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SangYup Lee, Hyundai’s executive vice-president, and Jose Munoz, Hyundai’s chief executive officer, pose with awards, during the 2023 World Car Awards at the New York International Auto Show, in Manhattan, April 5.ANDREW KELLY/Reuters

For the second straight year, Hyundai cleaned up at the World Car of the Year awards, announced Wednesday at the New York International Auto Show.

The all-electric Hyundai Ioniq 6 sedan was named World Car of the Year, World Electric Vehicle of the Year and World Car Design of the Year. It shares the same platform as the Ioniq 5 SUV, which won the same three awards last year.

The Ioniq 6 was the clear front runner. The jurors for the awards (including this writer) awarded it a total of 796 points. This put it comfortably ahead of the Kia Niro with 756 points, and the BMW X1 / iX1, with 740 points. The shortlist was taken from an initial entry list of 30 eligible vehicles.

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“Other [manufacturers] have invented other technologies and tried to make the most out of it, but only one [automaker] has invented autonomous selling cars,” joked Jose Munoz, chief executive officer of Hyundai Motor Company North America, suggesting the Ioniq electric vehicles just seem to sell themselves.

The Korean company is on a roll. Earlier in the year, Hyundai’s executive vice-president SangYup Lee was named 2023 World Car Person of the Year, for his work as head of Hyundai’s Global Design Center.

The World Car of the Year is decided in anonymous voting by more than 100 automotive journalists from 33 countries. Cars are judged on eight parameters – value, safety, innovation, comfort, performance, emotional appeal, market significance and environmental impact.

To be eligible, the vehicle must be on sale in at least two markets on two 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.

This year, the World Luxury Car award was won by the Lucid Air electric sedan, which beat the Genesis G90 and the BMW 7 Series / i7 for the title.

“The auto industry is not the easiest business in the world,” said Derek Jenkins, senior vice-president of design and brand for the California-based company. “The idea of starting a new car company in this day and age is not for the faint of heart. Just a few short years ago, this seemed like an impossible dream, so that makes this moment incredibly sweet.”

World Performance Car was presented to the Kia EV6 GT, beating the Nissan Z and Toyota GR Corolla. It was the first time in the 18-year history of the World Car Awards that a German brand was not represented on the shortlist for the performance category. World Urban Car, eligible to vehicles no greater than 4.25 metres in length, was won by the Citroen C3, which is not sold in North America.

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The Hyundai Ioniq 6 was the clear front runner at the 2023 World Car Awards, being awarded a total of 796 points, which put it comfortably ahead of the Kia Niro with 756 points, and the BMW X1 / iX1, with 740 points.ANDREW KELLY

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