Middle East Motor Awards 2013: Jaguar Pounces To The Podium

Voted ‘car of the year’ at the 2013 MEMA awards, the Jaguar F-Type was joined by the Ford Focus ST, Range Rover, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Volkswagen Golf, Peugeot 301, McLaren 12C Spider and other category winners at the annual event held in Sharjah.

After a closely competitive nomination process, the fourth annual Middle East Motor Awards (MEMA) were announced at the end of October, with Jaguar’s sultry F-Type sports convertible – introduced earlier this year – deservedly winning the coveted 2012 Car of the Year award (COTY). Hotly contested right down to the wire in some categories, 18 individual categories and the overall COTY prize were judged and scored by 18 regional motoring journalists, including U Men’s own Motoring Editor.

The Middle East’s sole independent automotive awards MEMA is recognizes the best the automotive industry has to offer in the region and is organized by the Expo Centre Sharjah, but for the first time, the event was held outdoors this year, at Al Majaz Waterfront in Sharjah. MEMA segment awards are independently scored according to various criteria including design, handling, safety, performance, technical innovation, driver satisfaction, emotional appeal, value, comfort and regional suitability.

MEMA 2013 Highlights

Car of the Year (COTY) & Best Premium Convertible: Jaguar F-Type

Premium Convertibles nominees: Mercedes-Benz SL500, Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Cabrio

Jaguar’s long-awaited sports car heir to the iconic 1960s E-Type, the F-Type is a sensually curvaceous beauty with svelte sinewy athleticism that has been associated with several appropriately beautiful women in the media. With stiff lightweight aluminium construction and a choice of three powerful supercharged engines, the F-Type offer near supercar performance.

With beauty, brains and brawn the F-Type seemingly has it all, including a sports-engineered 8-speed gearbox, fluid ride and balanced, agile, eager and nuanced handling. a A glamorous and feel-good soft-top convertible with instantaneous and ever-ready responses throughout the rev range the dramatic F-Type’s also boasts a gloriously popping, barking and growling al fresco soundtrack.

Best Performance Hatchback: Ford Focus ST

Other nominees: Volkswagen Golf GTI, Renault Clio RS200

A powerful sports car and practical family hatch rolled into one visceral, sharp, engaging and exciting package, the Ford Focus ST combines contemporary tech and refinement with old school hot hatch charm and agility. Thuggishly powerful with reassuring but edgy handling and responsive nuanced steering the Focus ST is brilliantly honest and unpretentious with driver-appeal by the bucket-load.

Best Luxury SUV: Land Rover Range Rover

Other nominees: Infiniti JX, Mercedes-Benz G500

The fastest, lightest and most luxurious Range Rover ever. Not only the dominant SUV. The all-new fourth generation is also a convincing candidate for best luxury car period. With lightweight alumninium construction the Range Rover reaps handling, refinement, efficiency and performance dividends, but with extensive off-road mechanical hardware and sophisticated off-road driver-assist software loses none of its gritty abilities

Best Small Sedan: Peugeot 301

Other nominees: Nissan Sentra, Kia Cerato, Volkswagen Polo Sedan

A classy compact sedan built to fit a purpose rather than cheap cost-cutting, the Peugeot 301 looks, drives and feels a cut above many competitors. Affordable, well-equipped and rugged, the 301 drives well on highway, town, country and rough dirt road alike, and is positioned to reclaim Peugeot’s traditional popularity in now car-hungry emerging markets.

Best Supercar: McLaren 12C Spider

Other nominees: Ferrari F12 Berlinetta, Lamborghini Aventador Roadster

Retaining the Best Supercar title it’s coupe sister won at last year’s MEMAs, the 12C Spider mixes F1-gleaned high tech, fine-tuned driver appeal and feel-good top-down driving. Scintillating performance is courtesy of a twin-turbo 3.8-liter V8, advanced aerodynamics provide road hugging down-force,  while innovative hydraulic damping and suspension delivers sublime ride and handling finesse.

Best Hatchback: Volkswagen Golf

Other nominees: Opel Astra GTC, Alfa Romeo Giulietta

More spacious yet lighter, livelier and more efficient than its predecessor the MK7 Golf benefits from improved engines and limited lightweight aluminium construction. Refined, classy, conservative and well-built the Golf is a grown-up family hatchback. Hot GTI models come with 220HP or 230HP, with the latter featuring a limited-slip differential for improved handling.

Best Midsize SUV: Jeep Grand Cherokee

Other nominees: Nissan Pathfinder, Hyundai Santa Fe, Kia Sorento, Chevrolet Trailblazer

With new glitzy fascia, the face-lifted 2013 Grand Cherokee also gets improved interiors, infotainment systems and an 8-speed automatic gearbox for added refinement and efficiency. Spacious and comfortable with rugged off-road hardware and sophisticated driver aids, the Grand Cherokee is true to its heritage in its abilities through rugged terrain.

Complete list of MEMA 2013 awards

Car of the Year (COTY) & Best Premium Convertible: Jaguar F-Type

Premium Convertibles nominees: Mercedes-Benz SL500, Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Cabrio

Best Performance Hatchback: Ford Focus ST

Other nominees: Volkswagen Golf GTI, Renault Clio RS200

Best Luxury SUV: Land Rover Range Rover

Other nominees: Infiniti JX, Mercedes-Benz G500

Best Small Sedan: Peugeot 301

Other nominees: Nissan Sentra, Kia Cerato, Volkswagen Polo Sedan

Best Supercar: McLaren 12C Spider

Other nominees: Ferrari F12 Berlinetta, Lamborghini Aventador Roadster

Best Hatchback: Volkswagen Golf

Other nominees: Opel Astra GTC, Alfa Romeo Giulietta

Best Midsize SUV: Jeep Grand Cherokee

Other nominees: Nissan Pathfinder, Hyundai Santa Fe, Kia Sorento, Chevrolet Trailblazer

Best Premium Sports Coupe: Maserati GranTurismo Sport

Other nominees: Aston Matin Vanquish, Porsche 911 Carrera 4S

Best Sports Coupe: Porsche Cayman S

Other nominees: Dodge Viper SRT, Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

Best Luxury Convertible: Bentley Continental GTC

Other nominees: Rolls Royce Phantom II Drophead Coupe

Best Premium Hatchback: Mercedes A250

Other nominees: Volvo V40

Best Mid-size Sedan: Honda Accord

Other nominees: Nissan Altima, Opel Insignia, Mazda 6

Best Executive Sedan: Cadillac ATS

Other nominees: Kia Quoris, Lexus ES350

Best Large Sedan: Chevrolet Impala

Other nominees: Nissan Toyota Avalon

Best Performance Sedan: BMW M6 GranCoupe

Other nominees: Audi S8, Lexus LS460 F-Sport

Best Luxury Sedan: Lexus LS460

Other nominees: BMW 7-Series, Cadillac XTS

Best Crossover: Toyota RAV4

Other nominees: Ford Escape, Mazda CX-5

Best Performance SUV: Porsche Cayenne Turbo S

Other nominees: Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8