The annual World Car of the Year awards were held concurrently with the New York Motor show earlier this week. The awards are amongst the most credible in the world of cars as they are decided by a jury of 75 international motoring journalists from 24 countries. There are pretty stringent conditions as well as the contenders must be sold in at least five countries and in at least two continents. The awards began in 2003 and since 2006, awards for performance, green cars, and car design has also been added. In 2013, an award for luxury design was inaugurated and this year, a new category of the best urban car was also introduced. Here’s a look at the winners of this year around.
World Car of Year
Jaguar first ever SUV, the F-PACE scored a double success at the awards, by lapping up the World Car of the year as well as World car design of the Year titles. For the former award the F-pace faced stiff competition from the new Audi A5 as well the Volkswagen Tiguan, but managed to win the prestigious award.
Dr Ralf Speth, Jaguar Land Rover CEO, said, “The F-PACE was designed and engineered as a performance SUV with exceptional dynamics, everyday usability and bold design. Winning this award endorses the talent and great work of our teams that have delivered the world’s most practical sports car and Jaguar’s fastest-selling vehicle”.
To win the 2017 World Car Design of the Year prize the F-PACE saw off the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cabriolet and Toyota C-HR in the final three. The company had missed out on the design title last year where the XE sports saloon was a losing finalist.
Ian Callum, Director of Design, Jaguar said, “The F-PACE is our first ever SUV but it is clearly recognizable as a Jaguar and for it to win the 2017 World Car of the Year trophy vindicates our decision to bring our unique design principles and dynamic qualities to a new sector of the market.”
The performance SUV is the fastest selling model Jaguar has produced and is only the second vehicle to claim the historic double in the 13-year history of the World Car Awards.
Luxury car of the year
The competition was intense in the category of Luxury car of the year where the BMW 5-series took on the Mercedes E-class and the Volvo S90. It was the E-class that came out on tops here reinforcing its status as the top luxury car maker of the world. The E-class was launched recently in the India in the long wheelbase version and has found great acceptability with the buyers. While the S90 is already sold in India the new BMW 5-series will be launched later this year.
Performance car of the year
In the performance car of the year category, the 3 finalists included the new Porsche Boxster/Cayman along with along with the Audi R8 Spyder and the Mclaren 570s. Last year Gemran giant Audi won the category with the R8 Coupe but this the car lot out to the new Porsches which the jury felt were more deserving of winning the award.
Green car of the year
To the other end of the extreme there was some very stiff competition between contenders from the Far East and the far west. There were 2 very strong candidates from the United States namely the Chevrolet Bolt and the Tesla Model X. But both the cars lost out to a very strong rival from Japan, the Toyota Prius Prime. This was the second year in a row that the Japanese major had won this category as Hydrogen fuel cell Mirai had won the award last year.
Urban car of the year
In moving with the modern times this new category had some worthy contenders. Suzuki was hoping to make it big here with the Ignis that was also recently launched in India but German luxury car maker BMW won the award with the i3. The i3 had also won in the green car category back in 2014. The third finalist here was the Citroen C3.
The process for handing out the awards began in September last year in Paris. This was followed by the next round in Los Angeles two months later. The top three cars in each category were then decided at Geneva motor show earlier this year and finaly the winners were announced at the ongoing 2017 New York Motor Show.
Shams Naqvi is an anchor/producer for the News X motor show Living Cars