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2015 European Car Of The Year Candidates: Part One

By raccars Published

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Thirty two vehicles have been announced as contenders for the 2015 European Car of the Year awards, with the winner due to be announced at March's Geneva Motor Show. In the meantime, judges will weed out 25 of those to come up with a shortlist of seven.

Among the candidates is the new generation Audi TT, stylistically very similar to the previous model but boasting lots of new technology. Its German rival BMW has a number of entries on the list, including its first front wheel drive production car, the 2 Series Active Tourer. This has raised some purists' eyebrows, but is good enough to be included along with the new 2 Series Coupe, a replacement for the 1 Series Coupe. The i8 hybrid supercar has provoked a lot of interest, while the X4 coupe style SUV is a little more controversial.

The new Citroen C1 is a funky city car with a cute roll back soft top and plenty of personalisation options, but it's the manufacturer's new C4 Cactus that is a really refreshing entry to the ECOFTY list. Citroen decided to start from scratch by thinking about what customers really needed apart from performance, and came up with 'Airbumps' - protective side panels to reduce damage from parking scrapes.

The Fiat 500X sees the Italian brand following Mini's lead by kitting its little car out for some off roading action, while Ford has a couple of very different entries: the new EcoSport SUV, which has received a lukewarm response from the automotive press, and the long awaited new Mondeo, with a super efficient engine range and plenty of high tech features.

The Hyundai i20 is not due out until next year but is an excellent example of the kind of quality, comfort and practicality already seen in the brand's current line up and which it hopes will help it to rival the likes of Toyota and Ford.

Infiniti's Sebastian Vettel assisted Q50 is designed to help the manufacturer take on the Audi A4 and BMW 3 Series, while Jeep has found a place on the list for its all new compact off roader, the Renegade. The Kia Soul has always looked unusual but the new generation is spacious and characterful, while at the other end of the scale is the Lexus NX, another premium entry to the crossover market. Lexus's RC sports coupe is aggressive looking and powerful enough to provoke interest, even among premium rivals.

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