The brand new Technology Award recognises the increasingly important role high-tech innovation has to play in the car industry, and how manufacturers are striving to make these advances available to a wider audience.
With such a diverse range of options, some of the car tech to be considered includes the latest infotainment systems, autonomous technology and future powertrain options, from plug-in hybrid SUVs to all-new systems.
The award will be co-judged by What Car? testers and technology industry experts Will Dunn, Rob Leedham and Tom Parsons from the UK’s leading tech title, Stuff.
Potential challengers include the BMW 7 Series, the Volvo XC90 T8 plug-in hybrid, the Toyota Mirai and Hyundai’s ix35 Fuel Cell.
What Car?’s editorial director Jim Holder said: "The Technology Award is new for 2016 and celebrates the efforts being made by manufacturers using new technology to push the limits of what we can expect from our cars.
"Given the huge strides car makers are currently taking in breaking new technological ground, it is only right that we ensure such pioneering spirit is recognised and encouraged.
"It's clear from the searches by readers of whatcar.com that technology is increasingly important to them, and that car buyers are making choices about new vehicles based on the appeal of various kinds of tech.
"The involvement of Stuff has helped us plug into what really matters in the tech world, and combined with our in-depth understanding of car buyers' priorities, it allows us to highlight an area of the automotive industry that is only going to become more important."
Stuff’s global editor-in-chief Guy Cocker said: "Car tech is one of the big growth areas in our world and is a subject we’ve covered extensively over the past few years. We love fast cars just as much as we love clever gadgets, so anything that combines the two always excites us. We were only too happy to team up with What Car? on this award."
The 2016 Car of the Year Awards take place on 13 January, 2016 at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London. For more information, please visit: www.whatcar.com, and for a full list of all the winners go to www.awards.whatcar.com after 11pm on the night.