The Japanese automaker Suzuki has announced that two of its offerings – the Baleno and Ignis – will be competing in the 2017 World Car of the Year awards (WCOTY). Both the vehicles will be competing with six other new rivals in a brand new category – Urban Car – in the 2017 WCOTY. The India-made Ford KA+ (second generation Ford Figo) is also one of the competitors in this category.
For a vehicle to qualify in the World Urban Car category, first and foremost, it must be less than four metre in length. Additionally, it should also feature a suitable design for everyday use in an urban environment. And finally, it should be on sale at least in two continents by the WCOTY deadline of spring 2017 (second quarter of the year).
The 2017 WCOTY kick started at the 2016 Paris Motor Show. Its jury comprises of seventy three automotive journalists from around the world. There are five categories, namely, World Car of the Year, World Luxury/Performance Car, World Urban Car, World Green Car and the World Car Design of the Year. The results will be declared at the New York International Auto Show in April 2017, and in the meantime, the jurors will put the nominated cars from various categories through their paces.
India was the first market for the Baleno where it was launched on October 26, 2015. The Ignis, which made its debut as a concept at this year’s Indian Auto Expo, will be launched in the country in the first quarter of 2017 (January-March). The production-spec Ignis recently made its debut at the 2016 Paris Motor Show and its European sales will begin in January 2017.