Each year during the NAIAS Industry Preview days, AutoWeek hosts a Design Forum with big names in car design. At the end of the day, barring any deaths from excessive usage of words ending in "ism," the magazine announces its favorites of the year s cars on display. This year, the Forum looked at Iconic Design, awarding Carroll Shelby the inaugural AutoWeek Lifetime Achievement Award. Click through for the Forum's other award recipients.
Most fun: Nissan Urge Concept
What they said: While parked, you can play all your fave post-apocalyptic urban dash-and-smash games — specifically for now "Project Gotham Racing 3" — using the steering wheel and pedals. It sounds damned pleasurable, to be honest.
What we say: Needs a bigger screen. And a toaster oven.
Best concept: Dodge Challenger
What they said: it's a concept — but one that is so close to production quality in its near-perfect reproduction of the iconic 1970 Challenger as a modern day machine that we can almost smell the production-car rubber burning.
What we say: Two words: Hemi Tonka.
Most significant: 2007 Toyota Camry
What they said: Toyota will easily and quickly become #1 in the world after just one year of sales of this new Camry.
What we say: Toyota has taken nondescript to its highest order. Soon, the National Anthem will just be the hum of a VVT-i V6.
Best in show: Chevrolet Camaro concept
What they said: Only the second time in AutoWeek's long and illustrious tradition of awarding our favorite auto show models with big, fat, shiny trophies has a car won by unanimous vote. We certainly weren't alone in our admiration. At one point during the press preview it looked as if the number of top-tier designers from competing automakers outnumbered the members of the media swarming about the car.
What we say: That sharp-angled front end over egg-crate grillwork makes us picture a really angry 1978 Silverado pickup.
[with Kelly McGilvery]