Tuesday 20 February 2018

How I voted in World Car of the Year as Mazda MX-5 wins on the double

Double winner: The Mazda MX5
Double winner: The Mazda MX5
The Audi R8 won the performance award.
Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

As you now know Mazda's MX-5 has won the overall World Car of the Year award - and it took the Design accolade as well.

I liked it a lot but I had it tied in second with the Mercedes GLC on 52 points. I had the other finalist, the Audi A4 on 50. My top mark before the final numbers were pared to three went to the Skoda Superb (53) but I knew it wouldn't win because Skoda is not 'global' enough yet. It will be some day.

I had the Mazda's CX-3 crossover as the Design winner - not the MX-5. What an achievement for the latter to take both gongs.

The winners of the main and subsidiary awards were announced at the New York International Auto Show last week.

BMW's 7-series saloon won the World Luxury Car. I had the Volvo XC90 way out in front (59 v 52 for the Beemer and Audi Q7 on 53).

The Audi R8 won the Performance award but I had it behind the Mercedes AMG C63 Coupé and Honda Civic Type R.

I gave Toyota's hydrogen car, the Mirai, top marks from way back and was delighted to see it declared the 2016 World Green Car ahead of the Chevrolet Volt and Toyota Prius hybrid (which I hadn't driven at that stage).

Ω For the record, the vehicles were selected and voted on by an international jury panel comprising 73 top-level automotive journalists from 23 countries around the world.

The Awards committee says: "Each juror was appointed by the World Car Steering Committee on the basis of expertise, experience, credibility, and influence. Each juror typically drives and evaluates new vehicles on a regular basis as part of their professional work. Through their respective outlets they collectively reach an audience of millions world-wide. The international accounting firm KPMG tabulates the jurors' ballots."

Meanwhile, the new models keep coming and the New York Show claimed a few decent debuts, among them the MX-5 RF (Retractable Fastback) hard-top version of the award-winning roadster.

The entire roof is not stowed but panels are nudged into the space behind the rear seats, along with the glass rear screen.

Toyota's new Prius Plug-in manages a claimed 202mpg - but also looks different out front. Increased cell capacity cuts emissions to 32gkm and an EV range of 56km.

Audi has added the R8 Spyder soft-top to its powerhouse lineup. Looks wonderful.

It has the same 5.2-litre V10 as the coupe.

And Mercedes showed off its new production-ready GLC Coupe.

Ω Eddie Cunningham is Ireland's representative on the World Car of the Year jury.

Irish Independent

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