For the seventh straight year, consumer voters proclaimed their favorites in five categories in the Chicago Auto Show's "Best of Show" balloting. In voting conducted over the 10-day public run of the nation's biggest auto show, winners in the contest's five categories were:
- Best All-New Production Vehicle: Ford Shelby GT500 (23 percent of vote)
- Best Concept Vehicle: Lexus LF-LC (30 percent of vote)
- Best Green Vehicle: Chevrolet Volt (24 percent of vote)
- Best Exhibit: Jeep (29 percent of vote)
- Vehicle I'd most like to have in my driveway: Ford Shelby GT500
"Best of Show voting has become a benchmark measure, and winning in any category is quite meaningful for our manufacturers and exhibitors," said show chairman Steve Foley, Jr. "In a year where attendance increased yet again and we boasted four indoor test tracks and five outdoor test drives, consumers had a better chance than ever to weigh the competitors and let their voice be heard."
Each of the first four winners beat out seven other vehicles. The eight finalists in Best All-New Production Vehicle, Best Concept Vehicle, Best Green Vehicle and Best Exhibit were selected by a jury of automotive experts. In the fifth category, "Vehicle I'd most like to have in my driveway," voters could choose from any of the nearly 1000 vehicles on the show floor.
According to the results, voters considered the Ford Shelby GT500 convertible, a 2012 Chicago Auto Show world introduction, the Best All-New Production Vehicle. Interestingly, Ford also garnered runner up status with the all-new Fusion. Posting a strong third-place finish was the locally-built Dodge Dart.
For the third year in row, the extended-range-electric Chevrolet Volt was selected as Best Green Vehicle. No doubt the Volt result was bolstered by outdoor test drive and spacious indoor Volt-themed display area. Placing second was the all-electric Ford Focus.
Best Concept honors went to the stunning Lexus LF-LC. The striking 2+2 hybrid sport coupe concept captivated show goers and posted a clear victory. The equally stunning Cadillac Ciel placed second.
Returning to the top spot for a second year in a row as Best Exhibit was the Jeep brand. Jeep upped the ante this year with its test track experience that featured an 18-foot drop, rock-climbing wall and mini-Jeep course for kids. Posting a close second was the rejuvenated Ford display that featured the Mustang Dynomometer and a rocking-and-rolling Ford Focus ST simulator.
Every year the tightest race of all is the pick for "Vehicle I'd most like to have in my driveway." This year was no different as the Shelby GT500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee battled neck and neck to the last day. Ford fans mashed the gas on the final day to put the Shelby GT500 on top.
In all, nearly 8000 consumers voted for best of show, which was sponsored by the Chicago Tribune and Cars.com. Each consumer that voted was entered for a chance to win one of five Apple iPad2s. The awards for Best of Show will be presented to the winning manufacturers at the annual Midwest Automotive Media Association Spring Rally.
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