The race for the World Car Awards grows more intense as an already competitive field shrinks. The annual awards program has revealed the list of finalists in its six categories – based on the first round of voting by its 102-person global jury. Over the past few years, the relevance of the Indian auto industry has been noticed in the award shortlist, and it is no different this year either. For the 2022 World Urban Car category, we see two India-specific models making the cut. The final nominees (in alphabetical order) are: the Dacia Sandero sedan, Opel Mokka and Renault Kiger – both subcompact SUVs, and two compact SUVs – the Toyota Yaris Cross and the Volkswagen Taigun. The Kiger and Taigun are not only manufactured here, but were designed with India as the main market for each of the model ranges. The Kiger is also exported to some markets like South Africa, while the Taigun is expected to start exporting from India to places like Mexico. In the past, cars like the Hyundai Santro, Maruti Suzuki Swift and Ignis have also made it onto this list.
In the first-ever Global Electric Vehicle of the Year category, the lineup is quite enviable. Audi’s flagship – the new e-tron GT and its powerful avatar – the Audi RS e-tron GT is available (as a single entry). Then there’s the BMW iX SAV – BMWi’s flagship vehicle, and the Ford Mustang Mach-E – which plays the same role for the blue oval. The Hyundai Ioniq 5 has been making huge waves across the world, and it’s no surprise to see it here. The same goes for the Mercedes-Benz EQS sedan – which brings new Daimler credentials to the party.
It’s no surprise at all to see the BMW iX and Mercedes-Benz EQS in the 2022 global luxury car list as well. They are joined by the new Audi Q5 Sportback, Genesis GV70 and all-electric Volvo C40 Recharge. The GV70 has been a huge brand builder for Genesis, and it’s the car we believe will open the luxury brand’s innings in India by 2023. The Volvo C40 Recharge is mechanically identical to the XC40 Recharge – a car that will be launched in India this year. The iX has already launched here, and the EQS is also slated for a launch in India in 2022.
The finalists of the World Performance Car are the Audi e-tron GT / RS e-tron GT, the new generation BMW M3/M4 and their competition variants, the super hot Porsche 911 GT3, the big surprise – the Toyota GR86/ Subaru BRZ, and the two powerful variants of Volkswagen’s best-selling sedan family, the Golf GTI and Golf R. The Toyota GR86 (and its Subaru alter ego) in particular is a very interesting car because it brings performance to an audience of entry buyers in the markets in which it sells. It would be great to see how it holds up against the most obviously powerful sports cars in the fray.
The World Car Design category is the only one where a panel of experts chooses the shortlist, before it is submitted to the jury’s vote in the second round. They’ve chosen some very sexy cars – all of which are showing up here and in other categories. Audi e-tron GT, Ford Mustang Mach-E, Hyundai Ioniq 5, Kia EV6 and Mercedes-Benz EQS. How cool that they’re all electric vehicles, huh? The panel of design experts includes big names like Shiro Nakamura, Patrick le Quement and Ian Callum.
And finally, for the big one – World Car of the Year 2022, the Top Ten (again, in alphabetical order) is: the Audi Q4 e-tron, Cupra’s first self-driving car not based on a Seat model – the Formentor performance crossover, as you might expect – the Ford Mustang Mach-E, the racy and sexy Genesis G70, the 11th Gen Honda Civic, the Hyundai Ioniq 5, the Hyundai Tucson, the Kia EV6, the new Second generation Lexus NX and the Toyota GR86/Subaru BRZ. Four EVs in the Top Ten is a sign of the times. Interesting also to see the jury lean towards certain high-performance cars in the WCOTY category.
Now the action moves on to the second round of voting which will begin now. The Global Jury has one month to drive all pending cars from this shortlist and then vote. The top three in the world across all categories will be announced on March 17, 2022. The winners will be revealed at the World Car Awards ceremony at the New York International Auto Show on April 13, 2022.
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