Award Season

2020 North American Car, Truck, SUV of the Year Announced

The North American Car, Truck, and SUV of the Year were announced today in Detroit.

Photo courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

A classic, a formidable newcomer, and a retro-inspired modern truck took top honors at this year's North American Car, Truck, SUV of the year awards today in Detroit. The winners are:

2020 North American Car of the Year: Chevrolet Corvette

2020 Chevrolet Corvette

Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

The Chevrolet Corvette has been completely redesigned for the 2020 model year. It features a new mid-engine V8 powertrain and a sleek interior unlike anything else in the Chevy lineup.

2020 North American Truck of the Year: Jeep Gladiator

2020 Jeep Gladiator

Photo courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

The Jeep Gladiator is more than just a Wrangler with a bed. It's a formidable truck in its own right, delivering the power and capability drivers are looking for. It also retains much of the look of the Wrangler, something brand enthusiasts were hoping for.

2020 North American SUV of the Year: Kia Telluride

2020 Kia Telluride

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

The American-made Kia Telluride arrived in advertisements during the Super Bowl and the public's appetite for the model was whetted. It's gone on to be a serious contender in the three-row SUV class, showing just what Kia is capable of producing.

AutomotiveMap's Sue Mead is a NACTOY juror. You can read her review of the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette here.

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Chevy confirmed the new Z06 with 670 horsepower.

Chevrolet

After years of speculation, Chevy announced the mid-engine eighth-generation Corvette for the 2020 model year. Almost immediately, a new round of rumors took off around the potential for an even higher performance Z06 model. Chevy finally confirmed the car yesterday with a design and specs that improve on the standard Corvette in almost every way.

2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 The new LT6 V8 features a flat-plane crank and an 8,600 rpm redline.Chevrolet

The star of the show is the new 5.5-liter flat-plane crank LT6 V8. The mill churns out an unbelievable 670 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque, and can rev all the way out to 8,600 rpm. Power numbers aside, the sky-high redline lets the engine wail and scream in a way that we've not heard outside of Corvette racing cars. The hand-assembled engines are paired with a single technician through the build process and each unit carries a plaque with the builder's name.

To differentiate the Z06 from "normal" Corvettes, Chevy gave the car unique front and rear fascias, 20-inch front/21-inch rear wheels, and a configurable rear spoiler designed to improve high-speed stability. The Z06 is available with lightweight carbon wheels designed to reduce unsprung weight. The car itself is 9.4 centimeters wider than the Corvette Stingray to accommodate larger wheel sizes and incorporate larger cooling air vents on the side.

2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 The Z06's interior features many upgrades over the standard car.Chevrolet

As a more track-focused Corvette, the Z06 comes with tech to improve performance and record drives. When in track mode, the Z06's Performance Traction Management system is activated, which offers five levels of torque reduction and brake intervention, and an electronic limited slip differential helps keep the rear planted.

Inside, the Z06 improves on the Stingray's cabin with seven interior color choices, three seat options, six seatbelt designs, and two interior carbon fiber trim packages. Chevy says that the car's interior has a bespoke and upscale feel that sets it apart from the standard Corvette, which itself already had a gorgeous cabin.

2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 The Z06 is wider than the Stingray to accommodate larger wheels and bodywork.Chevrolet

The 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 will be built at the automaker's Bowling Green Assembly plant in Kentucky. Chevy will build the cars in both left- and right-hand drive configurations when production kicks off in summer 2022.

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The Bronze Edition model builds on the XLE trim.

Toyota

The Toyota Highlander entered its fourth generation for the 2020 model year, which brought sleek style, updated tech, and a premium-look interior. A new XSE trim joined the lineup for 2021, and for 2022, Toyota is adding a new hybrid-only Bronze Edition trim.

2022 Toyota Highlander Bronze Edition The Bronze Edition adds useful features, such as a hands-free power liftgate.toyota

The new Bronze Edition Highlander builds on the XLE trim with:

  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • Digital rearview mirror
  • Ambient interior lighting
  • Memory driver's seat with 10-way power adjustments
  • Hands-free power liftgate

Toyota notes that the Bronze Edition previews features that will show up with the greater 2022 Highlander release. Among them are the new Wind Chill Pearl color, which replaces Blizzard Pearl from the previous model, and height/tilt passenger seat adjustments.

2022 Toyota Highlander Bronze Edition The Highlander is a supremely comfortable SUV with room for the family.Toyota

The Highlander carries on into 2022 with a standard 3.5-liter V6 that makes 295 horsepower and 263 pound-feet of torque. It's paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and either front- or all-wheel drive. A Highlander Hybrid is available, which mates a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with two electric motors. Combined system output is 243 horsepower. With the V6 on board, the Highlander can tow up to 5,000 pounds.

2022 Toyota Highlander Bronze Edition The Bronze Edition is available for Highlander Hybrid models.Toyota

All 2022 Highlander models get Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+, which includes a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, road sign assist, full-speed adaptive cruise control, lane departure alerts, lane tracing assist, a sway warning system, and automatic high beams. Those features and the Highlander's excellent crash testing scores were good enough for the SUV to earn a Top Safety Pick + designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

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