Consumer voters proclaimed their favorites in five categories in the Chicago Auto Show's sixth annual "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: Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 (34 percent of vote)
- Best Concept Vehicle: Infiniti Essence (34 percent of vote)
- Best Green Vehicle: Chevrolet Volt (35 percent of vote)
- Best Exhibit: Jeep (24 percent of vote)
- Vehicle I'd most like to have in my driveway: Chevrolet Camaro
"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 Kevin Mize. "In a year where attendance was up more than ten percent and we boasted four indoor test tracks, 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. 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, one-third of the voters considered the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, a 2011 Chicago Auto Show world introduction, the Best All-New Production Vehicle. Interestingly, the all-new Audi A6 took runner up honors with 16 percent of the vote.
For the second year in row, the extended-range-electric Chevrolet Volt was selected as Best Green Vehicle. No doubt the Volt was bolstered by its dramatic indoor-garden test track and informative technology display arena. Placing second was the all-electric Nissan Leaf.
Best Concept honors went to the stunning Infiniti Essence. The striking silver coupe captivated show goers and ran away with the category. The GMC Terrain HD and Lexus Five Axis Project CT tied for a distant second.
Returning to the top spot after a two-year hiatus as Best Exhibit was the Jeep brand. Jeep upped the ante this year with an all-new test track experience that featured a 20-foot drop and man-made snow. Coming up a close second was the Chevrolet display, which not only featured the Volt experience but a Hot Wheels spin camera that had attendees jumping for joy all show long.
Every year the tightest race of all is the pick for "Vehicle I'd most like to have in my driveway." This year featured the closest race in Best of Show's sixyear run as the Chevrolet Camaro bested the Ford Mustang by just 11 votes.
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 ten Apple iPads. 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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