Car of the Year, 1964 to present

Car of the Year, 1964 to present

Car of the Year

The automotive industry has always been a sector that has played a primary role, both in Italy and in the world, and which over the last few years has particularly renewed the concept of mobility we were used to. The desire to reward popular cars, not only for their price but also for their success, has led the automotive world to establish important prizes. Among these, the Car of the Year award inevitably stands out, created by the will of some influential magazines in the sector.

Car of the Year: what it is and when it was born

The Car of the Year is a European award that rewards the car model that, in the twelve months preceding the assignment, has design details and technological innovation considered the best. The relationship with the selling price is also taken into consideration when awarding the prize.

Back in 1964 some leading magazines in the sector, such as AutoVisie, Quattroruote, Stern and Vi Bilägare, decided to set up the important prize by also inviting the most authoritative journalists from important European magazines. It is no coincidence that starting from the first edition, the jurors present at the event decided to award a car with an excellent quality-price ratio but, above all, one that could stand out on the market both in terms of design and propulsion.

The Car of the Year award was therefore established to avoid confusing it with the comparisons of top cars that were conducted by newspapers from different countries. Reason why, the director of the automotive magazine Auto Visie (one of the organizers) in 1963 decided to contact 26 car testers, from different countries, so as to form a jury worthy of the prize. Over the years the award managed to gain further prestige, so much so that in 2005 the jury came to be composed of 58 journalists from 22 different countries. To date, the expert jury includes 61 members representing as many as 23 different countries.

How the award works

The international Car of the Year award, judged by an attentive jury made up of sector journalists from all over Europe, was created with the aim of electing a new car, considered the most "singular" put on sale in the previous 12 months from the date of the award ceremony.

Car of the Year main purpose the awarding of a prize to a single winner. The jury, in fact, does not create a merit ranking for all the cars present in the year's competition but limits itself to electing the decisive winner only.

Today the organizers of the award are the magazines:< /h3> Auto (Italy) Autocar (UK) Autopista (Spain) Autovisie (Netherlands) L'Automobile Magazine (France) Stern (Germany) Vi Bilägare (Sweden) As candidates, the magazines always choose models marketed in at least 5 European countries during the year, while the evaluation also follows criteria of comfort, design, safety, economy and respect for the environment.

The trophy

For many years the Car of the Year trophy has featured six or seven poppets, each with the national flag of the publications sponsoring the competition, placed on a polygonal base. Following its debut in 1986 , this trophy was replaced after the 1999 competition and entrusted to the Dutch National Automobile Museum in Raamsdonksveer.

The replacement in 2000 is characterized by an L-shaped steel sculpture depicting a stylized racing car and the original Car of the Year logo. After only four years, and therefore in 2004, a new trophy made of marble and colored metals was introduced.

Designed by Liz Pike and produced by the company Special EFX, the 2016 trophy was distinguished by the prism shape three tiered with jet black crystal top. The following year, the Car of the Year award got a new trophy announced in Geneva: the trophy has separate pieces of different shapes and materials which, not coincidentally, symbolize the seven sponsor publications. Their parallel and independent arrangement, from a frontal perspective, represents the figure of a futuristic car.

Car of the Year winners, from 1964 to today

Usually awarded on the eve of the he opening of the Geneva Motor Show, the Car of the Year is inevitably an award that every car manufacturer would like to conquer. Since its debut, the brand that has managed to bring home the most titles is Fiat, with 9 Cars of the Year. In second place, Renault with 6 titles while third place is shared between Opel, Ford and Peugeot thanks to 5 victories.

The winning cars from 1964 to today are:

1964 – Rover 2000 1965 – Austin 1800 1966 – Renault 16 1967 – Fiat 124 1968 – NSU Ro 80 1969 – Peugeot 504 1970 – Fiat 128 1971 – Citroën GS 1972 – Fiat 127 1973 – Auto Union Audi 80 1974 – Mercedes-Benz 450 1975 – Citroën CX 1976 – Simca 1307-1308 1977 – Rover SD1 1978 – Porsche 928 1979 – Simca Horizon 1980 – Lancia Delta 1981 – Ford Escort Mk.III 1982 – Renault 9 1983 – Auto Union Audi 100 1984 – Fiat Uno 1985 – Opel Kadett 1986 – Ford Scorpio 1987 – Opel Omega 1988 – Peugeot 405 1989 – Fiat Tipo 1990 – Citroën XM 1991 – Renault Clio 1992 – Volkswagen Golf 1993 – Nissan Micra 1994 – Ford Mondeo 1995 – Fiat Punto 1996 – Fiat Bravo 1997 – Renault Scénic 1998 – Alfa Romeo 156 1999 – Ford Focus 2000 – Toyota Yaris 2001 – Alfa Romeo 147 2002 – Peugeot 307 2003 – Renault Mégane II 2004 – Fiat Panda (2003) 2005 – Toyota Prius 2006 – Renault Clio 2007 – Ford S-MAX 2008 – Fiat 500 2009 – Opel Insignia 2010 – Volkswagen Polo 2011 – Nissan Leaf 2012 – Opel Ampera/Chevrolet Volt 2013 – Volkswagen Golf 2014 – Peugeot 308 2015 – Volkswagen Passat 2016 – Opel Astra 2017 – Peugeot 3008 2018 – Volvo XC40 2019 – Jaguar I-Pace 2020 – Peugeot 208 II 2021 – Toyota Yaris 2022 – Kia EV6

Car of the Year 2023

No less than 61 members make up the important jury of the competition, representing 23 European countries. It is no coincidence that the members of the jury are elected following a careful and rigorous analysis of personal skills. However, the jury committee is made up of members representing the organizing magazines and three officials elected annually.

