Why the Mazda MX-5 is the best car in the world

Okay, we’re in America, and because journalists are often not as cool and reserved as in Europe. But the jubilation surprised yet. Far more than polite applause there, the Mazda MX-5 accompanied, as it is clear that he has brought the design competition at the World Car of the Year (WCOTY), even before the very handsome Jaguar XE is. But this applause was that it will turn out a little later, just a skirmish. I am for some years a member of the jury which elects the World Car of the Year every year. 73 journalists from 23 countries, we are, and in contrast to – added – better known and improved coarse title Car of the Year award is considered our not only for Europe but indeed for the whole world. Therefore also agree North, Central and South American, Chinese, Australian, Japanese, Indians, Koreans and Africans from.

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In one room of the Javits Center, where every year the New York International Auto Show will be held, are to all five categories of the prize, the three finalists, at the top of the stage are – for the World Car of the Year – Audi A4, Mercedes GLC and Mazda MX. 5 Even these top three would have been impossible in the European car of the year, here actually managed almost always the reason of southern Europeans, often come through their voting weight bread-and-butter cars all the way forward, as this year the Opel Astra.  With us from the WCOTY jury I especially Americans and Chinese suspected that she liked to vote in favor of cars that are a bit more. Therefore it does not surprise me that Audi and Mercedes have made it to the top. But the Mazda is an unusual choice, since he has the smallest audience of all, and usually always win on all car prices rounders.


It is just after half past ten in the morning, when jury president Peter Lyon opens the decisive envelope. Even he does not know who will win. The auditor KPMG get our points ratings sent and then keep under wraps until the decision is announced. Therefore no boards in WCOTY ceremony are usually present – would be too uncomfortable it if they had to acknowledge with a narrow smile the victory of a competitor. Peter Lyon pulls the paper out of the envelope and really looks out twice. Then he says: “Mazda MX-5”. And it breaks loose such jubilation, as I have never seen him in such events. The Mazda MX-5, a two-seater roadster, so is the best car in the world. That has something.

It is also very interesting to observe the Japanese present. Mazda has appeared in a very respectable team strength, it is the supreme head of design there (next to the MX-5 was also the CX-3 nominated for the Design Prize), the project leader of the MX-5, the North America CEO. And all do something you rarely at the otherwise restrained Japanese looks: cheer. They are omitted. They radiate, laughing, taking pictures, it is a relief. “We are so proud, we are so surprised!” Cries Nobuhiro Yamamoto, chief engineer for the MX. 5 And Ikuo Maeda, the head of design, tells me: “We have reshaped our design the brand and it has paid off that we make that good design also handicraft good quality..”

But what they most emotional, not to say the Mazda manager, to they are then too polite. But it is clear: Finally, finally they have shown the great times. Mazda is in the circle of the car makes almost a medium-sized company, in any case does not hold a global corporation a protective hand over the Japanese. And of course, the victory of the MX-5 is also a statement of the jury. We all talk about the trends of the future, over the autonomous driving, over assistance systems to the hilt, electric drive and networking. And then because such a small, lightweight stroller, a roofless, with rear-wheel drive, a maximum of 160 hp, a modern classic for relatively little money. And we are weak. We all have the same: Yes, it would actually be driving.

I suspect in any case that some judge the requirements of the evaluation form, where it indeed comes to engine power, safety, environment and use of space, must have interpreted quite personally to allow the victory of Mazda. After all: “Emotional Appeal” is also a category, and there was the MX-5 can not beat. Mazda Roadster can. This has provided the Japanese brand since submitted 1989 MX-5 impressively demonstrated. More than one million copies of the MX-5 have been sold so far. Since autumn 2015, the fourth generation is on the market.

Mazda Roadster can. This has provided the Japanese brand since submitted 1989 MX-5 impressively demonstrated. More than one million copies of the MX-5 have been sold so far. Since autumn 2015, the fourth generation is on the market. Whether the board members of the defeated favorites are saddened or even angry if they might doubt our expertise, I do not know. I advocate that they take it sporty.

And although I myself did not forward the Mazda, but the Audi A4, I am pleased with the victory of this unconventional car. Also because in 1989 presented original MX-5, the first car was, about which I wrote a story. 35 slender lines in “Picture”.

And in this brevity now the winners of the other categories at a glance: World Green Car was the Toyota Mirai fuel cell powered ahead of Toyota Prius and Chevrolet Volt. For me, the VW Passat GTE has triumphed, because plug-in hybrid cars far more CO2 reduction potential than the very few fuel cell vehicles. But VW is obviously difficult at present. CJ Wilson (35) is actually a very successful professional baseball. He plays as a pitcher for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. But although he still has a two-year contract, he is already working on his second career.

World Design Car: Mazda MX-5 before Jaguar XE and Mazda CX-third World Luxury Car: BMW 7 before Volvo XC90 and Audi Q7. World Sports Car: Audi R8 before Mercedes-AMG C63 Coupe and Honda Civic Type R. After the award ceremony I again went to Mazda booth. There now the Japanese managers were also arrived and photographed continues mutually – before exhibited MX-5 RF, which comes as a Targa and the MX-5 concept gives a whole new, very attractive phrase. Strangely, however, the car stood in gray finish against a black wall, as the Mazda-makers had imposed before the show restraint.