Choosing the best car and motorcycle from the many launches through the year wasn’t an easy task for the jury members.
As the drums roll, the entire automobile industry anxiously crossed their fingers and hoped they make the cut for the two most prestigious automotive awards in the country – the Indian Car & Motorcycle of the Year (ICOTY & IMOTY) awards. Dubbed the ‘Oscars’ of the Indian automotive industry, this is the only award for which leading journalists from the industry get together to select the top car and motorcycle of the year.
This year was ICOTY’s 12th edition and IMOTY’s 10th. The ICOTY and IMOTY juries are chaired by Bob Rupani and Aspi Bhathena respectively. These independent awards, judged by experts, have been gaining prominence with each passing year and have been sponsored by JK Tyre ever since their inception.
The jury consists of experienced automotive journalists from leading publications. The total experience of the ICOTY jury totals over 220 years of Indian automotive experience. It’s this experience that helps the jury to shortlist the contenders and choose the winners. The vehicles are judged on set parameters, such as fuel efficiency, comfort, design, performance and technology. Another important factor that’s kept in mind is how these vehicles adapt to Indian road conditions. Moreover, for any vehicle to qualify, it must be made in India.
The ICOTY 2017 jury included Yogendra Pratap and Rahul Ghosh (Auto Today), Dhruv Behl and Ishan Raghava (AutoX), Girish Karkera and Sriram Narayanan (BBC Top Gear), Aspi Bhathena and Jim Gorde (Car India), Sirish Chandran and Aninda Sardar (Evo India), Bertrand D’souza and Bop Rupani (Overdrive), Pablo Chaterji (Man’s World), Kartik Ware (Motoring World) and Muralidhar Swaminathan (The Hindu Business Line).
This year 13 contenders made it for the final ICOTY jury round, held at Khushru Patel’s beautiful farmhouse in Lonavala, are as follows – the Ford Endeavour, Toyota Fortuner, Hyundai Tucson, Honda BR-V, Maruti Suzuki Brezza, Skoda Superb, Volkswagen Ameo, Datsun redi-GO, Tata Tiago, Mahindra KUV100, Toyota Innova Crysta and Isuzu D-Max V-Cross.
Following endless discussions, the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza managed to score the maximum points to take top honours as the 2017 Indian Car of the Year. The Hyundai Tucson placed second, with the Toyota Innova Crysta taking third.
This year, the IMOTY jury members shortlisted 12 motorcycles. The contenders for the most credible and coveted motorcycle award in the country are: the Kawasaki Versys 650, Royal Enfield Himalayan, TVS Apache RTR 200 4v, TVS Victor, Hero Achiever, Yamaha Saluto RX, Honda Navi, Honda CB Hornet 160R, DSK Benelli TNT 25, Bajaj V15, Hero Splendor iSmart 110 and UM Renegade.
A great blend of performance, handling, good design, quality and comfort made the TVS Apache RTR 4V the 2017 Indian Motorcycle of the Year. The Royal Enfield Himalayan was also a popular favourite among the jury members finishing in second place. But the surprise package was the middle-weight Kawasaki Versys 650 that secured third place.
The IMOTY jury comprises of Rahul Ghosh (Auto Today), Arup Das and Jared Solomon (AutoX), Debabrata Sarkar and Christopher Chaves (BBC Top Gear), Aspi Bhathena and Sarmad Kadiri (Bike India), Sirish Chandran and Aninda Sardar (Evo India), Pablo Chaterji (Man’s World), Kartik Ware and Ruman Devmane (Motoring World), Shubhabrata Marmar and Rishaad Mody (Overdrive).
Sponsored by JK Tyre, the winners of the 2017 ICOTY and IMOTY were announced at a gala event at the Taj Lands End in Mumbai on the 20th of December. Prior to the much-awaited announcement, Gary Lawyer, renowned singer and songwriter, set the stage and got the crowd grooving to some motoring-themed rock melodies.
Congratulating the winners, Dr. Raghupati Singhania, Chairman & Managing Director, JK Tyre & Industries Limited, said, “It’s been over a decade since the first ICOTY Awards were instituted to honour achievements and excellence in the Indian automobile industry. Today, these awards have set benchmarks for Indian automakers, egging them on to put their best foot forward and deliver vehicles that capture the nation’s imagination in the best way possible. JK Tyre has been associated with ICOTY and IMOTY since the time of their inception, and it is with great pride that we can say that today these awards have inspired automakers to innovate every year in terms of engineering, design, cost-effectiveness, adaptability to local conditions, not to forget consumer satisfaction, to stand out in the competition. I congratulate Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza and TVS Apache RTR 200 4V for the innovation and creativity in their vehicles and for being successful in satiating the needs of their consumers.”