The Indian Car of the Year and Indian Motorcycle of the Year 2017 were announced at a glittering ceremony in Mumbai on December 20, 2016. On behalf of the juries of ICOTY and IMOTY 2017 (MW is a member of both juries), Dr. Raghupati Singhania, Vice- Chairman and Managing Director, JK Tyre & Industries Limited, handed over the trophies to the teams from Maruti Suzuki and TVS Motors. The Chairmen of the ICOTY and IMOTY juries, Bob Rupani and Aspi Bathena, presented to the winners a certificate signed by all the jury members. To celebrate the occasion, the well-known singer Gary Lawyer gave a splendid performance of ‘Motoring Music’, specially curated for the ceremony.
These two awards have emerged as the most credible and coveted auto awards in India, and are now considered the Oscars of Indian automotive awards. They are an expert and independent judgment of the best new car and motorcycle, and the awards have been getting increasingly prominent with each passing year. JK Tyre has been sponsoring the awards ever since their inception. Congratulating the winners, Dr. Singhania said “It’s been over a decade since the first ICOTY and IMOTY Awards were instituted to honour achievements and excellence in the Indian automobile industry. Today, these Awards have set benchmarks for Indian automakers, egging them on to put in their best foot forward and deliver vehicles which capture the nation’s imagination in all ways possible. JK Tyre has been associated with ICOTY and IMOTY since the time of their inception, and it is with great pride that we can say that today these awards have inspired automakers to innovate every year in terms of engineering, design, cost-effectiveness, adaptability to local conditions, not to forget consumer satisfaction, to stand out in the competition. I congratulate the Maruti Suzuki and TVS for the innovation and creativity in their vehicles and for being successful in satiating the needs of their consumers. This is a deserving recognition of the efforts they have put to bring out the best-in-class cars and motorcycles. At the same time, I would also like to congratulate all contenders for having put in so much effort. It is in true sense a celebration of the Olympian spirit of participation that makes everyone a winner.”
13 cars and 12 two-wheelers made it to the final jury round, held in Lonavala at Khushru Patel’s beautiful stud farm and bungalow. The top six contenders among cars were the Ford Endeavour, Hyundai Tuscon, Hyundai Elantra, Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Toyota Innova Crysta and Skoda Suberb. In a very close contest, the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza emerged the winner, while the runner up was the Hyundai Tuscon, with the Toyota Innova Crysta clinching third spot. Interestingly, the Brezza was almost entirely designed and developed in India by the Chief Engineer for the Vitara Brezza Project C.V. Raman and his team.
As for the two-wheelers, the final shortlist of five bikes was made up of the Kawasaki Versys 650 ABS, TVS Apache RTR 200 4V, Royal Enfield Himalayan, Honda Navi, and TVS Victor. After keen deliberation, the TVS Apache RTR 200 4V rose to victory, with the Kawasaki Versys 650 ABS clinching the runner’s up position and the Royal Enfield Himalayan rounding off the top three. The Apache RTR 200 4V is the latest in TVS’ celebrated line of performance-oriented street naked bikes.
The juries of ICOTY and IMOTY 2017 consisted of Yogendra Pratap and Rahul Ghosh (Auto Today), Dhruv Behl, Ishan Raghava, Arup Das and Jared Solomon (Auto X), Aspi Bhathena, Jim Gorde and Sarmad Kadiri (Car India), Sirish Chandran and Aninda Sardar (Evo India), Kartik Ware and Ruman Devmane (Motoring World), Bertrand D’souza, Bob Rupani, Shubhabrata Marmar and Rishaad Mody (Overdrive), Girish Karkera, Sriram Narayanan, Debabrata Sarkar and Christopher Chaves (Top Gear), Muralidhar Swaminathan (The Hindu Business Line) and Pablo Chaterji (MW). In all, nine prestigious publications were represented on the juries.
This specialist jury, consisting of 23 senior Indian automotive journalists, is the best from the industry and together, they have over 250 years of automotive evaluation experience. The jury members are known for their analytical skills and competence in evaluating cars and two-wheelers, and are responsible for selecting a single decisive winner in both categories; the voting process has been designed to be fair, unbiased and tamper proof. Thanks to all this, the ICOTY and IMOTY trophies are the ones every manufacture wants to win. The awards are in line with international standards and modelled on the American Car of the Year, European Car of the Year and Japanese Car of the Year. The eligible cars are judged on various parameters such as price, fuel efficiency, styling, comfort, safety, features, performance, practicality, technical innovation, value for money and above all suitability for Indian consumers and driving conditions.