Volkswagen doesn’t appear to be sacrificing quality for quantity in its drive to be the top-selling automaker in the world. How else can you explain the fact that VW just claimed its second consecutive title as World Car of the Year, and has now earned the prize four times since it was first presented in 2004. The global VW Up! city car was honored in 2012, the VW Polo, another entry for international markets, won in 2010, and the previous generation Golf also was the No. 1 choice in 2009.
The party line from the World Car Awards jurors: “Honed over seven generations since its original launch in 1974, the Volkswagen Golf is as close to the perfect hatchback design as any car company has come yet. Right sized, but spacious, practical and comfortable inside, the latest Golf has been brought up to date with a fresh if evolutionary design, a range of new engines, plus an impressive list of equipment and safety features. What’s more, it’s fun to drive. If ever there was a car for everyman, the Golf is it.”
The World Car Awards are presented annually at the New York Auto Show, and chosen by a panel of international automotive experts“to reflect the reality of the global marketplace, as well as to recognize and reward automotive excellence on an international scale.”
The 2015 VW Golf, featuring a trio of turbocharged engines that includes a clean-diesel powerplant, is slated to go on sale in the United States next year.
But it wasn’t the only vehicle to be honored by the World Car team in New York …
2013 World Performance Car: Porsche Boxster/Cayman
The next-gen models of the 2013 Porsche Cayman and Porsche Boxster are so good that they’ve starting attracting customers from the rest of the brand’s lineup, so it’s no surprise to find them at the top of the heap as co-winners of the 2013 World Performance Car trophy.
“The Job One for this new generation of Porsche's littler two-doors was actually two-fold,” according to the judges, who also reported that: “The Boxster needed to be seen as less of a fancy secretary's car and the Cayman needed to be set loose to be an even better Porsche sports car than the iconic 911. In both instances, mission over-accomplished. Both cars are now allowed out of their company cages and they drive as if they're celebrating."
Both of Porsche’s prize-winners also are currently on sale in this country, with the open-air 2013 Porsche Boxster starting at $50,400 and the 2013 Porsche Cayman coupe priced from $52,600.
2013 World Car Design of the Year: Jaguar F-Type
The classic British marque’s slow crawl back to premium credibility was put into fast-forward by the 2014 Jaguar F-TYPE, a dynamic and strikingly designed roadster that updates the brand’s reputation for sensuous design for the 21st century—and also has driven off with the 2013 World Car Design of the Year.
Per the experts: “The long wheelbase, short overhangs and flared fenders give this car a good stance. The contour in plan view tapered toward the door emphasizes the muscular rear fender that houses the driven wheels. The F-Type exterior maintains Jaguar’s own elegance in its horizontal proportion and rounded surfaces, yet it looks very dynamic. But I would like to say the interior design is even more attractive. It is clearly driver-oriented, and a grip bar for the passenger is nicely integrated into the big center console. The seat design is superb, too.”
2013 World Green Car: 2013 Tesla Model S
2013 World Green Car: 2013 Tesla Model S
One of the industry’s most polarizing entries—the 2013 Tesla Model S—earned the title of 2013 World Green Car, adding to a trophy case that also includes hardware earned as Motor Trend’s Car of the Year, Automobile magazine’s Car of the Year, and Popular Science’s Grand Award winner from its 25th annual “Best of What’s New” roundup. And while the New York Times wasn’t quite as geeked about the Tesla as some of these other publications, the car certainly attracted the attention of the World Car panelists, who noted:
“The Tesla Model S has wowed the world's press, and for good reason: It's a car from a startup maker that actually competes on its merits with vehicles from established global players. The Model S is fast and stylish, its high-end models offer more range than any other electric car, and thus far, it appears to be well-built and selling well. Now that it's in volume production, it can be argued that it is already the world's most alluring green car that's also practical and desirable.”
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