The Citroën DS3 has just bagged one of the top trophies from the world of motoring journalism – the 2010 Top Gear Car of the Year award.
In the latest issue of Top Gear magazine the funky French hatchback scoops the award, beating off competition from a dozen of the most desirable cars of the last 12 months, including the Koenigsegg Agera, Maserati GranCabrio and Jaguar XJ. It also scooped the award for Small Car of the Year.
So why did Top Gear pick a humble hatchback over a collection of far more exotic machinery? Simply because “most cars feel like they’ve been edited down from something else. The DS3 does not. It is, for its completeness and rounded set of abilities, a bloody triumph”.
“DS3 has pulled off that heady mix of ability, excitement and affordability that’s impossible to ignore. It walks so many fine lines so delicately and so comprehensively that it’s hard to find a chink in the armour. The Top Gear Car of the Year is a small, thoughtful, affordable, stylish, fun little hatchback. It’s the people’s champion.”
There was also the award for Hot Hatch of the Year, and that trophy went to the Volkswagen Golf R. “It’s difficult to know where to start in praising this car, because it’s extraordinarily good at so many things”.
This year was Top Gear’s most spectacular awards issue ever and was shot on location in China, against a backdrop of the Forbidden City, downtown Beijing and the Great Wall. The 12 category winners include nominations from Jeremy, James and Richard which, as you might guess, are picked from the more exotic end of the automotive world.
“Creating our Awards issue is always a special event and this year’s shoot was the most ambitious yet,” says Charlie Turner, Top Gear’s Editor-in-Chief. “Editing 2010’s cars down to just 12 worthy winners was tough enough. Getting them to China – the fastest growing car market in the world – was even tougher. But I’m delighted with the results, and especially delighted to be crowning the DS3 our car of the year.”
Here’s that list of winners in full:
Car of the Year and Small Car of the Year – CITROEN DS3
“Most cars feel like they’ve been edited down from something else. The DS3 does not. It is, for its completeness and rounded set of abilities, a bloody triumph…”
Hypercar of the Year – KOENIGSEGG AGERA
“One of the most devastating road cars ever built. It detonates like a 3,000lb bomb, but the Agera is much more sophisticated than its fission-spec powertrain suggests.”
Cabrio of the Year – MASERATI GRANCABRIO
“Refined grand tourer this may be, but the GranCabrio is still a Maserati: uniquely Italian, seductive and familiar.”
Grand Tourer of the Year – BENTLEY CONTINENTAL GT
“A bruising GT with the pace of a sports car and the luxury and civility of a limousine.”
Hot Hatch of the Year – VOLKSWAGEN GOLF R
“It’s difficult to know where to start in praising this car, because it’s extraordinarily good at so many things…”
Family Car of the Year – BMW 520d TOURING
“If the 520d Touring were to put an advert on a dating website, potential prospects would think it a liar. It offers such a comprehensive set of interlocking genius that it sounds too good to be true…”
Engine of the Year – FIAT TWIN AIR
“A little bundle of energy, charm and downright saintliness to prove our good old friend the gasoline engine is still alive and very much kicking…”
Coupe of the Year – PEUGEOT RCZ
“A beautifully balanced car, easy to drive quickly. The RCZ devours roads with a fluency and ease that most small hot cars simply can’t manage.”
Luxury Car of the Year – JAGUAR XJ
“Rarely has a new car slackened so many jaws. A genuine ambitious Jaguar, a blast from the future rather than the past. It handles like the future, too.”
Jeremy’s Car of the Year – PAGANI ZONDA R
“When your head is pinned into the headrest and your ears are bleeding and you’re frightened by the speed and the savagery and the thrill of it all… who cares if you can’t take it shopping in the drizzle?”
James’s Car of the Year – BUGATTI VEYRON SUPER SPORT
“If you can drive, you can drive the Bugatti. It appears to be a glorious irrelevance, but in fact it couldn’t be more pertinent.”
Richard’s Car of the Year – PORSCHE 911 GT2 RS
“Insane, blindingly fast, flamboyant and it goes against everything I’ve ever said about the 911. Which makes me look like a bit of a monkey.”