Chevrolet Corvette Stingray and Mazda3 capture MPG's inaugural
Innovation Vehicle of the Year awards
MPG President Aaron Gold (left) presents the Under $29,000 Award to Tim Mahoney (left), chief marketing officer, global Chevrolet, accepts the
Mazda North American Operations President and CEO Jim O'Sullivan for the $29,000 and Over award from MPG President Aaron Gold for the 2014
2014 Mazda 3 at the Los Angeles Auto Show on November 20, 2013. Chevy Corvette Stingray at the Los Angeles Auto Show on Nov. 20, 2013.
Finalists chosen for MPG's Innovation Vehicle of the Year award
MPG's panel of journalists has reviewed all of the nominated vehicles and announced the finalists for MPG's 2013 Innovation Vehicle of the Year award. MPG Journalist and Analyst members are invited to vote. To assist in making selections, information about each vehicle is provided below, as well as a link to obtain additional vehicle evaluation support.
The finalists are (scroll down for vehicle info):
Under $29,000 Category: Chevrolet Spark EV, Chevrolet Cruise Diesel, Ford Fiesta ST, Jeep Cherokee, Mazda3
$29,000 and Over Category: Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, Ford Fusion Energi, Honda Accord Hybrid, Infiniti Q50, Hybrid, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, Range Rover Sport
HOW TO VOTE
All MPG Journalist and Analyst members may vote. Click here to log-in and vote. Voting closes at midnight Friday, November 8, 2013.
Vehicles should be evaluated and judged based on overall innovation, technology/engineering, safety, environmental impact, and price/affordability/value.
VEHICLE EVALUATION SUPPORT
To assist MPG voters with evaluations of the finalists, each manufacturer of the 12 finalist vehicles has provided a short statement describing the unique characteristics of the vehicle and why it merits consideration for our annual award (scroll down), plus links to additional press material (print, photos, videos, etc.).
To assist those voters seeking third-party information about any of the advanced technologies incorporated into our finalist vehicles, MPG is partnering with AutoHarvest* (http://www.autoharvest.org).
Any MPG voter interested in posting a question on the AutoHarvest website should send question(s) to email@example.com. The answer will be sent directly back to the questioner, and both the question and answer will be posted on the MPG website.
The vision of AutoHarvest is to accelerate innovation for advanced manufacturing and materials by creating, with industry leaders, a safe, independent web-based collaboration network to bring new technologies into the automotive industry and foster new market applications for automotive technology.
*AutoHarvest is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization and is led by some of the most highly respected figures in the automotive industry, including: long-standing automotive analyst Dr. David Cole; Jayson Pankin, formerly Delphi's new venture creation specialist; an Innovation Advisory Council led by Ford Global Technologies, LLC that includes General Motors Company, The Chrysler Group, LLC, Covisint, Delphi, 3M, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, University of Michigan, The Ohio State University - Center of Automotive Research; and a peer group of more than 50 prominent government, university, OEM, supplier and manufacturing organizations.
Support has been provided by Ford Global Technologies, LLC, The Chrysler Group, LLC, General Motors Company, Covisint, University of Michigan, The Ohio State University - Center of Automotive Research, C.S. Mott Foundation, The New Economy Initiative, Ann Arbor SPARK, Michigan Economic Development Corporation and members of the automotive supplier community.
AutoHarvest has a presence within the innovation hubs of the region including Wayne State University's Research and Development Park, TechTown, and the University of Michigan's North Campus Research Complex.
Under $29,000 Category_____________________________________________________________
Chevrolet Spark EV
Base price: $27,495
The Chevrolet Spark EV takes the functionality, fun and technology of the gas powered Spark and amps it up to include best in segment torque- 400 lb ft which rivals many sports cars- zero to sixty time in under 8 seconds and 82 miles of range.
The Spark EV offers an EPA-estimated combined city/highway 119 MPGe fuel economy equivalent, with an EPA estimated EV range when fully charged of 82 miles. Based on EPA estimates, the Spark EV will be the most efficient EV for purchase in the U.S.
