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New York, New York: MX-5 wins world car desgin award, Toyata’s Mira gets green tick

POSTED BY Nigel Andretti ON 25 March 2016

THE MAZDA MX-5 has been declared 2016 World Car Design of the Year at the ongoing New York International Auto Show.

“What a wonderful honor, to have the Mazda MX-5 named World Car Design of the Year,” said Masahiro Moro, president and CEO, Mazda North American Operations, and Managing Executive Officer, Mazda Motor Corporation.

“As our iconic MX-5 roadster approaches one-million units of production, this award is proof that it is as young, vibrant, fun and relevant as ever. Our design team has pushed the boundaries of what people thought possible with our KODO – Soul of Motion language.”

Mazda is no stranger to the World Car Awards programme – now in its 12th year.

The Mazda2/Mazda Demio was the 2008 World Car of the Year; the Mazda3 (2014), Mazda6 (2013) and Mazda2/Mazda Demio (2008) have all earned “Top Three in the World” status in the World Car Design of the Year category as voted by our 70 plus international automotive journalists that made up the jury in those years.

A design panel consisting of six highly respected world design experts was asked to first review each candidate, and then establish a short-list of recommendations for the jurors.

“The new MX5 design is exciting, distinct and fresh. It’s a design that wholly fits with being the unique small sports-car this Mazda is,” the panel said.

“It captures the spirit of the first generation MX5 design but introduces a very leading twenty-teens aesthetic whilst remarkably also connecting visually to its sibling designs. An exceptional design in all ways. “

Previous winners of the World Car Design of the Year award were the Citroen C4 Cactus (2015), the BMW i3 (2014), the Jaguar F-Type (2013), the Range Rover Evoque (2012), the Aston Martin Rapide (2011), the Chevrolet Camaro (2010), the Fiat 500 (2009), the Audi R8 (2008), the Audi TT (2007) and the Citroen C4 (2006).

In World Green Car category, Toyota reigned with its fuel cell Mirai.

“Just as Prius changed the world nearly 20 years ago, the hydrogen-powered Mirai is ready to make history,” said Bill Fay, group vice president and general manager, Toyota Division.

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“With a range of over 500km per tank, a refueling time of under five minutes, and emissions that consist only of water vapor, Mirai is leading the world forward toward a more sustainable future.”

The Toyota Prius (2010) has previously earned “Top Three in the World” status for both the World Green Car and the overall World Car of the Year categories as voted by our 70 plus international automotive journalists that make up the jury. In addition, the Toyota GT86 was a “Top Three in the World” finalist for World Car of the Year in 2013; the Toyota iQ in 2009 for the same category; and the Toyota Harrier Hybrid in 2006 for World Green Car.

The Mirai was chosen from an initial entry list of eight new vehicles from all over the world, then a short list of three finalists that included the winner as well as the Chevrolet Volt and the Toyota Prius Hybrid.

To be eligible for the 2016 World Green Car award, a vehicle had to be all-new, or substantially revised, in production and introduced for sale or lease to the public in quantities of at least 10 in at least one major market during the period beginning January 1, 2015 and ending May 31, 2016.

Tailpipe emissions, fuel consumption, and use of a major advanced power plant technology (beyond engine componentry), aimed specifically at increasing the vehicle’s environmental responsibility, were all taken into consideration.

Previous World Green Car winners were BMW consecutive wins: BMWi8 (2015) and the BMW i3 (2014), then the Tesla Model S (2013), the Mercedes-Benz S 250 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY (2012), the Chevrolet Volt (2011), the Volkswagen BlueMotion (2010), the Honda FCX Clarity (2009), the BMW 118d with Efficient Dynamics (2008), the Mercedes-Benz E320 Bluetec (2007) and the Honda Civic Hybrid (2006).

The Audi R8 Coupé has been crowned “2016 World Performance Car” in the World Car Awards.

With a total of four awards, the Audi R8 is the most successful model in the history of the World Car Awards. The predecessor to the R8 had already taken home two World Performance Car awards and a World Car Design of the Year award in the prestigious competition.

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Now the second generation of the high-performance sports car from Audi was able to win over the international jury of 73 leading automotive journalists. This makes the Audi R8 a winner – on the road as well as on the racetrack.

“With its distinctive design, its driving dynamics and its closeness to racing, the R8 is one of the strongest calling cards for the four rings and is the flagship car from Audi Sport. The first generation of the R8 paved our way toward becoming a premium brand and raised the aura of Audi to a new level. The new R8 will continue this success story and further accelerate the growth strategy of Audi Sport,” said Dietmar Voggenreiter, Board Member for Sales and Marketing at AUDI AG.

The Audi R8 Coupé offers more performance than any other Audi production model. The mid-mounted V10 and newly developed quattro drive offer extraordinary driving performance. The top version, with 610PS, sprints from 0 to 62mph in just 3.2 seconds and can continue to a 205mph maximum speed.

High-revving ten-cylinder power, state-of-the-art lightweight construction principles and extremely dynamic suspension with quattro drive in addition to fully variable torque vectoring all make the R8 Coupé a truly exceptional car.

The genetics of the Audi R8 contain the know-how acquired from numerous wins by the brand in racing: the sports prototypes have won the 24 hours of Le Mans 13 times since 2000, and the R8 LMS contributed seven more overall victories in 24-hour races since 2009.

The World Luxury Car award, recognising higher-priced premium models selling in more limited numbers worldwide, went to BMW’S 7 series.

This year’s winner was chosen from an initial entry list of eight prestigious cars from all over the world, then a short list of three finalists: the winner as well as the Audi Q7 and the Volvo XC 90.

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The World Car jurors observed that, “This is the flagship model for the Bavarian car maker, and so it simply has to be the epitome of what the brand represents in terms of technology, design and performance. And the new 7 Series certainly delivers.

“It is very much the new face of BMW in the new family design – and yet it is a classic BMW all at once. It drives phenomenally well courtesy a new range of engines, and has a sporty drive dynamic that the rivals in the segment cannot claim as their USP.

“This comes from a 130 kg drop in weight thanks to the new ‘Carbon Core’ frame. 25 new features, of which 13 are segment firsts! Inside the cabin, BMW has taken things up a notch on luxury, pampering the owner with not just very comfortable and well designed seating, but with loads of technology, entertainment too. The new 7 Series brings in new features like the ambient ‘sky lounge’ sunroof, the ambient air package and the all-new gesture control.”

The BMW Group is no stranger to the World Car Awards – now in their 12th year. BMW cars have previously won the World Green Car title two years in a row (2015 – BMW i8; 2014 – BMW i3) and in 2008 for the BMW 118d with Efficient Dynamics. In 2006, the BMW 3-Series was the World Car of the Year while in 2014, the BMW i3 won World Car Design of the Year.

Previous World Luxury Car winners were the Mercedes-Benz S Coupé (2015) and the Mercedes-Benz S-Class (2014).

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