Το JCOTY (Japanese Car of the Year) ανακοίνωσε πως το βραβείο για το 2015 πήγε στο νέο Mazda MX-5. Το νέο Miata κέρδισε 442 ψήφους, 41 περισσότερες από το Honda S660, με την BMW 2-Series Active Tourer να παίρνει το βραβείο “Νέο εισαγόμενο αυτοκίνητο της Χρονιάς”.
MAZDA MX-5 WINS CAR OF THE YEAR JAPAN
In a close battle, Mazda’s MX-5 held onto its narrow lead to beat the fast-finishing Honda S660 mini-sports car to win the Car of the Year Japan award.
Mazda MX-5 chief engineer Nobuhiro Yamamoto leads his designers, Engineers and media team in celebrating the roadster’s car of the year victory.
At an award ceremony held at the Tokyo International Exchange Center in Tokyo Bay, the MX-5 sports car tallied 442 votes, pipping the Honda S660 mini-coupe by 41 votes when the last of the sixty juror’s votes were read out. The BMW 2-Series, which finished in third place, totalled 177 votes to pick up the Import Car of the Year gong.
This win gives the Hiroshima based carmaker back-to-back car of the year trophies after it captured the major prize last year for the Mazda2. In accepting the award, Mazda’s vice president in charge of product planning and head of the company’s Skyactiv technology R&D, Kiyoshi Fujiwara, said, “We went through some tough times during the financial crisis and 2011 earthquake, but we stuck to our founding principles and created a winning formula. We think the jurors’ response to our MX-5 shows that sports cars are making a strong comeback in Japan. This award means a lot to our development team.”
A quick examination of the results shows just how close the voting progressed until the winner was finally announced. The Mazda MX-5 polled the maximum ten votes from twenty-five of the sixty jurors while the Honda S660 picked up ten votes each from twenty two jurors. Each juror is allocated 25 votes, must give 10 votes to their most highly evaluated model and spread their remaining 15 votes among their next best four cars.
The Suzuki Alto picked up the Small Mobility award, while the Tesla Model S, entering the award process for the first time in Japan, won the Innovation award. A split in the voting between several sporty models including the MX-5, S660 and Model S saw no model gain the necessary 200 votes to win the Emotional award, so that trophy was not awarded this year.
The Car of the Year Japan steering committee’s Special Award was presented to two companies this year. The first award went to Japan’s largest car importer Yanase, an acknowledgement of its 100th year in promoting import car culture nationwide. The second trophy was presented to the Toyota Mirai – which did not meet the criteria – to enter the main award, for its technological achievement in advancing the spread of hydrogen powered fuel-cell vehicles.
*For further information, access the Car or the Year Japan website: http://www.jcoty.org
All-new Mazda MX-5 named Japan Car of the Year
The all-new Mazda Roadster, as the MX-5 is known in Japan, is the 2015-2016 Car of the Year Japan. It is the second time the iconic two-seater has captured the home country’s most prestigious automobile prize after the previous generation did so in 2005-06. The new MX-5 is also the third Mazda from the highly acclaimed current model generation in the past four years to win Car of the Year Japan following the Mazda CX-5 (2012-13) and Mazda2 (2014-15).
Among other things, the award jury praised the passion and workmanship that went in the new MX-5 as well as Mazda’s unwavering commitment to the lightweight fun-to-drive sports car, which now spans 26 years since the model was initially launched.
The fourth generation MX-5 features SKYACTIV Technology and a stunning KODO – Soul of Motion design. And it’s still a blast to drive: Mazda has stuck to the Jinba Ittai rider-and-horse-as-one concept with the front-mid engine, rear-wheel drive layout, lowering the centre of gravity, optimising the driving position and cutting around 100kg compared to the previous model generation. Power is transferred from one of two petrol units – the high-revving SKYACTIV-G 1.5 or higher output SKYACTIV-G 2.0 – through a crisp, lightweight SKYACTIV-MT six-speed manual transmission. The new MX-5 also features an easy-to-operate manual soft top, a more practical boot shape and the latest i-ACTIVSENSE active safety technology. It went on sale in Europe in late summer.
All passenger cars with expected annual sales of at least 500 units and announced or launched in Japan between 1 October 2014 and 31 October 2015 were eligible for this year’s award. The new MX-5 is the sixth Mazda to win Car of the Year Japan since the contest began in 1980. “This result is thanks to everyone’s enthusiastic support, and we are both grateful and proud that our Roadster has received such a prestigious award,” said Masamichi Kogai, President and CEO of Mazda. “Inspired by this win, we will continue building cars that offer driving pleasure, aiming to become a ‘one-and-only’ for our customers that they will choose again and again.”