The Tata Nano, on Friday evening, drove away with a double whammy of awards, Car of the Year, and Small Car of the Year, at the 2010 edition of the Bloomberg UTV-Autocar Awards.
The ceremony, held at a suburban hotel, was a contest between 21 cars that hit the showrooms in 2009, including saloons, hatchbacks and SUVs. The vehicles competed on the basis of features, looks, comfort and drivability, among other parametres.
The chief guests for the evening included Formula 1 racing champion Narain Karthikeyan and Autocar UK Editor Ches Hallet. The 10-member jury, which was judging its sixth consecutive Autocar Awards, included – for cars – automobile designer Dilip Chhabria, rally champion Naren Kumar and former rally driver Rajeev Khanna among others, and for bikes, motorcycle racer Shyam Kothari, Autocar’s in-house bike expert Rishad Cooper, and anchor of Autocar’s TV show, Kartikeya Singhee.
Ratan Tata, chairman of the Tata Group, went up on stage to collect the award for the Nano. He said: “I’d like to thank the engineers at the Tata factories for putting in all this hard work. I sincerely hope the car gives people some happiness.”
While the Nano was named best car, the Bajaj Pulsar 135 4v was judged Bike of the Year. The other awards were for luxury SUV, which was bagged by the Audi Q5, and Saloon of the Year, which went to the Chevrolet Cruze. The Maruti Ritz was declared Premium Hatchback of the Year.
Editor of Autocar, India, Hormazd Sorabjee said: “The Nano has proved that it is a complete game changer, by moving the goalposts in the small car segment. Why it’s deserving of the best car award is simply because of its great appearance and affordability.”