Autocar Awards honour Audi, Honda, Volvo and more
The annual Autocar Awards recognise the best cars and people in the motor industry – here are all the winners this year...
Autocar Awards honour Audi, Honda, Volvo and more
Some of the UK's most exciting new cars, including the What Car? Car of the Year for 2018, the Volvo XC40, as well as the Audi A8, Nissan Leaf, Kia Stinger and Jaguar I-Pace, have been honoured at the annual Autocar Awards.
The event, presented by What Car?'s sister title, was held at the iconic Silverstone race circuit. As ever, it was attended by some of the most prominent figures in the industry.
Among the awards given out on the night were trophies for design and engineering, which went to Aston Martin designer Marek Reichman and Byton engineer David Twohig respectively. Former Formula 1 driver Jonathan Palmer was named Autocar's Motorsport Hero, while Gary Savage (Mercedes-Benz), Richard Harrison (Seat) and Dale Wyatt (Suzuki) were named outstanding UK leaders. A special Lifetime Achievement award was handed to BMW's Ian Robertson for years of success in the automotive industry.
Read on to discover the full winners of the 2018 Autocar Awards, beginning with the title's game-changing cars – those that Autocar's team of testers believe have moved the industry forward the most in the past year.
Game-changing car – Volvo XC40
The first of Autocar's game-changers for 2018 is What Car?'s own Car of the Year, the Volvo XC40. Autocar's testers praise the way the XC40 fulfills the small SUV brief, saying: "The result is an SUV that's refined, comfortable and relaxing when you want it to be but also doesn't turn its nose up at being hustled along when the mood takes you. It's safe, practical enough and attractive inside and out."
We couldn't agree more.
Game-changing car – Hyundai i30N
Hyundai is new to the world of hot hatchbacks, but we agree with Autocar's assessment that the i30N is one of the very best. With 247bhp available, this hot i30 is capable of sprinting to 62mph in just 6.4sec and its agility makes the car more than a match for rivals including the Ford Focus ST and Volkswagen Golf GTI.
Game-changing car – Jaguar I-Pace
Jaguar's first all-electric car is shaping up to be a real corker. In fact, it was named the most eagerly anticipated new car of 2018 by What Car? readers at our own awards. It's surrounded by some heady numbers, too: an electric driving range of almost 300 miles, a 0-60mph sprint time of 4.5sec and a price tag of less than £60,000. Indeed, Autocar calls it "the personification of a game-changer".
Game-changing car – Kia Stinger
The Stinger is one of our favourite executive cars – in fact, we think it's a top choice if you've got more than £40,000 to spend. Acting as a powerful and luxurious flagship for Kia, it's designed to draw younger buyers to the brand. As Autocar's testers noted: "This is a car that's intended to show the world that Kia is also a force to be reckoned with when it comes to creating engaging, dynamically focused, rear-driven driver's cars worthy of comparison with Europe's finest."
Game-changing car – Audi A8
Audi's flagsip luxury saloon brings with it a lot of new technology, including a self-driving system that will be available later this year. Combined with a sophisticated electric architecture that allows the engine to 'coast' for up to 40 seconds when cruising on the motorway to save fuel, along with a sumptuous interior, this is one of the most advanced new cars you can buy.
Game-changing car – Nissan Leaf
Autocar's final game-changer is our own Electric Car of the Year for 2018. The new Leaf builds on the success of its predecessor by offering a greater driving range, more power from its electric motor and a better-quality interior. On top of all that, it's even better to drive and costs less than £23,000 when the Government's plug-in car grant is taken into account.
Used car hero – Vauxhall Insignia
Autocar's Used Car Hero this year is one of the most popular sights on UK motorways, the Insignia. It's a popular choice with company car drivers, primarily because it's reasonably economical and cheap to buy. Go for an SE or Elite model and you'll get everything you could want, but even S models came with air conditioning, electric mirrors and cruise control – all essentials for high-mileage drivers.
Britain's Best Affordable Driver's Car – Honda Civic Type R
We named the Civic Type R our Hot Hatchback of the Year, thanks to its engaging driving style, raucous engine and ability to put a smile on your face come rain or shine. Autocar agrees, praising the car for its dynamic dexterity and high-speed comfort.
The Civic Type R gets a second win, too, because it was also named Autocar's Reader's Champion.
Britain's Best Driver's Car – Porsche 911 GT3
Autocar's annual Britain's Best Driver's Car competition was last year won by another Porsche, the 911 R, but since that car is no longer on sale it falls to the GT3 to defend its honour. And defend it does – despite competition such as the Aston Martin DB11 and McLaren 720S, Porsche walks away with a win yet again.
Editor's Award – Herbert Diess
Autocar editor Mark Tisshaw handed the Editor's Award to Volkswagen Group chief executive Herbert Diess, praising his efforts in helping the brand achieve record sales in 2017.
Issigonis Trophy – Akio Toyoda
The Issigonis Trophy is one of Autocar's highest honours and is presented to a person who has "contributed the most to the health, excellence and competitiveness of the European motor industry" in the past year. In 2018, the award goes to Toyota president Akio Toyoda "in recognition of his inspiring leadership of the Toyota brand and for pioneering new technology in the industry".
Sturmey Award – Professor Graham Hargrave and Jonathan Wilson
Named after Autocar's first editor, Henry Sturmey, this accolade "salutes innovation and acheivement in the motor industry".
This year's recipients, Professor Graham Hargrave and research associate Jonathan Wilson from Loughborough University, have worked to develop a revolutionary emissions reduction technology called ACCT, which is able to lower the output of nitrogen oxides (NOx) from diesel engines.
What Car? Car of the Year Award winners 2018
So those are the winners of the Autocar Awards in 2018. But back in January, we named our own favourite cars across more than 20 categories. And by using What Car?'s New Car Buying site, you could save a small fortune if you buy any of these models. In this next story, we show you the biggest savings.