Priced under $20,000 with federal incentives, The Spark EV is not only one of the most efficient EVs on the market – but it has the lowest cost of ownership. The Spark EV can save drivers, on average, about $150 per month in fuel costs based on EPA estimates.
Spark’s high level of content is perfect for driving and parking in busy city centers without sacrificing style or safety and the design proportions provide unexpected roominess for passengers and cargo. Unique “confidence gauge” and best in segment 7” MyLink high definition infotainment system with Pandora, Stitcher and Siri bring unexpected technology and functionality to the Spark EV.
Spark EV will be the first vehicle on the market to offer as an available option after launch the recently approved SAE combo charger for DC Fast Charging enabling the vehicle to charge 80% in 20 minutes.
Press Kit: SparkEVMediaDrive.com
Chevrolet Cruise Diesel
Base price: $25,695
Built in Lordstown, Ohio, the 2014 Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel delivers a combination of segment-leading features and efficiency including the most-sophisticated passenger car diesel engine GM has ever produced. Based on GM testing, Cruze Diesel has demonstrated range of 717 highway miles on one tank of diesel and EPA-estimated 46 mpg on the highway with spirited performance and the durability diesel owners’ value around the globe.
Cruze Diesel beats its rivals in performance, with a segment-leading, SAE-certified 151 horsepower (113 kW) and 264 lb-ft of torque (358 Nm), and can go from 0-60 in about 8.6 seconds. Its advanced 2.0L turbo-diesel engine produces at least 250 lb-ft of torque (339 Nm) between 1,750 and 3,000 rpm and has an overboost feature capable of increasing torque to an estimated 280 lb-ft (380 Nm) for short bursts of stronger acceleration when needed, such as merging onto a busy freeway.
Chevrolet leveraged engineering expertise from around the globe to develop a world-class, low-emissions engine meeting stringent U.S. environmental standards including Tier 2 Bin 5 emissions standards.
With a starting price at $25,695, including a $810 destination charge, Cruze Diesel comes with a six-speed automatic transmission, four-wheel antilock disc brakes, 3.20 final drive ratio, 140-amp alternator, 800 cold-cranking amps battery, 17-inch alloy wheels, ultra-low-rolling resistance all-season tires, rear spoiler, Aero Performance Package and leather-appointed seating.
Other standard features include Chevrolet’s infotainment system MyLink, a two-year maintenance plan, and a five-year 100,000 mile powertrain warranty.
Press Kit: Cruzedieselmediadrive.com
Ford Fiesta ST
Base price: $21,400
Fiesta ST is yet another proof point from Ford that small cars are anything but boring.
In addition to a precision sport-tuned suspension and improved braking system, Fiesta ST packs a punch under the hood. A new high-output variant of the award-winning 1.6-liter EcoBoost® four-cylinder engine propels Fiesta ST with 197 horsepower and 202 lb.-ft. of torque while delivering 26 mpg city, 35 mpg highway and 29 mpg combined.
Fiesta ST steering is more direct and responsive than the base model. A unique suspension with modified front knuckle makes for a quicker overall steering ratio of 13.6:1. Increased mechanical grip provided by the suspension improvements is further enhanced with electronic Torque Vectoring Control to reduce understeer during hard cornering maneuvers. Three-mode electronic stability control – standard, sport or off – enables the ST driver to select the amount of electronic aid based on current conditions. Overall, Fiesta ST provides enthusiastic drivers with the ideal mix of performance handling and ride comfort.
Fiesta ST will also sound good on the open road. It features a modified version of the sound symposer implemented on other Ford products. The sound symposer provides an enhanced soundtrack for drivers out tackling the open road. It is unique for Fiesta in that for the first time the engine sound is directly fed into the passenger cabin to accentuate feedback quality and response.
Fiesta ST is the result of the combined efforts of Team RS in Europe and SVT in the United States.
