Some of my colleagues have called the Jaguar I-Pace the most significant car of the last decade. Others have referred to it as the most important Jaguar since the E-Type of 1961. Those are two comments I find hard to argue with. The I-Pace is without doubt one of the most beautiful SUVs to ever go on-sale and it has also been getting rave reviews for the way it handles and performs. Those are all statements that the vast majority of my fellow jurors at the World Car Awards nod to with the I-Pace having just set a new record by being ranked in the Top 3 in the world for no less that three of WCA’s six categories.
At the World Car finalists announcement inside the Geneva Motor Show earlier this month, the Jaguar I-Pace made it into the top three for the main World Car of the Year award, as well as the World Car Design of the Year and World Green Car. That is the first time that one car has ranked in the top 3 in three different categories. It is no surprise that its biggest rival, the all-electric Audi e-tron, also made it into the Top 3 for two categories, World COTY and World Green Car. The non-electrified Volvo S60/V60 joins the Jaguar and Audi vying for top honors in the World Car of the Year, while the hydrogen-powered fuel-cell Hyundai Nexo rounds out the Top 3 for World Green Car.
Over the past year, since the I-Pace was first available to test at the 2018 Geneva show, nearly all of World Car’s 85 jurors in 25 countries have test driven the electric Jaguar. We only have to wait a few more weeks until the winners are announced at World Car’s prize-giving ceremony that opens the New York International Auto Show on April 17.
The I-Pace is the first model to be based on the company’s new ‘skateboard’ architecture for pure electric cars only. Its new platform will feature on all future Jaguar EVs. And without huge gasoline or diesel powertrains filling up engine bays, this new all-electric construction allowed stylists the luxury of being able to experiment with new neater, sleeker, more compact front-end designs.
The I-Pace is powered by a 90kWh lithium-ion battery pack which drives two electric motors—one powering each axle in a 4WD configuration delivered through a single speed gearbox and capable of a reported 292 mile range. This system develops 394hp and 512 lb-ft of torque, which can propel the hefty 4500 lb frame from zero to 60mph in 4.5 seconds.
Competing with the I-Pace for the design category trophy is the Suzuki Jimny and Volvo XC40 while the Asian compacts in the Kia Soul, Hyundai AH2 and Suzuki Jimny slot into the Top 3 for World Urban Car. In the Performance Car category, the McLaren 720S vies with the Aston Martin Vantage and Mercedes-AMG 4-door Coupe while the Audi A7, Audi Q8 and BMW 8-Series compete in the World Luxury Car category.
Jurors voted in two secret ballots online in January and February, and international accounting firm KPMG, who tabulates the votes, keep the results under lock and key until the envelopes are opened at the World Car ceremony inside the New York International Auto Show.
Mercedes Benz may have picked up three trophies at the 2015 World Car Awards ceremony in New York City, while the Jaguar F-Pace captured two trophies in 2017. Will the I-Pace be the first car to snatch three gongs at once? Stay tuned.