The BMW i3 has won two World Car of the Year awards – despite being beaten by the Peugeot 308 for the 2014 European Car of the Year.
The electric car beat 27 other candidates to be crowned the 2014 World Car Design of the Year, with judges commenting:
“Unlike other BMW cars, the i3 has a boxy shape, which suggests roominess and efficiency. But it still retains BMW’s typical dynamism thanks to the larger diameter wheels and the very short overhangs both on front and rear.
“Besides that, the i3 expresses the sub-brand’s own character with using unique design features, including the black bonnet and the side window graphics that goes through the rear pillar. The interior is more surprising and attractive. It marks radical leap of car interior design, and it spreads as calm yet rich feeling as a modern living room.”
Motoring Research’s Peter Burgess, who was on the judging panel for the award, said: “Personally I think the i3 is an ugly little brute. Yet it is also a stand-out design and arguably that’s what’s needed when entering a wholly new market area. It gets my vote.”
Other finalists for the design award included the Mazda3 and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class.
Meanwhile, the i3 also won the 2014 World Green Car award, coming above the Audi A3 Sportback g-tron and the Volkswagen XL1.
The panel said: “Radical in looks, construction, and powertrain, the BMW i3 is one of very few clean-sheet-of-paper cars designed from the ground up for efficiency, with the different needs of the new century’s megacities in mind.
“From its last-kilometre navigation system to take drivers from car to destination, to the shipped-around-the-world carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic body shell without a B-pillar, the BMW i3 pushes boundaries on many fronts.”
The BMW i3 was in the running for World Car of the Year, but didn’t make the shortlist of three. The BMW 4 Series did, however, as did the Mazda 3 – and the Audi A3 was crowned the winner at the New York motor show last week.