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Detroit show: Infiniti cleans up EyesOn awards

Front of the Q: Nissan’s senior vice-president for global design, Alfonso Albaisa, holds the EyesOn Design best concept car award on behalf of the Nissan design team that penned the Q Inspiration.

Slick Q Inspiration gives Infiniti a walk-over in Detroit design awards

General News logo17 Jan 2018

By RON HAMMERTON

ONE of the few relevant concept cars at this year’s Detroit motor show, Infiniti’s impressive Q Inspiration coupe-style sedan, has cleaned up the show’s annual EyesOn Design awards by winning the best concept and best interior categories.

Billed as look at Infiniti’s future design direction, the Q Inspiration was head and shoulders above anything else at the show as major manufacturers, including home-town heroes such as General Motors, mostly focussed on run-of-the-mill product launches, and even then, not many.

Among those the Q Inspiration out-pointed for the concept gong were sister company Nissan’s Xmotion SUV – which at least picked up the best-use-of-colour award – and rival Lexus’s LF-1 Limitless SUV concept.

The concept award was accept by Nissan senior vice-president of global design, Alfonso Albaisa, who paid tribute to new technologies within the Q Inspiration that he said had helped to “raise the artistry of Infiniti inside and out”.

It is two in a row for Nissan which won the 2017 best concept prize for its V.0 Motion concept.

The best production car category went to BMW’s X2 small SUV that was being seen in the flesh at a major motor show for the first time after being revealed in images last October.

The X2 is set to take on the likes of Audi’s Q2 in Australia within months.

The best user experience award went to Fiat Chrysler Automotive’s (FCA) new fifth-generation Ram 1500 pick-up that Ram describes as the most luxurious pick-up launched in North America.

Along with the car awards, the EyesOn judges presented a lifetime achievement award – dubbed the designer catalyst award – to retired General Motors vice-president of global design, Ed Welburn.

Mr Welburn is best known in Australia for his support for GM’s design studio in Melbourne, helping to thrive through difficult times.

Award winners are selected by more than 30 active and retired design heads of automotive manufacturers and transportation design chairs from top art schools.

Among the chief judges is Mr Welburn’s successor as GM vice-president of global design, Mike Simcoe – an Australian who cut his teeth at the Holden design studio.

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