So, the WHEELS COTY for 2015 is the BMW i3 ???
Give me a break! Clearly, the editor and judges already know this is a dumb choice .....
In 'explaining' the choice, the judges admit:
1. With only a 4 Star result in NCAP testing, quote: "Perhaps it could do better on safety."
2. With poor pedestrian safety results, quote: "Perhaps it could offer better pedestrian safety."
3. On one test run, the i3 ran out of charge! Quote: "It didn't break down, it just ran out of charge." !!!
4. On distances, quote: "For the longer distances Australians travel, its range is not ideal, but satisfactory if you drive 40km a day." What ???
5. On broad appeal, the judges admit: "It's a niche car."
I have only one word to describe this latest award.
It's not even a car with advanced technology. The BMW i3 is nothing more than a BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle).
Why not reward a brave company like Hyundai Australia which is setting the bar at a new level by introducing an ix35 with a Fuel Cell stack?
That's far more commercially adventurous, and dangerous, but HMCA has at least held its breath and jumped in at the deep end with a technology that shows much more potential than a BEV!
Okay, if the ix35 FCEV is not yet publicly available do what the esteemed former editor, Peter Robinson, did one year. He and the judges didn't make an award!
I may have got the quotes above slighly incorrect, but who cares? I won't spend good money buying a copy of WHEELS to read the full explanation.
This year's choice only demeans the value of the award in the eyes of informed readers, consumers and car companies.