Mazda MX-5 named 2016 World Car of the Year, Audi R8 snags Performance title

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

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Mazda’s MX-5 Miata is the hot ticket right now.

Following yesterday’s debut of the awesome RF version, the regular model, on sale since last year, has just been awarded the title of 2016 World Car of the Year.

With its sporty handling and no-nonsense design the latest Miata is an impressive car, so we’re not surprised that the judges gave it the top gong. Other top contenders included the somewhat mundane Audi A4 and Mercedes-Benz GLC.

CHECK OUT: 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF is a droptop fastback dandy: Live photos and video

The judges praised the Miata for staying true to the ethos of the original. They also acknowledged the car’s low weight and driving qualities.

The Miata also won the title for the World Car Design of the Year award. Here, the runner-up models were the Jaguar XE and Mazda CX-3.

2016 Audi R8 LMS race car and 2017 R8

2016 Audi R8 LMS race car and 2017 R8

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For the World Performance Car of the Year title, the judges went with the Audi R8. They liked its distinctive design and closeness to the dedicated racing version. Remember, the two cars pretty much feature identical engines. The runner-up models included the Honda Civic Type R and Mercedes-AMG C63 Coupe.

2016 BMW 7-Series

2016 BMW 7-Series

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The World Luxury Car of the Year title went to the BMW 7-Series, which edged out the Audi Q7 and Volvo XC90. The judges praised the car’s many technical aspects and strong driving dynamics.

ALSO SEE: 2017 Nissan GT-R gets new look, 565 horsepower: Live photos and video

2016 Toyota Mirai

2016 Toyota Mirai

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And finally, the World Green Car of the Year title went to the Toyota Mirai, which finished ahead of Toyota’s Prius and the Chevrolet Volt. The judges see the hydrogen fuel cell-equipped car as having changed the green car landscape, just as the Prius did two decades ago.

For more from the New York Auto Show, head to our dedicated hub.

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