It’s December again, and aside from the usual festivities surrounding Christmas, it’s also the month when companies wrap up the year with sappy videos, and Car of the Year awards release their final roster. One such award was Japan Car of the Year (JCOTY), who have just announced their winners for the 2022/2023 edition.
The 2022/2023 Japan ‘Car’ of the Year is awarded to a pair of Kei-car EVs, the Nissan Sakura and Mitsubishi eK Cross, seeing that they are both essentially the same car underneath the sheet metal. The win marks the first time that a fully-electric car has won the award outright, and even more incredibly, a tiny pair of kei-cars at that.
It is a genuinely impressive feat, but to be honest, we’re actually more excited about the 2022/2023 Performance Car of the Year. That’s because it was awarded to the Honda Civic e:HEV and Type R, both variants of the car listed under a single entry.
The e:HEV variant, being evaluated as a sports sedan here, was noted for its “modern and smart driving performance thanks to its sophisticated powertrain”. The true sports-car-worthy Type R meanwhile was awarded the win thanks to its “excellent chassis performance” and smooth VTEC turbocharged engine.
On top of that, the Honda Civic also very nearly won the actual Japan Car of the Year award, coming in second with 320 points (compared to the Nissan/Mitsubishi’s 399).
Other award winners in the 2022/2023 JCOTY include the BMW iX for the Design award, The Hyundai Ioniq 5 for the Import Car of the Year award, and the Nissan X-Trail’s powertrain for the Technology award.
The 2022 Honda Civic e:HEV RS was recently launched here in Malaysia, taking the place as the new range-topper of the Civic line-up, with prices starting at RM166,500.
Powering the hybrid Civic is one of the marque’s most powerful e:HEV powertrain, consisting of a 2.0-litre Atkinson-cycle engine acting largely as a generator, and two electric motors – one to drive the front wheels. In total, the hybrid engine makes 184 hp and 315 Nm of torque, translating to a 0-100 km/h sprint time of 7.9 seconds – 0.6 seconds quicker than the petrol-powered RS.
As for the Honda Civic Type R, don’t hold your breath for it to arrive at Malaysian shores anytime soon, seeing that it’s still struggling to keep up with demand in its home country…