Ford's radical move to aluminum for the body of its flagship F-150 truck has garnered it some additional material: The hardware that comes with the North American Truck of the Year Award. Ford took the top truck honor today alongside the Volkswagen Golf, which was named car of the year. The winners, voted on by about 60 automotive journalists, were unveiled at the start of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. "Clearly the materials have a lot to do with the story of the truck," Ford President of the Americas Joe Hinrichs said, though he added he's "most proud" of what the material does for the vehicle's capabilities. The aluminum body reduced the truck's weight by 700 pounds compared with last year's model, giving it better fuel economy; it also accelerates faster, stops quicker, and handles better, he said.
Volkswagen officials were pleasantly surprised by the win over the Ford Mustang and Hyundai Genesis. "We didn't expect this award," said Michael Horn, VW's CEO in America, while praising competitors and fondly recalling driving a 1967 Mustang. "It's confirmation of the way we've chosen to go forth. It's a starting point to get back on track here in US." He added the Golf, VW's top-selling model, also represents "the DNA of the brand." The 2015 redesign has received several other awards, including the Motor Trend Car of the Year. (Read more Volkswagen stories.)