DETROIT- December 8, 2008 - A bevy of new vehicles will cruise into the 2009 model year with a variety of new designs and technology. From the most innovative features to the most ecologically aware, the International Car of the Year Awards (ICOTY) jury has announced the top three nominees for Car of the Year and Truck of the Year.
Presented with the Hollywood flair of the Academy Awards, the ICOTY Awards take center stage at MGM Grand Detroit on January 10, 2009, the eve of press week for the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS).
Hosted by Edmunds.com Editorial Director Kevin Smith, and Road & Travel Magazine (RTM) Editor-in-Chief Courtney Caldwell, the 13th annual awards will reveal the winning vehicles for International Car of the Year and International Truck of the Year. The mission of the ICOTY Awards is to honor vehicles that reflect lifestyle compatibility and how well automakers achieve that goal through the design and marketing of the vehicle.
The top three nominees for International Car of the Year are the 2009 Dodge Challenger, Ford Flex and Nissan GT-R. International Truck of the Year nominees include the new 2009 Dodge Ram 1500, Ford F-150, and Subaru Forester.
"The awards are not centered on power and performance," said Courtney Caldwell, ICOTY’s creator and executive producer. "It's about how cars reflect our lifestyles and self image, an attitude most consumers can identify with."
Inaugural EARTH, WIND & POWER AWARDS
to Debut at ICOTY 2009
The 2009 ceremony will also debut the Earth, Wind & Power (EWP) Awards, which will honor the most environmentally-friendly car and truck of the year. The mission of the EWP Awards is to recognize vehicles that are driven by a power source that helps reduce global warming, are conducive to promoting a cleaner environment and support the mission to achieve energy independence through alternative sources.
As the awards transition into a more environmental theme, the ICOTY jury is proud to announce the top three nominees in these new categories, which include the BMW 335d, Volkswagen Jetta TDI and Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen TDI for EWP Car of the Year. The top three nominees for the EWP Truck of the Year are the BMW X5 xDrive35d, Ford Escape Hybrid and the Mercedes-Benz ML320 BlueTEC.
Also recognizing environmental ingenuity is the second annual EARTH ANGEL Award. Sponsored by Bridgestone, the award honors the automaker making the most progress with environmental initiatives and partnerships on a worldwide level. The inaugural EARTH ANGEL Award was presented to General Motors at the 2008 ceremony.
In addition to the ICOTY awards, Road & Travel Magazine will present its sixth annual Lifetime Legend Award, honoring Washington Post’s veteran automotive journalist Warren Brown. The 2009 award is sponsored by Ford Motor Company.
Sponsors for the 2009 black-tie gala included: Ford Motor Company, Bridgestone, General Motors Corporation, Chrysler LLC, Subaru of America, State Farm, American Honda, Hyundai of America, Audi of America, Mazda NA Operations, Borgwarner Inc., Mercedes-Benz USA and U-Haul International.
2009 media partners include Edmunds.com, MSN Autos, Yahoo! Autos, Consumer Guide Automotive, Forbesautos.com, Autobytel/MyRide.com, ROAD & TRAVEL Magazine, AOL Autos and Earth, Wind & Power Magazine, all of which will provide post event coverage of the winners.
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