Two new stand-out Korean electric vehicles, the Kia EV6 and the Hyundai IONIQ 5, have tied for first place and were declared joint winners in the inaugural Best Cars of the Year 2021/2022 awards announcement in London on December 31.
A panel of world-renowned car designers, engineers, motorsport legends, auto industry titans, specialist journalists and broadcasters voted in the closing weeks of December in a new, global, revolutionary, democratic ‘one person, one vote’ process that evaluates the best cars on the planet over the past year.
In a result that mirrors the industry shift towards electric vehicles, seven of the top 10 rated cars were powered by fully electric powertrains, one was a plug-in hybrid, one rally car-based hatch boasts a gasoline turbo and another comes with a super-traditional, if not old-fashioned naturally aspirated gasoline engine. Remarkably, the 10 models voted for by the judges into the BEST COTY Top 10, are from ten separate brands based in South Korea, Germany, Japan, U.S.A., Italy and France.
Judges complimented the winning Kia and Hyundai EVs for their good looks, drivability, 300-mile range and cost performance with prices starting at $39,000 for the IONIQ 5 and $45,000 for the EV6.
In addition to the Kia EV6 and Hyundai IONIQ 5 world champions, which employ essentially the same chassis and powertrain but totally different bodies and packaging, the Audi e-tron GT took 3rd, the turbocharged 4WD Toyota GR Yaris hot hatch picked up 4th, 5th went to the Ford Mustang Mach-E, Fiat’s 500E captured 6th, Porsche’s game-changing Taycan nabbed 7th, Citroen’s tiny Ami EV came 8th, Mitsubishi’s second generation Outlander PHEV took 9th and the VW Polo came in 10th.
The Mustang Mach-E might be the only American car in the top 10, but it garnered strong support among the judges. Middle East-based judge, Shahzad Sheikh, who is known as the ‘Brown Car Guy’ on YouTube and other platforms said, “At first I wasn’t sure about this car being called a Mustang, or even a full-sized SUV with poney badges on it. But, it all kind of works. The regular Mustangs are the coolest cars on the planet, and by endowing this EV with the fabled name has made this Mustang the coolest electric car out there right now. If I had to go electric, it would be with a Mach-E.”
According to veteran UK journalist and broadcaster, Mike Rutherford, the creator of the new awards process, the aim is for the brightest and most experienced brains in and around the auto industry to ditch any perceived brand or product loyalties they may have, and to genuinely identity the money-no-object finest cars on the planet. That is why you have a $7,000 electric Citroen Ami coming up against a $152,000 Porsche Taycan Turbo, and a gasoline turbocharged Toyota GR Yaris vying with a plug-in hybrid Mitsubishi Outlander and an electric Ford Mustang Mach-E for the top spot.
As the reigning joint world champions, the Kia EV6 and Hyundai IONIQ 5 are scheduled to be two of the many star attractions expected on the Best Cars of the Year stand at the British Motor Show this coming August, when the selection, evaluation, test driving and voting process for the Best Cars of the Year 2022/23 project will begin.