While the 2021 World Car of The Year is the Volkswagen ID.4 electric SUV, this year’s recipient of the World Car Design of the Year award is the all-new Land Rover Defender. The British luxury automaker’s competition this year are the Honda e and Mazda CX-30. This is also the third time Land Rover has claimed the coveted prize following previous wins for Range Rover Velar (2018) and Range Rover Evoque (2012) and is the latest in a number of global awards for the rugged 4×4.
The World Car Design of the Year prize recognizes the most outstanding new car of the last 12 months and rewards vehicles demonstrating the highest standards of technical innovation and design and that push established boundaries.
Prof. Gerry McGovern OBE, Chief Creative Officer, Jaguar Land Rover, said: “New Defender is influenced by its past but is not constrained by it and we are delighted it has been honored with this award. Our vision was to create a 21st-century Defender by pushing the boundaries of engineering, technology and design while retaining its renowned DNA and off-road capability. The result is a compelling 4×4 that resonates with customers on an emotional level.”
This year, all the contenders competing in the other four award categories were eligible for the World Car Design of the Year prize. A panel of seven automotive design experts reviewed the contenders to establish a shortlist of recommendations for the jurors’ final vote, made by the 93 international journalists that comprise the jury panel.
The design experts included Gernot Bracht (Germany – Pforzheim Design School), Ian Callum (United Kingdom – Director of Design, CALLUM), Gert Hildebrand (Germany – Owner Hildebrand-Design), Patrick le Quément (France – Designer and President of the Strategy Committee – The Sustainable Design School), Tom Matano (USA – Academy of Art University, Former Head of Design – Mazda), Victor Nacif (USA – Chief Creative Officer, Brojure.com and Design instructor, New School of Architecture and Design) and Shiro Nakamura (Japan – CEO, Shiro Nakamura Design Associates Inc.).
The Defender family now encompasses the Defender 90 and Defender 110, as well as the 90 and 110 Hard Top commercial variants. Since its launch, Defender has won more than 50 global accolades, including Top Gear’s 2020 Car of the Year, MotorTrend’s 2021 SUV of the Year and Autocar’s Best SUV 2020.