Press kit: https://media.ford.com/content/fordmedia/fna/us/en/products/cars/fiesta/2014-fiesta-st.html
Base price: $22,995
The all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee completely redefines the mid-size SUV segment, delivering legendary Jeep 4x4 capability, improved fuel economy, superior on-road ride and handling, revolutionary design, world-class craftsmanship, clever functionality and versatility, more than 70 safety and security features and user-friendly technology. The Jeep Cherokee delivers unmatched off-road capability while not sacrificing on-road ride and handling, comfort or segment-leading features. In addition, the Cherokee delivers drivers numerous “first” and best-in-class features:
- First SUV with 9-speed automatic transmission
- First vehicle to feature a fully-disconnecting rear axle for 4x2 fuel economy when 4x4 capability isn’t needed
- Impressive on-road driving dynamics, fuel economy of up to 31 mpg highway
- First vehicle powered by new 3.2-liter Pentastar V-6 engine
- More than 70 available safety and security features including 10 standard air bags
- Best-in-class V-6 towing (4,500 lbs.)
- First Chrysler Group vehicle with Active Park Assist System that assists the driver parallel/perpendicular park
- Beautiful world-class interior with high-quality materials
- Award-winning Uconnect media center with available 8.4-inch touchscreen, the largest in the segment
The Cherokee delivers leading-edge technology customers will value, world-class craftsmanship and clever features like fold-flat front passenger seat with in-seat storage, the seven-inch full color instrument cluster display, inventive storage solutions and cargo flexibility not found elsewhere in the segment.
The all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee is available in four different models: Cherokee Sport, Cherokee Latitude, Cherokee Limited and Cherokee Trailhawk, and has a starting U.S. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of $22,995 (excluding $995 destination).
Press kit: http://www.media.chrysler.com/newsrelease.do?id=14039&mid=426
Base price: $16,945
The all-new 2014 Mazda3 represents the third generation of Mazda’s best-selling vehicle worldwide. With more than 3.5 million vehicles sold, Mazda3 is the brand’s most recognizable nameplate. For 2014, Mazda3 not only receives the full suite of SKYACTIV® technologies, but a complete KODO design makeover. It also offers advanced active safety technologies with i-ACTIVSENSE and introduces an all-new Active Driving Display and MAZDA CONNECT™ infotainment system.
The 2014 Mazda3 is built from the ground up with the award-winning SKYACTIV technology, Mazda’s engineering approach toward increasing overall vehicle efficiency, performance and fuel economy, while reducing CO2 emissions. The 2014 Mazda3 will be offered with two engine choices in North America: a SKYACTIV-G 2.0-liter gasoline engine and a larger SKYACTIV-G 2.5-liter gasoline engine.
With the full complement of SKYACTIV technologies, the 2014 Mazda3 touts segment-leading fuel economy with 41 highway mpg. This fuel economy is achieved with the base SKYACTIV 2.0-liter engine without the need for a special fuel savings trim. The SKYACTIV 2.5-liter engine, with i-ELOOP, achieves 39 mpg and produces a peak of 184 horsepower. i-ELOOP continuously recovers kinetic energy as the vehicle decelerates and reuses it as electricity.
Available in four-door and five-door models, the 2014 Mazda3 is offered in four trim levels – SV (sedan only), Sport, Touring and Grand Touring. On sale now, pricing starts at less than $17,000 MSRP for sedans and less than $19,000 MSRP for five-door configurations.
Press kit: http://www.mazdausamedia.com/index.php?s=31676&item=1070
$29,000 and Over Category__________________________________________________________
Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
Base price: $51,995
2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Innovations
The best Corvettes – like the ’63 Stingray – set the world’s benchmark for performance, technologies, design, and awe-inspiring driving experiences. The new Stingray continues that tradition, offering innovations in terms of performance, design, and technology.
The all-new, LT1 V-8 is one of the few engines in the world to combine direct injection, variable valve timing, and cylinder deactivation. These technologies help make the Corvette the most fuel-efficient sports car on the market, as no other vehicle offers more than 460 horsepower and more than 29 mpg by EPA estimates.
