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Ford Mustang gallops to victory with MECOTY award

By Ghaith Madadha - Nov 02,2015 - Last updated at Nov 02,2015

Ford Mustang — winner of the Middle East Car of the Year & Best Sports Coupe award for 2015 (Photo courtesy of Ford)

DUBAI — Crowned the region’s top car at the Middle East Car of the Year ceremony, the Ford Mustang becomes the second car to claim this prestigious award. Voted through a long, arduous and thorough nomination and 10 criteria scoring process the Mustang prevailed as the jury’s overall top choice at the second annual MECOTY awards, in hotly contested process against the best that the motoring industry has to offer in the region.

The region’s only independent and most credible and authentic motoring award, the MECOTY awards distinguished from single publication awards in that they draw on a broader pool of expertise and wider scope of opinion, as provided by a 12-member jury panel representing an even larger number of print, online and TV media. Composed of established motoring journalists and specialists of different nationalities, the Jury panel represents media based in the UAE, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar.

Based on juror test drive evaluations throughout the year MECOTY features 18 different nominated categories, and a top overall Middle East Car of the Year recognition, awarded on initial category voting and two further rounds of voting. Meanwhile, the jury awards are complemented by a vox pop Public Car of the Year Award, given based on online voting, and claimed by the Kia Sorento SUV this year.

Debuting last year and organised by Custom Events LLC, the 2015 MECOTY awards ceremony was held at the Raffles Hotel in Dubai, on October 29 this year some two weeks ahead of the Dubai Motor Show.

The 2016 MECOTY awards will be held in April to coincide with the Abu Dhabi Motor Show and other motoring events organised by Custom Events.

Closely contested, the MECOTY ceremony was an evening of ups and downs for manufacturers, and included some anticipated category winners and some unexpected victories. Among the hotly tipped as strong top prize contenders, the Ford Mustang won the overall award with the Audi TT and jaguar XE coming in as runners-up, and all winners in their respective categories. Cementing a double win for Ford, the Focus ST proved its resilience in winning the best Performance hatchback category, while Mercedes-Benz claimed three category victories.

Closely competitive yet with different characters, the Infiniti Q70 took a difficult victory over the Audi A6 in the Midsize Executive Sedan segment, the Chevrolet Tahoe over the Ford Expedition in the Large SUV segment and the Ferrari 488 GTB against the sensational Lamborghini 610-4 Huracan among Supercars. Notable upsets included the thoroughly well-rounded and versatile Land Rover Discovery Sport and the innovative aluminium body and ever-popular Ford F150 both missing victories in their respective categories.

 

Middle East Car of the Year & Best Sports Coupe: Ford Mustang

 

Launched regionally in spectacular fashion with a Burj Khalifa-top reveal, the sixth generation Ford Mustang is theatrically visceral in charisma and design, with potent and assertive lines, curves and details. Capturing its classic muscle car heritage, the new Mustang strays away from mere retro design to a more contemporary reinterpretation, and perfectly incorporates Ford’s current design face. Appealing to both heart and head, the new Mustang is the first with independent — rather than live axle — rear suspension and reaps handling, refinement and comfort rewards. Affordable and iconic it features three engine options, including entry-level V6, brutishly rumbling V8 and muscular yet efficient 2.3-litre turbocharged four-cylinder.

 

Best Premium Sports Coupe & Middle East Car of the Year runner-up: Audi TT

 

Leaner, meaner and better than ever, the latest Audi TT won the Best Premium Sports Coupe Award against the BMW 2-Series Coupe and came in runner-up for the overall Middle East Car of the Year award. Stylish, compact and built on Audi’s latest compact platform utilising more lightweight materials and powerfully efficient turbocharged engines, the TT is refined, quick, sure-footed and nimbly agile. Available with front- or Quattro four-wheel drive, it also features Audi’s virtual cockpit instrumentation and infotainment system.

Best Performance Hatchback: Ford Focus ST

 

Revamped for 2015 with revised suspension rates, interior, and fascia, the Ford Focus ST’s visceral appeal, sublime chassis and accessible pricing proved too much even for the mighty and thoroughly impressive, classy, grippy and 276BHP four-wheel drive Volkswagen Golf R. An enduring motoring enthusiast favourite with old school hot hatch thrills, the brutishly punchy all-conquering 252BHP Focus ST showcases Ford’s front-drive chassis fine-tuning expertise, and is blessed with engagingly intuitive and eager handling, communicative steering feel and authentic unpretentious charisma. 

 

Best Midsize Executive Sedan: Infiniti Q70

 

 

Based on a now long-serving platform, offered with two engine options regionally and facing off against an all-new, thoroughly high tech and extensively varied Audi A6 line-up, the Infiniti Q70’s category win was the evening’s first upset. Its victory is, however, deserved testament to Infiniti’s knack for combining sporty handling with smooth ride comfort. With rear-drive balance and Infiniti’s eager, linear and much-acclaimed high-revving 329BHP V6 engine, the Q70 delivers a sharply engaging driving experience with superb throttle control and keen pricing.

List of MECOTY awards

 

Middle East Car of the Year (jury award): Ford Mustang

Runner-ups: Audi TT, Jaguar XE

Best Midsize Sedan: Hyundai Sonata

Other nominee: Honda Accord

Best Compact Executive Sedan: Jaguar XE

Other nominee: Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Best Compact Executive Coupe: BMW 4-Series Coupe

Other nominees: Cadillac ATS Coupe, Lexus RC350

Best Compact Executive Performance: Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG

Other nominee: Audi S3 Sedan

Best Midsize Executive Sedan: Infiniti Q70

Other nominee: Audi A6

Best Large Luxury Sedan: Bentley Mulsanne Speed

Other nominee: Mercedes-Benz S-Class Maybach

Best Compact Utility Vehicle: Nissan Juke

Other nominee: Renault Captur

Best Compact SUV: Honda CRV

Other nominees: Kia Sorento, Nissan X-Trail, Jeep Renegade

Best Compact Premium SUV: Lexus NX200 Turbo

Other nominees: Land Rover Discovery Sport, Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class, BMW X4

Best Large SUV: Chevrolet Tahoe

Other nominees: Ford Expedition, GMC Yukon

Best Premium Performance SUV: Land Rover Range Rover Sport SVR

Other nominees: BMW X6 M, Porsche Cayenne Turbo

Best Truck: GMC Sierra

Other nominees: Ford F150, Chevrolet Silverado

Best Performance Hatchback: Ford Focus ST

Other nominees: Volkswagen Golf R, Hyundai Veloster Turbo, Renault Clio RS

Best Sports Coupe: Ford Mustang

Other nominee: Dodge Challenger

Best Premium Sports Coupe: Audi TT

Other nominee: BMW 2-Series

Best Premium Performance Coupe: Mercedes-Benz AMG GT-S

Other nominees: Jaguar F-Type R, Porsche 911 GT3 RS

Best Grand Tourer: Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe

Other nominees: Bentley Continental GT W12, Aston Martin Vanquish

Best Supercar: Ferrari 488 GTB

Other nominee: Lamborghini LP610-4 Huracan

 

Public Car of the Year: Kia Sorento

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