ON THE eve of the Geneva motor show, Jaguar Land Rover has been given a huge boost with the news that the all-electric Jaguar I-PACE has been voted European Car of the Year - the first time a Jaguar has won the coveted prize.
Only last week, the I-PACE was named UK Car of the Year and was praised for being ‘miles ahead of the premium EV pack'.
The battery-powered Jag was the only zero emissions car amongst the European Car of the Year finalists, beating the Alpine A110, Citroën C5 Aircross,Ford Focus,Kia Ceed,Mercedes-Benz A-Class andPeugeot 508 to take the title.
But the result couldn't have been closer. The Jaguar received the same number of points as the French Alpine sports car in the overall score.
The unprecedented tie between two cars - the first in the award's 45 year history - at the top of the voting chart, with 250 points each, had to be resolved by counting the number of top marks: 18 for the Jaguar, 16 for the Alpine. Although the Jaguar won, the organisers declared the Alpine A110 as ‘a moral ‘co-winner'.
At less than half the price of the Jaguar and Alpine, the new Kia Ceed could also be said to be a moral winner, finishing in third place just three points behind the two frontrunners and ahead of its segment rival, the Ford Focus.
The title was awarded following judging by by a panel of 60 motoring journalists from 23 countries, and the award recognises technical innovation, design, performance, efficiency and value for money.
It's the latest in a string of 55 awards handed out to the I-PACE worldwide since it was revealed a year ago, including German, Norwegian and UK Car of the Year, BBC TopGear magazine EV of the Year, China Green Car of the Year, and Autobest's ECOBEST Award.
A delighted Prof. Dr. Ralf Speth, JLR's chief executive officer, declared: "For our first electric vehicle to also be the first Jaguar to win European Car of the Year gives us a huge sense of pride.
"I-PACE was designed and engineered in the UK from a clean sheet of paper. It is the most technologically advanced battery electric vehicle. It's a true game-changer. Winning European Car of the Year is an honour and real recognition of what our world-class team has delivered."