Home­town hero

NT News - Motoring - - CARS GUIDE - By PETER LYON in Ja­pan

THE strong­est for­eign chal­lenge in the his­tory of the Ja­pan Car of the Year con­test has just failed to end the 31-year reign by lo­cally-made cars.

The Volk­swa­gen Polo led from the start of vote count­ing at Waseda Uni­ver­sity Hall in Tokyo, but a late surge by the Honda CR-Z gave the top prize to Ja­pan’s new hy­brid hero.

The Polo was still named as Im­port Car of the Year.

There are 60 judges on the Ja- pan COTY panel and the Polo was ahead as the scores were read for the first 55, with more max­i­mum 10-point votes — in­clud­ing mine — go­ing to the Volk­swa­gen com­pact.

But the Honda CR-Z ral­lied to even­tu­ally win 406-39.

Each of the 60 Ja­pan COTY ju­rors is al­lo­cated 25 votes, with 10 for their top-rated car and the rest for their next four in or­der of pref­er­ence, some­thing like 10-6-4-3-2. There are only two for­eign na­tion­als on the panel, in­clud­ing my­self.

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