NEW YORK—The German hatchback car that was originally designed by an Italian designer and released into the American market 25 years ago has taken the top prize at the 2009 NY International Auto Show.
The VW Golf VI was chosen over two other finalists in the Top World Car class, beating out the Ford Fiesta and the Toyota iQ. The sporty hatchback, now styling the front end grille of the VW Scirocco, comes with a choice of six different engine models, including a 158 horsepower 1.4 liter TSI unit that has both a turbo and a supercharger. Other engine options include a 2.0 liter diesel engine with either 108 hp or 138 hp.
This is the sixth generation of the Golf/GTI hatchback design, and is VW’s bet selling model, having sold over 26 million in over 120 countries worldwide.
VW CEO Stefan Jacoby said on Wednesday at the Jacob Javits Center that “Our focus on fuel efficiency, quality and environmentally friendly cars has proven to be a successful formula,” But added that, though their goal it to outperform the market as a whole, they do not expect to make the same gains in the current economy as in 2008.
VW last year announced their goal to sell 800,000 cars in the U.S. market by 2018.
With a new North American headquarters in Herndon, Va., and a new North American production facility in Chattanooga, Tenn., Jacoby said the company has “put the pedal to the metal” in meeting their ambitious goal.
Other winners at the Auto Show this year were the Nissan GT-R in the performance car category, the Honda FCX Clarity in the Green Car category, and the Fiat 500 in the World Car Design competition.
The venerable Fiat, an iconic Italian auto wonder dating back to 1957, won out over French automaker Citroen’s C5 Sedan/C5 Tourer, and the Jaguar XF- stiff competition for the tiny Italian car that is well suited for maneuvering narrow European streets. The new Cinqueccento, revived last year by Fiat, is larger than its diminutive predecessor but still smaller than the popular Mini Cooper.