TOP OF THE RANGES

AUDI, MERCEDES AND MAZDA HEAD­LINE THE 2016 WORLD CAR OF THE YEAR FI­NAL­ISTS, WRITES DAVID ZAISTEIN

Whangarei Report - - Driven -

Among the frenzy of su­per, hy­per and mega cars re­vealed at last week’s Geneva mo­tor show, the top three fi­nal­ists for the 2016 World Car of the Year award — as well as con­tes­tants for the four key cat­e­gories of World Lux­ury Car, World Per­for­mance Car, World Green Car and World Car De­sign of the Year — were an­nounced.

In the hunt for over­all World Car of the Year brag­ging rights is an all-new trio made up of the ninth-gen­er­a­tion Audi A4, fourth­gen­er­a­tion ND Mazda MX-5 and first Mercedes-benz GLC.

In the lux­ury stakes, it’s the sec­ond­gen­er­a­tion Audi Q7, sixth-gen­er­a­tion BMW 7 Se­ries and se­cond-gen Swedish pow­er­house, the new Volvo XC90.

Ac­count­ing for front, rear and all-wheeldrive cars, the 2016 bat­tle for World Per­for­mance Car will come down to the se­cond-gen­er­a­tion Audi R8, the new tur­bocharged fourth-gen­er­a­tion-based Honda Civic Type R and the mighty twin­tur­bocharged Mercedes-amg C63 Coupe.

At the other end of the spec­trum, the Chevro­let Volt range-ex­ten­der hy­brid takes on the hy­dro­gen fuel cell-pow­ered Toy­ota Mi­rai and “tra­di­tional” hy­brid hero, the Toy­ota Prius, in the 2016 World Car Awards’ green car grudge match.

The source of much de­bate pre and postawards, for 2016, the World Car De­sign of the Year award will go to ei­ther the Jaguar XE, Mazda CX-3 or Mazda MX-5.

Re­gard­less of what we hum­ble on­look­ers may think, the win­ners will be an­nounced on March 24, when a jury of 73 “dis­tin­guished in­ter­na­tional au­to­mo­tive jour­nal­ists” present their fi­nal de­ci­sions at the 2016 New York In­ter­na­tional Auto Show.

Which cars are you tip­ping will take home the sil­ver­ware this year?

Pic­ture / Sup­plied

2016 Audi A4.

Pic­tures / Sup­plied

From the top: Mazda MX-5 roadster; Mercedes-benz GLC; Toy­ota's 4th gen­er­a­tion Prius.

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