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The votes have been cast and Ford Motor Company is back, capturing three out of four Autoweek Editors’ Choice awards at the 2003 North American International Auto Show. The Editors’ Choice awards are handed out to the best concepts of each year’s Detroit auto show. Ford’s winners this year were the Ford 427 as Best Concept; Ford Mustang GT as Most Significant; and Aston Martin AMV8 Vantage as Most Fun.
"We are extremely proud to have nearly swept the Editors’ Choice awards," said J Mays, vice president of Design. "This is a tribute to the increasingly competent and focused Ford design team. They worked incredibly hard this year to produce a record number of concepts for the 2003 Detroit show."
The 427’s 590 horsepower V10 engine sealed its success for Autoweek jurors. According to the panel, the 427 shows that Ford is serious about putting power and performance back into its mainstay vehicles. The judges also heaped praise on the car for "its bold black and silver chrome styling, its large swaths of uncluttered sheetmetal, its classy dark leather interior with touches of metal trim and contrasting stitching, its imposing front end and attention to detail."
Mustang’s popularity gave the Mustang GT Concept a serious advantage in winning the title of Most Significant showcar. It was no secret to panelists that the concept hints strongly at what is to come in 2004. The judges said Ford succeeded in reinventing a classic piece of automotive history by blending design cues with the best Mustangs of the 1960s with 21st century automotive technology. Said Autoweek: "Remaking an icon is never easy, so we think it's Most Significant that, with the company's centennial underway and the model's 40th anniversary in sight, Ford has finally got Mustang so very right again."
Aston Martin’s distinguished lineage with the world’s classiest spy led to the AMV8 Vantage earning the Most Fun award. But aside from James Bond, key for the editors was the AMV8’s signaling of where Aston Martin is headed with its third model line. The production car is expected to substantially lift sales in North America. The editors also singled out Aston Martin design chief and board member Henrik Fisker for the AMV8 Vantage’s sensual lines and upscale interior nearly devoid of plastic. "The AMV8 Vantage's interior is bathed in perfect leathers with chrome hints through the dial binnacle and console," the editors wrote.
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