By Michael Kinney
NEW YORK – The first time Ian Callum strolled onto the stage, he was a happy man. The director of Design for Jaguar Land Rover was accepting the award for 2019 World Car Design of the Year at the New York International Auto Show April 17. Under normal circumstances, it would have been the highlight of the entire event for Callum and the car manufacturer’s team.
But this wasn’t a normal moment. The Design of the Year award ended up being the appetizer to a record-breaking day. Callum found himself on stage twice more to accept the award for 2019 World Green Car of the Year and the coveted 2019 World Car of the Year.
All of the honors were for the Jaguar I-PACE, the company’s first ever electric automobile.
“Designing Jaguar cars is probably the best job in the world, and I can honestly say that no other project I’ve worked on has been as rewarding as I-PACE,” Callum said. “Electric vehicles offer designers unprecedented freedom to rethink the proportions, the profile and the packaging, and it’s an opportunity that my team has exploited in full. Winning the 2019 World Car Design of the Year award, as well as World Car of the Year and World Green Car, is true recognition for their achievements.”
This is the first time in the World Car Awards’ 15-year history that one-car has pulled off the trifecta of winning three of the five awards handed out. It is also only the second time one company hauled in three awards.
It was an accomplishment not lost on Callum.
“In my 40 years in this business, this is my Oscar moment,” Callum said. “I am going to just soak it up.”
Callum and Jaguar Land Rover are used to taking home hardware from the World Car Awards. This marked the third consecutive year and fifth overall World Car Design of the Year award for the company.
But the fact that they were able to nearly sweep the award ceremony with their first ever foray into electric cars makes this year standout, according to Jaguar Land Rover CEO, Prof. Dr. Ralf Speth.
“For I-PACE to be awarded 2019 World Car of the Year, World Car Design of the Year and World Green Car gives our first all-electric vehicle the ultimate recognition it deserves,” Speth said. “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. So we started from a clean sheet of paper to create a new benchmark -the world’s best premium electric vehicle, and a true Jaguar driver’s car.”
The I-PACE was chosen from an initial entry list of 40 vehicles in the World Car of the Year award category. The list was whittled down to three finalists on March 5th. Along with the I-Pace, the other finalists included the Audi e-tron and the Volvo S60/V60.
“I am going to run out of words, really. Speechless for once,” Callum said. “On behalf of everyone at Jaguar, thank you very much indeed. This is astonishing. Hat trick, amazing. I’ll be honest with you, when we set up this car, it was set up with a team with absolute determination to create something that was real authentic. A different Jaguar with passion. That’s what Jaguar is. A company with passion. I said to my team when we created this car, let’s build the best car in the world. That’s what I said to them. Hey, looks like we’ve done it.”
The World Car Awards were handed out on during the industry portion of the New York International Auto Show at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. The show runs through April 28.
The Jaguar I-Pace will be on display, along with several other automobiles from the Jaguar Land Rover family, throughout the entire NYIAS.
Michael Kinney is a Freelance Content Provider