NEW YORK – April 2, 2015

The Citroën C4 Cactus was declared the 2015 World Car Design of the Year at the New York International Auto Show.   The World Car Design of the Year category, and the corresponding award, are meant to highlight new vehicles with innovation and style that push established boundaries.  A 75-strong judging panel voted the Citroen C4 Cactus in top place for the accolade of World Car Design of the Year, ahead of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Volvo XC90.

C4 Cactus - World Car Design of the Year 1

Other World Car winning announcements were:

  • World Performance Car of the Year: Mercedes-AMG GT
  • World Luxury Car of the Year: Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe
  • World Green Car of the Year: BMW i8

Candidates for the design award may be on the overall World Car of the Year list OR may be included as a stand-alone entry provided the vehicle is available in quantities of at least 10 in one major market during the period beginning January 1, 2014 and ending May 31, 2015.   Candidates may be pre-production or all-new production.
A design panel consisting of five highly respected world design experts was asked to first review each candidate, and then establish a short-list of recommendations for the jurors.  The design experts were:

  • Masatsugu Arimoto (Japan – Freelance design journalist)
  • Silvia Baruffaldi (Italy – Auto & Design magazine)
  • Gernot Bracht (Germany – Pforzheim Design School)
  • Sam Livingstone (U.K. – Car Design Research and Royal College of Art)
  • Tom Matano (USA – School of Industrial Design at Academy of Art University in San Francisco)

The experts commented that, “The Cactus is a truly innovative piece of design.  It has an appealingly distinct exterior announced first by its slender upper front lights, proportions slightly different to any other car, and by those stand-out ‘air-bumps’ that help safeguard against parking scrapes.  Inside it eschews lots of dials and buttons for a very minimal uncluttered approach: controls centred on and around a central digital screen and many of the core surfaces and volumes kept linear, reduced, and pleasantly un-car-like.  The Cactus design is a proper breath of fresh air.”

C4 Cactus - interior 2

The 75 World Car Awards jurors then voted on the expert’s recommendations in February and their ballots were tabulated by the international accounting firm KPMG.

A short-list of three finalists were announced in March month at the Geneva International Motor Show: the Citroen C4 Cactus, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and the Volvo XC90.

Linda Jackson, Citroën CEO said,  “By giving this prestigious title to the C4 Cactus, all of Citroën’s daring and creativity is rewarded.  The C4 Cactus is like no other car, it’s a Citroën, and the Citroën design is like no other. Citroën has a unique identity all over the world, which has been our recipe for success in the past, in the present, and will be in the future.  We are convinced that we have something very strong with C4 Cactus and we believe that we have started a new chapter in our history.  We have not finished surprising you! “

As surprising as the news itself may be, (the C4 Cactus debuted to mixed reviews from die hard classic Citroën enthusiasts), Citroën targeted the car to appeal to a new generation of buyers by managing to infuse a less-is-more mentality akin to the 2CV but with a stylistic modern crossover design.  As we’ve said before, we can even see a faint hint of Méhari though in a far more sophisticated and contemporary design.

C4 Cactus - World Car Design of the Year 2

The C4 has been a winning model for Citroën in the World Car Awards program    They won the inaugural 2006 World Car Design of the Year award for the C4.   Previous winners of the World Car Design of the Year award – now in its 11th year, were the BMW i3 (2014), the Jaguar F-Type(2013) , the Range Rover Evoque (2012), the Aston Martin Rapide (2011), the Chevrolet Camaro (2010), the Fiat 500 (2009), the Audi R8 (2008), the Audi TT (2007) and the Citroën C4 (2006).  And, Citroën has been a “Top Three in the World” finalist in the world design category a total of 6 times out of 10 including this year.  (2015, 2012, 2010, 2009, 2007 and 2006).

Robert Monteleone, who attended the awards announcement this morning, managed to get a photo taken of himself with the World Car Design of the Year award.   The “Citroën” badge was a nice touch!   🙂

Robert Monteleone - C4 World Car Design of the Year award

For additional information on the World Car Awards visit their web site (www.wcoty.com).