Jaguar XE and F-TYPE earn 2018 AJAC Car of the Year awards
Efficient and powerful new Ingenium engines push refreshed Jaguar models to forefront
The new F-PACE may be credited for doubling the Jaguar fortunes as of late, but the highly popular F-TYPE sports car and sharply dressed XE sport-luxury sedan are the cats that got the prize.
The F-PACE has earned plenty of awards since it arrived on the SUV scene a year and a half ago, as had the original 2014 F-TYPE when it debuted back in 2013, but the F-PACE wasn’t even entered into this year’s Automobile Journalists Association of Canada’s annual Car and Truck of the Year awards program due to being in the middle of its lifecycle.
A model needs to be entirely new, redesigned or substantively refreshed to qualify, and due to their recent mid-cycle makeovers the much-revered 2018 F-TYPE and more practical 2018 XE four-door sedan were entered into this year’s AJAC event, resulting in nominations as finalists last month and ultimate category wins that were announced at the Montreal auto show earlier this week, the F-TYPE taking the “Best Premium Sports – Performance Car” segment and the XE earning “Best Small Premium Car.”
New Range Rover Velar wins Best Small Premium Utility Vehicle
The two Jaguars weren’t the only Jaguar Land Rover Canada vehicles to earn awards either, with the Range Rover Velar winning Land Rover’s “Best Small Premium Utility Vehicle.” That’s three category wins, which means Jaguar Land Rover was tied for most awards in this year’s program.
“Wins in three very different categories which cover all three areas in which Jaguar Land Rover excels – SUVs, sports cars and sedans – is something to celebrate,” said Wolfgang Hoffmann, President, Jaguar Land Rover Canada, ULC, “The AJAC awards are the most prestigious in the Canadian Automotive Industry and we are very proud of the recognition of these three superbly designed and engineered vehicles.”
The Velar was up against multiple entries that took part in AJAC’s annual Test Fest in the fall, plus two finalists announced in December, including Porsche’s 2018 Macan and Volvo’s XC60, the latter having just taken home the coveted 2018 North American Utility of the Year award that was announced in Detroit last week. Earning top spot against such lofty competition must certainly sweeten the experience.
Tough competition makes the reward all the sweeter
Speaking of competition, the XE was up against plenty of small luxury cars in the fall and two finalist of its own after AJAC pared down the entries in December, Alfa Romeo’s directly competitive 2018 Giulia sport-luxury sedan, which is an entirely new model, and Infiniti’s redesigned 2018 Q60 personal sports coupe. Likewise, the F-TYPE battled it out with two figurative heavyweights, Porsche’s redesigned and renamed 718 Boxster and Cayman, plus the refreshed 911. Once again, the individual strengths of these competitors make the brand prize wins all the more rewarding.
“It’s a great achievement for a vehicle to be named the best in its category by the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada. It means that it’s been through rigorous and demanding testing by nearly 100 Canadian automotive experts, and has performed better than its competition,” said Mark Richardson, President, AJAC, “But for Jaguar Land Rover Canada to win not just one category but three categories in the same year is a truly remarkable achievement. It’s something that can only inspire even more confidence in the brand for the future.”
An honourable mention should go out to Land Rover’s new 2018 Discovery that achieved finalist status in the “Best Large Premium Utility Vehicle” category, having joined Volvo’s 2018 XC90 as runners-up against the refreshed 2018 Acura MDX that took the win.
JLR leads way with aluminum construction and efficient turbo-diesel power
Of note, all Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles are mostly skinned, framed and underpinned in lightweight and recyclable aluminum, setting them apart from the majority of rivals. The D-segment XE is the brand’s entry-level car, positioned below the mid-size E-segment XF and full-size XJ flagship sedan, while the F-TYPE sports coupe and convertible are the inspirations for the entire brand. The new Range Rover Velar is sized similarly to the aforementioned F-PACE and is also based on the same platform architecture, which means it’s a large compact SUV that borders on mid-size.
Jaguar Land Rover is one of the only manufacturers offering fuel-efficient turbo-diesel technology, the British automaker coming to market with its vigourously tested, globally approved Ingenium diesel line when others were under condemnation for less advanced diesel powertrains that didn’t live up to their “clean diesel” claims. JLR has also introduced a new gasoline-powered 2.0-litre Ingenium line of turbocharged, direct-injected four-cylinders this year, with the most potent producing 296 horsepower, while it continues to offer supercharged V6 engines up to 380 horsepower, and supercharged V8s up to 575 horsepower, depending on model.
Advanced new Jaguar E-PACE SUV and I-PACE EV on the way
With the introduction of this year’s new 2018 E-PACE subcompact luxury SUV, Jaguar now offers seven models (eight if we include both coupe and convertible versions of the F-TYPE), while the new I-PACE all-electric compact crossover is expected in the near future. Likewise, Land Rover’s lineup is expanding too, now with six distinct models that range from the entry-level Evoque subcompact SUV (which is also available as the world’s sole luxury convertible SUV) to what many consider to be the ultimate sport utility of all, the full-size Range Rover.
To find out more about the renewed Jaguar XE and F-TYPE, contact Jaguar Vancouver by phone at (604) 738-5577 or drop by the showroom at 1730 Burrard Street, Vancouver.
Story credits: Trevor Hofmann, Canadian Auto Press
Photo credits: Jaguar Land Rover
Copyright: Canadian Auto Press Inc.
Date Posted: January 21, 2018