettes are getting similar because we're after the same aerodynamics," Gilles said.