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Renault Clio gets gold

Winners grin: Norbert Reithofer and Franz Beckenbauer from BMW AG with the 3 Series, which won best ‘upper and middle class’ car.

BMW and Renault among winners as Golden Steering Wheel awards announced

General News logo12 Nov 2012

THE new Renault Clio due in Australian showrooms in mid-2013 has taken out the small-car category at the annual Golden Steering Wheel awards in Germany.

The awards, announced at a ceremony in Berlin on November 7, are run together by Germany’s largest Sunday newspaper Bild am Sonntag and the world’s largest car magazine Auto Bild.

Votes on the 44-car field were posted by race drivers, motoring writers and technicians, with the publications’ circa-73 million readers also involved.

Unlike most other major motoring awards, the Golden Steering Wheel splits the winners into seven vehicle categories – without one overall winner – and this year the categories were won by seven different vehicle manufacturers, with all but one being a European brand.

Aside from the Clio – which won best small car – other winners were the new Audi A3 (compact cars), BMW 3 Series (middle and upper class), Ferrari F12 Berlinetta (cabriolets and coupes), Mercedes-Benz GL-Class (SUVs), Opel Zafira (vans) and Toyota Yaris Hybrid (the green award).

 center imageLeft: Volkswagen AG's Ferdinand Piech.

BMW also won the Advertising Steering Wheel for best marketing campaign, while Volkswagen AG veteran and current chairman of the supervisory board Ferdinand Piech won an honourary award for “outstanding services to the automobile” – the second time he has won such an accolade.

Most of the segment-winning cars are on track for Australian launch by the middle of next year (the 3 Series sedan is here already), with the GL due in the first quarter, the five-door A3 due in the second and deliveries of the F12 Berlinetta to kick off by mid-2013.

However, Opel Australia has said there are no plans to add the Zafira people-mover to its line-up in the foreseeable future, and Toyota Australia bypassed the petrol-electric Yaris in favour of the similarly sized Prius C.

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