The results of the 2020 World Car Awards (WCA) are finally out. Its announcement was initially slated this April at the New York International Auto Show (NYIAS). Unfortunately, this wasn't possible on account of the COVID-19 pandemic. The WCA event was consequently done via digital media (the new normal for car shows and events). The NYIAS was itself postponed with the Javits Centre transforming into a healthcare unit for COVID-19 patients.
2020 World Car Award Timeline
The road to this year's WCA culminated with KIA, Mazda, and Porsche receiving most of the awards. To backtrack a little, we have made a quick review of the 2020 World Car Award timeline below.
The Frankfurt Motor show kick-started the event on September 10th last year, launching the Road to the World Cars Award wherein the candidates were presented.
The 6th annual LA Test Drives took place in Pasadena between November 16th and 19th. The deadline for the first voting round was set to January 27th. The top 10 finalists to the WCOTY, as well as the top five finalists in the Luxury, Performance, Design, and Urban categories, were announced on February 5th.
The second test-drive and voting round commenced afterwards between February 5th and 14th. The top three alongside the World Car Person of the Year were announced on March 3rd. The World Car Winners followed on April 8th.
WCA Winning Models per Category
With that out of the way, let’s dive straight ahead into the winners of each category. PSA Group Chief Executive Carlos Tavares won the 2020 World Car Person of the Year Award.
World Urban Car of the Year
In this category, the three finalists were the Kia Soul EV, the Volkswagen T-Cross, and the Mini Electric. Kia’s Soul EV bagged the 2020 World Urban Car of the Year award. Some of the cars that didn’t make it to the final three include the Renault Clio, Hyundai Venue, and the Peugeot 208.
The Soul EV is a subcompact crossover SUV with an EPA range of slightly over 390 km. The first generation hit the South Korean market in May 2014, a month before the car went on sale in the European market. In the US, sales began later in October of that year.
The second generation introduced in 2019 for the 2020 model year will be available in both Europe and US although it is yet to enter the latter market.
World Performance Car of the Year
Contenders in this category included the Porsche Taycan, BMW M8, Porsche 911, 718 Spyder/Cayman GT4, and Toyota GR Supra. The top three were all from Porsche, i.e. the 911, 718 Spyder/Cayman, and the Taycan.
The Porsche Taycan earned the 2020 World Performance car Award. No surprises once again as the car offers excellent performance, not to mention that it's also an outstanding EV. Spoiler alert: the car also won another award.
Porsche's Executive Board Chairman Oliver Blume said that the Taycan was designed to show that an EV could have the performance, driving pleasure and everyday comfort and usability that Porsches are known for. Blume beamed with pride that the international jury of the World Car Awards recognised what they succeeded to do with the Taycan.
World Luxury Car of the Year
Cars that didn't make the cut in this category include the BMW Z4, Cadillac XT6, Mercedes Benz GLS, Cadillac CT5, Toyota GR Supra, and the Mercedes Benz GLE. It was surprising to see the GR Supra on the list. The 2020 new finalists in the luxury car category were BMW X5 and BMW X7.
Once again, the Porsche 911 and the Porsche Taycan made it to the top three alongside the Mercedes Benz EQC. All three looked like champions, but there could only be one winner, and as you have probably guessed it, the Porsche Taycan sped away with the award.
World Car Design of the Year
The World Car Design category had five cars for 2020. These were the Alpine 110S, Mazda 3, Peugeot 208, Mazda CX-30, and the Porsche Taycan. It looked like Porsche Taycan fairly dominated the event.
Of the candidates, the top three were the Mazda 3, Peugeot 208, and the Taycan. The World Car Design of the Year was, however, won by the Mazda 3.
Representative Director and President of the Mazda Motor Corporation Akira Marumoto expressed how deeply honoured they were to be awarded the World Car Design of the Year, a fitting prize to mark the automaker's 100th year in the industry. Marumoto pledged to continue providing their customers with "unique products, designs, technologies, and experiences."
World Car of the Year (WCOTY)
Car aficionados recall last year’s edition of the World Car Awards, where the Jaguar I-Pace bestrode the event. To prevent it from happening again, the rules were tweaked this year. Cars that have a price north of $150,000 were not eligible to contend for the big award.
The finalists in this category were the Hyundai Sonata, Volkswagen Golf, Kia Soul EV, Mercedes-Benz CLA, Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, Volkswagen T-Cross, and Mercedes-Benz GLB.
The three finalists were Mazda 3, Kia Telluride and the Mazda CX-30. The winner was none other than the Kia Telluride. In all modesty, there’s hardly a three-row SUV under the $50,000 mark that can best the Telluride.
Thomas Schemera, Executive VP & Head of product division at Kia, described the World Car Awards as "one of the hardest-fought competitions in the global automotive industry." He this double win speaks not only of how truly exceptional these vehicles are but also how talented and dedicated their worldwide team is.
Both KIA and Porsche were double award recipients with Kia winning the World Car of the Year and the World Urban Car. The Porsche Taycan, on the other hand, won both the Luxury Car of the Year and Performance Car of the Year awards.
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By Sam O.