THE NEW Mercedes-Benz C-class has picked up the 2015 World Car of the Year (WCOTY) award at the New York motor show.
Judges said the C-class challenged the best-in-class for levels of refinement, luxury, safety, ride and handling, which they noted takes its design and technological cues from the luxury S-class.
Mercedes has more reason to celebrate as it picked up three of the five crowns on offer: the S-class coupé took the honours in the World Luxury Car class and the AMG GT was named World Performance Car of the Year.
BMW’s i8 claimed the World Green Car of the Year crown with Citroën preventing a second successive German car whitewash, after Teutonic marques took honours in all five categories in 2014; the C4 Cactus won World Car Design of the Year.
Now in its 11th year, this World Car Awards was judged by 75 automotive journalists from around the world who assessed an initial 24 vehicles that will have been on sale across two continents from January 1, 2014 to May 31, 2015. The judges then decided on a shortlist of 12 before narrowing it down to three finalists; the C-class pipped the new Ford Mustang and the Volkswagen Passat to the title this year.
The winners and what the WCOTY judges said
2015 World Car of the Year: Mercedes-Benz C-class
What the judges said: “Taking its design and technological cues from the S-class, the C-Class employs an all-new aluminium/steel hybrid platform and updated rear-drive powertrains that delivers levels of refinement, luxury, safety, ride and handling that challenge best-in-class.”
2015 World Luxury Car: Mercedes-Benz S Coupé
What the judges said: “Mercedes-Benz design and technology are forming a marriage that is more happy than ever. There is no better car to prove it than this stunningly beautiful derivative of the S-class, available with powerful, turbocharged V-8 and V-12 engines.”
2015 World Performance Car: Mercedes-AMG GT
What the judges said: “Its on-road presence alone is almost enough to qualify it as a ‘Top 3’ finalist. But in addition to its ruggedly handsome looks it has an impressive spec sheet comprising biturbo 4.0-litre V8 engine, seven speed dual-clutch transmission, 456bhp (minimum)…and much, much more.”
2015 World Car Design of the Year: Citroën C4 Cactus
What the judges said: “The Cactus is a truly innovative piece of design. It has an appealingly distinct exterior announced first by its slender upper front lights, proportions slightly different to any other car, and by those stand-out ‘air-bumps’ that help safeguard against parking scrapes. Inside it eschews lots of dials and buttons for a very minimal uncluttered approach: controls centred on and around a central digital screen and many of the core surfaces and volumes kept linear, reduced, and pleasantly un-car-like. The Cactus design is a proper breath of fresh air.”
2015 World Green Car: BMW i8
What the judges said: “The BMW i8 gasoline hybrid looks so cool, it should be the icon for all “Green” cars..So it inspires Green Passion, which on paper looks like 155 mph on the i8’s three cylinder turbo gasoline engine, four-wheel-drive and four seats. The i8 adds so much enjoyment to a sensible lifestyle that it needs to be recognized as a great Green Car.”