Every year, a conglomeration of more than 30 current and retired auto designers from various companies descend on the Detroit Auto Show to hand out EyesOn Design awards for several design-related categories. 2018 was of course no different, with top honors going to Infiniti and BMW.
Specifically, the Infiniti Q Inspiration Concept received the award for Best Concept Vehicle, and we can certainly see why. While it’s true this year's Detroit Auto Show was light on concepts, Infiniti’s elegant design is certainly a looker that’s sleek and sexy with it's bold grille and swooping fastback design. The concept is also surprisingly down-to-earth; Infiniti has said the Q Inspiration won't go into production, but it does point directly to the future look of its models. If that's the case, we're very much looking forward to the future.
Gallery: Infiniti Q Inspiration Concept
For the Best Production Vehicle category, EyesOn Design singled out the new BMW X2 SUV. We’re a bit more confused on this one, considering the range of delectable sedans that debuted this year. Not that the X2 is ugly – in the continually expanding world of crossovers and SUVs it has a rather muscular appeal, especially when compared to its X1 and X3 brethren. Judges called the X2 "an important new entry into the small SUV segment," which doesn’t really say much to design but it does remind us that this part of the auto market is positively exploding right now. In that sense, the X2’s balanced look among models that are either oddly proportioned or trying way too hard to be hip is a bit refreshing.
Gallery: 2018 BMW X2
The X2 also won the award for Vehicle Harmonization, while the Infiniti took home a second award for Best Designed Interior. Other winners were the Nissan Xmotion concept for Innovative Use of Color, Graphics or Materials, and the 2019 Ram 1500 for Best Designed User Experience.
Source: EyesOn Design
EyesOn Design Winners Announced
The EyesOn Design Awards at the North American International Auto Show, the officially-sanctioned design awards of NAIAS, were presented on Tuesday, Jan. 16, to the following:
Best Concept Vehicle - Infiniti Q Inspiration - Presented by Dassault Systèmes.
The judges say: "Quiet beauty in its exterior and interior; simplicity reduced."
Best Designed Interior - Infiniti Q Inspiration - Presented by ABC Group Inc.
The judges say: "Zen mode well-expressed in a beautiful interior with its high-tech submerged beneath beauty."
Best Production Vehicle - BMW X2 - Presented by Henry Ford Health System
The judges say: "An important new entry into the small SUV segment."
Vehicle Harmonization - BMW X2 - Presented by Lacks Enterprises
The judges say: "A successful execution for an SUV in a small package."
Innovative Use of Color, Graphics or Materials - Nissan Xmotion
Presented by Axalta Coating Systems
The judges say: "A beautiful celebration of natural materials."
Best Designed User Experience - Ram 1500
Presented by HFHS Department of Ophthalmology
The judges say: "Flexible functionality; large screens with individual pre-sets for multiple users."
A special presentation of the EyesOn Design Catalyst Award was made by Ed Welburn to his father, Ed Welburn, Sr., whom he credits with inspiring his passion for automotive design. The retired GM design head will receive the EyesOn Design Lifetime Design Achievement Award at a gala event on Friday, June 15, 2018.
Thank you to the 2018 EyesOn Design Chief Judges:
Michael Simcoe, Vice President of Global Design, General Motors
Stewart Reed, Transportation Design Chair, ArtCenter College of Design
Victor Nacif, former Nissan Design VP & CCO, Brojure.com
Dave Marek, Acura Global Creative Director, Honda R&D Americas, Inc.
Click to see the full listing of this year's judges and docents.