Now in its tenth year, the World Car of the Year awards recognize the top new cars around the world. Voted on by a jury made up of 69 automotive journalists representing 22 countries, each year's winners are announced at the New York Auto Show. To be eligible for consideration for the 2014 WCOTY awards, a new vehicle must be available for sale on at least two continents during the time period between January 1, 2013 and May 30, 2014.
Audi has claimed six WCOTY awards since 2005, and now has one more for its mantle as the Audi A3 grabbed the 2014 World Car of the Year title. The new Mercedes-Benz S-Class was named the 2014 World Luxury Car, while the Porsche 911 GT3 raced home as the World Performance Car. The BMW i3 impressed jurors garnering awards for both the 2014 World Green Car and the 2014 World Car Design of the Year.
Below is a list of this year’s winner for each category as well as the other top finalists and past winners.
2014 World Car of the Year: Audi A3
The World Car Awards jurors commented: “It might borrow styling hints from its bigger brothers, but the A3 still offers classic, chiseled contours and even better interior trim levels. With a superb choice of engines and 4 body styles, the A3 range packs a hefty premium punch in the small luxury segment. Audi should be complimented for making this A3 ride like no other A3. All the old shimmer over rough surfaces has gone, replaced by a silky smooth ride that approaches limousine quality”.
Previous winners: Volkswagen Golf (2013), Volkswagen Up (2012), Nissan Leaf (2011)
2014 World Performance Car of the Year: Porsche 911 GT3
The World Car jurors commented: “Essentially race-engineered cars are Porsche’s original bread and butter. The latest 911 GT3 is 100 percent at home on any track, with surprising buckets of fine balance and handling prowess even with the engine theoretically in the “wrong” place. Heavy aero work, the stripping down of the car’s weight, and 469 horsepower from the 3.8-liter flat-six engine, all help with lap times and launch time.”
Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
Ferrari 458 Speciale
Previous winners: Porsche Boxster/Cayman (2013), Porsche 911 (2012), Ferrari 458 Italia (2011)
2014 World Luxury Car of the Year: Mercedes-Benz S-Class
The World Car jurors commented: “Mercedes dominates the big luxury sedan market worldwide and the challenge of the sixth-generation S-Class was to be even better than the fifth-gen model. They did it by creating a car so far advanced in this segment that competitors pretty much have ceased trying to go head-to-head with the S. The exterior is completely new and the interior is spectacular on a whole new level”.
Bentley Flying Spur
Land Rover Range Rover Sport
There are no previous winners since this category is new for the 2014 awards.
2014 World Green Car of the Year: BMW i3
The World Car jurors commented: “Radical in looks, construction, and powertrain, the BMW i3 is one of very few clean-sheet-of-paper cars designed from the ground up for efficiency, with the different needs of the new century's megacities in mind. From its last-kilometer navigation system to take drivers from car to destination, to the shipped-around-the-world carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic body shell without a B-pillar, the BMW i3 pushes boundaries on many fronts”.
Audi A3 Sportback e-tron (+ Audi e-gas)
Previous winners: Tesla Model S (2013), Mercedes-Benz S250 CDI BlueEfficiency (2012), Volkswagen BlueMotion range (2011)
2014 World Car Design of the Year: BMW i3
The World Car jurors commented: "Unlike other BMW cars, the i3 has a boxy shape, which suggests roominess and efficiency. But it still retains BMW’s typical dynamism thanks to the larger diameter wheels and the very short overhangs both on front and rear. Besides that, the i3 expresses the sub-brand’s own character with using unique design features, including the black bonnet and the side window graphics that goes through the rear pillar. The interior is more surprising and attractive. It marks radical leap of car interior design, and it spreads as calm yet rich feeling as a modern living room.”
Previous winners: Jaguar F-Type (2013), Land Rover Range Rover Evoque (2012), Aston Martin Rapide (2011)