The Car of the Year Organizing Committee is made up of. therefore, the directors of the aforementioned newspapers; the same ones who, in turn, take care of organizing the vote and who publicize, promote and hold the final award ceremony of the important competition.

Car of the Year 2023: the 7 finalists

Having reached the 59th edition, we just have to talk about the 7 finalists who will compete for the Car of the Year 2023 award. Among the 27 candidates, the seven cars that the jury will analyze and vote on January 13 during the day were selected opening of the Brussels Motor Show .

The seven finalists aspiring to obtain the prestigious European award are:

Jeep Avenger Kia Niro Nissan Ariya Peugeot 408 Renault Austral Subaru Solterra/Toyota bZ4X Volkswagen ID. Buzz The models excluded from the final are:

Alfa Romeo Tonale Bmw X1 Bmw i7 Citroën C5 X Dacia Jogger Honda Civic Kia Sportage Lexus RZ Mazda CX-60 Mercedes GLC Mercedes EQE Mercedes SL MG 4 MG 5, Nissan X- Trail, Opel Astra, Land Rover Range Rover Toyota Aygo X, Toyota Corolla Cross Toyota GR 86.

Kia Niro

Offered on the market with three electrified powertrains: hybrid, plug-in hybrid and 100% electric. For the EV version of the Kia Niro, the declared range is 463 km, while the electric range of the plug-in hybrid version stands at 65 km. As for the hybrid Kia Niro, average consumption is between 4.4 and 4.7 liters of fuel per 100 kilometres.

Kia Niro

Jeep Avenger

Since 1964, the Car of The Year award has never been won by a Jeep model. With Avenger, the American House owned by Stellantis aims to face the rivals in order to get on the highest step of the podium. The first standard electric vehicle offered by Jeep, the Avenger is equipped with a 156 horsepower powertrain and relies on a 56 kWh battery pack. All this translates into a range declared by the car manufacturer of 400 kilometres, which in urban driving alone rises to 540 km. Currently only available with front-wheel drive, it will soon be joined by a 4×4 version for off-road use.

Jeep Avenger

Nissan Ariya

The house Japanese car trying to overturn the emission car market once again with the new Nissan Ariya. The Ariya range is divided into two versions and three power variants, and it is also possible to choose between two and four-wheel drive and between two different battery levels. It starts from the version with 63 kWh battery and 2WD traction (218 HP and 403 km of autonomy), passing by the intermediate 87 kWh and 2WD (242 HP, 520 km), while for the top of the range Nissan offers 87 kWh 4WD 4-hours (306 HP and 493 km).

Nissan Ariya

Peugeot 408

Candidate for Car of the Year 2023, the Peugeot 408 is based on the platform used to the compact 308, even if the dimensions grow. There are three engines for the Peugeot 408: the endothermic is a 130 HP 1.2-litre petrol with 8-speed automatic transmission, while the two 180 and 225 HP plug-in hybrids are equipped with an 8-speed automatic transmission. The electrified engines are, on the other hand, made up of a 1.6-litre 4-cylinder petrol engine, with powers of 150 HP and 180 HP respectively, to which must be added an 81 kW (110 HP) electric motor. 12.4 kWh battery power for both versions.

Renault Austral

Renault Austral is distinguished by its very accurate finishes and technological equipment dedicated to connectivity first level for a completely innovative user experience. Among the petrol and electrified engines, the full-hybrid variant capable of developing around 200 HP.

Renault Austral

Subaru Solterra/Toyota BZ4x

We are faced with two all-electric “twin” crossovers based on the e-TNGA platform. The mechanics of the two crossovers are distinguished by the two three-phase synchronous electric motors with permanent magnets mounted on the two axles which offer four-wheel drive. The overall power is equal to 218 HP and 336 Nm of torque while the lithium-ion battery pack is 74.1 kWh. In addition to the shared platform, the two models have a very similar external style: even if some details such as the grilles and the headlights are different, their shape is almost identical.

Volkswagen ID.Buzz

Proposed in two trim levels, Pro and Pro+, and with a single engine, the fully electric ID.Buzz van from the Wolfsburg-based company arrives in Italy as the heir to the iconic Bulli. The electric powertrain, powered by an 82 kWh battery, guarantees 204 HP and 310 Nm of torque. The range in the WLTP cycle is instead equal to about 400 km.

To find out about the next Car of the Year, we just have to wait for January 13, 2023!

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