Word is in on this year’s Auto Express Magazine awards, and Aston Martin, MINI, and Jaguar have all done quite well.
Aston Martin Awards
In addition to the cars themselves, Aston Martin President and Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Andy Palmer was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award. The award – which was presented to Palmer by Auto Express editor-in-chief Steve Fowler – represents an appreciation for his efforts during his long and successful career in the automotive industry.
Naturally I am honoured to receive an award from within the industry that I love but I think this award is for everybody at Aston Martin. For everybody who embraced the Second Century Plan, and helped to turn around the fortunes of this great British company. We are now entering a period of continued growth and the third phase of our plan, as we begin to diversify our product portfolio and further strengthen Aston Martin’s position as a global luxury business.
Since taking the helm of Aston Martin in 2014, Palmer has led the company into a new era of profitability, guided by his visionary Second Century Plan. It was announced in February that Aston Martin had delivered its highest-ever revenues of £876m, up 48% versus the previous year, with pre-tax profits rising by a quarter of a billion pounds to £87m. Driven by the sell-out success of the DB11, these figures also prompted Brand Finance to declare that Aston Martin is the “fastest growing auto brand” in the UK.
In addition to Palmer’s success, Aston Martin’s recently-launched Vantage claimed the ‘Design of the Year’ award, voted for by Auto Express’ readers online. The achievement underlines the success of the British marque’s most focused sportscar and the work of Aston Martin’s design studio, led by Chief Creative Officer Marek Reichman.
Andy set my team and I the task of creating models with clear and distinct characters and for Vantage, we wanted to deliver on the theme of the hunter. This is a car of pure athleticism and we pushed the boundaries to create something that matched the car’s dynamic credentials. I’d like to thank the readers of Auto Express for their appreciation of our work. It’s always very humbling to receive such a positive reaction and I hope they continue to enjoy our future designs. This is a very exciting time for the company’s design team, as we continue to explore the potential of both the Aston Martin and Lagonda brands.
Speaking of both awards, Steve Fowler, Editor-in-Chief Auto Express said:
Andy Palmer himself is humble enough to stress that it’s all been a team effort, both at Nissan and Aston Martin. But every team needs a leader and Palmer is a man, an engineer, who leads from the front with a combination of intelligence, astuteness and humility that has made him the most influential person in the motor industry over the past 30 years.
Aston Martin’s new Vantage sees the firm leave behind the design language it has relied on for over a decade in favour of something altogether more youthful and radical. As such, it certainly can’t be said that Aston has played things safe, but according to our readers, it’s a massive success.
Jaguar I-PACE Awards
The all-electric Jaguar I-PACE has been named Car of the Year at the 2018 Auto Express New Car Awards with Editor-in-Chief Steve Fowler describing it as: “the most exciting new car we’ve tested over the past 12 months.”
Jaguar’s first all-electric vehicle also collected the Electric Car of the Year title at the annual awards held in London.
The Jaguar I-PACE is the electric vehicle drivers have been waiting for. Clean, smart and safe, the I-PACE delivers sustainable sports car performance, next-generation artificial intelligence (AI) technology and five-seat SUV practicality to place Jaguar at the forefront of the EV revolution.
Steve Fowler, Editor-in-chief of Auto Express said:
The I-PACE proves that brilliant electric cars are right here, right now – it’s the most exciting new car we’ve tested over the past 12 months. We love the way it looks, the space and quality of the interior and most of all that it drives exactly how a modern-day Jaguar should – it’s fantastic fun. On top of all that, it’ll cover city-to-city distances on a single charge in complete comfort – it’s a massively impressive car that bodes well for our electric future.
The all-electric I-PACE is fitted with a state-of-the-art 90kWh Lithium-ion battery, two Jaguar-designed in-house motors and a bespoke aluminum structure for 0-60mph in 4.5 seconds and a range of 298 miles (WLTP).
Ian Callum, Jaguar Director of Design said:
We are delighted to pick up such a prestigious accolade for our first all-electric Jaguar. We started with a blank canvas and the goal of creating the world’s most desirable electric vehicle and recognition like this from Auto Express shows that the I-PACE certainly meets that challenge. What I’m most proud of is that we have created a Jaguar first and foremost, a Jaguar that happens to be electric. The I-PACE has all of the stunning design cues, characteristics and breadth of dynamic capability that is inherent in our vehicles. It is the Jaguar of the future, here today.
The Auto Express Car of the Year award is the latest success in an incredible launch for Jaguar’s first all-electric vehicle. It has received extremely positive reviews following the first-ever media drives recently and last month was named a ‘Game Changer’ by Autocar at their 2018 Awards.
At the start of June two-time Wimbledon Champion, Andy Murray, fulfilled the promise he made during WWF’s World Earth Hour to ‘go electric’ and become one of the first Jaguar I-PACE customers on World Environment Day.
The MINI Convertible today won “Best Convertible” at the 2018 Auto Express Awards.
Steve Fowler, Editor of Auto Express said:
The MINI Convertible has always been a popular drop-top, and the newly facelifted third-generation version is the best yet. This is a car offering open-top fun and thrills in a supermini-sized and shaped package, and with a broad line-up of trims and engines there’s a MINI Convertible for almost any driver.
This year the MINI Convertible celebrated its 25th Anniversary with a special edition vehicle. Since its launch in 2016, over 14,000 vehicles have been sold in the UK making it the best-selling Convertible in the UK.
David George, Director, MINI UK commented on the win:
To win this award is a great achievement, and testament to the importance we place on the model within our product line-up. With the product refresh earlier this year, we’re delighted that the MINI Convertible continues to be the best-selling Convertible in the UK.
Upgraded in March 2018, the new MINI Convertible is more stylish, practical and sophisticated than ever before. Priced from £19,795, it features a fully electric roof which opens and closes in just 18 seconds and a brand new 6.5-inch infotainment system.
Exceptionally high levels of standard equipment differentiate MINI Convertible from its competitors – MINI Visual Boost Radio, MINI Connected, Bluetooth, Rear Parking Distance Control and Rear Reversing Camera are standard across the range.