By Michael Kinney
NEW YORK– The World Car Finals may have to change its name. After the dominance shown by one company during the car of the year awards, it may be better suited to rename it the Hyundai Awards.
Held at the annual New York International Auto Show, the World Car Finals has turned into the Oscars or Grammys for the automobile industry. And the big winner this year was without a doubt Hyundai.
Out of the six award categories that were featured, Hyundai walked away with three honors. That includes the prestigious World Car of the Year with its 2022 All-Electric IONIQ 5.
“Our vision is to enable Progress for Humanity, and this endorsement of our approach will serve to embolden our commitment to make this vision a reality,” said Jaehoon Chang, President and CEO of Hyundai Motor Company. “IONIQ 5 represents a pivotal achievement for us as we pioneer a new generation of smart mobility solutions with our innovative E-GMP platform technologies, exceptional performance and disruptive approach to design and space. IONIQ 5 has made a strong impression on increasingly eco-conscious consumers around the world, and its success supports the acceleration of electrification of the automotive industry. The pace of change at Hyundai will continue unabated through the rest of 2022 as we will soon be adding to our award-winning IONIQ range.”
The IONIQ5 beat out the Ford Mustang Mach E and the KIA EV6 to take home the top award. It was recognized by a jury of 102 automotive journalists from 33 countries around the world.
The innovative battery electric vehicle (BEV), was a major reason for the car’s success.
The IONIQ 5 also grabbed the World Car Design of the Year and the first-ever World Electric Car of the Year.
“It is a great honor for us. It means a lot to the entire Hyundai motor family. I’d like to say thank you to everyone on behalf of us at Hyundai,” Chang said. “For Hyundai, this is just one step in a long journey to provide more solutions for more people, in more places. We look forward to bringing more to market. Including more brands in the future. I’m confident our team will continue to deliver more designs and deliver sustained solutions and services.”
It should not have been a surprise that Hyundai would have such a banner day. Earlier in the program, Luc Donckerwolke, Hyundai Motor Group’s Executive Vice President for Design and Chief Creative Officer was named the 2022 World Car Person of the Year by The World Car Awards jury panel.
Donckerwolke was chosen by the jury since he has held design responsibility for several highly innovative new models, including the Hyundai IONIQ5, Genesis GV60 and Kia EV6, which were launched over the past year. All three automobiles were a finalist in at least one of the World Car categories this year.
“Imagine giving your kids a prize because he plays with his toys,” Donckerwolke said. “Well, this is how I feel. I’m just a tree hiding in the forest, meaning my great design team. There are good designers everywhere. What makes a difference is management that trusts and empowers the design. This is why I am so grateful to work with a group that trusts us.”
While it was a day to celebrate the success of 2021, Hyundai officials were also looking ahead to the future when they unveiled the 2023 Palisade SUV.
The new Palisade still has a 3.8-liter V6 with 291 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque.
Customers will notice right away the taller and wider grille that blends meaninglessly with the upper daytime running lights on the newly designed Palisade.
Designers also added a new trim level, which they are calling the XRT. It has black roof rails and dark alloy wheels to give it a serious look. As do the 20-inch wheels
It also includes black faun leather, a sunroof, and ar wider center screen (12-inches across, with 720p resolution).
And for those who just like to show off, drivers of the 2003 Hyundai Palisade can move the automobile frontward and backward just using the key fob—while standing outside. Because of its size, this technology allows it to get in and out of cramped spaces a little easier.
“The design of the 2023 Palisade conveys dignified refinement with clear differentiation worthy of a flagship SUV,” a Hyundai spokesman stated. “A wider cascading grille form outlines rugged parametric shield elements for a premium appearance. The new forward lighting signature features vertically connected LED composite lights that frame the grille creating a sharp-edged, technical appeal. New, multi-spoke alloy wheels fill the wheel openings for a solid, premium appearance.”
The 2023 Palisade is expected to go on sale this summer. A price tag has not been announced as of yet.
Story & Photos: Michael Kinney