Let’s face it… who buys a car that doesn’t look or feel cool?
Deep in a converted warehouse in Melbourne, a brace of judges from a world beyond kilowatts and newton-metres will converge this week to decide the winner of the 2020 WhichCar Style Award.
They are disruptors and innovators in their respective categories - including an upstart watchmaker, a real estate maven and style influencers from across the fashion and technology spaces – who will bring a unique perspective to our search for Australia’s coolest car.
And what are they looking for? Technology, innovation, a certain x-factor… in short, our team is looking for a car that goes above and beyond when it comes to making their owners proud of their purchase.
Read more: the 2019 WhichCar Style Award introduction
Eight cars have been shortlisted for this most unique of prizes, which is now in its fifth year of celebrating the notion of form, beauty and design across the automotive sphere.
Taking out the gong in its inaugural year, Alfa Romeo’s 4C Spider wooed the judges with its svelte Italian lines and unapologetic flair, Audi took the 2017 award with its A4, while the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe was victorious in 2018 thanks to its arresting elegance and understated aesthetics.
Our most recent champion, the Audi A7, wowed a tough audience in 2019 with its effortless, timeless style and firm nod at the future of integrated on-board technology.
For 2020, the eight finalists represent the full gamut of the automotive landscape from a humble hatchback to a genuine off-roader and all the way up to a full-blown supercar. The future is now, as well, with the inclusion of one of the most intriguing cars we’ve yet judged in WCSA.
The new Jeep Wrangler Rubicon banks a place in WCSA thanks to its dogged connection to its 1950s roots balanced with the need to be relevant in a modern environment, where it needs to be king of the school run while holding true to its dirt origins.
Mazda has all but mastered the art of effortless, affordable cool for the masses, so the new Mazda 3 hatchback has big tyres to fill.
At the other end of the affordability scale, the brand new McLaren GT is the first attempt by the storied British company to marry real-world practicality to a purebred high-performance machine.
Long regarded as the gurus of mass-consumption innovative style, Peugeot has swung for the stylistic fence with the 508 Touring wagon, which flies in the face of conventional SUV wisdom with a combination of clever tech and artful aesthetics that appeal to both head and heart.
The Range Rover Evoque, meanwhile, is perhaps the epitome of the WCSA vanguard; the smallest member of the Rangie family exudes new-age style and high-end tech in an all-new visage that’s intended to reinvent the notion of the small SUV.
A car that’s sure to tweak the interest of our judging panel is the deliberately provocative Tesla Model 3 Performance, which attempts to marry its proudly anti-industry stance to the question of electric mobility.
On the other side of the coin is the Toyota Supra. Its heavily massaged exterior combines with a most un-Toyota like approach to interior design in an effort to attract more premium fans to the world’s biggest car company.
Finally, the Volvo V60 T5 R-Design smashes the notion once and for all that the Swedish brand eschews elegance and appearance for safety and technology, alongside industry-leading interior design and real-world practicality.
Keep an eye on our Instagram, Facebook and Twitter feeds in the coming days as our judges reveal their thoughts across the social sphere, ahead of the reveal of the 2020 WhichCar Style Award winner at the Australian Motoring Awards in January.