33 winners of the World Car Awards


The World Car Awards is one of the most prestigious honors any automobile manufacturer can hope to win.

First handed out in 2005, the awards are selected by an international group of jurors now comprised of 85 automotive journalists from 25 countries.

While there are numerous national and regional car-of-the-year awards, the WCA has a global reach that encompasses pretty much every major motoring market on the planet.

The awards seek to honor the best of the best in terms of automotive innovation and technology.

Although technically there have been only 14 car models that have received the Car of the Year award, the WCA has added more specific categories since its inception.

Here we take a look back at 33 of some of the most memorable car models that have brought home the coveted awards through the years:

Audi A6

1. Audi A6

The inaugural award for World Car of the Year in 2005 went to Audi’s executive car.

Some of the models it beat for the award include runners-up Porsche 911 and Volvo’s S40 and S50.

2. BMW 3 Series

The fifth generation of the Munich-based carmaker beat out 26 other rivals, including the Mazda MX-5, Porsche Cayman S, Suzuki Swift, Lexus IS, and VW Passat, to win COTY in 2006.

3. Porsche Cayman S

The two-door sports car won the inaugural World Performance Car category in 2006, beating Audi RS4 and BMW M5.

4. Honda Civic Hybrid

The first World Green Car category was given out in 2006, and it was won by the Japanese carmaker’s hybrid version of its classic Civic.

5. Citröen C4

Also handed out in 2006 was the first World Car Design of the Year, which was won by Citröen’s C4.

Runners-up were the BMW 3-Series and Honda Civic.

Lexus LS 460

6. Lexus LS 460

Japan won its first WCOTY when the Lexus LS460 took home the prize in 2007, beating the likes of the Audi TT, BMW Z4, and Mercedes-Benz CL.

7. Audi TT

Although it didn’t win COTY, Audi’s two-door sports car did take home the award for World Car Design of the Year in 2007.

8. Mazda2/Demio

In 2008, Mazda’s supermini beat much tougher competition like the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Audi A5, and Volvo C30 to win WCOTY.

9. Audi R8

Audi was a double winner in 2008, with the R8 taking home the prize for World Performance Car (an award it also won the previous year for the RS4), as well as World Car Design of the Year.

10. Volkswagen Golf

Other cars the VW Golf beat to take the top prize of WCOTY in 2009 are the Ford Fiesta, Audi A4, Jaguar XF, Mazda 6 and Nissan GT-R.

Nissan GT-R

11. Nissan GT-R

Nissan settled for the World Performance Car award in 2009, winning over runners-up Chevy Corvette ZR1 and Porsche 911.

12. Volkswagen Polo

VW made it back-to-back wins when the Polo won WCOTY in 2010.

Runners-up include the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Toyota Prius, Chevy Cruze, Kia Soul, and Mazda 3.

13. Audi R8

The V10 version of Audi’s mid-engine sports car won the World Performance Car award in 2010, beating the Ferrari California and Porsche 911 GT3.

Chevrolet Camaro

14. Chevrolet Camaro

Chevy’s 2010 version of its iconic muscle car won that year’s World Car Design of the Year award over rivals Kia Soul and the Toyota Prius.

15. Nissan Leaf

Nissan’s now-iconic electric car handily won the WCOTY award on the year it was launched, triumphing over competition like the Audi A8, BMW 5 Series, Porsche Cayenne, Jeep Grand Cherokee, and Mercedes-Benz SLS.

16. Ferrari 458 Italia

In the World Performance Car category in 2011, Ferrari reigned supreme with its mid-engine supercar.

17. Volkswagen

VW won WCOTY in 2012, winning over faster, fancier models like the BMW 3 Series and Porsche 911.

18. Porsche 911

Porsche’s 911 GT3 took home the trophy for World Performance Car of the Year in 2012.

At that point, Porsche made it to the top three position in the category six out of seven times.

19. Volkswagen Golf

VW made it another back-to-back triumph when its Golf won COTY in 2013. It was also the first time the title was given to a car model that had previously already won the award.

Porsche Boxster/Cayman

20. Porsche Boxster/Cayman

Porsche once again proved its dominance in the Performance Car of the Year Category when its two-door mid-engine sports car snatched the prize in 2013.

Tesla Model S

21. Tesla Model S

Elon Musk’s gamble paid off when his Tesla S was named World Green Car of the Year in 2013.

It has since become the second-biggest selling electric vehicle in history.

22. Audi A3

Runners up at the WCOTY Awards in 2014 include the Mazda3 and BMW 4 Series, but it was Audi’s subcompact executive car that took home the prize in 2014.

23. Porsche 911 GT3

The Stuttgart-based carmaker added yet another trophy for World Performance Car of the Year in 2014 with the racing model of its 911 range.

24. BMW i3

BMW’s electric hatchback won World Green Car of the Year in 2014.

25. Mercedes-Benz S-Class

2014 marked the first time organizers added the World Luxury Car category to the awards. It was won by Mercedes-Benz’s S-Class.

26. Mercedes-Benz C-Class

In 2015, Mercedes-Benz finally won its first WCOTY with its compact executive car.

It beat out such models such as the VW Passat and the Ford Mustang.

27. BMW i8

One year after the i3 won World Green Car of the Year, BMW once again won the same award with the i8, a car that also made an appearance in the movie Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol.

28. Mercedes-Benz S-Class

Mercedes-Benz won the Luxury category again with the coupé version of its S-Class.

29. Mazda MX-5

Mazda’s Miata was named WCOTY in 2016, edging out the Mercedes-Benz GLC, Audi A4, Toyota Prius, and BMW X1.

30. Audi R8

Audi took home the prize for World Performance COTY in 2016 with the R8 Coupé.

Runners-up were the Mercedes-AMG C 63 Coupé and Honda Civic Type R.

31. Jaguar F-Pace

The British marque won its first WCOTY in 2017 with the compact luxury crossover SUV, beating out the VW Tiguan and the Audi Q5.

32. BMW i3

The World Urban Car, the newest category in the World Car Awards, was introduced in 2017.

Runners-up included the Citröen C3 and Suzuki Ignis, but the first winner was the BMW i3.

33. Volvo XC60

Last year’s winning World COTY is the luxury compact crossover SUV from the Swedish manufacturer.

Who will take home the prize next year?

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