Edsel Ford II, the great-grandson of Henry Ford and a member of the board of directors of Ford Motor Co., poses with the all new 2015 Ford Mustang. (Charles V. Tines / The Detroit News)
Ford’s 2015 Mustang won the best production car award from the automotive design community at the Detroit auto show Tuesday night, while the Volvo XC Coupe concept took home two awards, one for the best concept car and another for a new category this year for most innovative use of materials.
The Eyes on Design organization raises money for area charities as well as the Detroit Institute of Ophthalmology for research through the automotive design community’s events awarding outstanding achievements each year for the past nine years.
Some 30 judges who are design leaders in the automotive industry sifted through all of the new cars and concepts on display at the 2014 Detroit auto show, and selected three semi-finalists for three categories.
Three chief judges summed up all of the judges’ findings. The three finalist vehicles for the top production car award were the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan, the 2015 Ford Mustang coupe, and the new Ford F-150 pickup truck.
“The judges commented how beautiful and how modern and how muscular (the Mustang) is in the flesh,” said chief judge Ralph Gillies, senior vice president of product design for Chrylser Group. “It’s just the right size to work in America and internationally.”
“The Mustang design ties enough history to a modern shape,” said chief judge Chuck Pelly, former president of Designworks/USA.
The top concept car award finalists were Toyota’s FT-1 coupe, Volvo’s XC Coupe, and Kia’s GT4 Stinger coupe, which was won by the Volvo.
“To design a car especially for Detroit with no chrome is quite a feat,” said chief judge Jack Telnak, retired vice president of design for Ford Motor Corporation, about the two-door Volvo.
“It shows restraint and great energy,” said Gillies, who also commented on the radically styled Toyota FT-1, “It’s going to get people to come to the auto show. Hats off to Toyota for having some fun.”