Toyota Prius wins Japan Car of the Year award

TOKYO: Toyota’s all-new Prius has won the coveted Japan Car of the Year (COTY) award here.

Entering the awards ceremony as the favourite to win, the Prius polled a massive 360 votes after the Japan COTY committee introduced a new voting system giving jurors 16 votes to spread between their best three cars.

The BMW X1 finished in second place with 150 votes to take out the Import Car of the Year trophy with the Honda ZR-V crossover coming in third with 100 votes.

According to Prius chief engineer Satoki Oya, the car’s re-invention was a case of extremes when former CEO Akio Toyoda recommended that the Prius, a game-changing petrol-hybrid first introduced in 1997, had run its course and should be retired and relegated to taxi status.

But product planners and engineers, believing the Prius’ fate could be turned around, totally redesigned the exterior and re-thought the powertrain, making the hybrid pioneer the most stylish it’s ever been with significantly increased performance and better fuel economy.

The car has also received praise from media in the US and Europe.

Now in its 44th year, the Japan Car of the Year awards is organised and run by representatives from 39 of the country’s most influential automotive and lifestyle publications who select the 60 jurors each year.
Autos Toyota