It is extremely rare for one vehicle manufacturer to win both the Car of the Year and Truck of the Year honors at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, but Chevy proved that it can still be done.
The all-new Corvette Stingray and Silverado 1500 won for North American Car of the Year (its first time since 1998) and the Silverado for Truck of the Year (the first time since 2007) in one of the most highly coveted competitive annual competitions.
When I have reported previous winners (especially for the Range Rover Evoque as Truck of the Year a few years ago) some of you have expressed your disagreement, but I expect less of that this year.
The new Corvette Stingray is the most powerful of its kind with 455 hp and 460 lb.-ft. of torque enabled by a 6.2L V8 engine, and even more powerful horsepower and torque of you opt for the performance exhaust system. Want to race? With the Z51 performance package this baby can sprint from 0-60 in 3.8 seconds.
The Silverado, the first entirely new truck from Chevy since it won the 2007 honors, has an available 5.3L EcoTec V8 which generates 355 hp for great towing and hauling. It features a seamless passive switch to 4-cylinders for fuel savings and offers an EPA estimated highway fuel economy of up to 23 mpg, the best fuel economy presently available for a V8 pickup.
In judging the competition, three vehicles in each category are named as finalists. This year, they were the Mazda3 which came within 20 points of winning, and the Cadillac CTS which was named Motor Trend Car of the Year.
For Truck of the Year, a category which also includes SUVs, the other finalists were the Jeep Cherokee and the Acura MDX. The only other pickup introduced during the time period — the 2014 Toyota Tundra — has not shown up on any awards lists with most journalists noting that the new vehicle did not go far enough, with no changes made to engine or transmission.
It needs to be noted that the competition judging was completed prior to the voluntary recall of the Silverado pickups last week for a software problem that could cause fires, but these glitches — however disturbing — have become alarmingly commonplace these days. I’m not sure whether it would have affected judging results.