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Irvine-based Fisker's Karma Sunset named Concept Vehicle of the Year

Kia Soul'ster wins Concept Truck of the Year.

By Kristen SchottPublished: June 24, 2009 09:45 AM

Last night marked the eighth annual North American Concept Vehicle of the Year Awards – and two Orange County auto manufacturers garnered some well-deserved recognition.

Irvine-based Fisker's Karma Sunset PHEV hardtop convertible coupe received the Production Preview Concept of the Year award, and Kia, also in Irvine, took home the Concept Truck of the Year honor for its Soul'ster.

The Concept Vehicle of the Year Awards recognize the vehicles that will be influential in the future of the auto industry. A jury of more than two dozen auto journalists selected the winners from 23 concept vehicles and 11 production preview vehicles that debuted in North American during this year's auto show season.

The Karma Sunset was selected out of seven other manufacturers. It is based on the same architecture and powered by the Q-Drive hybrid electric powertrain as the Fisker Karma (which will be available later this year).

The car was dubbed a "bellwether for the auto industry's second century," by Tom Kelley, juror and founder of the North American Concept Vehicle of the Year Awards.

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