Even in the midst of a bitter divorce, a little love endures.
It had been more than 40 years since a British car brand won the European Car of the Year award. The last was the Rover 3500 five-door hatchback from a division of British Leyland, an ancestor of today's Jaguar Land Rover.
Now, while Brexit is coming between Britain and Europe, Jaguar has reclaimed its homeland's honor by capturing the European award for the I-Pace electric crossover.
It's the first time Jaguar has won the award, which was created in 1964, three years after the debut of Jaguar's legendary E-Type sports car. The award, announced last week ahead of the opening of the Geneva auto show, recognizes technical innovation, performance, design, value and efficiency. The I-Pace has an electric range of 234 miles on a charge, compared with about 290 miles for the Tesla Model X.
"Why are people still surprised that electric cars win these awards?" Jaguar design chief Ian Callum told Britain's Autocar magazine, one of the publications whose auto critics select the winner. "This is the future. We'd better all accept that."
To date, the I-Pace has won 55 international awards. More than 8,000 units have been delivered so far, mostly in Europe, says Jaguar Land Rover. In North America, the I-Pace is still launching and sales are slow. Just 186 units were sold in the U.S. in February.