If it’s not a Volkswagen, then it is an Audi! As a result, the 2014 World Car of the Year is the Audi A3, the well-known premium compact bestseller from the German carmaker owned by Volkswagen Group. Of course, Audi is not a stranger to this award as it won the inaugural 2005 World Car of the Year title, but also three World Performance Car titles in 2010, 2008 and 2007, and two World Car Design of the Year titles in 2008 and 2007.
Back in 2013, the Volkswagen Golf was the car that won the same title, while in 2012 Volkswagen Up! surprized us all. In 2011, the Nissan Leaf was the lucky winner, but in 2010 Volkswagen’s Polo was the leader, while 2009 saw the Volkswagen Golf. The Mazda2/Demio received the same title in 2008, a year ahead of the Lexus LS460 which was the winner in 2007.
The BMW 3-Series received this award in 2006. As we said, the inaugural title was received by the Audi A6, back in 2005. If the Audi A3 was this year’s winner, the German cars dominated the rest of the titles.
As a result, the BMW i3 is the 2014 World Green Car of the Year but also the 2014 World Car Design of the Year, while the 2014 World Performance Car of the Year is the Porsche 911 GT3, despite the recall. The 2014 World Luxury Car of the Year is the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. For those who don't know, the 2014 European car of the Year is the Peugeot 308.
Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG, said: “The Audi A6 was the first ever winner of this award and we are delighted that the Audi A3 has repeated that achievement by being voted 2014 World Car of the Year. The Audi A3 showcases Audi’s technical competence in all aspects of carmaking, not least in the areas of lightweight technology, drivetrain, mobile infotainment and driver assistance systems. This major award win is an achievement that the whole company can celebrate”.
When Audi introduced the A3 in 1996, the carmaker also effectively created the premium compact segment. Now, the third generation of the A3 is all set to take the lead, with its expected global debut set to happen at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show.
Audi is already developing other versions of the A3 powered by other drives, like hybrid, natural gas as well as Audi e-gas. In 2012, Audi is planning to introduce a version powered by the very efficient 1.6 TDI engine that consumes just 3.8 liters of diesel per 100 km (61.90 US mpg) and emits just 99 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer (159.33 g/mile).
Compared to its predecessor, the third-generation A3 is lighter by around 80 kg (176.37 lbs), thanks to Audi’s ultra lightweight technology. Audi also tuned the chassis of the next-gen A3 to offer a sporty and agile driving style while giving the interior a dynamic appearance. The new Audi A3 is also laden with an array of assistance systems and infotainment features that allow it to redefine the standards of technologies in the premium compact segment.
Just like its predecessor, the new A3 has an overall length of 4.24 meters (13.91 feet), but boasts of a longer wheelbase of 2.60 meter (8.53 feet). This, as well as its styling, gives the A3 a powerful stance on the road, as highlighted by its well-sculpted sheet-metal surfaces and sharp edges.
The overall looks of the new A3 features low-angled C-pillars, a single-frame radiator grille and the optional xenon plus headlights with LED daytime running lights. When xenon plus headlights are availed, the taillights are specified in LED units. Audi is planning to later on offer full-LED headlights.