BMW i3 crowned 2014 Wheels Car of the Year

 

  • BMW i3 is the first ever electric vehicle to win the award
  • First time a BMW has claimed Wheels’ Car of the Year
  • BMW i3 recognised for revolutionary concept, dynamics and construction
  • Reaffirms BMW’s status as the vanguard of automotive innovation
  • Wheels Car of the Year is the world’s longest continually running automotive award, now in its 52nd year
  • Awarded by a panel of seven automotive experts boasting over 150-years experience in automotive journalism, design and engineering
  • All significant new models launched in a calendar year are eligible for the prize

 

The BMW i3 has overcome a host of high-ranking challengers to be crowned the 2014 Wheels Car of the Year in a gala ceremony held in The Carousel in Albert Park, Melbourne last night.

The first ever electric vehicle to claim Australia’s most coveted motoring prize, the BMW i3 was recognised for its revolutionary concept, dynamics and construction and further consolidates the marque’s reputation as the world’s most sustainable automotive manufacturer.

The BMW i3’s triumph marks the first time the Bavarian institution has claimed the revered prize.

Wheels Magazine’s Editor, Glenn Butler, said the BMW i3 "is a car both courageous and convincing. Other brands surely possess the know-how to have created something equally visionary. BMW had the bravery.

"This innovative and compact electric car combines expressive design, impressive engineering, exceptional efficiency and persuasive practicality with a good deal of driver appeal.

"For its far-sighted clarity of vision and unswerving execution, the i3 is Wheels Car of the Year 2014.”

Describing the award as iconic in the industry, BMW Group Australia Managing Director Marc Werner thanked Wheels for recognising the BMW i3 as a game changer.

“The BMW i3 has won some high profile international awards since its launch, but the Wheels Car of the Year prize is clearly at the top of the tree. It stands out for being Australia’s top vehicle award, and also the longest continuously running award in the world,” Werner said.

“Wheels Car of the Year is renowned for including rigorous and comprehensive testing by Australia’s toughest automotive journalists. It’s proof of a vehicle’s performance against the five selected award criteria – function, technology, efficiency, safety and value.

Werner added: “And because we know just how tough the testing is, we’re absolutely thrilled, excited and delighted that the BMW i3 is Wheels’ Car of the Year – and the first-ever electric vehicle to claim this coveted award.

“I know that every single member of the BMW family will feel the same, and will join me in thanking the judges, the editor and the publisher.”

The world’s first purpose-designed premium electric car, the BMW i3 represents the future of urban mobility, placing sustainability, inspiring design and dynamic driving at the forefront of its mission, capable of travelling between 160km and 200km on a single charge.

Defining premium for the next generation, the BMW i3 reaffirms the automaker’s place at the vanguard of industry innovation, embodying the brand’s holistic approach to sustainability. Developed at BMW AG’s carbon neutral Leipzig facility, the BMW i3 is designed to be as sustainable as possible from the factory to the road, encompassing its entire life until disposal.

Heralding the arrival of a new paradigm for the car industry, the BMW i3’s carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) passenger cell is a world first for a volume-production vehicle, with the material produced at a US plant drawing upon regenerative hydro-electric power.

While the lightweight technology aids efficiency, the use of carbon fibre reinforced plastic also enables new design possibilities, generating more interior space and complex, aerodynamically optimised forms.

The exclusive use of sustainable materials characterises the BMW i3’s interior, harnessing innovative materials, including fibres from the Kenaf plant, naturally tanned leather from south-German cattle hides as well as open-pored eucalyptus wood, 100 per cent certified as the product of responsible forestry.

Boasting an aluminium drive platform, and advanced, efficient BMW eDrive electric powertrain, the BMW i3 delivers excellent driving dynamics and a typical range of between 160 to 200 km on one charge.

About Wheels Magazine Car of the Year

Established in 1953, Wheels is Australia’s most revered and authoritative car publication, presenting 164 glossy pages of articles and photography from some of Australia's, and the world’s best journalists.

Awarded by a panel of seven automotive experts boasting over 150-years experience in automotive journalism, design and engineering, the Wheels Car of the Year is the world’s longest continually running automotive award, and is now in its 52nd year.

All significant new models launched in a calendar year are eligible for the prize, with the best shortlisted for seven days of gruelling testing by the nation’s toughest motoring judges, including Wheels editor Glenn Butler.

The BMW Group

With its three brands BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce, the BMW Group is the world’s leading premium manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles and also provides premium financial and mobility services. As a global company, the BMW Group operates 30 production and assembly facilities in 14 countries and has a global sales network in more than 140 countries.

In 2014, the BMW Group sold approximately 2.118 million cars and 123,000 motorcycles worldwide. The profit before tax for the financial year 2013 was € 7.91 billion on revenues amounting to approximately € 76.06 billion. As of 31 December 2013, the BMW Group had a workforce of 110,351 employees.

The success of the BMW Group has always been based on long-term thinking and responsible action. The company has therefore established ecological and social sustainability throughout the value chain, comprehensive product responsibility and a clear commitment to conserving resources as an integral part of its strategy.

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