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Toyota wins Japan’s top automotive award


Judges have voted Toyota’s iQ the 2008 Japan Car of the Year by a landslide vote

The diminutive iQ, which Toyota calls the world’s smallest four-seater passenger car, scored more than double the points of the second placed Citroen C5.

Thirty-nine of the 65 judges gave the Toyota top marks, praising the iQ for its space efficiency and design, particularly its ability to seat four people within a body less than three metres long. They also liked its combination of high safety and low CO2 emissions.

Nissan’s GT-R polled third, ahead of the Audi A4 and Jaguar XF. The Nissan did, however, pick up the gong for Most Advanced Technology, hardly surprising given the level of electronic wizardry incorporated in the GT-R.

The COTY jury said the GT-R is “a supercar that delivers powerful performance and clean emission, featuring an advanced new body structure combining carbon, aluminium and steel, in addition to its impressive dual-clutch transmission and the world’s first independent transaxle 4WD.”

The GT-R arrives here as an official Nissan model next year. Some have already arrived as used imports from Japan. Nissan NZ says it’s holding off until the service network needed for the high-tech car is in place and technicians have been trained.

Auto Trader New Zealand