Can Godzilla beat Tinky Winky?
GODZILLA is going up against Tinky Winky in the last, and probably most significant, car award for 2008.
It’s the Nissan GT-R (right) against the Toyota iQ in a clash that takes in every possible area of automotive combat, from supercar versus fuel miser to all-wheeldrive coupe versus front-wheeldrive city runabout.
The Nissan and the Toyota lead the final field of 11 for the World Car of the Year contest, which is about to be judged by 59 automotive journalists from Europe, Asia and North and South America.
The field has been culled from more than 100 contenders. Each voter is expected to have driven at least seven of the finalists for the overall award and the performance contest.
The award field was originally set at 10, but a tie on preliminary voting means the final field is the Audi A4, BMW 7 Series, Citroen C5, Fiat 500, Ford Fiesta, Honda Jazz, Jaguar XF, Mazda6, Nissan GT-R, Toyota iQ and Volkswagen Golf.
As a member of the voting panel, I’ve already done my first cut. I won’t be tagging the Fiat, Honda, Jaguar or Mazda, and definitely not the Golf or Citroen.
My reasons go on and on, but the Golf is not much more than a facelift. The Citroen falls short in almost every area beyond its plush cabin and loungeroom ride.
When the time comes to make a decision, it’s going to be tough . . . particularly after driving the Ford Fiesta last week. I had almost settled on the iQ ahead of Godzilla, but now I’m not so sure.
And that’s what makes COTY contests of any kind, including the carsGuide award won for 2008 by the Falcon, so intriguing. You make your choice, then wait to see if your fellow judges agree.
I will know if I got it right when the three finalists are announced on March 9. The winner will be at the New York Auto Show in April.