The Hyundai Veloster won the “Best New Design” award for 2012 presented by the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC). The award was handed out as part of the 2012 Canadian Car of the Year (CCOTY) awards that opened the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto on February 16.

“It’s a great honour to have the Hyundai Veloster win the Best New Design award from AJAC,” said Steve Kelleher, President and CEO, Hyundai Auto Canada Corp. “Fluidic Sculpture was Hyundai’s first foray into developing its own, distinctive design language and the Veloster was sculpted from the outset to be the most aggressive iteration of that approach. The Veloster is a design halo for the entire Hyundai brand, so to win an award based on the car’s styling is proof that our designers have found success.”

The top three finalists for the 2012 Best New Design award were the Hyundai Veloster, the Jaguar XKR-S, and the Ranger Rover Evoque.

“The intent of the AJAC Best New Design award is to identify and reward the vehicle that exhibits the best balance of form and function”, said Richard Russell, chair of AJAC’s 2012 Canadian Car of the Year awards.

Accordingly, the AJAC journalists selected the winner based on a combination of aesthetics, function, and brand essence. The aesthetics component reflects the sheer beauty of the design. The function component assesses the manner and degree to which it accommodates the practical requirements of the vehicle type. And brand essence considers its success in conveying the image, heritage, and values of the specific brand.

AJAC’s annual Canadian Car of the Year awards program was created in 1985 with the purpose of providing consumers with sound, comparative information on vehicles that are new to the market.

For that reason, the vote results that determined today’s winners are available to consumers as a resource buying guide on the AJAC web site. Also available are the comparative test data derived from the journalists’ extensive four day evaluation of 170 new vehicles in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario in October. This annual event is known in the industry as “TestFest”. Shell Canada is the official fuel supplier of the event.

The rigorous TestFest evaluation program includes real world driving on public roads – exactly where consumers drive so that the test and vote results posted to the AJAC web site are directly relevant to potential car and truck buyers.