PARIS -- Jaguar Land Rover, ZF Friedrichshafen and Tesla are the 2013 winners of the fourth annual Automotive News Europe/Automotive Intelligence Center L.E.A.D.E.R. awards.
L.E.A.D.E.R. stands for Leaders in European Automotive Development, Excellence, and Research. The awards recognize one top achievement each for innovation in product development and environmental technology, supplier technology and retailing.
Jaguar Land Rover was chosen for its achievements in vehicle efficiency and performance enhancement through the application of innovative materials and technological solutions. This is exemplified by Land Rover's ability to cut the weight in the new Range Rover Sport by more than 500kg.
The weight loss helps keep the SUV's 0-100kph time under 5 seconds, down from a previous best of 5.9 second, while CO2 emissions are as low as 194 grams per kilometer, down from a previous low of 224g/km.
ZF Friedrichshafen, which is one of the world's biggest makers of transmissions, is being honored for providing driveline and chassis technology solutions that allow the car to use energy more efficiently without sacrificing on performance.
This is exemplified by ZF's recently launched nine-speed automatic transmission, which will be fitting in Land Rover models as well as vehicles made by Chrysler.
ZF says the nine-speed transmission, which is designed for transverse-mounted engines, is up to 16 percent more efficient than a six-speed automatic.
Tesla, which has a fully owned dealership network in Europe, is getting this year's award for automotive retailing because of its innovative approach for distributing and servicing its full-electric supercars.
It also is being recognized for the deployment of its own charging network. This year Tesla hopes to build about 20,000 Model S sedans.
The car has a starting price of 71,400 euros in Germany.