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Jaehoon (Jay) Chang, president and CEO of Hyundai Motor Company, next to the Hyundai Ioniq 5, winner of the award for 2022 World Car of the Year, at the New York International Auto Show, in Manhattan on April 13.ANDREW KELLY/Reuters

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 was the big winner at this year’s World Car of the Year awards, announced Wednesday at the New York International Auto Show. The fully electric SUV was named World Car of the Year, World Electric Car, and World Car Design of the Year.

“Our game-changing EV has made a strong impact on increasingly eco-conscious and demanding consumers around the world,” said Jaehoon Chang, chief executive of Hyundai Motor Company. “And its success supports the acceleration of electrification of the automotive industry ... we will soon be adding to our award-winning Ioniq range.”

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The Ioniq 6 sedan, built on the same platform, is expected to go on sale in Canada next year and will then be followed by the three-row Ioniq 7 SUV.

Hyundai’s global Head of Design, Luc Donckerwolke, was also named World Car Person of the Year for 2022. “I have worked for many companies and brands over my career and I’m delighted at the recognition the Hyundai, Kia and Genesis brands have received,” said Donckerwolke. “I’ve always said, ‘I do design work for free, I only get paid for the meetings.’”

Jaehoon (Jay) Chang, President and CEO of Hyundai Motor Company, Lee Sang Yup, Executive Vice President and head of Hyundai Global Design Center and Luc Donckerwolke, Belgian automobile designer pose at the New York International Auto Show, in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., April 13, 2022. REUTERS/Andrew KellyANDREW KELLY/Reuters

This year, all three finalists for the World Car of the Year were fully electric vehicles; the $45,000 Ioniq 5 earned 815 points in voting to beat the 808 points of the Kia EV6, with which it shares a platform, and the 773 points of the Ford Mustang Mach-E for the title. Last year’s big winner, the Volkswagen ID.4, is also a fully electric vehicle.

The fully electric, $146,500 Mercedes-Benz EQS was named World Luxury Car, beating out the BMW iX and the Genesis GV70. The EQS 580 4Matic began deliveries to Canadian customers in January.

“This car is a real significant step forward for us,” said Rob Moran, director of communications for Mercedes-Benz USA. “In our 135 years, (it is) arguably the most important car that we’re launching and we’re really proud to have this award.”

The World Car of the Year is decided in anonymous voting by 102 automotive journalists from 33 different countries. To be eligible, the vehicle must be on sale in at least two different markets on two different continents, as well as sell at least 10,000 units in a year. The World Luxury Car must sell at least 5,000 units a year.

To win World Electric Car, which is a new category this year, the Ioniq 5 beat both the Mercedes EQS and also the Audi e-tron GT, which was named World Performance Car.

“It was our big goal to reinvent the grand turismo philosophy for the electric age, and to create a unique character like no other car in our portfolio,” said Christiane Zorn, Audi’s head of product marketing, in a video acceptance from Germany. “We are delighted that you like the e-tron GT just as much as we do.”

The Toyota Yaris Cross was named World Urban Car. Qualified vehicles can be no more than 4.2 metres long, and it beat the Volkswagen Taigun and Opel Mokka for the title. None of these three vehicles are sold in Canada or the United States.

Starting at $45,000 before rebates, the Hyundai Ioniq5 might be the funkiest, most spacious, most sensible EV purchase this side of a Tesla Model Y. James Engelsman and Thomas Holland from Throttle House road-test the car on California’s winding roads.

The Globe and Mail

Mark Richardson is one of four Canadian World Car judges.

The writer was a guest of Hyundai. Content was not subject to approval.

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