Chris Woodyard, USA TODAY
DETROIT -- Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, the American icon completely redone last year for its seventh generation, was named Monday as the North American Car of the Year at the opening of the press preview for the North American International Auto Show here.
It was a double win for General Motors, which also won North American Truck of the Year Monday for the redesigned Chevrolet Silverado.
It also is the second consecutive car win for General Motors. It won last year for the Cadillac ATS compact sedan.
The car and truck of the year awards are arguably the auto industry's most coveted -- they are chosen by 49 automotive journalists who drove all the vehicles and and rendered a judgement.
Corvette beat out the two other finalists, Cadillac CTS and Mazda3, a short list winnowed down from all of the all-new or significantly redesigned cars introduced in the past year.
None of the others, however, had Corvette's iconic past or such a dramatic reinvention for their latest generations.
Corvette was unveiled a year ago at last year's North American International Auto Show. GM designed the seventh-generation Corvette to rival Porsche 911 and other world-class sports cars. Yet it retains a very American feel -- and a classic push-rod V-8.
The new Corvette, which went on sale last year at a starting price of $51,995 including shipping, is both more nimble and more powerful than the one it replaces. The base model sports a redone 460-horsepower, 6.2-liter V-8 that had 25 more horsepower than the base engine last generation, but also better fuel efficiency.
With the standard engine, the 'Vette goes from zero to 60 miles per hour in 3.8 seconds, yet is rated at 17 miles per gallon in the city, 29 mpg highway - up 11%. To save gas, the engine has a cylinder shut-off system that lets it run on four cylinders at highway speeds.