With just a little more than a week to go to bid goodbye to 2014, it is time to look back at the spate of cars and motorcycles launched in the Indian market this year and crown the best of them all. The annual Indian Car of the Year (ICOTY) and Indian Motorcycle of the Year (IMOTY) awards do just that. Modelled on the lines of similar titles awarded in North America, Europe and Japan, the jury for ICOTY and IMOTY consists of experienced automotive journalists from reputed publications like Top Gear, Motoring World, Car India, Overdrive, Auto Bild, AutoX, Evo and Hindu Business Line.
Getting together and deciding on this year's winners would sure have been a tough act for those involved, given that 2014 witnessed the launch of several key models in India with top brands like Maruti-Suzuki, Hyundai and Honda launching more than one model each. While the Celerio, Ciaz and Alto K10 kept Maruti-Suzuki's flag flying, Hyundai had the Xcent and i20 vying for honours. The all-new City and Mobilio were Honda's hopes for the title. Giving them tough competition were the new Mahindra Scorpio, Tata Zest and Toyota Corolla Altis.
At the end of their evaluation, it was the i20 that came out on top with Hyundai handsomely taking home yet another Indian Car of the Year award. This is the third time in ten years and the second consecutive year a Hyundai car has won the title. The original i10 won the award in 2008 while its successor Grand i10 romped home with the same last year. We just spent considerable time with the new i20 and couldn't praise enough its impressive style quotient, feature-packed interiors and the powerful yet frugal diesel engine. In short, the i20 is an excellent all-rounder and that's what has sealed the fate of its competitors this year.
2015 ICOTY RESULTS:
Winner - Hyundai i20
PREVIOUS ICOTY WINNERS:
* 2014 - Hyundai Grand i10
* 2013 - Renault Duster
* 2012 – Maruti-Suzuki Swift
* 2011 – Ford Figo
* 2010 – Tata Nano
When it comes to motorcycles, Harley-Davidson's efforts in developing an all-new platform specifically for emerging markets like India didn't go unnoticed with the popular Street 750 cruiser bagging the Indian Motorcycle of the Year title. Despite brand connoisseurs pointing out some rough edges, the Street 750 embodies all things that made Harleys popular and, at around INR 5 Lakhs, increases the reach of this iconic brand tremendously. KTM's RC 200 and 390 twins, Kawasaki's ER-6N and Z250, Triumph's impressive lineup of Thruxton, Daytona 675R, Bonneville and Street Triple, Suzuki Gixxer and Bajaj's Discover 150 were the other contenders for the award.
2015 IMOTY RESULTS:
Winner – Harley-Davidson Street 750
PREVIOUS IMOTY WINNERS:
* 2014 - Royal Enfield Continental GT
* 2013 - KTM Duke 200
* 2012 – Honda CBR 250R
* 2011 – Honda CB Twister
* 2010 – Kawasaki Ninja 250R
Both the award-winners are off to a flying start in India and would, most likely, end up making the respective manufacturers expand to hitherto unseen levels.