DETROIT — General Motors' Chevrolet brand swept the North American Car of the Year and North American Truck/Utility of the Year awards on Monday, giving the resurgent Detroit automaker another boost at the start of the Motor City's annual auto show. The Corvette Stingray received the car award, and the Silverado was judged tops among trucks. The Chevy sweep came after GM made the most appearances on this year's list of finalists, which also included the Cadillac CTS and the Mazda3 on the car side, and the Acura MDX and the Jeep Cherokee on the truck/utility side. The Cadillac ATS took top car honors last year. — Associated Press
All-new 2015 F-150 to be made largely of aluminum
Ford announced Monday that the all-new 2015 F-150 full-size pickup will be made mostly of aluminum. The frame will be largely high-strength steel, but the cab and the truck bed will be heavy-gauge aluminum. The switch helps the F-150 shed up to 700 pounds and makes it possible to introduce a smaller engine: the 2.7-liter turbocharged EcoBoost V-6.
Beetle Dune can handle off-road sand and slopes
Volkswagen's Beetle Dune, unveiled Monday, is made to appeal to skiers in Aspen, Colo., or sandboarders in Florence, Ore. The company bills it as a 21st century version of the Baja Bug, which is a modified Beetle that can handle off-road conditions such as the deserts of Baja, Calif. Two inches of extra ground clearance help the off-road performance.
Gamers will get to try out virtual Toyota sports car
Video game players will get a chance to try out a virtual version of Toyota's new concept sports car, the FT-1, which was unveiled in Detroit as a symbol of the automaker's design future. The vehicle's development started two years ago, and Toyota says the FT-1 will be available as a downloadable vehicle for PlayStation 3 Gran Turismo 6 starting today.