The Volkswagen Polo has been named the 2010 World Car of the Year.
The Volkswagen Polo was chosen from an initial entry list of 30 entries nominated by 59 World Car jurors from 25 countries, including our motoring correspondent Padraic Deane, who represents Ireland.
The jurors voted in January 2010 to establish a top 10 shortlist. A second round of voting occurred in February when jurors were asked to score the top 10 candidates based on merit, value, safety, environment, significance and emotional appeal. The World Car of the Year was chosen from those top 10 finalists as tabulated by the international accounting firm KPMG.
The jurors said: "Holding its own in the most competitive market segment, the new Polo MkV is one of VW's star performers. Boasting best-in-segment packaging and handling, this supermini's blend of classy looks, reliability and quality has meant it has consistently been one the market's best-sellers. Draped in head-turning stylish curves, the Polo is certainly one of the classiest small VWs ever built. It's also safe; generating a maximum five-star Euro NCAP crash-test rating.
“Behind the wheel the Polo demonstrates mature manners and boasts a superb driving position that's adjustable and, in common with the latest Golf, all the controls are well weighted and precise. The Polo is just one brilliant supermini."
The top three contenders for 2010 World Car of the Year title were, in alphabetical order, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, the Toyota Prius, and the Volkswagen Polo.
Previous World Car of the Year winners were the Volkswagen Golf in 2009, the Mazda2 in 2008, the Lexus LS460 in 2007, the BMW 3-Series in 2006, and the Audi A6 in 2005.
Now in their seventh year, the annual World Car awards have become one of the world's most prestigious, credible and significant programmes of its kind.
2010 World Green Car
The Volkswagen BlueMotion (Golf, Passat, Polo ) was declared the 2010 World Green Car, sponsored by Bridgestone.
Due to the complexity of some of the green technologies, three green experts were appointed by the World Car steering committee to extensively review all documentation and specs associated with each candidate.
Jurors felt that it was not necessary to add an electric motor and a heavy battery pack to achieve class-leading efficiency.
“Based on Volkswagen's common-rail diesel engines, the BlueMotion models are among the most fuel-efficient vehicles on the market. In fact, the Passat BlueMotion can travel just about 1,000 miles on one tank of fuel in the European cycle. As far as internal combustion engines go today, these models are the ultimate you can get."
Previous World Green Car winners are the Honda FCX Clarity in 2009, the BMW 118d with Efficient Dynamics in 2008, the Mercedes-Benz E320 Bluetec in 2007 and the Honda Civic Hybrid in 2006.
2010 World Performance Car
The Audi R8 V10 was declared the 2010 World Performance Car. It was chosen from an initial entry list of 16 entries.
Candidates for the World Performance Car award must demonstrate a specific and overt sports/performance orientation. They must also satisfy the same availability criteria as for the overall World Car award and may be chosen from that list of eligible vehicles.
The top three contenders were, in alphabetical order, the Audi R8 10, the Ferrari California and the Porsche 911 GT3.
Previous World Performance Car winners were the Nissan GT-R in 2009, the Audi R8 in 2008, the Audi RS4 in 2007 and the Porsche Cayman S in 2006.
2010 World Car Design of the Year
The World Car Design of the Year was also announced with the Chevrolet Camaro declared the 2010 winner.
This category, and the corresponding award, is meant to highlight new vehicles with innovation and style that push established boundaries. Cars eligible for this award are taken from the list of 30 World Car candidates nominated.