Roadshow Shift Awards

The first Roadshow Shift Awards were given out at the 2016 North American International Auto Show.

Roadshow Shift Winners

Vehicle of the Year: 2016 Volvo XC90

With Scandinavian crystal, Nappa leather and a smooth, powerful plug-in hybrid power-train, the 2016 Volvo XC90 is the harbinger of a new, more luxurious Volvo.

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Disruptor of the Year: West Virginia University’s Center for Alternative Fuels, Engines and Emissions

In the automotive world, there's been no bigger story in the past year than VW’s diesel emissions crisis. Despite breaking this past fall, the crisis was actually set in motion back in 2012, when a group of WVU researchers began studying diesel emissions of a number of automakers. WVU's resultant findings triggered a slow-burning scandal that rocked the auto industry in 2015, one that could pave the way for increased industry scrutiny and accountability. The team's research underscores the continued importance of university research and independent verification in the automotive industry.

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Safety Technology of the Year: BMW Carbon Core chassis (7 Series)

BMW’s flagship 7-Series has a new Carbon Core chassis that strategically utilizes carbon fiber reinforced plastic to increase strength and lighten portions of the sedan’s architecture. In doing so, BMW has created a lighter (by around 285 pounds), better-handling and safer luxury sedan. Perhaps more importantly, it’s proven that carbon fiber can be viable as a structural element for larger-volume applications.

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Driveline Technology of the Year: Ford Mustang GT350 flat-plane crank V-8

The new Shelby GT350 is perhaps the raciest Ford Mustang ever, and its heart is a new flat-plane-crank V-8 engine with motorsports-derived technology. The burly 5.2-liter engine puts out 526 horsepower and revs sky high, to a racecar-like 8,250 rpm. It’s even lighter than the standard Mustang’s smaller 5.0-liter V-8.

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Cabin Technology of the Year: Audi Virtual Cockpit (TT, A4)

Audi calls its Virtual Cockpit “the instrument cluster of the future,” and we think that’s precisely what it is. We’ve seen screens replace physical instruments in gauge clusters for a few years, but never have they been executed so convincingly or holistically. Integrating seamlessly with Audi’s lauded Multi Media Interface (MMI) infotainment controller, in the Audi TT sports car and forthcoming A4 sedan, Virtual Cockpit uses a gorgeous 12.3-inch TFT display to display everything from the usual speedometer and tachometer to music selections to Google Maps overlays. The system’s brilliance lies in how so much diverse content can be displayed simultaneously without becoming confusing.

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