Close your eyes, sit back and imagine you're being chauffeured around town. Now open your eyes, and say what luxury conveyance you pictured your ride to be. The editors of The Chauffeur magazine – who we'd all imagine are named Jeeves or Somethingsworth – have made their selections, naming the Jaguar XJ long wheelbase and Lexus LS600hL as their top picks for Chauffeur Car of the Year 2008.
The Jaguar beat out the Volvo S80, Mercedes E, Chrysler 300C and VW Phaeton, which were nominated alongside it in the £25-£50k category. Up one class in the £50-100k segment, the Lexus beat out a selection of Europe's finest in the Mercedes S-Class, BMW 7-Series and Audi A8. No word yet on the final choice for the top category, but with the Rolls-Royce Phantom, Bentley Continental Flying Spur and Maybach 62 all nominated, we'd be hard pressed to pick one ourselves (hint: it wouldn't be the Maybach). Chauffeur mag was quick to point out that the dedicated chauffeur programs offered by both Jaguar and Lexus scored both the long-wheelbase luxury sedans extra points in their deliberations. Follow the jump to read the press releases from Jaguar and Lexus.
[Sources: Jaguar and Lexus]
PRESS RELEASE: JAGUAR
Jaguar's XJ long wheelbase has been acclaimed 'Chauffeur Car of the Year 2008' in the under £50,000 category by The Chauffeur magazine. Judging the awards were members of the motoring media and key industry opinion formers.
David Spencer, Head of Corporate Sales at Jaguar said: "I am thrilled the XJ long wheelbase has won this award. We are very proud of our lightweight, luxury vehicle, particularly the more-recently introduced 2.7-litre diesel version which has been a big hit in the chauffeur market since its launch. With better economy and lower CO2 emissions, coupled with the benefits of our dedicated chauffeur programme, the XJ long wheelbase is an increasingly attractive proposition."
Paul Gibson, Editor of The Chauffeur magazine commented: "I am delighted to present this prestigious award to Jaguar for its XJ long wheelbase diesel, which has been welcomed by the chauffeuring industry. The vehicle represents real value for money, true luxury and gives the chauffeur everything he needs to carry out his job successfully."
Jaguar recently announced a new dedicated programme for the chauffeur market, offering an attractive package for chauffeurs who make the XJ long wheelbase their vehicle of choice. The Jaguar Chauffeur Programme* is designed to ensure buying, owning and maintaining a new Jaguar is an effortless experience.
Building on the success of the XJ diesel since its introduction in September 2005, Jaguar announced the XJ long wheelbase diesel at the British International Motor Show the following year. This car combines all the excellent attributes of the long wheelbase car with the refinement of the 2.7 twin-turbo diesel engine.
Jaguar will be attending Chauffeur Drive 08** in April to showcase both the XJ long wheelbase and the new Jaguar XF diesel. The first event of its kind, Chauffeur Drive 08 will allow those from Europe's chauffeur, private hire and limousine industry to test drive the world's most luxurious cars in one area.
PRESS RELEASE: LEXUS
Already a favourite among CEOs in the city, the top of the range Lexus LS 600h L has been awarded chauffeur car of the year, by The Chauffeur magazine in the highly competitive £50,000 to £100,000 category.
Judged closely against the German flagship saloons from Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi, Lexus won the top spot in the toughest category for the most popular vehicles chosen by the chauffeuring industry. Key factors behind the judges' decision included the Lexus hybrid system which allowed for lower emission and competitive fuel economy, build quality, and the reclining and massaging rear seats which can adapt for shiatsu back and shoulder massages with varying intensity.
Also contributing to the award was the Lexus Chauffeur programme which offers unique finance packages, designated staff within the Lexus Centre network for sales and service, plus access to the loan of a PCO (Public Carriage Office) licenced Lexus enabling chauffeurs to continue working in the event of their own vehicle being off the road for any reason.
Paul Gibson, Editor of The Chauffeur magazine commented: "I am delighted to present this prestigious award to Lexus for its excellent LS 600h L, which easily fought off its rivals in this sector of the competition. The vehicle represents true luxury and gives the chauffeur everything he needs to carry out his job successfully."
Andy Simpson, Lexus Manager for National, Corporate and Remarketing said, "We are delighted to win this award in such a competitive category. This helps to reinforce the significant benefits of Lexus hybrid drive for the business user whether as an individual car or vehicle fleet."
A selection of Lexus cars including the LS 600h L will be on display at Chauffeur Drive 08 which takes place on 20 and 21 April at the Farnborough Five exhibition centre. For more information visit www.drive08.co.uk.
The 'L' signifies long wheel base over the standard LS 600h saloon and provides extra rear legroom and can also be specified with the rear seat relaxation package. This includes the massage functions mentioned above, independent rear DVD player, fixed centre console with removable table and body temperature sensing climate control.