The cute and lovable Honda e EV has been named as the overall winner of the German Car of the Year Award 2021, making it the first Japanese car to ever win the accolade. Although, calling it a Japanese car might be a little disingenuous we think, since the car was developed mainly for the European market, and is only sold in the region alongside Japan. Anyway, we digress…
The German Car of the Year (GCOTY) 2021 Award is the latest in a series of prestigious titles awarded to the Honda e since its launch this year, including the “Best of the Best” honours in the Red Dot Design Awards, as well as ‘City/Small Car of the Year’ in the News International Motor Awards 2020, among many others.
The GCOTY is decided by a jury of leading German car journalists, who tests and reviews the latest cars, ranking them according to their usability, driving characteristics, market relevance and level of innovation. The winners of the five categories – Compact, Premium, Luxury, New Energy and Performance – then go head-to-head to decide an overall winner.
The Honda e was named winner in the New Energy category, and went up against the Volkswagen Golf and ID.3, Polestar 2, as well as the BMW Alpina B3 for the overall win. Interestingly, three out of the five nominees are EVs!
Honda Motor Europe president, Katsuhida Okuda said, “For Honda e to be the first Japanese car to be awarded German COTY is a great honour and one we are incredibly proud to receive. Customer and media response to the Honda e since it was first unveiled has been overwhelmingly positive.
“The Honda e is a perfect example of a product with a unique design, featuring cutting-edge technology and advanced intelligent connectivity to keep owners connected with their everyday life. We are very thankful for this award.”
Honda e chief engineer Tomofumi Ichinose added, “Honda e was developed to be the best urban commuter in response to environmental issues, especially in city areas. Development of Honda e was a big challenge, however at the same time, it was fun to envision a beautiful and brighter future in which Honda e plays its part. Team members and I are delighted to receive this award, a recognition that the vision this car represents has value.”
The Honda e was unveiled earlier this year, representing a key step in the brand’s commitment to electrify 100% of its European mainstream models by 2022. Unlike most new EVs that constantly try to push the envelope of pure-electric range, the Honda e is fitted with a small 35.5 kWh battery pack, offering up only 220 km of range.
According to Honda, this was done deliberately as their research shows that most of the additional battery capacity goes unused during city driving – which represents a large majority of everyday car users. A smaller battery means that the car itself can be smaller, making it easier to navigate around the tight city streets, while lowering the weight to add a dash of excitement in the drive.
The Honda e is available in two power output configurations – 100 kW (136 hp) and 113 kW (154 hp), both with 315 Nm of twist. With more torque than the Honda CR-V, the former completes the 0 to 100 km/h sprint in 9.0 seconds, while the latter in 8.3 seconds.