The exterior design of the Stingray contributes to the performance capabilities of the car, with race-proven aerodynamic strategies for improved high-speed stability and track-capable cooling.
For technologies, the Corvette benefits from the strategic use of lightweight materials - including a stronger, lighter all-aluminum frame; and standard carbon fiber hood and roof and advanced driver technologies. These driver technologies – including a Driver Mode Selector, Active Rev Matching, and Performance Traction Management – are designed to help drivers exploit the Stingray’s performance capabilities without detracting from the driver’s experience.
Significantly, the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray coupe offers an unparalleled combination of innovations at a price point significantly lower than competitive vehicles: The Stingray coupe has a suggested starting retail price of $51,995, and the Corvette Stingray Convertible will start at $56,995. Both prices include a $995 destination fee but exclude tax, title, and license.
Press kit: http://media.chevrolet.com/content/media/us/en/chevrolet/vehicles/corvette/2014.html
Ford Fusion Energi
Base price: $38,700
The Ford Fusion Energi is Ford’s most fuel-efficient sedan with an EPA-rated total range of up to 620 miles and the ability to drive up to 21 miles in electric-only mode – which could help save customers an estimated $6,850 in fuel costs compared with an average new car over the course of five years. And the stellar range only adds to the benefits Fusion Energi boasts, including EPA-estimated fuel economy figures of 108 MPGe city, 92 MPGe highway and 100 MPGe combined.
The Fusion Energi doesn’t compromise fun-to-drive capability. The vehicle’s top electric-only speed of 85 mph is a full 23 mph faster than Toyota Prius plug-in, and it delivers total horsepower of 195 with a fully charged battery.
Fusion Energi sets itself apart in other ways, too. For example, it offers the latest generation of SmartGauge® with EcoGuide. Designed to help drivers get the most from Fusion, information such as displayed instantaneous fuel economy helps drivers more closely monitor how their driving behavior affects vehicle efficiency.
In the right cluster, redesigned imagery of green leaves shows overall driving efficiency. The left cluster can display numerous screens that contain information about the vehicle and how it’s being driven. Brake Coach, for example, helps drivers optimize their use of the regenerative braking system.
Fusion Energi offers the MyFord® Mobile smartphone application, which allows users to monitor charging, receive alerts, find charge stations, plan trips and more by using their smartphones or computers.
Fusion Energi Origin Story video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9IA1z3U5xUs&feature=youtu.be
Press kit: https://media.ford.com/content/fordmedia/fna/us/en/products/hybrids---evs/fusion-energi/2014-fusion-energi.html
Honda Accord Hybrid
Base price: $29,115
The all-new 50 mpg rated 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid is the latest model in the completely redesigned ninth-generation Accord lineup, Honda’s best-selling model in America. Featuring the same revolutionary Earth Dreams Technology™ 2.0-liter 4-cylinder/two-motor plug-in hybrid powertrain as the class-leading Accord Plug-in Hybrid, the Accord Hybrid benefits from a smaller, lighter battery pack, achieving the best EPA city fuel-economy rating, 50 mpg, of any 4-door sedan in America. That’s a full 3 mpg better than its closest competitor, and its calculated driving range of 673 miles is more than 46 miles farther than any vehicle in its segment! (EPA ratings (city/hwy/combined): 50 mpg /45 mpg /47 mpg).
Utilizing the same fundamental body and chassis architecture as the standard (non-hybrid) Accord Sedan, including its highly aerodynamic and lightweight body, sophisticated suspension design and outstanding interior package, the 2014 Accord Hybrid also delivers on the new-generation Accord’s promise to excel in all areas. These areas include not only fuel efficiency and driving performance but also class-leading passenger comfort and ergonomics; top-level safety (IIHS Top Safety Pick+ rating) and driver-assistive systems with features such as Honda’s next-generation ACE™ body structure, available Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Warning and LaneWatch blind spot monitor (standard); and leading-edge connectivity via the new HondaLink® connected car technology.
