Jaguar I-Pace named World Car of the Year

I-Pace beat out Audi e-tron and Volvo S60/V60 for World Car honours with a hat-trick of awards

Published: April 17, 2019, 12:20 AM
Updated: November 21, 2021, 2:54 PM

Jaguar I-PACE named 2019 World Car of the Year

NEW YORK – The Jaguar I-Pace continued its award-winning ways, today when it was revealed as the winner of the 2019 World Car of the Year Award in a gala presentation ceremony that kicked off the New York International Auto Show.

That overall award made it a hat-trick for the electric crossover, which also took home World Car Design and World Green Car honours at the 15th annual World Car Awards.

“It is an honour that the Jaguar I-Pace has received these three accolades from the prestigious World Car jurors,” said Prof. Dr. Ralf Speth, CEO of Jaguar Land Rover. “For I-PACE to be awarded 2019 World Car of the Year, World Car Design of the Year and World Green Car gives our first all-electric vehicle the ultimate recognition it deserves. I would like to thank the team who have created I-PACE for their passion in making it so outstanding.”

The announcement of the World Car award winner completed an almost year-long process of testing and voting by 86 prominent automotive journalists from 24 countries around the world. That process kicked off officially with the announcement of an initial entry list of 40 eligible vehicles for the overall award at the Paris Motor Show in fall 2018. The Road to World Car included a stop in Los Angeles in November where jurors spent five days testing candidate vehicles.

Then the ‘Top Three in the World’ finalists were revealed at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2019, and finally, the I-Pace beat out the Audi e-tron and Volvo S60/V60 to take the top World Car of the Year honours. The I-Pace earned a score of 805 in jurors' testing, compared to 784 for the e-tron and 744 for the S60/V60. 

World Car Awards were also presented in five other categories, as follows:

World Luxury Car

The World Luxury Car award went to the Audi A7, with a score of 763, just edging out the BMW 8 Series (760) and its Audi Q8 stablemate (760) for that prestigious title.

“It is a great honour for Audi to win the ‘World Luxury Car’ award twice in a row,” says Hans-Joachim Rothenpieler, Member of the Board of Management of AUDI AG Technical Development. (The Audi A8 was World Luxury Car for 2018.) “We are very proud of this award because it shows Audi’s ability to develop leading premium cars in various segments.”

This marks Audi’s 10th  World Car award in the program’s 15 years, extending its record for most awards won.

World Performance Car

The McLaren 720S claimed the World Performance Car of the Year award with a score of 804, ahead of the Mercedes-Benz AMG 4-door Coupe (790) and Aston Martin Vantage (763). It was McLaren’s first WCOTY award.

“We feel grateful anytime one of our cars wins an award, but to have the 720S named World Performance Car is particularly special,” said Mike Flewitt, CEO of McLaren Automotive. “We believe the 720S is a revolutionary step forward for both McLaren, as well as the supercar segment, and to have it recognized in this way by an organization made up of the most esteemed media across the globe is a great honour.”

World Urban Car

Suzuki’s diminutive Jimny earned World Urban Car of the Year honours, for vehicles shorter than 4.2 metres in length, with a score of 697, just squeezing past the outscoring the Kia Soul (695) and well ahead of Hyundai Group’s Hyundai AH2/Santro (526), from India.

Toshihiro Suzuki, Representative Director and President of Suzuki Motor Corporation said, “We at Suzuki are greatly honoured to receive this award. The Jimny is the one-and-only, compact, authentic off-roader, and we have kept true to this concept for almost 50 years. It now has many fans around the world, who enjoy its excellent performance and one-of-a-kind functional design, both on and off-road. We accept this award on behalf of our fans, as well as with pride and confidence in our passion to build exciting cars to be the heart of our customers' everyday lives.”

This is the third consecutive year in which a Suzuki model has finished in the “Top Three in the World” for the World Urban Car category. The Jimny also finished in the World Car Design top-three.

World Green Car

The Jaguar I-Pace backed up its World Car of the Year award by also taking home the World Green Car trophy, with a score of 611, again beating out the Audi e-tron (790), as well as the Hyundai Nexo.

World Car Design of the Year

The I-Pace's third award was for World Car Design of the Year, surpassing the Suzuki Jimny and Volvo XC40 for that honour. Scoring for the Design award was on a different basis than the other awards and the I-Pace earned 312 points to the XC40's 237 and the Jimny's 231. 

Ian Callum, Jaguar's longstanding Director of Design, who was in New York to accept the awards for Jaguar, said: “Designing Jaguar cars is probably the best job in the world, and I can honestly say that no other project I’ve worked on has been as rewarding as I-PACE. Electric vehicles offer designers unprecedented freedom to rethink the proportions, the profile and the packaging, and it’s an opportunity that my team has exploited in full. Winning the 2019 World Car Design of the Year award is true recognition for their achievements.”

This is Jaguar Land Rover’s third consecutive Design award win, following past victories by the Range Rover Velar (2018) and Jaguar F-Pace (2017). No other manufacturer has taken home as many Design trophies in the Awards’ 15-year history.

This year’s ceremonies were the 15th annual for the World Car Awards program and the 14th to be held at the New York International Auto Show.

Previous World Car of the Year winners have been:

Volvo XC60 (2018)

Jaguar F-Pace (2017)

Mazda MX-5 (2016)

Mercedes-Benz C-Class (2015)

Audi A3 (2014)

Volkswagen Golf (2013)

Volkswagen Up! (2012)

Nissan Leaf (2011)

Volkswagen Polo (2010

Volkswagen Golf (2009)

Mazda2 / Mazda Demio (2008)

Lexus LS460 (2007)

BMW 3-Series (2006)

Audi A6 (2005).

The World Car Awards are the number one awards program in the world for the sixth consecutive year based on Prime Research's 2018 media report.

The awards were inaugurated in 2003, and officially launched in January 2004, to reflect the reality of the global marketplace, as well as to recognize, reward and inspire excellence, leadership and innovation in a rapidly changing automotive industry.

The awards are intended to complement, not compete, with existing national and regional Car of the Year programs.

They are administered by a not-for-profit association, under the guidance of an awards management and advisory group of prominent automotive journalists from Asia, Europe, and North America.

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