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Auto | Beijing International Automotive Exhibition

AutoWeek names its favorites from Beijing auto show

AutoWeek editorial staff announced the winners of their Editors' Choice Awards from the 2010 Beijing International Automotive Exhibition recently. Here are their picks in four categories. Business Wire

BEST IN SHOW: Mercedes-Benz Shooting Break Concept

In much the same way that the CLS rewrote the rules for sedan styling when it first appeared, the Shooting Break Concept will change the way we think about station wagons. Like the CLS, the Shooting Break is a four-door, but with the same kind of swoopy design that evokes a traditional two-door shooting brake. Given that the concept is penciled in for production as the wagon version of the next-gen CLS sedan that will debut at this fall's Paris motor show, we can't think of a car at Beijing that will leave a more lasting impression. "The Shooting Break was a clear choice as Best in Show. The car is visually stunning," said Roger Hart, AutoWeek executive editor.

BEST CONCEPT: Ford Start

This little four-seater won't ever make it past concept form, but the cute-as-a-bug styling and three-cylinder turbo engine make it the kind of concept that's hard not to love. The car might not see the showroom, but Ford promises that the 1.0-liter turbocharged I-3 engine is destined for use in future Ford small cars, where it is expected to deliver the same power as a 1.6-liter I-4. That's the kind of concept we can wholeheartedly embrace. "Great design for such a small car, and innovative use of Ford's EcoBoost technology with an I-3 engine," Hart said.

MOST SIGNIFICANT: Chevrolet MPV5

This Chevy people mover could have picked up our Best Concept award, but as a practical five-passenger small crossover powered by the same series hybrid plug-in electric powertrain as the Chevrolet Volt, it's far more significant than that. The packaging is right for China and beyond, and the powertrain is perfect for buyers looking for what ought to be one of the most fuel-efficient vehicles on the planet. The flexibility of the Volt powertrain to use diesel, gasoline or fuel-cell power, depending on the market, makes this latest version of the Volt likely a key player in the global transportation future.

"GM is banking a lot of its future on the Volt . . . and despite the fact that a production Volt has yet to be delivered to a customer, it is logical to see them take the powertrain and platform and show it in another form," Hart said.

MOST FUN: Geely Gleagle IG

Geely says IG stands for "Intelligent Geely," but we think it packs more fun than brains. The little 2+2's gullwing doors give it a sense of joy that only a Chinese company that knows no boundaries can build into its cars. We get a chuckle from Geely's brochure proclaiming that the IG is the "Smart Family Walking-Instead tool" that features gullwing doors and a "front impersonating expression." We'd like to think nothing was lost in that translation. "This is clearly a China-only car, but with the gullwing doors and the car's size, it looks like a fun car to cruise around in," Hart said.

AutoWeek names its favorites from Beijing auto show 05/04/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 4, 2010 5:30am]

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