This year’s European Car of the Year, the all-electric Jaguar I-PACE, is now in contention for a global crown after making it to the final three in the prestigious World Car of the Year awards.
Not alone that, it is also among the final three in two other World Car categories.
The outright overall and category winners will be announced at the New York Motor Show on April 17.
Those still in competition for the prestigious awards are:
World Car of the Year – Audi e-tron, Jaguar I-PACE, Volvo S60/V60.
World Urban Car: Hyundai AH2/Santro, Kia Soul, Suzuki Jimny.
World Luxury Car: Audi A7, Audi Q8, BMW 8 Series.
World Performance Car: Aston Martin Vantage, McLaren 720S, Mercedes AMG 4dr Coupe.
World Green Car: Audi e-tron, Hyundai Nexo, Jaguar I-PACE.
World Car Design: Jaguar I-PACE, Suzuki Jimny, Volvo XC40.
A jury of 86 international automotive journalists (myself among them) selected the finalists by secret ballot.
* Subaru has confirmed that the XV Crossover and new Forester will be it first two electrified models for Europe.
* Opel’s new Zafira Life (pictured top) is quite a different animal to the one to which we have become accustomed.
It certainly looks a lot different and has space for up to nine people thanks to the option of ‘medium’ (4.95m) and or ‘large’ (5.30m) wheelbases. It will be ‘available to order’ from the second quarter of the year.
Among the practical elements they are highlighting are sensor-controlled sliding doors.
And there will be an all-electric version in 2021.
Spec includes a second-row bench seat which can be folded in a 2/3:1/3 split. Laptops, electronic devices can be connected in all three rows of seats via a 12-volt socket.
The accommodation of nine people applies to both car lengths by the way. There are many other mix-n-matches you can also devise (five, six, seven, eight).
And at just 1.90 metres tall there should be no problems with underground or multi-storey car parks.
The range includes 1.5-litre (100hp) and 2-litre (180hp) diesels.
* At last the end is (hopefully) in sight for the current Ford EcoSport small crossover amid reports of a new Fiesta-based motor to replace it.
I don’t think too many tears will be shed for one of Ford’s poorest offerings. But they might still hold onto the EcoSport name. I hope not. The new rival for the likes of the Renault Captur, Nissan Juke, Seat Arona etc will need all the help it can get.