Today (Wednesday 1 November) the Club proudly announced the recipients of its prestigious Dewar Trophy and Simms Medal for 2017 – Jaguar Land Rover and the HIPERCAR Consortium.
Without doubt among 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 Royal Automobile Club’s Dewar Technical Committee deems there have been contenders of sufficient merit, and 2017 is one such year.
The Dewar Trophy was presented to Jaguar Land Rover Chief Executive Officer, Professor Dr. Ralf Speth, for his team’s design and development of the first all-electric Jaguar in history: the I-PACE Concept. Arriving on the market in production form in 2018, the I-PACE Concept packs an innovative electric powertrain inside a dramatic new body, signalling a new direction for the marque.
In addition, Jaguar has launched the world’s first international race series for a production battery electric car, the Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY. The Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY will be the support series for the FIA Formula E Championship (In 2016, Jaguar became the first premium manufacturer to enter Formula E), taking place on the same weekends at the same city circuits, starting in late 2018. The Club was delighted to showcase this particular Concept in the Pall Mall rotunda to coincide with the presentation.
Awarding the 2017 trophy to Jaguar was a unanimous decision for experts on the Royal Automobile Club’s Dewar Technical Committee, chaired by John Wood MBE. Previous winners of the Dewar Trophy, which has a lineage dating back to 1906, include Rolls-Royce in 1907 for its 40.5hp engine; the British Motor Corporation and Alec Issigonis for the original Mini in 1959; McLaren in 2013 for the P1 hybrid supercar, and GKN Hybrid Power for their Gyrodrive flywheel technology.
John Wood MBE, Chairman of the Dewar Technical Committee, said: ‘Electrification is without doubt one of the hot topics of our time and the motor industry is genuinely at a turning point. Developing an electric car is one thing, but making it genuinely innovative and, at the same time, the embodiment of your brand’s values is quite different. On this evidence, Jaguar has more than succeeded and the Dewar Technical Committee was extremely impressed with every aspect of the I-PACE Concept – from its next-generation drivetrain to its reinterpretation of Jaguar’s design DNA.’
Receiving the Dewar Trophy, Professor Dr. Ralf Speth, Chief Executive Officer, Jaguar Land Rover, said: ‘On behalf of Jaguar Land Rover, I am absolutely delighted to receive such a prestigious award. Our design and engineering teams have done an incredible job with the I-PACE Concept. It marks the next-generation of Jaguars – compelling innovative technology, future-facing design, zero emissions. A new driving experience that retains and enhances the unmistakable essence of Jaguar. It is a pioneering vehicle – and it is a great honour that the Dewar Technical Committee has recognised this and given us a cherished place in the pantheon of automotive innovators, once again.’
Receiving the Simms Medal was Neil Yates from Ariel Ltd, Nick Carpenter from Delta Motorsport Ltd and Ian Foley from Equipmake Ltd. Together, these expert UK-based companies make up the HIPERCAR Consortium, which has collectively developed a new high performance electrified supercar.
To deliver this vehicle, known as HIPERCAR (which stands for High Performance Carbon Reduction), Ariel came together with Delta Motorsport and Equipmake to form a talented and capable consortium. To meet its performance and emissions reduction targets, while also addressing real world customer needs, the package chosen was a range extended, battery powered electric vehicle.
Companies working in the motorsport arena have a reputation for speed of response, inventiveness and a determination to deliver to near-impossible timescales. These three companies are no exception, all having a track record in delivering advanced technology and all three with previous experience of challenging contract R&D programmes.
Supported by a grant from Innovate UK, the consortium has delivered the first example of HIPERCAR in just 24 months: a four-wheel-drive range extended electric sports car, using a novel gas turbine range extender, with an overall power output of 1080bhp.
John Wood MBE said: ‘The HIPERCAR is an outstanding example of next-generation technology and lightning-fast development. If it had been the product of a major international vehicle manufacturer, it would be remarkable enough, but it is the result of three SMEs who have worked together on an immense technical challenge.
‘In bringing to market cutting edge high performance low-carbon technology, the HIPERCAR Consortium is helping to reduce emissions, safeguarding or creating jobs and developing UK automotive capability. As such, we had no hesitation in awarding the group the Simms Medal for 2017.’
On behalf of the HIPERCAR Consortium, Simon Saunders, Director of Ariel, said: ‘I am overjoyed to receive the Simms Medal for 2017. The HIPERCAR Consortium set out to collectively develop an extremely advanced car, one which brings together UK-developed technology in every aspect of its design.
‘Not only is HIPERCAR going to be one of the fastest vehicles in the world but also one of the most cutting edge. The fact that it has been developed in the UK and supported by UK government agencies shows just how important the vehicle and the technology is to us and the UK economy. And we are absolutely delighted that the Royal Automobile Club has recognised our achievements.’
To see the events taking place during London Motor Week, please click here.