Jaguar has scored a landmark win for an electric car with an unprecedented sweep of the World Car of the Year awards for 2019.
The battery-electric Jaguar I-PACE was always going to be tough to toss for the top spot in judging for the Green Car honours in the global contest but did far better by taking the outright COTY crown and also the prize for Car Design.
It’s the first time in the 15-year history of the WCOTY contest that one car has swept all three awards, although Jaguar also managed a double deal with its F-PACE SUV in 2017 as World COTY winner and the design champion.
Victory for the I-PACE follows its earlier success as European COTY for 2019. It is priced from $123,814 and, so far, more than 11,000 have been sold worldwide.
The WCOTY contest is judged by a worldwide panel of 86 motoring journalists from 24 countries, including two Australians and two transplanted Aussies who live and work in Europe. Carsales.com.au contributors Michael Taylor and Paul Gover are among them.
Judging is a months-long process that starts with dozens of contenders across the categories, before being honed down to just three finalists for each award. Judges can only vote on cars they have driven.
The Jaguar I-Pace was a convincing winner for 2019, scoring 805 points to the 784 of the runner-up, the Audi e-tron electric SUV, and the third-placed Volvo S60-V60 with 744.
Apart from Jaguar there were three other car company winners, while the late Sergio Marchionne had previously been named as World Car Person of the Year.
Audi claimed World Luxury Car with its A7, McLaren took World Performance Car with its 720S and the tiny Suzuki Jimny, intended as a lightweight four-wheel drive getaway car, was named as World Urban Car.
Jaguar’s chief designer, Ian Callum, accepted the three trophies following the announcement at the New York Auto Show.
“Electric vehicles offer designers unprecedented freedom to re-think the proportions, the profile and the packaging, and it’s an opportunity that my team has exploited in full,” Callum said of the I-PACE.