The Jaguar I-PACE swept a new round of awards recently at the 2019 New York Auto Show. After a long deliberation, over 80 judges from 24 different countries dubbed the all-electric premium crossover SUV as the 2019 World Car of the Year, beating the Audi e-tron and the Volvo S60/V60 in the process. The I-PACE was also the winner of the World Car Design of the Year and World Green Car of the Year awards, adding to the vehicle’s ever-growing list of accolades.
The judges of the World Car of the Year award were notably impressed by the Jaguar I-PACE’s looks and its capability to mix a range of 292 miles WLTP (234 miles EPA) and a brisk 0-62 mph time of 4.5-seconds. Prof. Dr. Ralf Speth, Chief Executive Officer of Jaguar Land Rover, received the award for the I-PACE, noting that the all-electric crossover is but the first step in the automaker’s journey towards a zero-emissions future.
“It is an honor that the Jaguar I-PACE has received such an accolade from the prestigious World Car jurors. We started with an ideal, to move towards our Destination Zero vision; zero emissions, zero accidents, and zero congestion. I-PACE is our first step to achieving this, and it was conceived when EVs were little more than a niche choice,” he said.
Notably absent in the World Car of the Year nominees for 2019 was an electric sedan that is disrupting the US and international market today: the Tesla Model 3. The World Car of the Year title requires nominated vehicles to be sold in at least five countries to be considered, and this is a requirement that the Model 3 did not meet.
It is then quite interesting to see the Audi e-tron qualifying for the award despite the vehicle’s status when nominees were being listed. The e-tron was listed as a nominee by AutoExpress.uk on September 14, 2018, a few days before the SUV was unveiled on September 18, 2018. Ars Technica, whose auto journalist Jonathan Gitlin was among this year’s judges, explained the Model 3’s absence in the 2019 World Car of the Year nominees, stating that the vehicle “went on sale too long ago to be considered for this year’s awards.”
The absence of the Model 3 in the nominees for the 2019 World Car of the Year does not mean that the awards program is biased against Tesla. Back in 2013, the Tesla Model S walked away with the World Green Car title, and in 2017, the Tesla Model X was a finalist in the same category, before losing to the Toyota Prius Prime.
With Tesla now focusing its Model 3 deliveries to the international markets, it will not be surprising if the electric sedan will make it as a nominee for 2020’s World Car of the Year awards. Perhaps, just like the Jaguar I-PACE, the Model 3 could even go further than its more expensive siblings, earning not only the World Green Car title, but the World Car of the Year trophy as well. With the Tesla Model 3’s shadow hovering over the international market’s electric car industry, next year’s awards will likely be very compelling.