Volkswagen and Bentley receive first-ever awards from regional automotive group


Kent Island, MD (October 17, 2016) – The Washington Automotive Press Association (WAPA) gathered in Kent Island, Md. on Thursday, October 13 for the annual Rally where nearly 60 automotive journalist members served as judges in the inaugural WAPA Rally Awards. Representatives from 30 manufacturers were on hand to answer questions about the vehicles and to assist in the evaluation process. After a full-day of suburban on-road testing, the WAPA officers presented awards in two deliberately crafted categories: Luxury Vehicle and Green Vehicle.

2016 WAPA Green Vehicle Award - Photo : Thomas Graves

2016 WAPA Green Vehicle Award – Photo : Thomas Graves

“The Washington, D.C. metropolitan area has the highest median household income in the United States, so the Luxury Vehicle Award was a natural fit for our organization and its members,” said WAPA Rally Director, Philip Van der Vossen. “With the nation’s capital at the helm of green vehicle initiatives, we also sought to strengthen that link with our Green Vehicle Award. The awards program – new for this year – was embraced by our manufacturer partners, and we look forward to continuing the awards again next year.”

Volkswagen earned the Green Vehicle Award for its 2016 e-Golf, a battery powered version of its immensely popular Golf family of vehicles. The e-Golf has a range of up to 83 miles on a full charge and has zero tailpipe emissions. It’s worth noting that WAPA judges voted Toyota’s brand new Prius Prime as a worthy runner up to the e-Golf.

Photo : Volkswagen of America, Inc.

2016 Volkswagen e-Golf – Photo : Volkswagen of America, Inc.

“We are thrilled to receive this award,” said Jessica Anderson, Product Communications Specialist for Volkswagen of America, Inc. “It is a testament to the many strengths of the e-Golf—cutting-edge technology, versatility, efficiency and value along with the fun to drive element that is so characteristic of the Volkswagen brand.”

In a crowded field of competitors, Bentley rose to the top to win the Luxury Vehicle Award with the Mulsanne, known for its exceptional fit and finish and impressive performance. The new Mulsanne is the quintessential expression of Bentley craftsmanship, built by skilled artisans in England.

2017 Bentley Mulsanne - Photo Credit : John Soule

2017 Bentley Mulsanne – Photo : John Soule

“The 2016 WAPA Luxury Vehicle Award confirms that the Bentley Mulsanne Speed is the pinnacle luxury vehicle,” said Michael Winkler, President and CEO, Bentley Motors, The Americas. “With a build time of 400 hours, no detail is spared to ensure the ultimate comfort and performance. We were thrilled to share this Bentley driving experience with the WAPA members and to receive this award.”

Les Jackson, Hannah Kuykendall, Jeff Kuhlman, William Hopper – Photo : Thomas Graves

“Both vehicles received the greatest number of member votes, earning the top spot among a highly competitive field of candidates,” said WAPA President Les Jackson of Cruise Control Radio. “We tallied nearly 60 votes from journalists who had the opportunity to drive all the candidate vehicles during the day and, while all the other vehicles received large numbers of votes, the VW e-Golf and Bentley Mulsanne were the clear winners.”

The 2016 WAPA Rally set new records for attendance and vehicles at the annual event, with more than 150 journalists and industry representatives gathering to experience more than 50 new vehicle models. WAPA held its Rally at the scenic Chesapeake Bay Beach Club overlooking the Chesapeake Bay Bridge on Kent Island, Md.

About Washington Automotive Press Association

Founded in 1985, the Washington Automotive Press Association (WAPA) is the professional association for the Washington, DC and Baltimore area, and is comprised of over 200 automotive journalists and industry representatives. WAPA promotes education and professional awareness in the field of motor vehicles regarding their manufacturing and regulation. It seeks to enhance and encourage professionalism of journalists and specialists in automotive and related fields.