Hyundai Ioniq 6 takes top honours in WCOTY

Times they are a-changing as the Ioniq 6 takes the WCOTY title.


This is the second time in two years that Hyundai has been called to the stage at the World Car of the Year Awards to collect the overall title. Last year, the Ioniq 5 took the silverware and the year before that VW’s ID4 – making it three electric vehicles (EVs) in three years.

Vehicles eligible for World Car of the Year must be produced in volumes of at least 10 000 units a year, must be priced below the luxury-car level in their primary markets, and must be “on-sale” in at least two major markets (China, Europe, India, Japan, Korea, Latin America and the USA) on at least two separate continents within the period 1 January 2022 to 30 March 2023.

The final say comes from the 100 automotive journalists representing 32 countries who chose the Ioniq 6 from the top three finalists, beating the Kia Niro and BMW X1.

The different categories include World Performance Car, World Urban Car, World Electric Vehicle and World Car Design of the Year and then the grand prize of World Car of the Year.

The World Car of the Year (WCOTY) started out with an initial list of 30 contenders, before being narrowed down to 10 finalists: Alfa Romeo Tonale, BMW 2 Series Coupé, BMW X1 / iX1, Honda HR-V (NA) / ZR-V, Hyundai Ioniq 6, Kia Niro, Mazda CX-60, Mercedes-Benz C, Nissan Ariya and Nissan Z. The judges' scores for the three podium positions in the award are above.

You might be forgiven if your frown upon its strange shape, but the Ioniq 6 also won the categories for World Electric Vehicle and World Car Design of the Year and then of course the first price as overall World Car of the Year.

The World Car Awards were revealed at a ceremony held at the New York International Auto Show this week after a jury of 100 automotive journalists from 32 countries chose the IONIQ 6 from the top three finalists, all launched in 2022.

“We are thrilled to receive this prestigious honour two years in a row, which recognises the tremendous talents and unrelenting efforts of everyone at Hyundai Motor Company to bring EVs like the Ioniq 6 to market,” said Jaehoon Chang, president and CEO of Hyundai Motor Company. “This honour reinforces our commitment to be a global leader in vehicle electrification and will serve to embolden our efforts as a smart mobility solutions provider.

“The daring streamliner styling combines strong emotional appeal with aerodynamic efficiency to give exceptional range. Inside, we set out to create a personal studio that offers the mindful space and calm functionality which, we believe, elevates the EV design.”

It takes full advantage of a bespoke Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) architecture to offer 800-V, ultra-fast charging capabilities for a 10% to 80% percent charge in just 18 minutes, and a spacious interior.

With an ultra-low drag coefficient of just 0.21, the IONIQ 6 is one of the most aerodynamic and energy-efficient EVs on the market. The Electrified Streamliner’s WLTP-rated range on a single charge is 614 km. The standard 2WD model with 18-inch tyres achieves WLTP-rated energy consumption of 13.9 kWh/100 km.

In the remaining categories, the Citroën C3 won the title of 2023 World Urban Car of the Year, The Kia EV6 GT won the 2023 World Performance Car of the Year, and the Lucis Air won the 2023 World Luxury Car of the Year.

  • Hyundai SA has no plans as yet to bring the Ioniq 6 to local shores.

The 2023 South African Car of the Year (COTY) competition presented by the South African Guild of Mobility Journalists (SAGMJ), is gearing up to crown the country's ultimate vehicle champion at a gala event on 1 June this year.

The top 21 finalists (and categories) are:

Compact - Renault Clio 5.

Compact Family - BAIC Beijing X55, Nissan Qashqai, Opel Mokka and the VW Taigo.

Midsize - Alfa Romeo Tonale, Chery Tiggo Pro 8, Honda Civic RS, Hyundai Tucson and the Kia Sportage.

Premium - Jeep Grand Cherokee L and Kia Sorento.

Adventure SUV - Ford Everest.

Double Cab - Ford Ranger and the Isuzu D-Max.

Luxury - Mercedes Benz S-Class.

Performance - Audi RS3 Sedan / Hatch.

New Energy - Audi e-tron GT/RS e-tron GT, Haval H6 Hybrid, Toyota RAV4 E-four and the

Volvo XC40 P8 Recharge.

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