Mid-engine Corvette wins MotorTrend Car of Year honors

Henry Payne
The Detroit News

Los Angeles – The mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette C8 has won its first major award, grabbing the coveted 2020 MotorTrend Car of the Year honor for best car.

Other winners include the three-row Kia Telluride as best SUV and the Ram Heavy Duty as best truck.

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

Presented annually ahead of the Los Angeles Auto Show, MotorTrend's Gold Caliper trophy is often displayed prominently at automaker's show stands and in advertising campaigns. MotorTrend offers video and magazine content for auto enthusiasts.

One of the year’s most anticipated vehicles, the C8 is the first Corvette to put the engine behind the driver like European supercars costing four times as much. At just over $60,000 the Corvette can sprint from 0-60 in just 2.9 seconds without sacrificing interior comfort. Its combination of speed and value wowed Motor Trend jurors.

2020 Telluride

“The C8 represents the biggest step-change since the original Acura NSX in terms of being a usable everyday mid-engine supercar,” said MotorTrend International Bureau Chief Angus MacKenzie. “It brings the Corvette closer to the Porsche 911 in terms of being an attainable and credible 24/7 supercar than any time since the ’60s.”

The diesel-powered Ram Heavy Duty has followed in the footsteps of its light-duty Ram 1500 brother in winning media and market raves for its posh interior, smooth ride and beastly capabilities.

“This is how luxury should feel,” said MotorTrend en Español Managing Editor Miguel Cortina. “No other truck on the market can beat it.”

2020 Ram Power Wagon Crew Cab

Like the Corvette C8, value was key to the Kia Telluride taking home the SUV prize. The stylish family ute offers luxury looks and amenities while costing thousands of dollars less than segment leaders like the Ford Explorer and Toyota Highlander.

Jurors called the 2020 Kia Telluride "one of the most compelling family SUVs, loaded with standard equipment, spacious seating, and refined driving manners, all at an astonishingly reasonable price to fit the family’s budget."

MotorTrend also honors a Person of the Year and, fittingly, the award went to Hyundai Motor Group Design Chief Peter Schreyer whose tenure has transformed the styling of Korean brands like Kia.

A former Audi designer, Schreyer has attracted some of the industry’s top talent to the Hyundai group to create acclaimed chariots like the new Kia Telluride and Stinger sports sedan, Hyundai Palisade and Sonata, while also penning new design language for the Genesis premium brand.

Henry Payne is auto critic for The Detroit News. Find him at hpayne@detroitnews.com or Twitter @HenryEPayne.