The global automotive scene may have come to a halt temporarily due to the COVID-19 crisis, but fortunately, the highly anticipated annual announcement of the World Car of the Year awards went on as planned.
Due to the global pandemic, the WCOTY program announced its winners remotely, instead of the usual gala-dinner ceremony which would have taken place at the now-cancelled New York International Auto Show.
Five categories were in contention this year – World Car of the Year, World Luxury Car of the Year, World Urban Car of the Year, World Performance Car of the Year, and World Car Design of the Year – dominated by Kia and Porsche with two titles each.
To the surprise of many, Kia was the biggest winner of the year, having bagged the World Car of the Year title with the Kia Telluride SUV (758 points) ogg. Made especially for the American market, the Telluride is the largest SUV Kia has produced to date.
Built on a modified version of the Sorento’s chassis, the Telluride, which is named after a town in Colorado, is a 7-seater luxury SUV that is powered by a transverse-mounted 3.5-litre direct injection V6 petrol engine and an electric motor which produce a combined total of 400 hp and 355 Nm of torque.
Coming in at second place is a car which we are familiar with – the new Mazda 3, which scored 13 points lesser than the Kia with 745 points. The second runner up for the World Car of the Year awards also happens to be a Mazda – the CX-30, with 738 points.
The Telluride aside, the Kia Soul bagged the World Urban Car of the Year award, after beating the MINI Cooper SE Electric and the Volkswagen T-Cross.
The next big winner is Porsche, which won both the World Luxury Car of the Year as well as the World Performance Car of the Year awards with the new Taycan. Worth mentioning here is the fact that all three finalists in the performance car category were Porsches – the Taycan, the 911, and the 718.
Last but not the least, the winner of the World Car Design of the Year Award aka “the best looking car of this year” as we would like to call it, is none other than the new Mazda3, which beat the Peugeot 208 and once again, the Porsche Taycan to emerge victorious.
In case you’re wondering, all the winning vehicles above were selected and voted on by an international jury panel comprising 86 prominent automotive journalists from 24 countries around the world.
Each juror was appointed by the World Car Steering Committee on the basis of his or her expertise, experience, credibility, and influence. The international accounting firm KPMG tabulated the jurors’ ballots.
As for the World Car Design of the Year award, a panel consisting of seven highly respected world design experts was asked to first review each candidate, and then establish a short-list of recommendations for the jurors.
The design experts were Anne Asensio (France - Vice-President, Design - Dassault Systemes), Gernot Bracht (Germany - Pforzheim Design School), Ian Callum (United Kingdom – Director of Design, CALLUM), Patrick le Quément (France - Designer and President of the Strategy Committee - The Sustainable Design School), Tom Matano (USA - School of Industrial Design at Academy of Art University in San Francisco), Gordon Murray (U.K. - Gordon Murray Design) and Shiro Nakamura (Japan - CEO, Shiro Nakamura Design Associates Inc.).