Manufacturers from all over the world have a new set of titles to shoot for, after the UK hosted its very first Car of the Year awards in February.
A number of top models claimed the unique honour of taking the first ever awards in their respective categories. The accolades are dished out after a panel of 27 highly experienced British-based motoring journalists cast their votes on the best models in a number of sectors.
Here are just some of the models that drove away with the top prize at the new award ceremony.
The Porsche Cayman was named the ‘Best Coupe’, fending off competition from a number of top models.
According to journalist and juror Richard Bremner, the car is “one of the best drivers’ cars out there at any price”.
The Cayman can travel from 0-62 mph in just 5.6 seconds, while its S sibling can achieve this in 4.9 seconds.
David Ross described it as “essentially the perfect sports car”. He continued: “Porsche has kept all the elements that made the original Cayman so good, and added to them with a touch more refinement, improved quality and even better handling – a real feat given how impressive the previous model was. No other sports car at this price comes even close.”
Elsewhere, the Audi A3 picked up the title in the ‘Small Hatch of the Year’ category. It has been praised for its image, its refinement, its range of technologies and its practicality.
The A3 is available in number of different variants, including the three-door hatch, the five-door Sportback, the saloon and the four-seater cabriolet.
In addition to the already mentioned plaudits, the car is also efficient and powerful, with the entry-level 1.4-litre TFSI engine with Cylinder-on-Demand able to offer fuel economy of 60.1mpg while only emitting 109g/km of CO2.
Editor of Fleet World Steve Moody said the car is “the small hatch most buyers aspire to, and most manufacturers want to copy.”
Judges gave their approval to the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, naming the model the ‘Best Luxury Car’.
One of the judges said: “The S-Class is one of the few cars in the world where you would happily spend as much time in the back as you would behind the wheel. Impressive driving dynamics, coupled with a host of cutting-edge technologies, have seen Mercedes set new standards for the sector.”
There are three petrol engines and one diesel alternative in the range, but it is soon to expand to include a choice of four-, six-, eight-, or 12-cylinder engines, with three hybrid models also expected.
Mercedes’ aim was to deliver a model that redefined the top levels of comfort, refinement and safety.
Jaguar was also handed a title, taking home the ‘Best Open Top Car’ award for its latest F-TYPE model.
The judges poured compliments over the model, labelling it an icon and a classic. It was praised for its stunning body, its menacing noise and its high performance engine.
Motoring editor of the Sun Ken Gibson said: “The F-TYPE convertible is a truly worthy successor to the E-type. Jaguar once again has a genuine sports car roadster.”
Perhaps a more modest winner was Ford, with the Fiesta ST scooping the accolade of ‘Best Performance Car’.
It follows on from recognition already received from What Car? and Top Gear, with each publication naming the model as their overall ‘Car of the Year’.
The 1.6-litre EcoBoost 180 PS petrol engine in the Fiesta ST helps the car to hit a maximum speed of 139mph while covering 0-62 mph in just 6.9 seconds.
Richard Bremner, contributing editor for Autocar, said: “Very simply, the Fiesta ST offers incredible value for money. It’s huge fun, and hugely capable too. It proves that you don’t need big muscle – and expense – to enjoy a dynamic drive.”