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Concept Car Awards finalists named

DETROIT - Nearly two dozen vehicles unveiled over the past year will compete for Automotive News' fourth annual Concept Car of the Year Awards. A panel of judges chose the finalists after viewing concepts introduced at auto shows in Detroit, Frankfurt, Geneva and Tokyo.

The concepts are competing in three categories - environmental concept, interior concept and exterior concept - plus an overall category called Concept Car of the Year. Winners will be announced at 7 p.m. on Jan. 9 during AutoWeek's Design Forum dinner. The dinner will be at Cobo Center in Detroit during press days at the North American International Auto Show.

This is the first time the Concept Car Awards will be offered during AutoWeek's daylong event. "We're excited to add the Concept Car of the Year Awards to the dynamic AutoWeek Design Forum agenda," said

Keith Crain, chairman of Crain Communications Inc., which publishes AutoWeek and Automotive News.

The judges will rank each vehicle according to innovation, production feasibility, production cost and consumer value.

The environmental finalists are the Citroen Osmose, Smart Crossblade and Suzuki Covie.

Interior finalists are the Audi Avantissimo, Bertone Filo, Ford Forty-Nine, Italdesign-Giugiaro Twenty Twenty, Porsche Carrera GT, Renault Talisman and Toyota Pod.

Contenders for best exterior include the Chrysler Crossfire, Fioravanti Alfa Romeo Vola, Honda Dual Note, Nissan GT-R, Pininfarina Osee, Porsche Carrera GT and Seat Tango.

Finalists for Concept Car of the Year include the Chrysler Crossfire, Honda Dual Note, Porsche Carrera GT, Renault Talisman and Volvo Safety Concept Car.

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