With a starting MSRP of $29,155 (not including $790 D&H), the all-new Accord Hybrid, manufactured by Honda of America Mfg., Inc. in Marysville, Ohio, joins the Indiana-made Civic Hybrid as the second Honda-brand hybrid vehicle to be produced in America.
Press information: http://www.hondanews.com/channels/honda-automobiles-accord
Infiniti Q50 Hybrid
Base price: $43,950
Building on Infiniti's legendary sports sedan styling, performance and technology leadership, the all-new 2014 Infiniti Q50 Hybrid propels Infiniti in a bold new direction as a provider of a unique luxury performance experience.
The Q50 Hybrid offers world's first technologies designed to enhance the driving experience, including Direct Adaptive Steering™, which provides quicker response and more driver personalization than a conventional system; Active Lane Control™ which further enhances lane-keeping capability and makes adjustments for minor road surface changes or crosswinds; and, Predictive Forward Collision Warning, which alerts the driver of a vehicle that is slowing two car lengths in front.
Inside, the Infiniti Q50 Hybrid is designed to be as welcoming as it is fun to drive. An available Bose® Studio on Wheels 14-speaker premium audio system is further augmented by Infiniti’s standard Active Noise Control which isolates the driver and passengers from low frequency road noise. Interior surfaces can be finished with available leather-appointed seating surfaces and a choice of either "Kacchu" aluminum trim inspired by traditional Samurai armaments, or genuine maple wood trim representative of the 16th century Urushi painting technique.
In addition, the Q50 Hybrid puts performance first without sacrificing fuel efficiency, as the all-new luxury sports sedan can accelerate from 0 to 60 MPH in 4.9 seconds, while still generating 36 MPG on the highway (EPA estimate).
Press kit: http://infinitinews.com/en-US/infiniti/usa/presskits/us-2014-infiniti-q50-press-kit
Base price: $92,900
The all-new 2014 S-Class appeals to all the senses. With its beautiful interior craftsmanship that features heated armrests and hot stone seating massage, ionized air purification via the AIR BALANCE PACKAGE, First Class rear-seat luxury, and a Burmester sound system, its character and overall presence is unmatched. Its fresh, confident, and sophisticated exterior design goes hand-in-hand with an intelligent suspension system called MAGIC BODY CONTROL, which sees the road ahead and adjusts the suspension accordingly.
Mercedes-Benz focuses on real-world safety with the goal of accident-free driving, and the S-Class offers a portfolio of more than 30 standard and optional active and passive safety technologies called Intelligent Drive. For example, the Driver Assistance Package, available for $2,800 in the 2014 S-Class and 2014 E-Class sedan, wagon, coupe, and cabriolet, offers the following content:
- DISTRONIC PLUS with Steering Assist: radar-based cruise control system with semi-autonomous steering inputs that can work from 0-124 mph depending on road conditions.
- PRE-SAFE Brake: Autonomously brakes the vehicle up to 31 mph with or without driver input, and can partially mitigate accidents up to 45 mph.
- PRE-SAFE PLUS: rear-facing radar that senses possible rear collisions and prepares the vehicle for a possible secondary incident into an active intersection.
- BAS PLUS with Cross Traffic Assist: reads cross-traffic encounters with stereoscopic cameras and adds appropriate brake assistance to prevent an incident in an active intersection.
- Active Lane Keeping Assist and Active Blind Spot Protection: one-sided braking.
Other Intelligent Drive safety features include Attention Assist and Night View Assist Plus with human and animal detection.
Press information: https://mpg.memberclicks.net/assets/IVY_2013/release___my2014_s_class.pdf
Ram 1500 EcoDiesel
Base price: $29,270
For 2014, Ram 1500 becomes the first and only light-duty pickup to benefit from durable, efficient diesel technology with new 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6.
Third-party reviews are calling the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel an absolute game-changer in the segment, one that will offer best-in-class fuel economy, estimated to be 20 mpg city / 27 mpg highway (pending EPA certification).
The new turbo-diesel combines with the Ram 1500’s segment-exclusive eight-speed automatic transmission, the TorqueFlite 8, to deliver not only great fuel economy, but also unsurpassed torque (420 lb.-ft.) and up to 9,200 lbs. of towing capability.
