The Club is proud to announce the recipients of the Dewar Trophy and Simms Medal for 2016 are Gordon Murray Design and Hugo Spowers and the team at Riversimple.
Arguably the most prestigious honours in recognition of home-grown British automotive engineering talent, the Dewar Trophy and Simms Medal are only awarded in years when the Club’s Dewar Technical Committee deems there have been contenders of sufficient merit. This is one such year.
The Dewar Trophy was presented on Wednesday 2 November to Gordon Murray Design founder, Gordon Murray, for his team’s development and application of the innovative iStream® chassis concept, including its use in the Global Vehicle Trust OX all-terrain vehicle. The OX tackles crucial transport challenges in the developing world, by offering a cheap, versatile and durable flat-pack truck to some of the globe’s poorest areas.
Accepting the Trophy, Professor Murray said ‘It’s a great honour to receive such a prestigious award on behalf of our company. I am extremely proud of what our team has achieved in industrialising iStream®. Our mission has been to develop Formula 1 technology to a point where it is accessible to the everyday motorist and to enable affordable lightweighting and to introduce new levels of automotive durability and safety’.
Professor Murray, who has been ‘messing around with composites’ his whole working life and leading pioneering work in F1, super cars and production cars, said this ‘pales in to insignificance’ compared to their work today.
A key factor in the imminent success of iStream is its durability. ‘The ultimate recycle is not to recycle’ said Professor Murray. ‘With this in mind, we have set out to manufacture products that will last forever – never recycle, just update.’
Awarding the 2016 trophy to Gordon Murray Design was a unanimous decision for experts on the Royal Automobile Club’s Dewar Technical Committee, chaired by John Wood MBE. John said ‘Gordon Murray Design’s iStream® technique presents a completely new way of thinking about vehicle construction. When developing the OX all-terrain vehicle, the iStream® construction was the perfect fit: versatile, strong, durable and extremely affordable, it’s a genuine innovation that could positively affect the lives of people in some of the world’s poorest areas’.
Receiving the Simms Medal on behalf of Riversimple was the company’s founder, Hugo Spowers. Riversimple becomes only the ninth recipient of the Simms Medal, with previous winners including Richard Parry-Jones CBE in 2007 in recognition of his immense contribution to the UK and worldwide automotive industry; Ben Bowlby in 2012 for his ground-breaking DeltaWing racing car, and Lord Paul Drayson in 2013 for incredible and world record breaking achievements with the Drayson B12/69 LMP-type EV racing car.
Riversimple has developed the Rasa from the ground up as an affordable, usable and forward-thinking hydrogen fuel cell vehicle. The production prototype delivers on its promise of efficiency and sustainability, with a range of 300 miles from just 1.5kg of hydrogen. Weighing only 580kg and with a carefully honed aerodynamic body, the Riversimple Rasa returns the equivalent of 250mpg, zero tailpipe emissions and c.40g/km CO2 well-to-wheel.
Introducing the winner, John Wood MBE said ‘The Riversimple Rasa perfectly represents the ‘spirit of technical endeavour’ that the Simms Medal is awarded for. The car in itself is a real innovation, and really captured the imagination of the whole motoring community in a way that other hydrogen-powered vehicles hadn’t. As well as its technical originality, Riversimple also has radical ideas about the way people ‘own’ its cars, insomuch as you’ll pay a monthly fee, including insurance, fuel and maintenance for a set period, rather than buying the car outright’.
Accepting the award, Hugo Spowers added, ‘The Riversimple team are delighted and honoured that their efforts to produce a car that is truly a breakthrough have been recognised. The Rasa has been designed specifically for hydrogen use with a completely different architecture to conventional or battery electric cars. We are confident that the Rasa can bring a momentous change in the way mobility is delivered and in the longer-term will have a global impact on the sustainability of personal transport.’
The Club congratulates both winners on their outstanding contribution to motoring innovation.
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