Overdrive awards 2009

2009 OD Awards contenders It was great to see overdrive awards there... here is the list of award winning bikes and cars ....

Car of the Year: Skoda Fabia

The fundamental question � what is the Car of the Year award all about? It is not, as is often assumed, to highlight cars that are incrementally better than the ones they replace. Nor is it to pick out the best small car in India, simply because Indians buy small cars. What we're looking for is the one car that has radically altered the dynamics of the Indian auto scene in general and its segment in particular. And that's why the Skoda Fabia is the 2009 car of the year.
Not since the Swift has a car turned accepted rules on its head. This might be a small car in size (and boot space) but in all other respects (including price) this is a car knocks the wind out of most sedans' sails. The interiors are a class apart � in quality, space and design. The dynamics, especially ride, are brilliant. And crucially when you drive a Fabia it makes you feel good about owning it, and not that you couldn't afford a bigger, more expensive car. Considering where our country is heading � towards increased congestion, fuel prices and pollution � here's a car that address all of these issues while not leaving you shortchanged.

Bike of the Year: Yamaha YZF-R15

Yamaha's YZF-R15 should have won this award with greater ease. Full credit for Yamaha for making it hard on the R15 with the excellent FZ16. But where the FZ16 is a quick, stylish and capable commuter, the YZF-R15 represents a big step forward for Indian motorcycling. Every single part of the motorcycle, for instance, is there for a purpose. The technology laden engine - liquid cooling, four valves and more, the slick mini-R1 fairing, proper big bike looks and a full set of features don't even begin to give you perspective on why the R15 is such an important motorcycle. You see, this Yamaha breaks the commuter stranglehold and redefines Indian motorcycling. All of the little details add up to create a fantastic motorcycle that is highly attuned to its purpose. Meet India's first production sportsbike. We're not kidding. We might have R1s and its ilk on sale in the country, but it is this motorcycle that will bring the joy and intensity of sports motorcycling to a wider audience. Cynics who have dismissed the 'normal' displacement of the Yamaha's motor have had to eat their words as the effortless Yamaha with its fluent dynamic ability disappeared into the distance ahead of competitors with larger engines and even larger reputations.

Mid-Size Car of the year: Fiat Linea

Fiat's Linea is a very, very important car. The runaway C-segment race has been incomplete without a proper diesel offering and that's been addressed. Not only does the Linea offer that highly attractive alternative, the motor in question is wrapped in a deliciously Italian sedan that's perfectly suited to Indian tastes. The robust car is well suited to India, offers loads on interior room and best of all, is superb value for your money.
*The Linea was due for a December 2008 launch, but unfortunate events in Mumbai led to the postponement of the launch to January 2009. Fiat chose not to celebrate the new launch in the middle of a nationwide crisis. So we chose to reciprocate by still considering the car for the awards. That it has won the award, of course, is purely down to the car's excellence.

UV of the Year: Chevrolet Captiva

General Motors did the smart thing by launching the Captiva in India. You see, the closest diesel SUV, price-wise, to the butch Captiva is a fair distance away. The strong engine powers an impressive looking, generously sized SUV that seats seven easily, offers the gamut of in-cabin features and goes about town with an effortless, plush feel that is just right for our urbana. The packaging is smart and the choice of only two-wheel drive reinforces the role clarity of the Captiva. It is meant to be a slick SUV for urban India, and in that role, it is nigh-on perfect.

Manufacturer of the Year: Maruti Suzuki

For more than two decades, Maruti Suzuki's position at the head of the car market has been unassailable. Like the soft-spoken Brando from Godfather, Maruti's gone about quietly consolidating its position, bolstering that with a strong export push. No surprise then that recognition has come to the Indian operation - it's the central cog in Suzuki's international small car plans.

Auto Commercial: Pulsar Mania

We all stopped surfing channels to gawp at this advertisement. Bajaj roped in stunt stars like AC Farias for Pulsarmania and the result clanged our jaws off the tyre-streaked tarmac. Superbly choreographed and shot, the graphic clip never forgot its central message either. Superbly executed, massively popular and ultimately, the best automotive advertisement we've seen this year.

Green Award: Honda Civic

The need to be environmentally conscious is gathering momentum with every passing day. Honda took the first Indian step in that direction by bravely introducing the Honda Civic Hybrid in India. Despite the stratospheric pricing - to be fair, a lion sized chunk was consumed by our duty structure - the Honda Civic reaffirms the companies global commitment to the environment. Customers have responded by cleaning up the stocks, we're reciprocating by proudly giving the Civic Hybrid our green award.

Motorsport award: Vijay Mallya

Vijay Mallya put India prominently on the global motorsport map by creating the Force India Formula 1 team. The president of the FMSCI has been credited with extensive work towards the inaugural Indian Formula One Grand Prix, hopefully in 2011. Mallya is also working towards creating a training structure that will put an Indian in the Indian F1 car and create the next generation of international class racing drivers.

still some awards remaining....

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