The Ram EcoDiesel powertrain is expected to offer better residual value, longer service life and extended oil change intervals (10,000 miles) than conventional gasoline engines.
The Ram 1500 also offers a list features not found in any other light-duty pickup, including an exclusive Active-Level four-corner air suspension system with five settings: Entry/Exit, Aero Mode, Normal Ride Height, Off-road 1 and Off-road 2. Add to that that RamBox Cargo management System, standard multi-link coil-spring rear suspension, wheel-to-wheel side steps, aerodynamic active grille shutters and “All Secure” one-button locking of doors, tailgate and RamBoxes.
And not to be overlooked, Ram’s exclusive full-color, configurable in-cluster Multiview display and Ram’s best-in-class 8.4-in. touch screen Uconnect Access infotainment system with WiFi hotspot and voice-to-text capability.
Press kit: http://media.chrysler.com/newsrelease.do?id=14497&mid=70
Range Rover Sport
Base price: $63,495
The all-new second-generation Range Rover Sport is the fastest, most agile and responsive Land Rover vehicle ever. The new model delivers exceptional on-road dynamics with genuine Land Rover all-terrain capability. The impeccably luxurious interior now offers the option of a third row seat.
The 2014 Range Rover Sport uses an all-new bonded and riveted aluminum unibody architecture to achieve a weight savings of approximately 800lbs. and features breakthrough suspension design and innovative chassis technologies. Fuel economy has improved by up to 31%.
The Range Rover Sport is placed in the three-model Range Rover portfolio, between the flagship Range Rover and the Range Rover Evoque.
A four-corner air suspension with variable ride height and the new fully automatic Terrain Response 2 system maximize the vehicle’s versatility both on- and off-road.
Two engines are offered, a 340hp supercharged V6 or a 510hp supercharged V8. Both engines are paired with a ZF 8-speed automatic.
The standard 4WD system features a new single-speed transfer case with a Torsen differential that provides a rear-wheel drive bias for optimum driving dynamics, while maintaining off-road performance capability. A two-speed transfer case system is available, with a low-range for severe off-road conditions.
The Range Rover Sport has a multifaceted set of abilities, as it can off-road, cross nearly three feet of water, attain a top speed of up to 155 MPH, and tow over 7,700 lbs., all while offering passengers a cosseting and luxurious experience.
Press Kit: http://www.interactivelandrover.com/rr_sport_presskit/DisplayRelease.php?itemID=550&year=2014
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MPG Introduces the 2013 Innovation Vehicle of the Year Award
On August 19, 2013, MPG announced a makeover of its Vehicle Of The Year (VOTY) award. The retooled award—now known as Innovation Vehicle of the Year, or IVY—recognizes vehicles that represent segment-busting technology, engineering, and other significant factors that move the industry in a notable direction.
The award is split into two categories: One for vehicles priced below $29,000 and one for vehicles priced at $29,000 and higher.
ELIGIBILITY AND JUDGING CRITERIA
Vehicles have to be on sale in the U.S. by January 1, 2014 to be eligible for the 2013 MPG IVY Award. Vehicles will be evaluated and judged based on the following criteria:
- Overall innovation
- Technology and engineering
- Environmental impact
All MPG members may nominate vehicles—up to three for each price class. Manufacturers may also nominate their own vehicles.
In the second stage, a jury of MPG Journalist members vets the nominations and chooses twelve finalists, six in each category. The manufacturer of each finalist is invited to offer information about the vehicles. The information is posted here or linked to each manufacturer's corporate website.
In the third and final stage, the list of finalists is announced to members via e-mail and published on this Web page. MPG Journalist and Analyst members are invited to vote for category winners via the MPG website.
ANNOUNCEMENT OF WINNERS
The winners will be announced at a special press conference held during the MPG Motoring Invitational & Breakfast event at the 2013 L.A. Auto Show on November 20 at 7:30 a.m.