On the eve of the 2017 New York International Auto Show, Jaguar’s first-ever SUV, the F-Pace, has been named the 2017 World Car of the Year.
In doing so, the lightweight off-roader has essentially come up from behind to beat off stiff SUV competition from two of the world’s biggest German marques, VW and Audi, whose latest mid-size crossovers, the Tiguan and Q5 respectively had also made the final shortlist.
And as well as taking away the top award, the F-Pace also scooped this year’s statute in the design category — an award open to any car nominated in any category.
“The F‐Pace was designed and engineered as a performance SUV With exceptional dynamics, everyday usability and bold design. Winning these two awards endorses the talent and great work of our teams that have delivered the world’s most practical sports car and Jaguar’s fastest selling vehicle,” said Dr Ralf Speth, CEO, Jaguar Land Rover.
However, in the luxury car category, it was business as usual with the Mercedes E-Class scooping this year’s award, ahead of the Volvo S90 and the BMW 5-Series.
Although the World Car of the Year awards are now an established part of the New York Auto Show, this year saw the first award for World Urban Car, a new sub-category introduced to reflect the growing competition and innovation in the city and compact car segment globally.
And the first-ever winner is the plug-in electric BMW i3, which was up against the Suzuki Ignis and Citroën C3. “This award highlights BMW Group’s commitment to sustainable mobility through BMW’s first all-electric vehicle made primarily of carbon fiber,” said Ludwig Willisch, Head of BMW Group Region Americas.
The award for World Performance Car of the Year went to a Porsche, for the fifth time in 13 years — the new four-cylinder 718 Cayman, and its soft-top sibling the Boxster. An impressive achievement considering it was up against the McLaren 570S and the Audi R8 Spyder.
But perhaps the biggest surprise at this year’s awards show is that the Toyota Prius hybrid took home the Green Car Award. It was up against the Chevrolet Bolt — winner of the 2017 North American Car of the Year award and the Tesla Model X plug-in electric SUV.
“Consideration for this award is a testament to our focus on developing products that both stir the emotions and meet the mobility needs of our customers in all corners of the world,” said Jack Hollis, Group VP of Toyota division.