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Mazda MX-5 wins 2016 World Car of the Year award

Kyodo

Mazda Motor Corp.’s MX-5 roadster, better known as the Miata overseas, won the 2016 World Car of the Year and World Car Design of the Year awards at the New York International Auto Show on Thursday, the World Car Steering Committee said.

The sporty two-seat, fourth-generation convertible was crowned for being a fun-to-drive car that is almost as light as the original rolled out in 1989, defeating the Audi A4 and the Mercedes-Benz GLC.

It is the first time in the history of the awards that a single model has won both titles, Mazda said. The MX-5 is known as the Roadster in Japan.

In other categories, Toyota Motor Corp.’s Mirai fuel cell car won the World Green Car award.

The Mazda MX-5 is the first Japanese car to be selected as the World Car of the Year since 2011, when Nissan Motor Co.’s Leaf electric vehicle won the award.

The MX-5 is the second Mazda to receive the honor after the Mazda2 compact, known as the Demio in Japan, won it in 2008.