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Top Scots Award For Jaguar XK

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)
ASMW President Stephen Park is pictured presenting the 2006 Scottish Car of the Year silver quaich to Ian Callum, Jaguar's Director of Design.

HORSHAM, England - October 28, 2006: JAGUAR's new XK Coupé has leapt in front of more than 50 new models launched during the past 12 months to scoop the coveted Scottish Car of the Year title for 2006.

The stunning Jaguar sports GT, penned by Scots design genius Ian Callum, was crowned in front of more than 200 motor industry representatives and Scottish motoring journalists who attended a gala dinner at the five-star Fairmont St Andrews resort.

Now in its ninth year, the awards recognise the achievements of new cars launched during the past 12 months across eight categories – Small, Family, Luxury, Drop Top, Sporting, Diesel, MPV and SUV.

Judged by members of the Association of Scottish Motoring Writers (ASMW), more than 50 new models were in contention for the 2006 accolade. Each vehicle was assessed on a range of qualities – including performance, safety, value for money and Scots appeal.

As well as having what it takes to be the overall 2006 champion, Jaguar’s XK Coupe emerged as a winner in the hotly-contested Dove Publishing-sponsored Sporting category, fighting off a strong challenge from the Audi RS4 and BMW’S Z4 Coupé.

Other category winners were: Small – Fiat Grande Punto; Family – Skoda Roomster; Luxury – Lexus IS; Drop Top – Mazda MX-5; Diesel – SEAT Leon TDI FR; MPV – Ford S-MAX; SUV – Audi Q7.

While the new Jag emerged as our overall winner, voting was always going to be close with so many excellent vehicles scooping a category victory. For instance, Fiat’s Grande Punto represents astonishing value, the latest-generation Mazda MX-5 offers unbeatable topless fun for the money while Ford’s S-MAX is arguably the most desirable MPV of all time.

At the awards, Stephen Park, President of the Association of Scottish Motoring Writers, said: “The ASMW is delighted to award Jaguar with the Scottish Car of the Year title for 2006. The past 12 months have seen some exceptional new cars come onto the market but none could match the Jag. Beautifully built, beautiful to look at and sensational to drive – Jaguar’s XK Coupé is something very special indeed.

“Despite so many fantastic category winners, the XK Coupé emerged as a clear overall champion. Perfectly proportioned from every angle, and designed by Scotsman Ian Callum (twice recipient of the ASMW’s Jim Clark memorial award), the XK is also thoroughly accomplished on the road. Furthermore, the imminent addition of a supercharged derivative to complement the normally aspirated 4.2-litre engine, adds further strength to the Jaguar’s case.”

Accepting the award, Jaguar's UK Managing Director Geoff Cousins said: "I feel especially honoured to have collected Jaguar's third Scottish 'Car of the Year' accolade, particularly for the new XK which we believe is a truly deserving winner.

“The XK made an immediate impact in the UK when it was launched in March this year and already more than 2,000 customers in the UK have taken delivery, with Scottish dealers recording a 57% growth in XK sales compared to 2005. Scotland continues to be a significant market for us, in total we have sold more than 1,100 vehicles this year and our XJ sales have gone up by 40% since 2005."

About the Association of Scottish Motoring Writers:

· Previous Scottish Car of the Year awards winners include the Ford Focus (1998), Jaguar S-TYPE (1999), Audi A2 (2000), Jaguar X-TYPE (2001), Mazda6 (2002), Volvo XC90 (2003), Peugeot 407 (2004) and BMW 3 Series (2005).

· The Association of Scottish Motoring Writers, founded 1961, is the nation’s leading voice on motoring matters, with 19 members covering print, broadcast and internet media.

· Complementing the event’s prestigious status in the country’s motoring calendar, the Scottish Car of the Year awards has also become a major fundraiser. To date, thanks to the generosity of those who attend and support the celebrations at St Andrews, the ASMW has donated more than £120,000 to a variety of good causes, including The Children’s Hospice Association Scotland (CHAS) plus a selection of smaller charities nominated by members.