The CUPRA Leon won the Golden Steering Wheel in the “Small & Compact Cars” category, while the CUPRA Born, CUPRA’s first all-electric model, came out top in “Small & Compact Electric Cars”. The 390PS CUPRA Formentor VZ5 completed the trophy haul, triumphing in the “SUV” category.
The gala event was held on 9th November at the Axel-Springer-Haus in Berlin, and was presented by German television personality Barbara Schöneberger.
Successes in three competitive categories:
CUPRA Formentor VZ5: Best “SUV”
The CUPRA Formentor faced tough competition on the “SUV” category. Voters had a total of 17 cars from 12 different brands to choose from in the first stage, with the top three making it through to the final at the Lausitzring circuit in northeast Germany. There, the powerful VZ5, with its 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine, was crowned the winner by the jury of experts.
“Three years ago, a group of believers had a dream: to create an entirely different brand. Big dreams start with a few believers. The CUPRA Formentor VZ5 is the ultimate statement of what CUPRA is capable of achieving in the combustion world. Racing is part of CUPRA’s DNA and we will continue this way with our future electric models: the CUPRA Tavascan in 2024 and our CUPRA Urban Rebel in 2025.The hattrick with three Goldene Lenkräde shows that the CUPRA Formentor is not a one hit wonder and that more and more customers are looking to join the CUPRA Tribe.” says CUPRA CEO Wayne Griffiths.
CUPRA Born: Best “Small & Compact Electric Car”
In the “Small & Compact Electric Cars” category, the CUPRA Born, CUPRA’s new and first all-electric vehicle, raced to the top with thanks to its mix of emotional design and instantaneous performance.
“We believe electric vehicles shouldn’t be boring. For this reason, we’ve developed a car with a strong CUPRA character that proves that electrification and performance are a perfect match. The CUPRA Born is the brand’s first 100% electric model and the impulse in the EV sector. It is leading the brand’s expansion into new markets, delivering new business models and marks an enormous shift in the industry. The CUPRA Born is a game-changing vehicle; environmentally conscious while inherently dynamic and exciting.” says Dr Werner Tietz, Vice-President of R&D at CUPRA.
CUPRA Leon: Best “Small & Compact Car”
Of all 11 competitors in the “Small & Compact Car” category, the CUPRA Leon came out on top. Originally, it came out triumphant in the readers’ vote, and then entered the final judging stages with 3 other vehicles, where the CUPRA Leon then won over the expert jury.
“Together with Wayne, I am one of the co-founders of the CUPRA brand and these 3 years have been a crazy journey inspiring the world from Barcelona. We are here representing the whole CUPRA Tribe, a group of rebels with a progressive mindset that loves to challenge the status quo to make incredible things happen. The CUPRA Leon is helping us to win over even the most demanding car enthusiast, grow the brand, and take its vehicles to an even broader audience.” says Antonino Labate, Director of Strategy, Business Development and Operation at CUPRA.
Customer and expert jury ratings combined
The Golden Steering Wheel competition was set up by Axel Springer, Europe’s largest publishing house, in 1976. Long established as the most important awards in the automotive industry in Germany, its combination of reader and expert jury votes makes it highly coveted. Editors make the initial vehicle selection, before opening up the votes to Auto Bild and Bild am Sonntag readers for their top three in the various categories.
The finalists are then put through their paces and rated by an expert jury at the Lausitzring. This year’s jury included former racing drivers Joachim Winkelhock and Hans-Joachim Stuck, television presenters Kai Pflaume and Panagiota Petridou, current racing drivers Isolde Holderied and Sophia Flörsch, and many other experts.
Twelve different categories
A total of 12 Golden Steering Wheel awards were presented this year. As well as gold in the 8 vehicle classes: “Small & Compact Cars”, “Small & Compact Electric Cars”, “SUV”, “Electric SUV”, “Mid-Range and Premium Class”, “Electric Mid-Range and Premium Class”, “Sports Cars” and “Vans/Family Steering Wheel”, there was also a Golden Steering Wheel for the “Innovation of the Year”, whilst the “Most Attractive Car” category was a reader’s choice award. The “Best Car up to 25,000 Euros” and the “Best Car up to 35,000 Euros” awards were decided by the editors of Auto Bild.