The Hyundai Ioniq 5 pulled off a hat trick on Wednesday, with the brand ultimately winning four World Car awards at the New York International Auto Show, including World Car of the Year.
But, in a sense, the real winner was the generic battery-electric vehicle. World Car jurors named BEVs their top picks in five of the six categories announced during the auto show’s opening ceremonies.
That is likely to put a halo around the New York show itself where a number of electrified vehicles are making their debuts. And a record number of all-electric models are on display on the floor of the Jacob Javits Convention Center.
What was hard for show attendees to miss was the way all-electric models dominated the list of finalists in this year’s six World Car categories, only six of 18 relying on conventional internal combustion engines.
Hyundai charged into the winner’s circle
In the World Car of the Year category, all three were BEVs: the Ford Mustang Mach-E, the Kia EV6 and the Hyundai Ioniq 5.
“The Ioniq 5 is just the first step in our journey” to shift from ICE to EV, proclaimed Hyundai Motor Co. President and co-CEO Jae-Hoon Chang, as he collected the World Car trophy.
The Ioniq 5 is the first entry into what will be an all-electric brand-within-a-brand. All told, the parent Hyundai Motor Group plans to roll out more than three dozen BEVs worldwide this decade. That includes the 14 that sibling brand Kia is developing. Kia’s own EV6 model was a finalist in several World Car categories, including World Car of the Year.
In the World Car Design category, however, the Ioniq 5 bested not only the Kia alternative but the Audi e-tron GT.
The Hyundai and Kia model faced off, again in the all-new World Car Electric Vehicle of the Year category, along with the Mercedes-Benz EQS. And, once again, the Ioniq 5 took home the win.
The Audi e-tron GT did manage to pull off a victory in the World Performance Car category, besting the BMW M3/M4 models, and the Toyota GR86/Subaru BRZ pair.
The only category not captured by an electric vehicle was World Urban Car. In fact, all three models were conventionally powered: the Opel Mokka, Volkswagen Taigun and the eventual winner, the Toyota Yaris Cross.
That category underscored the peculiar nature of the World Car awards. Jurors face the challenge of judging entries from five different continents. Here, none of the finalists are available in the U.S. market.
The NYIAS opening ceremony actually featured another award, the World Car Person of the Year. And, in this case, it went to the man who oversaw the development of the Ioniq 5, Hyundai Motor Group’s global design chief Luc Donckerwolke.
“Imagine giving a kid a prize for playing with toys,” the design veteran said with a broad smile. “That’s how I feel today.”