Volkswagen Up! is 2012 World Car of the Year

As always, the winners of the grand-daddy of all automotive awards were announced on the glitzy floors of the New York Auto Show. We are referring to nothing but the World Car of the Year program, which aims to combine the attributes and functionality of all the regional and national Car of the Year titles. The awards, that were inaugurated in 2003 have slowly gained in popularity and are now considered one of the most prestigious, credible and significant in the automotive industry. And this year, it is the pint-sized Volkswagen Up! city car that has won big. What makes the Up!'s victory more significant is the other two finalists that it beat, the all-new BMW 3 Series and Porsche 911, both considered to be amongst the finest automobiles in production.

“The little Volkswagen Up! has altered what we have come to expect from the city car segment. Of note are the responsive steering, sophisticated suspension setup, new efficient engines and the quality of materials and finish. Never before in this economy segment have owners felt so premium. Look for every builder of city cars to up its game just to compete with the new VW”, commented the jurors of WCOTY title. Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG remarked, “This award shows once again that in the Up! our designers and engineers have created a vehicle that has been thought through in minute detail. A vehicle that sets standards in its class for efficient use of space, safety, motoring fun and environmental compatibility,”.

Despite being a finalist for all but one year, this is the first time Porsche has won the World Performance Car of the Year title. That the recipient was the all-new 911 that is considered to be a hair's width away from perfection and the finalists included earth-shattering super-cars like Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 and McLaren MP4-12C makes it all the more credible.

Mercedes-Benz continues to impress by taking home the World Green Car of the Year title for its S 250 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY, the first 4-cylinder engine in the model's 60-year life span. The clear conscience that they aren't burning a big hole in the ozone layer despite owning what is arguably the world's best luxury sedan is sure to keep its owners smiling.

And the World Design of the Year was just another in the long list of awards won by the Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, that has been universally praised for its stunning design and appeal. 

2012 WCOTY Program Winners:

* World Car of the Year - Volkswagen Up! (BMW 3 Series, Porsche 911)

* World Performance Car of the Year - Porsche 911 (Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4, McLaren MP4-12C)

* World Green Car of the Year - Mercedes-Benz S 250 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY (Ford Focus Electric, Peugeot 3008 Hybrid)

* World Design of the Year - Land Rover Range Rover Evoque (Citroen DS5, Volkswagen Up!)

Previous WCOTY Winners:

* 2011 Nissan Leaf
* 2010 Volkswagen Polo
* 2009 Volkswagen Golf
* 2008 Mazda 2 / Demio
* 2007 Lexus LS460
* 2006 BMW 3 Series
* 2005 Audi A6

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